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This story arc has been published as a novel!

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Making an Impression

"You have the world's shittiest reflexes," the woman -- well, girl -- in blue said.

Megan peeled herself off the pavement slowly, thoughtfully testing each individual joint and bone before committing to anything so rash as getting up. "Thanks," she said, then paused to spit out a few pieces of gravel. "I'll note," she added, determining that her spine was intact, "that I'm jumper, not a flier."

"More like a faller," the girl said. "Plummeter, even."

Legs, knees, ankles, all fine. Megan rolled over and sat up, peering at her tormenter, who stood hipshot with arms crossed. The girl wasn't very tall, and had sandy brown hair slicked down in a flat cap with a single curl across her forehead. Her costume was a one-piece leotard swirled through with different shades of blue. "It would have been more graceful if you hadn't walked directly under me. Aren't there signs about jumpers out here?" Megan glanced around and immediately spotted several signs with bright red light-up blinking borders.

"Oh, those," the girl said, waving a dismissive hand. "Well, you seem all right." She turned to walk away.

"Wait a minute," Megan said, scowling after the girl's slender back. "Why were you walking here?"

"Just walking," the girl said, not pausing.

"I could swear you were trying to be under me when I came down," Megan said. The girl stopped. "I did manage to twist off-target. A couple of times. And you kept moving to where I was going to land."

The girl turned back, face reddening. "I didn't!" she exclaimed. Megan gave her a Look. The girl blushed darker. "All right, I'm sorry." She fumed silently a moment, then said, "I have this... stupid power."

Megan stood up slowly. Invulnerable bones, invulnerable innards, but joints still ache after something like that. "Do tell," she said, pleased to find that she wasn't dizzy.

The girl rolled her eyes. "It's danger-induced teleportation," she said. "Totally uncontrollable. So I come here to try to get the feel of it and learn how to do it on purpose. Or at least how not to end up in embarrassing places."

"By giving strangers mid-air coronaries."

"Everybody else has been nice about it," the girl said, lip curling.

Megan shrugged, despite the pain. "I'm just a bitch with shitty reflexes. What do I know?" She turned to make her way stiffly downhill.

She was almost out of the park when the girl caught up with her. "Look, I'm sorry," she said. "Can I buy you coffee or something? To make it up to you?"

Megan took a deep breath, then let it out when she saw the girl's guilty expression. "Sure," she said. "I'm Megan," she added, sticking out her hand.

"Call me Nereid," the girl said, shaking the hand firmly.


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Wonder City Stories

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