The Firebird


Summary: A young superhero-in-training comes to Metropolis hoping for an up-close look at Superman.

Here's a little goofing around with Supes and one of my GURPS characters...she likes to hop dimensions once in a while. I guess the best way to describe her would be a Were- Phoenix Environmentalist Superhero in Training. I'm not a pro writer, so go ahead and bash it to hell, I know it's childish and amateur. I just did it for fun.


It was a fine clear night somewhere over the Midwest. The cool air rushing over her feathers contrasted pleasantly with the silent, red-hot roar of her tail burners as the Phoenix cruised at a relaxing 100 miles per hour, heading east. A pair of headphones were tucked into her ample crest feathers, the CD player was deciding to behave for once, and her mood was upbeat. She was traveling to a new place, and new places were always exciting. Especially when there were people dressed in blue and red that flew almost as fast as she could.

She chuckled to herself as she skimmed over a cloudbank, watching mini-tornadoes form in the wake of her extreme temperature. "Wait till they get a load of me!" she thought, mischievously.

Of course she had heard all about this "Super" man. Faster than a speeding bullet, and all that stuff. Well, faster than a speeding bullet or no, nothing was faster to kindle than the firebird's wrath when she saw justice not being attended to. "And those fires are making an awful lot of dirty, black smoke. Doesn't Superman realize that the ozone already has several holes in it, and his method of blowing them out takes much too long."

I'll show him how to put out fires, she thought to herself as she sped on towards the rising moon.

Just another average evening in Metropolis, except for the fact that a new gang calling themselves '"the Toasters" was at large in the city. Who knew when or where they might strike?

It seemed quiet enough as, checking carefully for any sign of a flash of red or blue, the Phoenix settled down to land on the highest skyscraper in Metropolis. It happened to be a little slippery and hard to perch on, but there was something of a shelf on to which her claws settled, and she tucked in to wait. To save her solar reserves, she shifted into her human form, but left her eyes slightly bird-like so that she could scan for activity in the city below. Anyone seeing the entity which was the Phoenix would have been terrified out of their skin to see what was, on the surface, a normal human girl dressed in jeans, tennies and a surfer-style T-shirt. But her eyes were solid blue, glowing pupil-less orbs that flicked back and forth as she scanned the streets for anything that appeared out of the ordinary.

As the minutes passed without incident, her scrutiny wandered from the danger at hand to the people below. Street people, brave youths swaggering their dates along the streets, and plenty of policemen made their ways through the busy city. The firebird snorted to herself as she realized that not a soul had noticed her fiery arrival to the top of their city.

"Typical city fools. They're so busy scuttling around, crawling like flies in their own trash, that they can't afford to look up and see what's going on." The lights in Metropolis were so bright that she doubted any one of these people had ever seen the stars.

But one somebody was walking around that had seen the stars. Matter of fact, he had come from one of them, though the one he came from was too far away to be seen by bare human eyes. Some powerful telescopes may have seen the star around which Krypton had been orbiting many light years ago. Astronomers called the star RU498312B, but to Clark Kent, or Kal-El as he was called in that far-away place, knew the star as home. As Clark walked to Starbucks to purchase his usual two mochas, he sighed and for the millionth time, wondered about his home world. A thought came to him, and as he looked towards where his home should have been, he wondered if the light from his home planet was still on its way from that place, even though the planet was long gone. Clark knew that most of the many stars that were commonly seen in Earth night skies were all from stars that had died out and gone dwarf many years ago, but the light they had cast millions of years ago was still on its comparatively slow journey to Earth. Knowing this, he half- heartedly searched for his home star, even though the night was slightly overcast from the smoke of the Toaster fires and the natural weather.

But as he was looking towards the skies, he saw something that startled him. A young girl was apparently looking for a thrill by taking a very dangerous, very high walk. Not pausing to wonder, he came to himself and started to look for a dark alley to change into.

The Phoenix was busily searching for any sign of fire when she heard a low rumble. She thought for an instant that it was one of those sudden storms that spring up in these strange parts of the country, before she realized that the rumble had come from below her. With a start, she barely had enough time to turn her eyes to full normal human before a figure in red cape and blue suit hovered at her eye level. She blinked a few times to adjust her eyes....going from high magnification to macro really hurt!....and massaged her eyelids to ease the pain.

"I'm usually the only one that's been able to fly," said Superman. Was this girl on dope? Probably. If only he could get a good look at her eyes, he noticed something strange about them....was she trying to hide her dilated pupils from him? He didn't smell anything illegal on her, but there was something....Just heartbreaking, nice young girl like this already hooked on pot.

"I'm fine...uh, Superman....I just....really enjoy the view. There's nothing to worry about..." Stupid, stupid! Should have been paying more attention to business instead of gawking at that couple in the park! Think fast, dummy!

"Um, I thought, if the Toasters were starting something big, I could get a good view from here." God, she sounded like a rubbernecking ghoul, those vultures that stood around and gawked at disasters. But, boy! He sure is handsome, she thought, picking non-existent strings from the sleeves of her shirt. So this is the Man of Steel. She suppressed the insane urge to giggle.

"Well, from now on I'd stick to watching television...they have it all on helicopter the moment it happens, you you need some help getting down?" He looked concerned, but his arms were folded across his chest in a way that said, 'I'm not leaving until you *are* safely down, young lady'.

"Um...." Belatedly, she realized that besides the obvious, there was no other way to get down. She made a panicked mental scribble to always leave a pedestrian exit open whenever other flying people were feeling helpful. She searched below her, looking for a way down without letting the cat out of the bag, so to speak. She saw what looked like a shadowy archway that could have been a service entrance...curse it, she didn't want this flying man to know she was around to help!

The Man of Steel followed her gaze and said "You've definitely got guts to climb up all the way from that balcony down there. Perhaps you are a Ninja in training?" he smiled reproachfully.

Then she had a glimmer of an idea, reckless, but she needed something...

"Well, know how cats can climb up a tree very well, but getting down..." She shrugged hopelessly.

"Is a different story. Well, stick your elbows out, and I'll fly you down to the balcony."

Seeing no other options available, she obligingly stuck out her elbows and watched as Superman gently grasped her sides and coasted the 12 feet down to the balcony, where he put her on her feet once more.

"There you go, thanks for flying. I hope you won't be earning a lot of frequent flier mileage on this airline, will you now?" he said. "Wouldn't want the police to see you up here, raising a fuss, fire trucks, all that trouble. You know."

"Yep, that's right. No trouble. Won't happen again, righty-o." She was secretly fascinated by his method of flying...he didn't seem to expend any energy, he just floated, like a balloon, but with power. This would bear investigation. Definitely something to look forward to, a new thing to discover!

"Well, I'll be off then. Have a nice night" he said as he drifted off the balcony and turned his cape to her. She rushed to the edge of the drop and scrutinized his movements as he accelerated suddenly with a roar.

"Now where did that sound come from?" She was enthralled. Too soft for a sonic boom, and there was only the softest of breezes, no backlash like the one she created when she took off. Fascinating! She was a little irked at the way he treated her, but the glow of her meeting washed her irritation away like a little wave of balm.

Definitely deserving of further study.