Powerhouse followed a woman’s scream to the projects. He scanned the building with his x-ray vision. In the second apartment, a man had her in a headlock with a gun to her throat. “This looks like a job for Powerhouse!”
He burst in through the window.
The man released the woman. She pulled a weapon from her trench coat. Sev-eral men poured into the room and began firing. Powerhouse focused and visualized an exploding smoke bomb into existence.
High-powered fans dissipated the smoke and his assailants had on night vision goggles.
Powerhouse narrowed his eyes at a loud speaker with Night Lord’s silver on black logo. A voice said over the speaker, “Say good night, Powerhouse.”
He flew out.
Pain ripped through his exposed neck, with another wave right on its heels. His own blood choked him.
Struggling to breathe, he made it four miles before crash landing in the street. Cars honked and swerved around him.
Powerhouse tried to stand, but col-lapsed again, agony burning in his neck.
A police car pulled up. An officer jumped out. “What happened?”
“Shot,” he whispered with a groan.
The officer grabbed his radio. “We’ve got a gunshot victim at Roosevelt and Reynolds; dispatch an ambulance, now!”
Powerhouse’s eyes grew heavy. But if he closed them, they’d surely never open again.
He whispered, “God, help me. I don’t want to die.”
An ambulance arrived. Two EMS technicians struggled to get Powerhouse onto a cot. They pushed the cot with great effort into the ambulance. One sat in front while the other drove the ambulance.
Powerhouse whispered, “Naomi… Naomi.”
“Who’s Naomi?” asked the technician riding in back with him.
What would happen to his wife and kids if he didn’t make it? How could he leave his kids to graduate without their father?
Strength began to seep back in.
At the hospital, the technicians strug-gled to get Powerhouse’s costume off.
One screamed, “It won’t budge!”
“I can take care of that.” Powerhouse made his costume disappear, leaving on only his extra mask and his underwear.
A doctor said, “We need the mask off, too, sir.”
“No one sees the face of Power-house.”
She said, “Everybody out.”
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