He walked out of the office and into the street, pushing people aside, angry and confused at the suspension of his license. Agreed, the kid had fallen and was now lying in a hospital breathing through a tube, but was that really his fault? He couldn’t be everywhere at once.

His phone rang and he pulled it from a hidden pocket just below his ribs; the suit was designed to hide the bulge. He looked at the caller ID for a moment and then hit answer. ‘Yep?’

‘So they got to you too?’ The voice was deep, and for once without sarcasm.

‘Bureaucratic assholes. They’ve got no idea.’

‘Health and safety, my friend. Got a finger in every hole these days.’

‘They’ll shut us all down if they’re not careful.’

‘I think that’s the idea.’

Sirens bounced off the concrete of the city and flashing lights appeared on a brace of cruisers. As always his heart raced, and for a moment he almost chased after them, and then remembered that practice was over. For now. ‘So what do you want?’

‘You know where we meet. Friday at nine. More than welcome.’

He sighed. ‘Seriously? This little club you’ve got going? I don’t think swapping lies from behind the cape is really my thing. Maybe I’ll try the private sector.’

‘Suit yourself. Tough market though. Long hours. It’s a game for young bucks. Which you aren’t.’

The line went dead. He cursed and threw the phone, watched it soar up and into the skies over the Metropolis. He walked, head down, ignoring people who called his name or asked for an autograph. The streets were crowded and he’d like to have flown, but the repercussions were too serious. Idiots. Perhaps he’d take Joker up on the offer. It wasn’t ideal, but at least he could crack a few heads, stop a few bullets. At least until something better came along.

© Rich Wilson