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“Not all of us,” puffs Shawn, staggering out onto the roof, “can get up here so fast.”

“You didn’t even spill my latte!” says Lissa happily. “Remind me to tip you.”

“Ha ha.” Shawn hands her the drink. “What do you do? While you’re waiting for me?”

She sips her coffee and walks to the roof’s edge. “Look at the skyline,” she says. “I love it. I don’t think I could do this kind of thing anywhere else.”

Shawn grins. “Nothing as urban as a superhero.”

Lissa turns to smile back at him, and a giant robot lizard steps on her.


The sound, it turns out, is Garvey hitting a bus with another bus. There are people in the buses. Some are screaming. Others are dead.

Garvey’s not really all that huge, and Lissa forces herself to think about how massive he must be, to hold the bus by one end. It’s going to matter.

She reaches him, kicks the board away and grabs, swinging around his neck like a toy. Then she swaps their gravities. It’s impossible. It hurts. Her muscles nearly collapse, and the air is driven from her lungs within a second.

But a second is all she needs.


The question, thinks Shaun, is are you the kind of man who blusters here? Or do you take the hit to pride, so neither you nor she gets hurt?

“Hurry up!” snaps the man with the 38-caliber.

“All right,” Shaun says carefully. “Don’t shoot. I’m getting out my wallet.”

Something flickers through the streetlight above them. Both men look up, and Shaun registers that Lissa is not in fact standing behind him: she’s inverted in the air, acrobatic, spinning to kick the mugger’s face with a pair of legs that God must have put together as proof of Her own existence.


Shaun heaves a fainted Regan out of the madding crowd. People are radios, and right now the static’s insane. Carnival turned ugly when the Bad Mask Guys showed up and made things boom; he doesn’t want anyone trampled.

Safe momentarily in an alcove, he scans the streaming riot desperately for Lissa. He can’t see her, but people are radios–Shaun closes his eyes and tunes his body’s antenna to her electric hum.

She’s there, impossibly clear. The crowd should muddy it, unless–

He looks up to see a girl in white twist gracefully, slamming a huge man face-first through a wall.


Lissa’s skirt is a short leather sleeve, laced bootlike up front and back; together with halter top and garter belt, it’s just not a role model outfit. Not that superheroing was the plan tonight–that was margaritas and dancing to drive Shaun wild–but here come the Black-Masked Bastards! Carnival must be the perfect place to blow stuff up.

At least she’s got a mask already: big, white and feathery. She’s grateful for that, and, vaulting off a streetlight, almost warms to Black-Masked Beefcake.

Then she notices Shaun carrying some other girl to safety.

She hits Beefcake with a coffee shop.


She’s hesitant about using her gravity on walls, because it affects both sides–not really fair to anyone inside the building. But now she’s got no choice. Carlisle’s jetpack has a brute-force vertical efficiency, and if he gets up there first…

Lissa’s hands smack brick, and then she concentrates and rotates her own personal world: now fore is down. Her sneakers scrabble in the corner and she’s off, running straight up, behind but moving fast.

Inside, people gasp, coffee spills, papers flurry. Each office she passes becomes chaos for a second, as in her wake, everything suddenly tries to fall out.