Corey Cooper is a university student by day, and a crime-fighting superhero that goes by the name of Tempest at night. He is Selene City’s guardian, and a golden boy by most standards, an upstanding paragon of justice for the people that he has sworn to protect.
Though initially enthusiastic about his role as a superhero and defender of the defenseless, the years have disillusioned Corey, and he continues more out of obligation than anything else. He craves excitement, something other than the endlessly monotonous parade of self-centered villains.
In Corey’s search for spice in his life, he develops a deep, dark longing that could ruin him forever if exposed.
Guilty Pleasure is a 6,600-word short story and part one of a four-part series.
The front doors of the bank burst outward in a hail of hot glass shards as Tempest delicately touched down on the street outside. It had been cool all day, especially higher up above the buildings, but the fire currently raging in the lobby of the Plutarch National on High Street was enough to raise the ambient temperature by at least a few degrees.
If not for the imminent danger, it would actually have been rather pleasant to stand out by the sidewalk in front of the bank. Even the thermo-regulated suit that Tempest wore, with its midnight blue composite fabric that clung to every chiseled plane of his young body, hadn’t quite managed to keep the chill of the night away, especially as he had been flying at regulation altitude above the city for the last two hours.
Tempest surveyed the situation as he waited for further information from headquarters. Police and emergency respondents had already arrived, but they were keeping their distance because no one knew for sure if there was still an active super threat inside the building.
For the time being, the first-responders were more concerned with maintaining a safe perimeter around the building and taking care of any civilians who were managing to make it out of the structure.
The communicator on Tempest’s wrist beeped once. “SIBYL, what do you have for me?” he said. If he was being honest, the situation looked pretty dire. He could only hope that there was no one left inside the building. Even if he called up a rainstorm, he doubted it would do much to temper the flames.
“It would appear that there is no longer any sign of civilian life inside the building,” the communicator chirped. “It is difficult to ascertain the number of fatalities at this moment due to fire damage, but it appears that the majority of personnel and clientele were able to evacuate before the intensity of the blaze reached the critical point.”
Tempest nodded. Burning to death was one of the nastiest ways to go. There were far too many pyromaniac villains in the world. He could only hope that anyone who hadn’t managed to get out had died from smoke inhalation rather than the fire itself.
“Thank you, SIBYL. Do we have an active threat still inside the building?” said Tempest. “Is it safe to give the go-ahead to the emergency crews on standby?”
“Visibility inside the building is near-zero, Tempest,” the communicator chirped. “Approximately 70% of security cameras in the first, second, and third floors have been destroyed by the fire. However, it appears that there is still deliberate movement inside the building. There may be an active threat, but it is likely safe to cut power.
“Will do, SIBYL,” said Tempest, quickly jogging over to the supervisor of the response team. He relayed the information that SIBYL had given and explained his own plan. A minute later, what few lights remained on in the building went off. It was time to flush out the villain.