I am awoken by the sound of my mother's familiar screaming. "Ming Ming! It is seven o'clock and you have classes starting at nine thirty! Get up!"
I toss and turn in my bed, my body is still somewhat sore. "Just five more minutes mom…" I turn back towards my window and let my eyes close. Just two minutes later I hear the loud clamoring sound of pots being banged together. This is of course my mother, and I know now that I better get up.
The funny thing about my mom is, that despite her age, she is a kick ass ninja. Well she's retired, but you get my point. She was apart of some organization back in China, but every time I ask her about she just yells at me. I remember when my cousin had visited. He stole twenty dollars from her purse, and she obliterated him! Well she didn't obliterate him, but she kicked his ass. The type of ass kicking, that just makes even you worry about your own safety. Fearing the chance of that monster being brought back was enough encouragement for me. I hopped out of bed. I rolled my eyes, making sure my mother couldn't see. I dragged myself out of my room, down the hall, and into the bathroom. I hate mornings, but after I get out of the shower, I'm always good as new. I turn the shower on and let it get hot. In the meantime I grab my radio, and place it in the bathroom. Music is probably the best part of my morning ritual. It's always so full of energy and spirit which seems to trickle on down to me. I turn the radio on, and undress. I hop right into the shower. I can hear the DJ ready to play a new song.
"And you're here with DJ Super, and were back with a new jam by multi-millionaire artist Platinum R, you're listening to your one and only station for all of today's hits, Wonder Jamz 86.6" Following the DJ's voice is Platinum R's latest song "World Goes 'Round". It has to do with money, sex, and butt cheeks. Just like most of the stuff on the radio nowadays. The music was made for my age group, and even I have to admit the beat is catchy. I catch myself singing to the lyrics.
"Money makes the world go round, if you ain't living then you dead, all the fly chicas in my bed. Money makes the world go round, nice whips, stacked chips, honey in the living room doing dips. Money makes the world go round, mucho dinero, flyer than a sparrow. Yo, I'm crazy like Arkham, a real dude off his-" my duet with the rapper is cut short by my mother screaming in the background.
"Ming! Shut up, and take a bath or else the world won't be the only thing going around!" Thanks mom, she's so good at embarrassing me, even when no-one else is around. I silently agree, and quickly shut my mouth. After roughly another twenty minutes, I am out of the shower. I get dressed after brushing my teeth and using some deodorant. I dry my hair with a cool little hair dryer I designed, and put it into my signature ponytails. I grab my backpack and head down the stairs. I go over to one of the tables in my mother's shop where a nice cool mug of orange juice, some pancakes, a banana, and eggs await me. My mother likes to go all out for my breakfast seeing as I don't eat much for lunch. I must admit, that the shop has a beautiful view of the street and a few buildings on the block. The glistening morning sunshine sparkles through the transparent windows. The light from the big yellow ball decorates the already oriental shop giving it a beautiful gleam. It's a wonderful sight that I cannot wait to explore once again. I finish my breakfast and make my way out the door.
I wish I could take to the rooftops to catch a glimpse at this magnificent beauty of nature, but I am still too hurt from last night's encounter with that douche bag. I have no choice but to catch the bus…again.
Luckily there weren't any strange people on the bus today, but there was no doubt I'd be late to class. Damnit, I hate traffic! It seems there is always a red light in Metropolis. It's everywhere you go. Don't get me wrong, safety is important, but come on! After taking three buses to my location, I finally get to the park bus stop. The park isn't too far from the school. I look at the clock in the middle of the park, and see that it is 9:45. Of course. More awkward stares from my peers as I waltz in late. This super hero thing wasn't going so great for me, and as fun as it could potentially be, it seemed to be kicking my butt. I make my way to the campus, close enough to see that this isn't a normal day. Cops have the place surrounded, and I can see students and reporters running all over the place. I also see multiple heroes and villains, not that I differentiate the factions. I rush over to the scene, but I am blocked by multiple police officers and their vehicles.
"Sorry ma'am. As you can probably see it isn't very safe to be on campus right now. Some badies have been injecting meta-humans with a strange toxin that turns them into mindless zombies. If you have been infected I ask that you please go to a quarantine site where you can be treated."
