A Little Slice of Pie
I recently ran across this story that I wrote years ago, and thought I would post it here for any that would like to read it.
It is from the MMO that was called City of Heroes, if any of you ever played that.
The first part was basically the backstory/biography that I wrote for my main character, Pi.
The second part was written from actual gameplay. It summed up Pi’s first extra costume slot, which I used to make her casual clothes. It also draws from actual gameplay from the Halloween event for that year. The part about Night Angle’s name, yes, that was completely true also, I did not make that up.
Originally, the story was going to be in four parts, one part for each extra costume slot, and possibly more, detailing Pi’s arch nemesis, which I made in City of Villians. Sadly though, I got distracted, and the game eventually shut down, before I could ever achieve a third costume slot.
Jenny stood waiting in the line for superhero registration. She had chosen the Freedom Corps building in Galaxy City simply because it seemed to her the lines would be shorter. Everyone always went to Atlas Park to register. But Jenny just had to be different. Then again, she had always been a little different.
From an early age, Jenny’s parents and teachers had noticed something about her. Now being different was not completely out of the ordinary in Paragon City. Since the attack by the 5th column in World War II, and the more recent Rikti invasion, heroes had flocked to the city, to defend it. Jenny’s differences had nothing to do with superpowers though, nor was she a mutated being. She was a mathematical genius. She easily aced all the intelligence tests administered to her, and her grades were more than exemplary. She didn’t need to study, but study she did because she liked it. Jenny never had trouble with any of her subjects. Because of this, she always ended up in the gifted and talented section of the classroom. More often than not, she was put in classes higher than her age bracket, where she still excelled.
However, all this intelligence had a slightly negative effect on Jenny. Children can tend to be very mean to other children that are different than they are. Especially to the ones that make them look bad. Jenny was a nice enough girl and she always tried to help her schoolmates if they needed it. She had a rather pleasant personality, perhaps a bit shy, and was of average appearance, dressing conservatively. But due to her extreme intelligence and shyness, she never quite fit in with what was considered “cool”. Many of the popular crowd assumed Jenny to be better than them because she made such high marks and always knew the answer. As a result, she was often picked on by the bullies of the school. Even at the early ages, the schools of Talos Island were recruiting areas for future Hellions, Skulls, and Outcasts. Gangs of teenage and grade school bullies would form, hoping one day to be able to be initiated into these villainous gangs. Not very many days would go by when Jenny would go without getting her books knocked from her hands in the hallway, or having her lunch money taken from her.
One day, as she was walking down the hall, a gang of older bullies was harassing her as usual. They were always making fun of her for being smart. “Look, there goes Pi!” one of the boys shouted loudly. “Pie? Why you call her that?”, another fellow exclaimed. “Cause Pi are square!” the first guffawed back. The entire hallway erupted in laughter as Jenny tried to make her way hurriedly to her classroom. But enough people had heard the exchange that the new nickname stuck, as most nicknames do. All day long she was greeted with various comments often associated with hysterical laughter, about how square she was. Before long, over half the student body would be calling her Pi. Jenny had cried herself to sleep that night.
During her early to mid-teens, Jenny had been allowed to go on to college. Her intelligence had continued to flourish and grow, and she easily got a scholarship to an exclusive out of state school. The college was among the most elite schools in the nation. Most everything was taught there, but Jenny concentrated on her main interests, which were math and science. It was during college that she finally rid herself of the awful Pi moniker. She was supposed to be smart at college, and was revered instead of insulted for her academic accomplishments. By age 20, she had matured into rather attractive young woman, with not one but several different degrees on her wall. Socially, she had led a rather subdued life. She dressed fairly conservatively as always, most often simply wearing her school uniform. She had no time for boys; she spent most of her free time reading or playing around with science and chemistry experiments.
