Previous: Meet Blink | Part 1
Last week, Blink’s mom opened an envelope, to find enough cash to make the house payment! Shortly after, a friend called to say an obnoxious classmate was missing! What happened to Frank? And where did that cash really come from? Read on…
“…Westside Middle School, did not return home from school today. His parents say they checked with his friends, and nobody has seen him since school let out at 3:35 p.m. If you know where Frank Crain might be, please call Hotline Fourteen at…”
“Geez,” said Stevie looking at the screen, “they put his football picture up there?”
“Yeah. You think someone grabbed him off the sidewalk?”
Stevie had a pretty good idea that was exactly what happened, and who had grabbed him, and why. “Maybe,” he said. “Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, huh?”
“Yeah. Hey, my mom wants something. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“Who was that—oh my!” Mom gasped. “Is that boy from your school?”
“Yeah. He’s a real jerk. He probably mouthed off to the wrong person. Or maybe he’s out breaking windows, and he turned off his phone so they can’t track him.”
“Stevie, what have I told you, talking about people like that?”
“I know. Sorry. But he is a jerk.”
“Being a jerk doesn’t mean he deserves something bad happening to him,” said Mom. “Anyway, I’m keeping you home tomorrow.”
“Does that mean I can stay up late?”
“Until eleven. No later.”
“Fine,” Stevie huffed. “Can I use the computer, then?”
“Sure. I’m pretty worn out. I think I’ll go to bed early. But I’ll be checking on where you go.”
“Geez, ma. The computer can’t even play Youtubes, it sure can’t play anything—dirty.” Stevie caught himself about to say fun and corrected himself at the last second.
“I know. A new computer is on the list, once we can afford it.” Mom kissed her fingertip and tapped him on top of the head. “Night, kiddo.”
Stevie waited for the bedroom door to close, then opened Twitter through the anonymizing relay site he’d found last weekend. He had created an account for Blink through it, and followed the known heroes and villains, but had left it dormant since then. Now it was time to use it.
@CapHeroic This is Blink. I need to talk to you in private.
Stevie waited anxiously, hoping for a response.
@CapHeroic I need your help.
@Blinkss14 I’m retired, you know.
@CapHeroic It’s about the missing kid. It’s because of me. Please.
CapHeroic followed you.
@Blinkss14 DMed you.
Stevie sighed with relief, and opened his direct messages.
Can you meet at Fountain of Progress Square?
I’ll have to wait for my mom to go to sleep, but yeah.
See you there.
Stevie logged out, then cleared the browser cache and history. Mom didn’t know he knew to do that, just yet. He clicked around to a few school-related and game sites, checked his email, then got up to check on Mom. She was already asleep, her TV playing some chick flick. He turned it off, then arranged his dirty laundry under the covers in case she checked on him. Finally, he put on his black hoodie and popped outside.
“Over here,” Blink whispered. Captain Heroic turned to see the kid, standing thirty feet to the left of where he had been.
“Okay, I’m convinced,” said Captain Heroic. “Let’s skip the small talk. Who took the kid?”
Blink sighed. “Frank was telling everyone at school he’s Blink. So they went after him.”
“The Blackuras are just a bunch of punks in souped-up Integras. They’re not going to tangle with supers.”
“They run the street races, y’know. I… I kind of popped in on them and grabbed a bunch of their cash.”
“You what?” Captain Heroic scratched his greying head. “You stole money from them, is that what you’re saying?”
“Yeah.” Blink sighed again. “They got it illegally, I figured that wouldn’t make it so bad. Mom can’t get a better job than Slaver-Mart, and Dad’s supposed to send child support so we can get by. But sometimes he doesn’t.”
“So you took the money to help your mom pay bills.”
“Yeah. Grimes Financial threatens to foreclose on us any time we’re late on the house payment. That’s why I was there, that night last week. I was thinking about grabbing some money out of their vault, I figured they’d get it right back anyway, y’know? Then DeVine showed up.”
“Right.” Captain Heroic paced in front of the fountain for a minute. “So what are you? A hero, or a villain?”
Blink fought back tears. “I… I don’t know yet. Frank’s a butthead, but that doesn’t mean I want him getting hurt. So I’m gonna get him out. But I need some help.”
The old hero thought a moment. “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone your age,” he said at last. “Most Type Ones don’t manifest until they’re twenty. Sixteen’s the earliest I ever heard of until now. You’re what, thirteen?”
“Yeah. What’s a Type One?”
“That’s someone who’s superpowers come naturally. They’re genetic. Type Twos gain theirs after some external event, usually a lab accident. I’m a Type Three, just a normal guy with good reflexes and very good gadgets.”
“Okay, I’ll help. But this is your show. I’m the sidekick, got it? I’ll step in if something goes wrong, but otherwise it’s all you. And no more swiping cash, even from the bad guys.”
Blink grinned. “Fair enough. But you have to drive. I’ll navigate. I got an idea how we can do this.”