Heroes Anonymous 199X
Krissi Hunter, aka Cobalt Archer, North Borderline High Class of 1991, was captain of the gymnastics team, a member of the archery team, and secretary of the Hero Club. Krissi had plenty of admirers in high school, but she never made time for dating. She really preferred just hanging out with Daniel Doucet and John Saito to going out with relative strangers. After high school, Krissi went to Borderline City University on an athletic scholarship.
Entering college, Krissi was forced to make a choice between archery and gymnastics. Krissi loved archery because her father taught her how to shoot when she was little and she’d been practicing ever since. Her father died when Krissi was in middle school and she kept practicing and even competed with the high school team to keep to her father’s memory fresh. However, Krissi realized she was a good archer but had the potential to be a great gymnast.
Krissi devoted her energies to the college gymnastics team and made the Borderline City Olympic Team in 1992. She became a BC media sensation when she won a bronze medal in Barcelona, but wasn’t completely aware of how extensive the hoopla was as she’d dedicated so much of her time to practicing for competitions and continuing her education. Over the next four years, Krissi earned her BA in Journalism and prepared for the 1996 Summer Games.
Krissi’s performance in Atlanta was erratic. She got off to a great start winning an early silver medal, but then the bomb went off with her kid sister Carole caught in the blast. The next few days were a blur spent between the arena and Carole’s bedside. Krissi barely made it through most of her events, but somehow she was able to pull everything together for the last event of the last night and won a gold medal.
It enrages Krissi to think that sick jerks go around doing crap like setting off bombs at concerts and hurting good kids like Carole. Whatever happened to the heroes her friends worshipped in high school? And if the old heroes can’t stop the sickos, what happened to the “joke” about becoming heroes themselves? Maybe Krissi can do something with that weird bow Grandpa gave her.
The first weird thing about Krissi’s bow is it doesn’t even look like a bow most of the time. Normally, it looks like a small golden medallion on a black leather thong. One side of the medallion shows an archer drawing a bow and the other shows a radiant sun and a Latin motto. Krissi’s grandfather gave her the medallion when she graduated from high school and said that it was the only thing his grandfather brought to Borderline City from the Old Country.
When she was little, Grandpa told Krissi lots of stories about the archer, the legendary Blau Jaeger, and his famous weapon the Arc du Soleil. Krissi never bothered to ask why a German hunter’s bow would have a French name, but she did ask how the Blau Jaeger could adventure alongside everyone from William Tell to Robin Hood to Joan of Arc. “In time of need,” the old man said. “The pure of heart speak the words on the back of the medallion and the power of the Arc du Soleil aids them in their fight.”
So Krissi thought the medallion was nothing more than a good luck charm and family heirloom with a quaint story attached until that night in Atlanta. She was in a strange mood as she sat on the roof of the dormitory. Maybe it was stress, exhaustion, or just having nothing to eat since Carole got hurt except the burgers, fries, and colas the Games’ corporate sponsors were handing out, but Krissi felt compelled by the story of the necklace. She never thought of herself as “pure of heart”, but Carole was definitely having an hour of need. Feeling very foolish, Krissi spoke the words aloud, “Iustitiae lumen percute malorum.” Wish I’d studied Latin, she thought just before being surrounded by a flash of light.
When the light subsided, Krissi felt weird. It wasn’t because she was suddenly wearing strange clothes. The leather corset and steel breastplate looked like something from a Renaissance fair, but they were no embarrassment for a girl who’d spent the last couple nights being broadcast around the world wearing no more than a leotard and a smile. No it was her body, it was different. Somehow Krissi felt taller and skinnier than she had been moments before.
Then she noticed the bow in her hand. It looked just like the Blau Jaeger’s bow from the medallion and Krissi realized she was bearing the Arc du Soliel. The bow didn’t seem to have a string and Krissi had no arrows, but she instinctively reached for where the bowstring should be. A glowing light ran from end to end of the bow and a shaft of light extended from her fingers to the front of the bow. Krissi pulled against the string of light and felt tension. Then she realized where she was. Wearing body armor and brandishing a weapon, even a legendary magical weapon, on a roof overlooking the ATL’s biggest crime scene since Sherman’s March was a very bad idea.
Somehow Krissi dashed back to her dorm room and slammed the door shut without being seen. She switched on the light and saw the reflection in the mirror. Her feelings were right; she was taller and skinnier. Krissi’s hair had turned blonde and her eyes were green. Saying the words on the back of the medallion had turned Krissi Hunter into the Blau Jaeger. Great, I’ve got one more event tomorrow night. How can I compete looking like this? Krissi thought. And there’s no way the docs will let some wannabe Valkyrie into the ICU to visit Carole. Gramps never said anything about what the pure hearted should do when they don’t need their cobalt blue archer anymore. No sooner had Krissi thought that than there was another flash of light and the girl looking back from the mirror was the purple haired, blue eyed gymnast she expected.
Krissi’s first thought was she’d been having some kind of hallucination. It made sense; she was worrying about a comatose sister while trying to compete in the Olympics. Under those circumstances, hallucinating was much more likely than turning into the hero from one of Grandpa’s fairy tales. Then Krissi felt the medallion’s weight on her neck and knew what had happened was no hallucination. That night, Krissi slept better than she had since the night of the explosion.
The next morning word came from the hospital that Carole had woken up. Between practice and the hospital’s tests, Krissi didn’t get a chance to visit her sister. However, the younger Hunter did promise to watch her big sister on TV, but only if Krissi promised to win the gold. Of course that was a promise Krissi had to keep and she ended her gymnastics career as a gold medalist.
Krissi spent most of the next two months at Carole’s side in Atlanta hospitals, but she did find time to sneak away to the Olympic archery venue at night. Her Olympic athlete’s credentials got her into the facility without question, but since the Games were over nobody paid a lot of attention to the security system video tapes. If they had, they would have seen Krissi enter the women’s locker room in a baggy Team BC sweat suit and a tall blond in a Team BC sweat suit carrying a non-regulation bow walk onto the archery range a few minutes later. Anyone watching the blond practice would have been amazed at the variety of arrows she would send down range and what they did to their targets. At least Krissi was amazed at her ability to summon magic arrows as the Cobalt Archer.
As soon as the doctors declared Carole fit for travel, Krissi brought her back to Borderline City. The doctors say Carole will never walk again and Krissi feels responsible for her little sister’s condition. Instead of taking her dream job as an investigative journalist, Krissi’s starting as an announcer for Borderline Sports Network because it pays better and she can get the best possible help for Carole.