“The medical term is: ‘nigh-invulnerable’,” Dr. Roberts explained. 16-year-old Emma sat in a hospital bed while Dr. Roberts informed her and her parents about Emma’s new abilities. “Your daughter is bullet-proof now, among other gifts. The meteor that struck her is being researched by the best minds in the country,” he said.
“What are you going to do with our daughter?” Emma’s dad asked while standing from his seat. He was a tall, imposing man that dwarfed the short doctor. Dr. Roberts smiled.
“Discharge her,” he shrugged. “We couldn’t hold your daughter even if we wanted to. We can’t penetrate her skin to administer any tranquilizers or taser charges. Her super strength would make short work of any normal person, and she can fly.”
“You can fly!?” Emma’s dad whirled around to face her. She gave a delicate nod.
“Honestly, being in a hospital hasn’t benefited her at all. We couldn’t do anything to stitch her wounds closed; she healed all on her own. And it’s perfect; her x-rays are so clean she looks like she’s never even had a hairline fracture before. There’s absolutely no evidence a meteorite went completely through her ribs and spine,” Dr. Roberts said.
“She healed that fast in less than two weeks?” Emma’s mother asked in surprise. Dr. Roberts shook his head.
“Less than a week. The rest of the time, she decided to stay on her own and let us learn a few things,” he smiled. “We couldn’t make your daughter stay, so we asked nicely. But, she says she’s ready to go home now.”
“You little liar!” Emma’s dad took a step closer to his daughter and bonked her head with his fist. “Every night for the past week you told us they wouldn’t let you leave yet,” he said. Emma shrugged with a smile; she knew he wasn’t mad.
“I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to accidentally blow you guys up,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about my powers. Now I do,” Emma sighed deeply and cast a glance at Dr. Roberts. He nodded at her in encouragement. “And,… I know what I’m going to be,” she added.
“Oh honey,” Emma’s mom wrapped her arm around Emma from next to her bed. “You don’t have to decide on a future right now, you’ve been through some crazy things lately,” she advised Emma, Emma shook her head.
“That’s why I decided already. Super strength, flight?” she asked. “I have to be a superhero.”
“Why do you have to? You’re the only person with super powers,” he said.
“I’m not the only one,” Emma replied; she hoped she wouldn’t butcher Dr. Robert’s explanation. He offered to speak to her parents himself, but Emma needed to do it. The doctor was a third party whose opinions could be invalidated at any moment; but, Emma was their daughter. They had to listen to her. “I’m just the first. The meteorite that hit me was one of thousands. Who knows what other powered people are going to show up?”
“This is what you want?” Emma’s mother asked her. Emma nodded.
“Two rules,” she replied. Emma nodded again; she loved the way her mom negotiated things it made everything easier.
“First, superheroing is not more important than a degree,” she said. “I don’t care what the degree is, I don’t care about attendance or grades but you need that degree. Clear?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Emma replied.
“Second. Your father picks your superhero name.”
“WHAT!?” Emma blurted out. “No way!”
“Awww, c’mon,” Emma’s dad chuckled. “Don’t be like that, Meteor Maiden.”