It was during one of these experiments that her life changed. She was in the radiation department after hours one evening, by herself. All that day, they had been studying about the effects of radiation on the human body. The thought had intrigued Jenny. She sat staring at the various radiation inducing machines, twirling a pencil through a lock of her blond hair. “I wonder…” she thought, “…what if I could use radiation to make myself even smarter…” When Jenny got an idea like this into her head, she could not rest until she had either proved or disproved it. It was fairly late, around 10pm, when Jenny finally decided all her calculations were correct. She would induce herself with a minimal amount of radiation, cross it with injections of several other chemicals known only to her, and using the combined effects of two different machines, she could raise her IQ by possibly another 10 points! If this worked, she might even win a Nobel Prize. She could develop a way of making anyone smarter!
She took a deep breath and injected the mixture of chemicals into one of her arms. Quickly, before the chemicals could dissipate, she lay on her back on the metal table, buckled herself to it with an ordinary belt, and used a remote control device to turn the machines on. The machines were already programmed with the proper calculations, so all she had to do was start them via the remote. To this day she did not know why she felt the need to restrain herself to the table. Perhaps she had seen way too many movies. But as the machines started humming, something clicked in her mind. She had inadvertently reversed two of the main formulas! She had been so excited that she had neglected to triple check herself like she usually did. She reached for the remote, which she had laid on the table beside her, and listened with horror as it clattered to the floor. The machines were going at full power now. Jenny panicked, as she tried in vain to get the belt undone. All she could think about was the fact that the machines gave off a wide berth of radiation, so her entire body was receiving a dosage that she had just figured out was wrong! She had no idea what this would do to her. She struggled, but try as she might, her mind would just not function enough in her state of panic to allow her to undo a simple belt buckle. At last the machines turned themselves off, as they were programmed to do. Jenny lay back on the table in a pool of sweat. After a few minutes, she slowly undid the belt buckle, and sat up. She found a bathroom and splashed water onto her face. She didn’t look or feel any different, but she knew, something was definitely changed. She shakily walked back to her apartment and collapsed on her bed. She sure didn’t feel any smarter.
The next day at class, Jenny sat listening to the professor ramble on. He was so boring, she thought. She already knew about this subject. She wished he would just stop talking and get on to something more interesting. Suddenly, the professor just slumped over. Fearing a heart attack, paramedics were called. After examining him though, they deduced that he had simply, for some inexplicable reason, fell asleep. Jenny dismissed this as an oddity, until it started happening more often. At various times, people around her would suddenly slump over and fall into a deep sleep. It began to be noticed on campus. They called it the mysterious sleeping sickness. Researchers were brought in to take samples of the air where this happened looking for hidden germs. Some said it was an evil plot by the Rikti. But in the back of her mind, Jenny started remembering the failed radiation experiment. What if radiation were somehow leaking out of her body and doing something to these people? Reporters became more and more abundant on campus. It was only going to be a matter of time before someone put two and two together and realized she was present each time this happened.
