My body did not want to work even as I forced it to. I could feel the power slip away as the battle raged on with and around me. This was the end. Our way of life was done and it might be taking me with it. The breath escaped me as I knelt on one knee and used a closed fist to balance myself. My heart pounded, reverberating in my ears and pulsing in my mind. I looked around. Seeing the bodies of heroes and villains next to those of civilians brought tears to my eyes.

There was an understanding. It was one that had gone back before the dawn of heroes. Civilization was built upon it. No death. It was something that at times could not be avoided. Circumstances would come about and every once in a while, there was a fatality. A truce would be called to mourn the loss. This rule was observed on all sides.

Until she showed up. As far as I could tell, it was not who she was, but what she brought with her. It was like a plague. A disease. It infected the mind and sent all sides into a bloodlust. This was a slow build. An investigation here or there into these deaths. It escalated quickly. The culmination was this war. Brutality the likes of which the world had never seen.

I had been under its power. A group of us who were caught off guard. There is a cure or was. Our battles were fought to free those and make sure the world continued on.

It would not though. I see it now. I gather another deep breath and push off the ground. My usually sure feet would cause me to stumble or fall upon landing. I tried to brace my body but knew it was going to hurt. The building I aimed for came fast. My full strength was not enough to land on top. I threw my hands out, ready to grip any ledge I could. The impact of my face against the brick almost made me let go. I fought with my arms, willing them to pull me up. The drop would have been 12 stories if I did not make this.

I rolled over the ledge and stared up at the sky. It was a clear, sunny day. The only clouds in the sky are created from the abilities of one side or the other. It was odd to see isolated rain and snow showers accompanied by lightning scattered on the blue backdrop. I was only going to rest for a second. There was still work to do and lives that needed saving. I represented only one faction of the battle, but my methods were not like the others. I was part of the group that was using nonlethal force. We subdued those who had clouded minds and freed them of this disease. That was our goal. My eyes were so heavy and a moment here would help me regain my strength.

We had a great run. Peace and justice prevailed, and you could count on your friends being there the next day. The blue turned to black as my eyelids shut at this thought.

I could not tell you when it was. The rain spattered all over my body. Somehow I turned sideways during my rest. The moon hung low, allowing for a picturesque skyline. It was as beautiful as it could look with partially demolitioned buildings dotting the landscape. A metallic scent mixed with the falling rain. It brought me back to a reality I was not sure I wanted to be a part of.

What remained of my suit clung to me and failed to keep out the water. I was tempted to close my eyes again. Another day or so of sleep might do well for me. My strength had returned some and I moved to the other side testing it. The soreness reminded me I was still alive.

“Mister, you okay?”

I looked up from my position to the other end of the rooftop. A lanky female stood half-illuminated by the moon. Something hovered over her in the shape of a crescent moon and acted as an umbrella.

“Yea.” My wit had left with all my hope for normalcy. I stopped craning my neck and moved to a more comfortable position. My usual friendly discourse was soured and I hoped she would leave.

“You really don’t seem okay.”

“Thank you for the analysis. Now if you don’t mind, I have things to tend to.” I started to move but the will was gone. I could hear her footsteps approaching along with the light whirring of her moving canopy.

“I can bring you inside if you need. Or a hospital maybe. My board can carry a lot if…”

“Look, kid. I’m fine. Just go.” She stood right above me, her shadow covering my face. My intimidation factor was not as great while laying down and a quarter away from death. She tsked at me as she used a foot to nudge me to my back and on the device.

“I’m not a kid. Let’s get you inside.” The lift was quick but it kept me balanced. She walked ahead of me and to the door of the roof. I gave in without having a choice. I closed my eyes again and gambled that I would be alive when I next woke.