Thought we'd start off a snowy weekend with a snippet of Sidekicks.
Or at least, what was once a snippet of Sidekicks. The scene has been cut from the novel, but it's still a decent preview of what's to come. Beware thought, it does spoil some of the ending to Walk a Mile.
Malcolm Quick bolts out of a nightmare, sweat dripping down his face. Two in the morning which means he’s been asleep for a good three hours. It’s an improvement over the last month, but still not nearly enough.
There is someone in the room with him, sitting on the window sill, watching. The man wears a white body suit, with a baseball jersey draped over his shoulders. His white mask has a trio of black spots in the center. It’s a costume everyone in the District knows, the resident psychic and superhero, Dodger.
Not a good sight for someone who tends to play the villain.
“Sorry for waking you,” Dodger says. “Your dreams did not appear pleasant”
Mal was stuck in the body of his best frenemy. He’d watched Alex’s murder erase the chance he had of reclaiming his own skin. He won’t be surprised if he never sleeps well again. “I won’t thank you for breaking into my apartment.”
“I’d never expect it,” Dodger replies. “I’m actually here to discuss Good Guy’s absence with you. The District is growing—”
“Alex died,” Mal snaps. “You can say it. Good Guy died. There isn’t any absence.”
“Alex died,” Dodger agrees. “Good Guy’s fate is rather more ambiguous. Good Guy’s death would be catastrophic for this city.”
“Sucks for the District.”
“Doesn’t have to. If we act soon, not a soul in the District will know not that he’s gone.”
“What do you mean we?”
“Mal, you’ve got all the tools. You’ve helped the superheroes before. This is your chance. Redemption.”
Mal pushes himself out of his bed, tries to lunge towards Dodger, but falls instead. He’s missing a leg in this body. His prosthesis is propped up against the nightstand. Tears sting at his eyes but he refuses to let them fall. “I don’t want redemption. Never did.”
All he really wants these days, is to see his friend again.
Dodger tilts his head to the side. “Good Guy must survive. ”
“This is insane,” Mal spits. “There’s no way I’m helping you with this.”
Dodger levels his gaze. “You are not the only candidate.”