One night, Jenny and her friend Sara were walking home from a campus lab building. They had been to an evening class that did not let out until 10pm. About halfway home, two men in skull masks jumped out of the bushes. Jenny had heard about the Skulls, but did not think they had the nerve to venture onto campus. “Oh yeah, we got us some purty ones this time, Max!” one of them growled through his mask, “now lets see what’s in them purses!” Sara yelped out a high pitched “Noooo!” and turned to run. As it became apparent that she was going to try to escape, one of the Skulls swung his baseball bat at her legs. The sickening sound of the crunch of bone resounded through the air as the bat met Sara’s kneecap. Sara tumbled to the ground holding her knee and shrieking in pain. Jenny instinctively ran over to Sara and crouched beside the girl. The two men sauntered up grinning cockily, brandishing their bats. “Now I guess yer gonna do what we want now, aren’t you, little lady, or the same will go for you!” the one called Max said. Jenny looked back at Sara. She knew she could do nothing for her. By the sound of the bones breaking, she knew the girl’s kneecap was shattered. She reached for it anyway, wishing she could do something. All of the sudden, a sickly green glow emitted from Jenny’s hands and went towards Sara’s knee. Jenny watched in disbelief as the kneecap mended itself through the skin, and came back together. Sara stared at Jenny in disbelief. “What th’?” she heard one of the Skulls exclaim behind her. Sara moved her leg. “Its gone! The pain is gone!” she said. Then simultaneously, Jenny heard Sara scream “Watch out!”, heard one of the Skulls shout “Get her!”, and felt the bat meet her back. She was thrown across the path into a hedge bush. She rolled over, in pain and dazed, and saw the awful Skull masked men moving towards her, bats raised. Jenny let her pent up anger lose. All the memories of the bullies in grade school came back in a flash. She knew she was no match for these men, but she would not go down without a fight. She threw up her hand to shield herself from the next inevitable blow, and looked at the men with all the rage she could muster. One of the men, the one called Max, suddenly grabbed his head and howled in pain. The other fell to the ground, as if he had simply fainted. What in the world was going on? Jenny stopped, the rage suddenly forgotten, staring at the men dumbfounded. She looked over at Sara, who was now standing easily with no evidence of a broken knee. Sara looked back at her. “Did you do that?” she asked tentatively, “Are you one of those superheroes like in Paragon City?” Jenny looked back at the man howling in pain. Suddenly, it began to dawn on her. The failed radiation experiment HAD given her some kind of power. The sickly green glow that had come from her hands and healed Sara’s knee suddenly made sense. It was radiation, and she had used it to heal someone! The Skull suddenly put his hands down and looked around, dazed. Jenny wasted no time in trying her newfound power again. She just looked at the man and tried to be mad at him. Nothing happened. The man started grinning at her slyly and reached down to pick up his bat. Jenny looked back at him, this time not thinking about what she was doing, she just wanted him to hurt. He did. He suddenly grabbed at his head again, in obvious pain. Jenny grabbed Sara’s hand. “C’mon,” she had said, “let’s get out of here.”
During the next couple of weeks Jenny played around with her new found powers. Sara was the only person that knew what she could do. Jenny asked Sara to tell no one, and Sara obliged, thankful of what Jenny had prevented on that fateful night. Together the two girls explored exactly what Jenny could and could not do, often times going to a secluded area and using Sara to bait thugs into attacking them. Jenny learned that she could put someone to sleep, or totally dominate them and tear at their psyche. She could even damage their mind enough to kill them. She could emit radiation from her body to either heal, or infect foes. As time went on, Jenny realized that different powers were slowly manifesting themselves. She could learn to use her mind and the radiation within her to do all sorts of various things, and she usually just stumbled upon it accidentally. Sara suggested that she go to Paragon City and register to be a superhero, so at the end of the semester, she…
“NEXT!!” The woman at the counter screamed, jolting Jenny out of her reverie. Lost in her thoughts, she had totally forgotten that she was in line. She stood looking dumbly at the cross woman, not making her any happier. “Well, what’s it going to be, girl? You have a question, or do you just hold up lines for fun?” “I…I’m here to register to be a superhero,” was all Jenny could manage to blurt out. The woman sighed. “You cape wannabees are a dime a dozen these days. I wonder how many of you actually last more than a week. Here,” she said, as she slid an application across the counter, “put your superhero name there on that line, and I’ll fill in the rest.”
