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Those Who Would Save Us

Matthew Thompsen

Dust wafted up to her face, tickling her nose. She sneezed, reopening her eyes to view the city around her.

From where she floated, she could see most of the city. Wrecked cars, many with their windows blown out, dotted the landscape. Rubble lay scattered along the streets. The buildings it had fallen from had gaping holes showing their still-organized interiors. One skyscraper had such a large wound in its side it was a wonder it was still standing. Dark clouds hung in the air, though she couldn’t tell if they were rain or smoke. Perhaps they were both.

She sighed, looking down at the suit in her arms. People used to look up at that suit with hope, with wonder. In that suit she had stopped giant monsters and government conspiracies, alien invasions and maniacs. In that suit, she had found her purpose.

She let it slide from her hands. It glided down, like a feather plucked from a bird, until the wind picked it up, sending it spiraling into an alleyway.

She looked back to the city. Maybe she was wrong. Maybe she wasn’t a hero. Maybe she never had been. All the threats she had stopped, all the world-ending disasters she averted, none of it had amounted to anything. Because, in the end, it hadn’t been the mad scientists or the thousand-foot robots or the meteors hurling towards Earth that were the real danger. It had been humanity; just plain people. They were destroying themselves.


She turned and flew away, leaving the city behind her.

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