Heroes Anonymous 199X
A perfect 15-year-old student, Emily Heyd was everything that her parents wanted in a child. Doctors themselves, they saw in her a budding medical professional with the smarts of a surgeon. All of her childhood, they pushed away any of her whimsical endeavors. Hippies enjoyed drawing, painting, and sculpting, unless in scientific pursuit, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, so these hobbies were only tolerated in conjunction with science. Music was strictly censored to music that would promote brain activity, and that only included classical music. When a school friend introduced her to comic books after seeing her sketching in class, she was almost beaten for bringing them home. According to her father, comic book heroes were ridiculous wastes of time, and only led children to believe in the virtue of vigilantes, who were no better than the criminals they hunted.
Shortly after Emily’s parents had tossed out all of the comics lent by her friend, her friends began to notice her a change in the girl’s behavior. She had always remained cheerful, despite her parent’s overwhelming presence, but of late, she slowly became withdrawn, participating in school activities where she once almost always had her hand raised. In an effort to cheer her up, they took her to a free magic show in the park put on by a local magician, who looked only a few years older than herself. The tricks weren’t particularly amazing to her, as she was smart and quick enough to catch the misdirection techniques he used to distract the audience. She spent the evening wondering exactly how this boy’s parents felt about his performing in a park for tips in his magic hat. If they knew, she imagined they were probably incredibly disappointed, despite how much he seemed to be enjoying performing. It was in that moment that she realized that they did not even have to know. She left the show determined to make art her secret passion, never to give it up, and become a medical professional to please her parents even despite this.
For the rest of her high school life, she secretly honed her abilities without sacrificing her schoolwork. Lunch breaks afforded her time to pursue larger projects, such as painting and sculpting. She read borrowed comic books hidden inside of her school texts during the classes she could then study at home, although half the time she daydreamed about about the forbidden vigilante heroes who her parents so despised. Senior year after she turned eighteen, she chose a sketching art class for her art requirement, and amazed the teachers with her naturally polished talent. With this as motivation, she actually considered life after high school.
Eventually, she got out of her parents house by moving into the University’s dorms. They didn’t mind, since she promised them she would work towards being a doctor. But by moving out, she could get back into comic books, manga, and working on her own comics without needing to hide it from anyone. Her collection expanded, her own artwork was becoming really good, but she still had no plot. Finally, after a frustratingly futile night-time brainstorming session, she got fed up and went for a walk.
There was a nearby park that she enjoyed walking through, and it was there she meet the Ellusionist, the man that inspired her to not give up her art five long years ago. He had been shot, and he couldn’t go to a hospital or they’d arrest him. Emily offered to treat him, even though she only had about two years of training. Not seeing an alternative that didn’t involve going to jail, the Ellusionist accepted.
Fortunately, there weren’t many people awake in the dorms at 1am… well, nobody particularly sober. They got to her room, where she ‘operated’ on his shoulder to remove the 9mm bullet lodged there, cleaned the wound, and closed him up. Collapsing on the couch, the Ellusionist fell asleep. Emily couldn’t sleep though… it was still a guy she didn’t know sleeping in her room. The next morning, she left a note for him saying he could rest up for the day and she’d be back from classes later. She had trouble staying awake that day.
He was awake when Emily returned, and he was looking at her doodles she had drawn of him. At least, the him she remembered from 5 years ago. She should have hid them, but it was too late now. She told the Ellusionist her desire to write a comic, but could never come up with a storyline. Surprisingly, he then offered to tell his story which she could use to get her comic started. With his first story told, he offered to return again to tell her more if she wanted. Finally with a storyline for the comic she wished to draw based on a real hero vigilante, she accepted whole-heartedly.
He kept his word and returned two weeks later, and every two weeks thereafter. She filled her comics with the stories that ‘Roy’ told her. She knew Roy likely wasn’t his real name, but he offered it as something easier than ‘Ellusionist’ to keep calling him. Roy even convinced her to try and get it published, which she eventually did. It was actually accepted by ED Comics, and became one of the bestselling serializations in Borderline City. Emily even enjoyed having Roy around.
Emily had lost track of just how long he had been coming around telling her about his vigilante life. She was sketching out the storyboard of her next release as Roy told her about a particularly exciting run-in with a gang leader, but it went wrong when the cops showed up. He related how he got shot during his daring escape, and was rescued by the most beautiful woman he’d ever met. It took her a moment to realize that Roy was talking about her, and she stopped sketching. Without thinking, the two kissed each other.
Feeling thoroughly embarrassed, Emily was a little relieved when he excused himself after the kiss, but also a little disappointed. Sure, she had plenty for her next comic, but what did that kiss mean? She had trouble concentrating on anything for the next two weeks, as she became hot and bothered every time she tried to work out what it meant. As the day approached when Roy would usually return, she began to fidget and worry excessively. Would he return after what happened? The morning of when he would usually show up, there was an invitation for her to meet him at a cafe. Butterflies in her stomach, she went.
Once there, she didn’t meet the Ellusionist, but the man behind the mask: Daniel Doucet. He revealed that he discovered he was actually in love with her. She had come up with a similar revelation towards him, so they agreed they should move forward with it. Emily and Daniel officially became a couple, although she does call him Roy occasionally for nostalgia’s sake.
Emily still goes to University, training to be a doctor, but the majority of her free time is spent with either her comic or Daniel. Sometimes both. Despite her enthusiasm at hearing Daniel’s vigilante stories, she’s found she worries greatly about just the sort of things he’s getting himself into now. She tries to hide it from him though, since she knows Daniel is doing something good and she wouldn’t be able to talk him into settling down into a more normal lifestyle anyway.