Jenny stared blankly at the application. She had not even thought of what to call herself! She looked back up at the woman, who had caught on, and was now obviously enjoying this. “Think, kid, did you have any nicknames when you were a child?” Glenda secretly loved registering superheroes as dumb childish nicknames, knowing they would be forever known as that. Jenny thought back to grade school, and only one name came to mind. No, no, she had hated that name. But slowly, standing there in that line, the child in her receded, and the resolve of a more mature young woman broke through. She would go out and fight the bullies of the world, using the very same name that they had taunted her with when she was young. She would take the fight to them this time, and protect the innocent that were trapped in the same predicament that she used to be in. She would fight Skulls, Hellions, Outcasts, and anyone else that preyed upon the weak. And maybe, just maybe, she would run into some of the very same bullies that terrorized her in her youth. She picked up the pen, and wrote out a number on the name line, 3.14159. It was the most commonly used number for what she wanted to be called. It was now the city clerks turn to look confused. Glenda looked up at the girl, scowling. “What in the world kind of name is that? That’s not a name, that’s a number.”
Jenny just smiled.
“It’s Pi. You can call me Pi.”
Pi showed her hero ID card to the Security Chief. Many areas of the city had been quarantined, and you could only enter them if you were of the proper security clearance. Faultline was one of these areas. The area had been shaken by an earthquake, years ago, and now was only inhabited by rival gangs. The authorities simply did not have the manpower to control the area, so generally only heroes that were willing to help were allowed in.
Paul, the security chief, handed Pi’s ID card back to her. “I’d like for ya to patrol the area around Aftershock for a while, we’ve had some reports of trouble out there. And if ya do ok with that, be sure to check back with Freedom Corps, they’ll probably bump your security level up to 20,” he added with a wink. Pi took her card, nodded, and stepped through the gate. It was not that long ago that she had arrived at Paragon City, shy and clueless. Although she was still quite shy, she had been able to hone her powers, gain in understanding of them, and even develop a few new ones! Of her new powers, the one she enjoyed most was the ability to hover and fly. She would never tire of ducking under stoplights, making slalom courses out of power poles, and doing tricks in the air just for the sheer fun of it.
“Well, are you ready?” Pi heard a familiar voice by her side. Smiling, she looked over and nodded at her friend Night Angle. Pi didn’t know much about Night Angle, not even what her real name was. Pi had learned rather quickly not to ask other heroes their real names. Most were very secretive of their real identities. If they wanted you to know, they would tell you. Night Angle was shorter than Pi, with long dark hair, dressed mostly in black spandex. Pi had met her one day through some mutual friends. When introduced, (using superhero names only, of course!) Pi’s interest was immediately perked. ‘Night Angle,’ she thought, ‘now here is someone I can relate to!’ Given that she used a symbol of geometry in her name, she must be intellectual and mathematically inclined. Pi couldn’t wait to discuss differential geometry with this little vixen over some hazelnut coffee! Later, Pi found out that her assumptions could not be more wrong. Night Angle had absolutely no interest in math or geometry or anything of the sort. She had simply misspelled her name when she had first registered to be a superhero, and once registered, the red tape to change a superhero name was phenomenal. She had meant to call herself Night Angel. She must have been in the same line as Pi and been registered by that same evil witch of the south, Glenda.
It wasn’t long before the two girls reached the area of Faultline known as Aftershock. The whole area was filled with deep crevices and slanting buildings that looked like they could topple over at any second. The entire place had been devastated by an earthquake, and it showed. The ground had been pushed up at such odd angles that flat areas were few and far between. They landed on what used to be a street, but was tilted at such a steep angle now, no car would ever be able to drive on it. “Look. Up there, that’s what we’re looking for,” Night Angle said. “Let’s do it!” she shouted as she headed off towards their foes. Pi shuddered as she saw what Night Angle was attacking. Pi had not thought to consider exactly what type of villain the security chief was having trouble with today in Aftershock. Up ahead was a group of zombies and cadavers, reapers and mortificators, the minions of the evil Dr. Vahzilok. Pi hated the undead! If it was true that every hero had a nemesis, the undead was definitely hers. They were icky and nasty, and really gave her the creeps because they were not alive. It wasn’t like the clockwork. The clockworks were not alive, but they were not supposed to be, they were mechanical. It was just something about the fact that the undead things were either made from, or were, former living beings that really bothered her. On top of the way she felt about them, most of Pi’s powers dealt with the mind, which was the very thing an undead creature lacked! So the very thing she hated being around the most, was also the very foe that her powers were least effective on.
