Meteor City is a place of wonder. Heroes fly in the sky, villains plot below ground, aliens visit frequently, and giant robots roam the street at regular intervals, but on this day, the most interesting thing happening in Meteor City takes place in a quaint yet comfortable therapy office.
The door creaked open.
“I must say, seeing a grown man in full spandex on the couch is… not the weirdest thing I’ve experienced in this office.”
At this, said spandex-clad grown man raised his body to greet the professional who entered.
“Dr. Knight? It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he offered.
Clearing her throat, Dr. Knight responded “Likewise, Mr…” and tilted her head questioningly.
“Mr. The Sparrow?”
“No, drop ‘The.’ It sounds pretentious when you put it like that, no?” he said, half to himself.
“Mr. Sparrow, then. Again, the pleasure is likewise.”
Dr. Knight only then took a seat and pulled out her pen and notepad, preparing to get to work.
“Mr. Sparrow,” she spoke, “I entirely understand your desire for privacy, particularly in your line of work. But what I ask you to understand is that the limited information I have on you from the beginning means that the first few conversations we have may seem… trivial. Is that alright?”
The Sparrow–or, Mr. Sparrow–nods and utters an affirmation. Dr. Knight proceeds.
“Remind me of your… superpowers, again?”
“Enhanced sight, enhanced hearing, and the ability to fly under my own power.”
“Right. I’m not going to bother to ask about the physics behind that. Moving on, what is your profession- you know, the day job? You don’t have to say where, of course.”
“I’m an EMT, believe it or not.”
“Is that so? Couldn’t get enough of saving lives on the clock, so now you do it for fun?” The doctor smirked.
The Sparrow could only sigh.
“I guess so. It’s just that… I have been given these incredible gifts by who-knows-what, and still, I feel compelled to use them for good, you know?”
“Could you elaborate?”
“Well, it’s really no different from the day job in my mind. I use my education, my skills, and my drive to save lives to do just that- save lives. All my life I wanted to be a first responder, and I dedicated myself to that purpose.”
“But you didn’t plan on becoming a costumed crimefighter, did you?”
The Sparrow laughs. “No. No, I did not.”
“But you seem to be just as dedicated to that career,” Dr. Knight retorts.
“Well, it’s like I said. Even if I didn’t spend all of my time and money to become a superhero, like I did with becoming an EMT, I still have these powers. They’re not going anywhere–theoretically speaking–so I might as well do the best I can with them.”
“Interesting.” Dr. Knight notes as she scribbles something on her notepad. “Mr. Sparrow, you seem to be doing fine. I’d like to ask why you thought you needed to see me.”
The Sparrow’s face sinks at the question- or, at least the part that’s not covered by his mask.
“A colleague of mine–The Indestructible Woman–recommended you. She says she visits you under her civilian identity. I thought I could use a little- how do I say this- analyzing?”
“I can understand why,” responded Dr. Knight, “You have a very stressful job both in and out of costume, and all that pressure can begin to weigh down on a person.”
Dr. Knight merely nodded as she wrote, and The Sparrow went silent. The oppressive lack of noise spread from wall to wall, until she decided to speak again.
“May I ask why you decided to come to the session… as The Sparrow, and not under your civilian identity?”
“Oh, well… I think I’m doing alright for myself in the day-to-day. It’s not the job that’s stressing me- not any more than it normally does, at least- it’s mostly the cape and cowl, so to speak.”
Dr. Knight interjected. “Are you sure? Could it be that the stresses of both lives are piling up, and it’s not so much one or the other? Not that I mean to suggest you should give up either life, of course, but you must realize that stress comes from every factor of your life. It’s the same way for us normal peop- I mean, civilians, too.”
Another moment of silence passed as The Sparrow seemed genuinely enlightened by that. “Wow, doctor… I never thought of it like that. Say, do you think I could-”
At that exact moment, a large explosion echoed outside, followed by several shouts and yells, startling both The Sparrow and Dr. Knight. The hero jolted up from the therapy couch and ran to peer out the window. Cracking it open, the mechanical sounds of a giant robot were now clearer, and he turned back to Dr. Knight with a confident look on his face.
“Apologies, Dr. Knight.” He smirked. “But, ironically, duty calls. I hope to find some time to visit you again.”
Dr. Knight smiled. “For one of Meteor City’s saviors? Any time. Consider this interrupted session on the house.”
“Be seeing you.” With that, The Sparrow leapt out of the window and took flight.