(Almost) Ten Years later
You know what I hate about prison movies? They never ever show how much it fucks up your immune system. The Architects and Sanitary Professionals were so preoccupied with keeping long-term prisoners healthy on the inside, they forgot how weak our immune systems would get without any exposure to diseases in the outside world. Bacteria was out there evolving and getting stronger while our defenses atrophied and died.
I’ve met a murderer who could explode continents, a legitimate evil Deity, and dozens of serial killers. They aren’t nearly as terrifying as the common cold. One week on the outside and I’ve already blown 80$ on tissues, and another 30$ on cough syrup. I should be home in my crappy apartment catching up on everything I missed, but instead I’m fixing a rich fuck’s TV on more dayquil then a human should ever look at, let alone ingest. I stood on his shiny wood floor, attempting to filter out the bright light let in by his giant windows with my left hand.
“No, Mr. Andrew. If you give me permission to use my powers I will not steal your Television set. If you want the job done in under a week please give me permissi-” he cut me off, shouting, “How the hell am I supposed to trust you? You could grab all my stuff and run off without me noticing? You’re a criminal! You could kill us all!”
“Actually Mr. Andrew, I can’t. My ankle brace would taser me multiple times if I stepped out of line. If that didn’t stop me, It would poison me then blow my ankle off. With all due respect sir, I am way too sick to deal with this right now, so please just sign the goddamn paper.” He grumbled incoherently, then grumbled, “Fine. but I’ll have you know that I’ll be reporting your poor customer service,” slightly louder. I laughed.
“You know I work for Comcast right?”
He glared at me and signed the paper, turning off the limiter implanted in my head. I stretched the invisible muscle in my head, cramped from weeks without use, before flexing it, blanketing the world in blue, and slowing reality. Thank god, I thought as the world froze around me, silencing the idiot. I looked around, grabbed a few bills from his wallet and began to work on his massive flat screen laid out on the leather sectional that took up a quarter of his living room. Early on in my prison sentence I discovered that I had a knack for fixing televisions. It was a useful skill. It bought me friends, food, and when my lawyer found out about it, a little bit of money.
Unfortunately, it all went to shit when my caseworker found out and set up a deal with Comcast. I would do the job of a hundred employees at the cost of one, and the work experience would “reform” me and teach me valuable skills. It was supposed to keep me off the streets, but ironically the only option left was illegal. I wasn’t about to live my life like this, and since the 2013 incident, ex super villains are almost never allowed to become heroes. Barring special circumstances, only two options were left. Going through the military, or doing a few years of service with the Redemption Unit, a near death sentence. After a few hours of working I picked the massive television up, grunting with effort, and placed it above the mahogany mantle framing his gas fireplace. The second I finished, the douche kicked me out of his house. I protested, but he threatened to call the authorities if I stayed any longer.
And they say Power is the self sacrificing hero.