The two girls by themselves did not make the perfect team, but they somehow managed to get the job done. Pi was repulsed and the undead were fairly resistant to most of her powers, and Night Angle was primarily a healer. In order to avoid being totally ineffective, the girls had to rely on the most primary power of all, their wit. Night Angle had the ability to teleport other beings short distances. So the girls flew up to a ledge on an oddly canting building, took up position there, and proceeded to teleport foes up to them one at a time. This area was filled with Dr. Vahzilok’s undead army and members of a cabal called the Circle of Thorns. However, most of what they ran into could not fly, save an occasional summoned demon or imp. So all but the one foe they teleported would stand under the ledge, angrily clawing at the building, trying in vain to climb up to their perch. The girls had cleverly picked a ledge that was just out of crossbow range, knowing that a crossbow was about the most powerful weapon that would be used by their particular enemies of the day.
After a grueling day of fighting, the area was relatively clear. Pi bade farewell to Night Angle and headed back to her apartment. She was near exhaustion, both physically and mentally. The superhero known to others as Pi stepped out of her costume, into a hot shower, and emerged as just a girl named Jenny. Jenny picked up her crumpled costume, if you could call it that, and tossed it in the dirty clothes hamper. While other heroes had exotic and flashy costumes, hers was simply the clothes she had on when she first arrived in Paragon City. She had been wearing the uniform from her school that day. It seemed to fit with her superhero name, so after a lucky day shopping around at several thrift stores, she had several versions of a simple ‘costume’. Tonight she was just Jenny, though. She was tired and hungry, and just wanted to go out and have a bite to eat, and maybe take in a movie. After rummaging through her closet, Jenny donned her favorite pair of jeans, and her pink t-shirt, the one with the big purple heart on it. Jenny chuckled as she thought of the analogy. Sure she could wear a purple heart, because she had been wounded already many times in her fight against evil. Grabbing her keys, Jenny threw open the door to head out, only to be confronted by a small demon and another zombie!
The zombie reached out towards Jenny as she reached within herself to draw upon her powers. Normally she would be quicker than this, but these two had taken her by surprise. She was about a half second away from putting them both down for the count when the imp began to shout what was undoubtedly an incantation for some evil hold spell of it’s own.
“TRICK OR TREAT!”
Jenny retracted her mass hypnosis power at the last moment, almost ripping a tear in her own mind in the process. “Are you ok lady? You don’t look so hot,” the little zombie said. These were children! Jenny had completely forgotten that it was Halloween night. “just…just a moment,” Jenny said, as she ducked back inside. Was she really so exhausted that she had come that close to incapacitating a group of kids? Jenny splashed her face with cold water from the sink and grabbed a couple candy bars for the trick-or-treaters from the cabinet above. She really needed a break!
Later that night, Jenny stretched as she walked out of the movie theater. The movie had been mediocre, but she had a bellyful of pepperoni pizza and felt relaxed. The late October night was crisp, but not too cold. She looked forward to a casual walk home, then a good night’s sleep. As she strolled along, she saw a couple werewolves dart across the street up ahead. Curiously, she glanced at her watch. It was getting a bit late for the trick-or-treaters to still be out. Oh well, maybe it was the older kids, or even some guys on their way back from a party. She continued on her way, passing the pizzeria she had stopped at on the way to the movie. A few blocks later, she heard a shuffling off to her right. Looking down the alleyway, she saw two zombies, full-sized this time, shuffling towards her. Amazing, she thought, some people were really good at making themselves look like the real thing. Jenny decided to play along with these guys and appear frightened. “Eek!” she shouted and turned to run down the sidewalk. She ran headlong into a girl dressed in an odd black and white costume, with a pointy black hat, knocking both of them to the ground. The girl and her two friends were all dressed roughly the same, black and white leather outfits, black leather thigh boots, and the odd black hats. As she apologized and began to get up, Jenny suddenly recognized the hats, and therefore what the girls’ costumes represented. “Oh!” Jenny exclaimed, “You’re supposed to be witches!” “Supposed to be?” one of the girls cackled an evil laugh, “We ARE witches, sweetie, and looks like we just found a new toy!” Jenny suddenly found the stiletto heel of a black boot pushed into her chest and shoving her back down to the ground.
