Origins: Iceshot - Part One

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What she wished, for now, more than anything was a moment to stop and grab some more food. The closer she got to the heart of Chinatown, the stronger the scent of the local fare became. Anna wasn't all that "connected," per se, to her heritage, but she loved the food. She loved food in general, so, so much. This ride was going to be a nightmare for her, so she cut a corner away from Main Street as quickly as she could. No alleys though. Never alleys. Those places were dangerous for anyone, even metas. A few years ago, a new hero began patrolling Victory City, only to be cornered in an alley by some enhanced gangsters and shanked a few dozen times. It turned out his powers had something to do with helping him survive, but needless to say, he hadn't made many headlines. In fact, Anna realized, she couldn't remember his name.

Every meta was special, but when you got down to the disparity of abilities between them their "gifts" ranged considerably. Anna was intrigued by metas. Like any kid growing up, hearing about them on the news, she had wanted to be one. She always had a revolving ranking in her head of dream abilities. Flight generally spent most of the time at the top of the list. Lately, though she was beginning to get creative and "regenerative hibernation" began to work it's way up, closely followed by "culinary radar sense." Her archery teammates generally agreed that the latter was the best power ever. Marty, her best friend, always chose the hibernation; It was a not so subtle jab toward her chronic insomnia.

Anna was beginning to feel worn down by her ride, but she pressed further up the busy street. She weaved her way between old delivery trucks and swaths of people drifting in the road from brownstone to brownstone. This was one of those tourist traps and she felt the kitsch surround her like a clinging mist. It reminded her of her grandmother's house in San Francisco. In fact, the whole street felt very old... impossibly so. She had always felt a connection with San Fran whenever she was down there, as though there was some true part of herself that came out. That is when she felt closest to her heritage. Her family moving back east was probably the cause of her distancing herself. But she felt something here, on this street in particular.

Then she felt an explosive force propel her from her bike into the side of a truck. The last sensation she registered was the thunk of her body as she collided with the truck. She was out cold by the time she hit the ground.

...

The blackout was only momentary because, from the sound of things, people were still trying to figure out what had just happened. She lifted herself from the pavement enough to peer around. Her ears were ringing and her vision was blurred and all she could see were people-shapes, dust, smoke, and dancing red- there was a fire that seemed to swirl, dive, and rise. She turned away, in her dizzy state she didn't want to make herself feel worse. She shook her head to try to rattle some sense into it, but she was rewarded by the taste of digested taquitos spilling from her mouth to the pavement below her. She gasped and rolled over to her side, careful not to touch her pile of sick.

She caught her breath as best she could and sat up. Her vision began to clear just enough to make out the figures of people who looked relatively unharmed. Her surroundings were far from, though. Windows were shattered and cars were dented as though cannonballs had been flying randomly in the street, and the street itself was shattered and cracked like glass. Oddest of all was a thin layer of frost surrounding where she sat. She hadn't noticed it at first, as it didn't feel cold. She raised the back of her hand in front of her, wiping away the thin sheen of ice. Another breath. She raised herself to her feet and looked at the truck behind her. It was crumpled.

She took a few, dizzy steps toward what was left of her bike. The aluminum frame was bent and dented nearly beyond recognition. She spied her bow, shattered to pieces, along with her arrows. They were broken like twigs and spilled out of a peeling, torn quiver. She fell to her knees and threw open her messenger bag. All that remained of her cargo were ashes of contracts and proofs that coated the inside of the bag and sat in a dusty pile in an inside corner. She scooped up whatever she could, placed it into her tattered bag, and picked up the ruined remains of her bike.

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