I was a teenage superhero self-insert

Me, mask thoroughly pierced: “I’m not owned! I’m not owned!”

I was a teenage superhero self-insert
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge / Unsplash

Logbook Entry No. 318

Workout One: X

Workout Two:

Mile time: 06:49 (tell mom her stupid delicious pancakes are weighing me down)

Coach is upset with me. Again. Told me that my priorities are “all out of whack,” which is incredibly stupid seeing as how I’m pouring every spare minute I have into training and leadership. Wake up, run drills, go to school, train, run more drills, tactics lessons, sleep. What more could I be giving? She doesn’t understand how much work it takes to keep a fashioned-obsessed pyro and that walking PR disaster in check while on missions. I’m stretched too thin, and they will. Not. Get. With. The. Program.

Then, there’s home. Mom found me an “opportunity” shredding documents for some dork in a cheap suit. It’s literally makework for the city–he said this was all a favor for my mother and that I should just disappear in the back and not make any noise for eight hours. When I got home I told her it went great, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity. Checked on grandma, played with Kodiak. TV is bugging, still.

Scrolled Tiktok for like 12 seconds before fucking Resonance showed up in my feed. Stupid fake smiling asshole. Can’t wait to punch him. Maybe on the mission tonight–Coach says she’s finally got a lead on something bigger than Z-list villains cosplaying as criminals. There better be news cameras.

Coming back to Masks: A New Generation, I wanted to bring a different energy to my superpowered teen than poor Ted, desperate to be normal. Smaller group, different setting and a decidedly more serious tone that our GM said would occasionally get dark with its subject matter (e.g. death as a consequence for the people around us). The trio contained Lucifer, a pyro with a flippant air concealing his hunger to simply let loose, and The Quake, a ward of the state (and its superhero government agency) with the mostly-unearned reputation as a killer. 

Then there’s me, Pseudoflux, real name Ayla Redbird. I’m using the Janus playbook, which means I struggle to keep my mundane responsibilities balanced against the exhilaration and completeness I feel when wearing the mask. I’m the darling of our team’s Coach who sees the potential in me to become a legend, the same potential robbed from her decades ago in a tragic confrontation. Somewhere between school work, an internship, and taking care of my chronically ill grandmother, I find time to be a superhero. Okay, find is a stretch. I siphon time away from every other facet of my life and dump it into being Pseudoflux, leaping through the city and earning cheerful adoration from the crowd. Afterward, with my pearlescent suit stuffed away from prying eyes, I dissemble to my worried mother, make excuses to classmates and the intern supervisor, grab sleep where I can and power through enough caffeine to drop a farm animal.