Scowling, Jenny began to backpedal away. “Now wait just a minute!” she shouted, “You can go get your jollies somewhere else! You might want to think twice about who you’re messing with!” Jenny had no doubt she could handle three ordinary girls, who were probably just drunk and looking for kicks on the way home from a Halloween party. “Oh really?” the girl raised her eyebrows, “and just who are we dealing with here?” As she spoke, the girl rubbed her fingers together, producing some crackling sparks between them. ‘Got to be a parlor trick,’ Jenny thought to herself. Surely no superhero would-
About that time, Jenny heard a familiar shuffling sound directly behind her. Without looking back, she knew it was the guys dressed as zombies that she had seen in the alleyway just a few minutes ago. Good, maybe they would help her calm down these witch girls. Instead, something entirely different happened. Jenny felt two clammy hands grab her wrists and pin her arms behind her back, while effortlessly dragging her halfway to her feet. Instantly, Jenny knew the flesh of the hands that held her was not living flesh. The situation suddenly and forcefully became crystal clear and hit her like a thousand pound brick. She did not know how it had happened, but somehow the zombies, the witches, even the werewolves she had seen; they all were real! Perhaps that would have been something she would have picked up on had she not been so tired and exhausted. She could feel the hot breath of the zombie on her neck, as her head was roughly pulled to one side. Whether it was the sudden surprise of the situation, or her nauseating fear of things undead, or perhaps both, panic set in. Jenny felt her knees lose all strength and buckle, and the world started going all hazy and grey. She vaguely heard the zombie utter some unintelligible sound as it made ready to feast upon her neck. She knew she had the power to extricate herself from this, but she was both physically and mentally paralyzed by fear. Just as she felt the sickly maw of the creature touch her neck, she heard a female voice, shouting from somewhere seemingly far away. “HEY!! Leave her alone you freak, she’s ours!” Jenny felt herself being thrown one way, and was vaguely aware of the zombie flying in another direction. She hit something solid, presumably the wall of a nearby building, and slumped to the ground. As she gradually regained her senses, Jenny realized the witches were fighting the zombies. She also realized that black roots of some kind had emerged from the ground and was holding her fast in place. Two of the witches were in battle with the zombies, while the third one was watching her, concentrating on holding her in place. Jenny knew now what was happening. The witches hoped to defeat the zombies, and wanted her for themselves. Jenny shuddered, not wanting to think of the possibilities of that particular scenario.
The battle was about over. The witches, although wounded, were obviously going to defeat the zombies. Jenny knew that even held, she could use her own powers, but she had to wait and carefully pick the right time to use them. She had no power that would break the roots that held her, so she had to wait and hope that they would retract back into the ground soon. She could put the witches to sleep without the use of her hands, but what good would that be if she could do nothing else till her powers wore off? She could do some psychic damage, but not enough while held like this, in a three-on-one battle. As the last zombie was just about to fall, the witch that was controlling the roots that held Jenny looked at her smugly, then suddenly flew sideways across the concrete. She had been the recipient of the fist of a large robotic man that looked like he was made of chrome. Another large robotic man, this one more colorful than the first, jumped into the fray and attacked one of the other witches. Jenny suddenly realized she was free. The attack by the chrome man on the witch that was holding her must have broken her concentration and ended the spell. Now was the chance Jenny had been waiting for! Whoever these two guys were, they were obviously on Jenny’s side, and she wasn’t going to let them continue to fight alone. Still woozy, she sat where she was, leaned up against the brick wall, and used her power to dominate the will of all foes in an area, with the addition of a bit of psychic damage. All three of the witches suddenly stopped what they were doing, and grabbed their heads in pain, while the zombie that was barely standing finally crumpled to the ground. The two robotic looking men stopped fighting and looked around oddly, as if searching for something, then finally looked over at her. “You hero?” the colorful one asked. Jenny nodded feebly. “Awesome!” the other one said. The two robotic men then proceeded to take care of the witches, while Jenny made sure they didn’t fight back.
