The truth is, you never really wanted to be a reporter, anyway. Sure, you’ve been single-mindedly working toward a job in journalism since junior high, but it wasn’t out of a true passion for the news or anything. It was because reporters get to hang out with superheroes, and you realized at the age of 12 that, short of tragically-murdered billionaire parents or a freak accident involving radioactive waste, “superhero” probably wasn’t a viable career path.

“Man, screw the Cleveland Tribune,” Dale says. “After we make a billion dollars with, we’ll buy the damned Cleveland Tribune. And fire all those guys.”

“Have another drink, Dale.” That’s Melah. She’s just as inebriated, judging from the number of empty whiskey glasses in front of her, but carries it better. The three of you are having what’s essentially the same argument, at the same bar, for the eleventh consecutive day since being laid off by your common employer. Theoretically, you’re exploring the idea of launching a website, but deep down you all know it’s empty talk. Drunken rambling about the internet is just what unemployed journalists do.

Today, however, will offer a break in your routine debauchery. Before you can flag down the bartender for another round, the room is flooded with an intense white light, followed by a strange sense of weightlessness that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. Whoa. How drunk are you? A deep, soft voice calls out from what feels like the inside of your head, rattling your fillings.

“They’re coming.”

What? Who’s coming? “Heed my words,” the voice continues. “They’re coming, and you alone can stop them. The way forward is twisted and there is very little time, so do not hesitate. Choose your actions carefully. The fate of this world is in your hands.”

(continue to the next page)

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