I look on in horror. My friends, and even my enemies are in there getting turned into zombie food. I wish I could do something…anything, but could I really risk getting infected. What if I got in a super heroes way or something? This would mean trouble for me. I decide to listen to the officer, and make my way to a crowd of citizens and reporters. I look over to a familiar reporter. Her name is Carmen Vice.
"Yes Jason, I'm standing just a few feet away from a catastrophic meltdown on the campus of Metropolis University. The prestigious college was victim to many attacks before, but none like this. Biological warfare appears to be today's horrific example. Young meta-human students are being transformed into vicious zombie-esque beings that feed on their peers. Not much word on their abilities just yet, but I have witnessed a few of them fly off in the distance. The police are doing their best to contain said individuals with the aid of local heroes. Power Girl is believed to be inside protecting some of the uninfected students against Parasite and an unnamed accomplice. We will deliver more news as this power struggle develops further. I'm Carmen Vice, Channel 7 news."
This is torture! I need to help them, I have to do something! I can't just stand by. Though it's obvious Super Girl is on the task, Superman must have not needed me. I also wonder who that accomplice could be. Just then I hear a loud explosion from within the campus. The crowd looks on in horror with widespread gasps. A woman dressed in red and black attire exits from the caved in wall of the university library. She is followed by a strange being that I really cannot see much of. They make their escape with meta-zombies following suit. Police rush in. I run over past the police tape and road blocks. I make my way to the side of the building, and catch the sight of Power Girl sprawled out on the floor in a lecture room. This can't be good. I am immediately pulled away from my thoughts by none other than Superman.
"Ming, what are you doing here. Haven't you heard. It's too dangerous for meta-humans such as yourself." He looks on at me with gentle and genuine eyes.
"I am a hero, I need to protect people!"
"How can you protect others if you can't protect yourself. You are already injured from your battle last night-" not sure how he knows about that "and putting yourself at risk is nothing heroic. To be frank, it's stupidity. Look, you're a smart girl. You are an ally to us, and I understand that your intentions are pure, but you should let the police do their job. We'll make sure Power Girl is fine, don't worry. In the meantime, it looks like you won't be on campus for a while. I think you should relax for the next two days, and then you can contact Oracle or myself. One of us should have a mission for you." I nod in agreement and turn around. As I walk off he calls to me "Just be careful, okay?" I nod again and continue to walk back to the safe zone past the road blocks and police tape. What a day, but at least I sort of wasn't the screw up this time. I can count that as a victory, right?
A few hours later, I'm back home. My father and mother are worried about me, and have forced me to stay down in the Ramen Shop. My father closed the shop early once he saw the news.
"Ming, I'm not to sure I want you to be a hero. Look at what could have happened to you! You could have been turned into one of those-those freaks! I'm not about to have my daughter become a zombie." My dad tried his hardest to be assertive, but it wasn't his strong suit.
"Dad, I'm fine. As for being a hero, mom was a ninja! You were a fisherman. Hmm, should I be a cool and beloved hero or a fisherman. I'm sorry but I don't think cutting up fish is that great of a life." I didn't mean to be so rude, but there was no way I was turning back now.
"But you have greater opportunities than I did. You can be so much more without risking your safety." My dad wasn't very good at arguing, but he has a pretty good point.
"As long as I'm a meta-human my life will always be at risk. It's better that I be prepared." Unfortunately for him I have the better point. I see a tear stroll down my father's middle-aged face. He hurries out of the room, and heads upstairs.
"Ming…," my mother looks on at me with genuine concern. This is a rare facial expression for her. "Your father and I just want you to have a beautiful life. We don't want to see you killed. It would tear us apart." She walks over to me and takes a seat across from me, placing her hand on my shoulder. "You are our only child, and we love you. Your decision will not change that, we just wish that you would truly think it over. It is very dangerous. I know from experience." My mother gave me a kiss on the cheek and rubbed it with her rough fingers. She smiled at me, and got up. She headed to the back of the shop where I could here water running. She was doing the dishes.
I was completely shocked by this. I'm always the one who has to do the dishes. They are really scared. I never thought about the toll this could take on my parents.
