The twitch in his left eye was the result of a slowly creeping headache. Andy rubbed at the throbbing spot, long finger progressively tapping, and absentmindedly drawing circles on his skin. His eyes scanned the screen, a multitude of tabs opened forming a sense of today that was senseless and non-linear. He listened to those who had the loudest voice and he listened to those who shared snippets, hashtag after hashtag, a niche gathering sensitive information, filtered just for him to find, to absorb, to locate a familiar figure out on the streets. But aside from the screen, he was a ghost, a myth that belonged to the streets; name unspoken, face unseen but actions present. Joaquin. The vigilante of tomorrow. The fool who started it all.
“Last month’s marches were topped as thousands of people reached the streets yesterday to signal their protest against the harsh measures approved by Mayor Globe in the superhuman crisis. The enforcement squad dubbed as “Nightprowlers” by civilians has been rounding up potential superhuman threats to national security since Jacob Globe’s election as Mayor of Seattle…”
– 7 PM news, Channel Q13
“These peace marches are ridiculous, there is no war happening out there. But if you want to talk numbers, I mean let’s talk numbers and look at how many people came out in support of Mayor Jacob Globe’s new law. Thousands! Thousands! There is a general fear out there but it’s not directed toward Mayor Globe. These people, these supers aren’t good willing citizens, they are trouble and he has had the balls, pardon me, to take them up. His measures may seem barbaric to some but I say thank God for them. I sleep safe at night! And besides, if his intentions were vile why tell me would he open a clinic to cure them?”
– Congressman Burton on the morning news, Channel 7 as quoted by The Herald
“I: Would you say that the people who came out in support of your kind were out there yesterday because they believe you are some Messiah, like many tweets say, #NewMessiah? Are we looking at the formation of a new religion?
A: I think they came because they believe we too are people like them deserving of our rights as humans. It has nothing to do with religion or politics. It has everything to do with morals and ethics and compassion. We didn’t fall from the sky, we were born on the same street as you, went to the same school unbeknownst to these abilities. We are no different and I have advocated that on many occasions in the past three months.
I: But you are different. And this is not a difference we’ve advocated toward in the past, it’s not the LGBTQ community out there, it’s not the Women’s March. You genuinely have superpowers.
A: Yes, we do. They are simply an extension of who we are. They don’t prevent us from paying our taxes, raising our children…
I: I bet the parents of the Madison Seven would disagree with that, with what Miles Jensen did.
A: And that’s the reason why the Movement of Tomorrow exists so it would prevent accidents like that one. I speak safely for all of our members, we do not condone vandalism, we do not wield our powers as weapons. I truly believe that we have grown enough to accept difference. I believe people understand what we’re trying to do and that’s why they came to support us. We don’t want war. I want to be able to go to the supermarket and buy a carton of eggs and a bottle of milk. I want to be able to go to work like I used to.
I: So you agree there are uncontrollable supers out there, a rogue faction who did and does not settle into your belief system, who resort to vandalism, profanity, and bloodshed?
A: We are trying to unite us all but there’s bound to be a single percent that rebels against both sides. However, I believe they will decide that the best thing for them is to join the Movement. But as long as you keep referring to supers as other people, a different species almost that won’t happen. They’ll feel like aliens and act like that. Look at me, am I different? I breathe the same air, eat the same food. The fact that I can levitate objects doesn’t change that. It’s a part of who I am. It’s not an oddity.
I: It feels to me that you don’t judge the Nightprowlers activity within that faction too harshly?
A: In every road to justice there are unfortunate events. People lose patience, they lose hope and they resort to violence. I don’t approve of that. The people who inspired me to be here today, to be the voice of this Movement are street vigilantes. They are the very people you call out as criminals, as terrorists and set an enforcement squad, a Special Weapons and Tactics team to haul them down like terrorists. Some of these people haven’t even shown any signs, yet they are targeted. How does Mayor Globe know who they are? Why are there no visitations in his clinic?
I: Allegations toward Jacob Globe have been filed on a daily basis…
A: And they should be taken into account. I hope that if the vigilantes of tomorrow are watching today they know the impact they’ve made on this society. We are not a subculture. We are a part of society and we will stand by our rights as humans.”
– Alex Moore aka Djin, leader of the Movement of Tomorrow as seen on the Late Night talk show with Fay Peonwhirr.
Andy closed the laptop, checking the time, digital numbers swapping daylight to sundown. He slid the van door open and traced the outlines emerging from the shadows, saw them become people huddled in large coats. He exchanged a nod with the refugees and helped the four escapees into the vehicle. He then tapped to the front alerting Massey they were good to go. He unzipped a bag and produced four black hoods handing them each to his new passengers.
“Safety measures. From this point on you keep these over your head. It’ll be over soon.”
Next: Street Sophistication