After the fight, the robots came over to where Jenny sat, and offered to help her up. Upon closer inspection, Jenny realized they may not have been robots; it appeared that they were wearing some sort of power armor. It was obvious to her by now, that these were two heroes, not unlike herself. “I’m Chromium Man, and this here’s Tibian,” the chrome colored one said, as he helped her up. “Hi, nice to meet you, I’m Jenny -er, I mean Pi, -er, well, I mean…oh just call me Jenny. Uh, what’s going on? Where did these things come from?” “Well, we’re not really sure,” Chromium Man replied, “A couple days ago, there was a report from a professor at Winthrop that something weird might be happening this weekend, and obviously, he was right. I don’t know what caused it, but the city seems to be under attack by all sorts of demonic beings! Also…” Chromium Man’s voice trailed off. “Also, what?” Jenny asked, not sure if she wanted to hear the rest. “They say sun not comin’ up anymore. We need to fight,” Tibian stated flatly. Jenny’s eyes widened as she looked up at Chromium Man, who nodded somberly. “That’s what they’re saying. Whatever has caused this has plunged the city into a perpetual night, so the vampires, werewolves, and all these creatures of the darkness can run free for as long as they want. But Tibian is right. We do need to fight this, in hopes that we can regain somehow control or stop it. How are you feeling? Would you like to join us?” Jenny stood up, dusted herself off, and sighed wearily. “Sure, I can help.”
The rest of the weekend was a blur for Jenny. Denizens of darkness seemed to be lurking around every corner. The only sleep she got was a catnap here and there for only a couple hours. She never even had a chance to stop and put on her “Pi” costume, as she had went right to work, helping Chromium Man and Tibian. She fought ghouls and spirits, vampires and werewolves, things she had seen only in horror movies, and things she had never even heard or dreamed of. Then finally, on Monday morning, after what seemed like an eternity, the darkness suddenly fell away to the breaking of the morning sun.
Several days later, Jenny stepped into an office at Freedom Corps. After about sixteen hours of sleep, she had gotten a message to report here. The woman at the information desk had directed her to this office. Jenny looked around nervously, wondering if she had broken some rule, or got into trouble. The portly man behind the desk stood as he smiled at her and put her at ease. “Pi, is it? It’s nice to meet you, I’m Joe Brooks” he said as he moved over towards an oak cabinet, “You were noticed fighting for our city this past weekend, as going above and beyond the call of duty.” “I was just doing my job, sir,” Jenny said softly. “Well, you do a good job of it, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.” Joe reached into the cabinet and brought out a small box, as he continued, “The mayor just wanted to show you and the heroes that fought for this city his gratitude for protecting us and our way of life. If not for you, who knows what might have happened. The light returned, and the forces of evil were pushed back, due mainly to the efforts of heroes like you.” Joe handed the box to her as he shook her hand. “On behalf of Paragon City, thank you, Pi.”
Jenny waited until she was back out in the lobby before looking inside the box. Upon opening it, she saw six brightly colored badges, all bearing a different insignia, one for each of the types of creatures she had fought. There was also a letter, thanking her for all her efforts and sacrifices in protecting Paragon City both this past weekend, and always. The letter was even signed by the mayor himself! Jenny smiled, clutched the box to her chest, and stepped out into the bright sunshine.