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Action Figures - Issue One: Secret Origins by Michael Bailey

Action Figures - Issue One: Secret Origins by Michael Bailey

Author:Michael Bailey [Bailey, Michael]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Innsmouth Look Publishing
Published: 2014-01-06T08:00:00+00:00


TWENTY

At the risk of sounding boastful, I’m a highly intelligent young woman. In middle school, on the leading edge of my Dark Period, a school psychologist gave me an I.Q. test. I don’t know what my score was because there was some stupid rule about students not knowing their own scores, but whatever it was, it made my parents’ jaws drop, literally—which, I trust, is because my score was so high and not because they were shocked to learn I wasn’t a total moron.

Anyway, my point is I’m crazy-smart. I learn fast, I retain knowledge, I can figure out almost anything, given time. Not much throws me off.

And then there is mathematics.

It is my nemesis, academically speaking. I hate it, and I hate it because the advanced stuff consistently stumps me. The basic stuff, addition and subtraction and the like, that’s cake. I start to get lost in the realm of percentages and fractions and it goes downhill from there. Square roots cause my brain to lock up. Merely mention exponents and I curl into a fetal position.

I say all this to explain why I am soaring hundreds of feet above the earth instead of heading to the Coffee Experience with my friends for post-school caffeine. I had an algebra test today, and, despite my many hours of studying (including the entire day the school was closed so they could clean up after our fight with Archimedes), I have the utmost confidence that it kicked my butt. I’m predicting a C, maybe a C-plus.

Because failure and I do not get along, I told the others I needed to take a quick spin to clear my head. I knew as I lifted off, climbing so high only passing birds could hear my grumbling, it wouldn’t make the mediocre grade go away, but it would help me ignore it for a while. Everyone needs to get away from their problems now and then, right?

At this altitude, Kingsport is a wonky mosaic of awkward shapes and muted colors: green patches of woodland, smaller gray and beige blocks marking larger commercial buildings and their parking lots, freckles of rooftop black. Cars are tiny specks of motion. People are invisible. The sounds of the world can’t reach me. There’s nothing up here but the whoosh of wind and the roar of a pair of fighter jets as they scream past.

Their sudden appearance, to put it mildly, scares the crap out of me and I stop short, my heart pounding like it’s trying to escape my chest and parachute to safety. The jets shrink to dots as they speed away and then bank hard, swinging back in my direction, circling around in a wide arc. They pass me again, far to my left, and one of the jets does a funny little wibble-wobble of its wings as it streaks by.

Curious, I follow.

I catch up to the jets in no time and match their speed, which catches one pilot by surprise judging by his double take when he spots me.



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