Superheroes deal with the highest of stakes. Protecting humanity. Saving the world. But it’s the personal relationships that make the stakes resonate with the rest of us. Batman is driven by the loss of his parents. Lois Lane helps Superman connect with his own humanity (even if he’s not really human). Thor loves his brother and wants to believe he can make better choices.
In my superhero world, I’ve dialed it down a little. No cities dropping out of the sky to threaten millions of people. My Washington, DC, superheroes are focused on the people in their community. Saving a hostage little boy from a gang of jewel thieves. Rescuing people trapped in a collapsing building. Stopping an enraged husband from firing a gun in a crowded restaurant.
The team’s members all have different abilities. Team leader Adam Tarantino has impermeable skin and super hearing. Summer VanNostrand can move faster than you can see. Trace Kovalch’s endurance and concentration mean he can run down a fleeing suspect (who’s in a car) or restrain a perp indefinitely. Kirby March can summon objects (or people) with her telekinesis. And the heroine of The Color of Courage can see emotions manifest as colors.
Huh? How is being an empath a superpower? Well, she asks that question a lot, too. When that jewelry heist happens, she can see where people are in the building. She knows who’s moving or hiding, who’s terrified and who’s running on an adrenaline rush. And, she discovers, she has the power to affect emotions, too.
The problems start when someone decides to target the team for destruction, and the threat from the outside becomes friction within…