Laid off, fired, canned, whatever. My boss didn't like it that I claimed illness as an excuse to, and I quote, "run off and play hero."
For a second there, I understood villains like Nefarious. I could take being fired -- after all, I'd kind of expected it already. But the idea, the insult that I'm merely playing at it, that pisses me off. I wanted to rip off the roof, tear down the walls, and throw her into the river to show her how much I was playing.
Fortunately I have more self-control than that.
I spent the rest of the day and most of the next at home, not willing to face the world. It didn't feel worth it. Nothing felt worth it, right then. I'd blown it, blown my big chance to show up at the scene of a crime and be taken seriously as a hero. I'd resolved not to be one of those heroes -- you know, the kind that dresses like a prostitute or a color-blind mental patient, does more damage than the villain, and screws up everything before just barely fixing the original problem plus what they'd done.
Instead, I'd flown out there in my underwear, and failed.
My phone rings, but I ignore it. It's been ringing a lot, for some reason. Probably because I was stupid enough to give my real name out there. What had happened to Shatterforce? Not the best name, but I was sure it would've passed muster. My phone rings again, not two minutes later, and I just turn over in bed. I'd unplugged my answering machine when I got home the other night, so the world doesn't have to hear my meek, half-hearted request to leave a message. And so I don't have to listen to the world's bullshit right now.
Finally, I get up out of bed to go to the bathroom. I'm hungry, but I've been ignoring that for a while. My computer, a cheap little laptop that has barely enough RAM to run a word processor, catches my eye on my way back to my room. Despite myself, I walk over to it and sit down, flipping open the lid and tapping the power button. I really don't want to see what my e-mail inbox looks like, nor do I want to see if the news has anything to say about me... But at the same time, I really do.