Say what you want about the old lady with the crazy cat, but Mrs. Norberry’s chocolate chip cookies were amazing. After Max had saved her cat she had sent over around seven dozen cookies. I had barely seen Max in the last week. He was really taking what I said to heart and was out doing the little things helping out the average Joe while laying low from the media. The media was starting to become an issue though. Max was gaining quite the following online, as you could expect a real life super hero would. Smaller media outlets were starting to take notice and as I was the only contact Max gave I had an ever growing inbox asking for information or an interview. It wouldn’t be long until the big names started to come knocking. I had to act soon, I had to show Max to the world on our terms not the terms of some journalist who could twist his existence any way they wanted to make money. I need to do something big but I needed to control it.
“Someone could rob you blind and you’d just sit there day dreaming.” It was Kyle. He had apparently been standing in my doorway for a while as I was staring at the wall. “That is if you actually had anything of value,” he said with a smile.
I had totally forgot that he was coming by this morning. I wasn’t overly sure what he wanted but I was in his debt for the suit so maybe that was the reason why he was here. I finally answered him “Hey sorry man, I was zoned out. I’m trying to figure out how to launch Max to the public”
“That’s why I’m here,” He answered. “I have an idea / proposition for you. If it works out we can call it even for the suit”
“That must be quite the proposition. I doubt that suit was cheap. I’ve got nothing so far so I’d love to hear it.” I answered him
“There’s going to be a bank robbery at Fifth and Main this Saturday at noon,” He said.
“How do you know that?” I asked shocked at his level of detail and calm demeanor.
“You don’t need to worry about that part,” he answered. As if that would reassure me. “Do you know what also is happening in the convention center on Saturday? The convention center that is conveniently located at Sixth and Main.” He Asked.
“I have…” He started to say.
“It was a rhetorical question,” he cut me off. “The metropolitan fashion convention is going on Saturday. The biggest names in the industry will be there. With those big names comes the biggest reporters in the industry.”
Things were clicking in my own head now. “So Max saves the day and gets a load of press coverage from all the fashion reports. The fashion reporters take note of the amazing suit and boom you’re famous.” I said
“Bingo! You aren’t as dumb as you look Kev,” he said with a smile. “When does Max get back? We need to hash out a plan.”
“Ok, first of all rude,” I answered. “He should be back in about two hours.”
The two hours turned into three when a car went into the East River on Max’s flight back. When he came in the door his black hair was soaked and slicked back, his face was scraped up and wind burnt. The suit was dry and still looked brand new. What the heck was that made out of? I thought to myself.
“You ready to be a star Maxxy boy?” Kyle asked in his best 1940s film producer imitation.
“Don’t call me that,” Max said as he sat down in his usual chair by the coffee maker.
Max and Kyle had an odd relationship. I think they were both incredibly intrigued by each other but neither would risk their ego by saying so. Both liked the other enough but neither gave any ground when it came to familiarities.
The next hour was spent going over the plan for Saturday. Kyle knew way too much information but would divulge his source. The robbery was happening at noon. The reporters left the convention for lunch any time between 11:30 and 12:30 and had to walk past the bank. Kyle said he would tip the news stations off at 11:50 and the police off right at 12, by the time they got there the robbers would be inside. It would result in your typical standoff that the media loves. At 12:15 it was Max’s time to shine. Fly in do what a super hero does and afterwards I would help handle the media frenzy.
“Sounds simple enough,” Max said when we had gone through it all.
“I can’t see any issue,” Kyle agree.
Apparently I was the only one seeing the legal and moral issues here but I had to admit this was the perfect situation to launch Max to the public.
Saturday came quicker than I was hoping for but all I had to do was my job. I had no reason to be nervous. Max did, but he was as calm as I’d ever seen him. We parted ways in the morning he was planning to just hang out around the warehouse until the time he was needed. I went to the café down the road from the bank. I actually had work I needed to get done, Max wasn’t exactly paying me yet. I had a clean line of slight of the bank while I was working and I was closely watching the clock. At 11:30 my phone started buzzing. It was Kyle.
“Everything is good to good, is Max ready?” he asked.
“Yup he’s probably just leaving the warehouse” I answered.
“Make sure he doesn’t get here before the police. If this looks staged we are all screwed” Kyle said. He sounded much more serious than he usually did, maybe I wasn’t the only nervous one.