It is 11 at night, and I cannot get to sleep. I am more spent tonight than I ever was. This whole day was a day that got me thinking. For one- I was so eager to become a hero that I never thought about the consequences. My parents and I will be in constant danger from my enemies. It could interfere with college, and could screw me over come exam time. Not to mention all of the training and fatigue. Plus all of this traveling. There are so many negatives so I can't understand why I am struggling with this decision. I really want to be a hero, and something tells me I won't be backing down now.
My second problem is the fact that I've been trying to figure out what the definition of a hero is. I know it sounds silly, but after today I can't help but wonder. Is a hero a tactical person who must defend themselves first to ensure the safety of others, or is it a person who just rushes into a situation risking the chance of getting everyone killed. Maybe they're just different types of heroes, but I'd like to think of myself as a nice blend. I decide to solve this problem right now. I pull out my laptop and do some searching. I find the definition! Something bugs me though. The male definition is as follows:
"A man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength"
Sounds pretty cool, right? Now check out the definition of heroine:
"A woman possessing heroic qualities or a woman who has performed heroic deeds"
Now don't get me wrong, I'm no feminist, but it seems that the definition for a hero is a little more honorable than the definition of a heroine. Maybe I'm thinking too much into this, but it seems that in order for a woman to be considered a heroine, they must perform heroic deeds. A hero on the other hand just needs to be strong. This is probably just some late night issue that I'm only addressing cause I'm really tired, but I never understood why woman couldn't just be a hero. Are we different? I don't think so, but like I said I'm really tired and talking out of my butt right now. I close my laptop, and I turn over in my bed with my covers keeping me warm.
I wake up the next day and decide to watch the news. I get my remote from the top of my night stand and point it at the flat screen on the wall. The story seems interesting so I keep it on.
"Investigators believe that they have discovered the Parasite's accomplice yesterday morning. The biological attack on the campus has left a strain on students and Metropolis' police force all thanks to a woman who calls herself 'Madame Screech'. Not much is known about this woman, but she is known to be very powerful. She was responsible for more than 500,000 dollars in damage. This woman is still at large. If anyone has any information about her current whereabouts contact Channel 7 news with the number provided on screen." I always loved a "news accent" they're always so debonair. I look over and to my surprise my mother has made me breakfast in bed. I grab some orange juice off of the small table, one of those ones with wheels. If there is one thing I hate it's coffee. It's really gross and it stains your teeth. It's so bitter and just-blek! I prefer juice. It's good for my body, and keeps me fueled for the day.
I knew the next two days would be boring, and so I decided I'd occupy myself with some old western movies. Today's is Jonah Hex. It's actually a documentary on the western hero, but it's still interesting. I am snuggled up with my stuffed panda and two nice and warm blankets. My mom brings up some lunch on the wheeled table. There isn't much of a story here. It's just kind of a cycle. I know that those questions that were in my head last night will resurface. For now though I am content with staying in bed and following Superman's orders.
That sounds so weird…
"Superman's orders…," I say to myself quietly. By time it's night I've already had dinner, and have watched half of my old western movies. I decide to grab my laptop. I know I should be focused on healing, but I look up the Super family. You know; Superman, Supergirl, Power Girl, etcetera. After looking up some stuff about them I move onto the Amazonian females. They inspired me to pursue heroism in the first place. Interestingly enough I discover that Wonder Girl has her own blog. It even has it's own video feed that's updated nearly everyday. I decide to check out some of the pictures and their subtitles.
"I hate liars. Anyone who cheats, or steals, or tries to push other people around," I can agree with her there. "Or make you do what they want just because they're stronger!" I guess she wouldn't like my mother than, hehehe. "But I especially hate when they try to make the whole world like they are. Using their lies to make people into slaves. That's when I have to get all Amazon on their ass. Hey it's true that might doesn't make right, but sometimes it sure helps." This small bit of text is uplifting an validates everything I imagined a hero to be. If I ever get the chance to meet her, I'll make sure I thank her. With a new bit of hope, and an understanding of what a hero really is, I can get this final day of rest over with in peace.
Hero- A male or female who believes and participates in protecting others from people who lie, cheat, steal, push others around, or who try to impose their will upon others. This person is strong willed and fights for what they believe is right. Sometimes it may not be about protecting others, but when it is, for a hero, might does make right. Or at least it helps.