“He knows the plan” I answered
“Good stuff” Kyle answered and hung up the phone
I finished up a couple more designs as the clock ticked forward. I wasn’t able to head over till after Max had apprehended the would-be robbers. It would look ridiculous and phony if a superheroes PR guy was there at the scene waiting to answer questions. I look down at my watch as the clock turned from 11:58 to 11:59. I saved what I was working on and opened up the Metropolitan News website.
The clock hit twelve and everything happened with incredible precision.
12:00 – A black van rolled up and four people came out as the van drove off. The black van was rather clique, to be honest.
12:01 – As they entered the bank I saw a group of reporters walking from the convention center. Their press passes gave them all away.
12:05 – The one of the robbers stepped outside and pulled both of the doors shut.
12:06 – The alarm at the bank went off. I was under the impression robbers usually prevented that. The reporters had stopped in their tracks.
12:10 – The police came up sirens blaring. To the general public that looked like a four minute response time. It was actually ten which is rather mediocre if you ask me.
12:12 – Two news crews rolled up. I looked down at my computer. The Metropolitan News website showed a BREAKING NEWS link. It detailed what they knew about the robbery thus far. Which was nothing but they weren’t going to say that.
12:14 – There was quite the crowd gathering. The police were finishing setting up a barricade and had surrounded the building. The news crews were already set up. It’s nice to know that the media is more organized than metropolitans finest.
12:15 – Showtime.
I looked up to see Max streaking across the sky. He was trailing blue and red streams behind him. It was clearly for show but I has to admit the effect was incredible. He came to stop above the bank, just long enough for the media to take notice of him. Then he dropped down to the door way landing in a perfect superhero crouch. The camera flashes were going wild from the street. He certainly had the showmanship down.
The door burst open and a woman on the street screamed. One of the robbers was holding a woman at gun point. The robber was screaming something in audible to the police. This was definitely not part of the plan. Max’s suit was bullet proof but he certainly wasn’t.
I had forgotten how fast the kid was. The robber pulled his gun a way for a second to aim it at the police. The next thing anyone knew his hand, gun and all, was stuck to the wall of the bank in a block of ice. He immediately let the woman go and she ran down the steps to the street. I saw Max lean into the thief to say something but the thief spit in his face. Max threw a quick head-butt and the man slumped down, blood dripping from his nose. We’d have to discuss his temper when we got back to my office.
The rest of the situation wrapped up just as we had planned. Max went into the bank and within minutes the hostages came streaming out followed by the other three would-be robbers with their hands bound together in blocks of ice. The police swooped in and apprehended all four men. At least they were doing something today.
Max simply sat down on the steps of the bank as we hand discussed earlier. This was my signal to head over. As I made my way to the bank the press was swarming Max. Much to their surprise, not to mine, Max made himself a one man ice hut right there on the steps of the bank. He had started doing this lately when he was fed up with someone or something. I was really hoping he wouldn’t do it today. It didn’t exactly make for the best news story.
I reached the police barricade and was stopped by and officer.
“You can’t go past here,” he said to me.
“I know the guy in the big ice block up there,” I answered. As if that would help matters.
“Are you related to him?” He asked.
I wasn’t really sure why that matter but I figured a little lie would be more effective than the truth. “Yeah, I’m his older brother,” I answered.
The officer let me through and I proceeded up the steps and knocked on the ice. With that the ice began to melt. One of the many perks of being able to produce fire on command, I suppose. The reporters began to press forward again. I was about to address them when Max cut me off.
“Hi, my name is Max. Yes, I have superpowers. This is Kevin, he’ll answer all your questions,” He said.
Every camera and reporter turned towards me. I was not ready for this I suddenly realized. Questions were coming left right and center a thousand at a time it was incredibly over whelming. Then Max stepped in front of me and started shooting ice at the ground. This was very effective in moving the reporter back. I soon realized what he was doing and I couldn’t help but laugh. Before me was a very intricately designed podium made out of ice.
Max leaned over. “I’ve been working on that one for a while. Now do your job Kevin,” he said as he pushed me forward.
The questions were still coming in chaotic fashion. “One question at a time please!” I yelled over the sound of the reporters fighting to be heard.
“Who are you?”
I wasn’t sure which reporter had asked the question but it was the first one I heard. I stepped up to the frozen podium and answered “My name is Kevin, and I am Max’s PR manager”