Previously: Sky Prince Sucks
After school Sky Prince and the Junior All-Stars converged on the roof of Crimebuster High. Sky Prince. Lady Dogface. Pirate Girl. Nanolad. And the new kid, Snake-Boy. They weren’t really friends with one another. They were the sidekicks of the most powerful and popular superheroes, the first-string team of the adult Crimebusters organization (Sky Lord, Beast Mistress, Blackbeard, Nanoman, and the Great Hunter, respectively). They were expected to hang out together for this reason.
Sky Prince climbed onto the top of the two-foot-high brick wall that surrounded the rooftop patio. He said, “I’m going to fly now.”
He looked over at Lady Dogface.
“I’m going to fly now,” he said, more loudly, and directly at her.
“Okay, you go,” she said. “Whatever?”
She was sitting cross-legged, showing the new kid, the Snake-Boy, how to do yoga or something.
Sky Prince pointed his face up at the sky. “I’m going to fly now. Did you hear that?” He was talking to his dad.
The other Junior All-Stars did not know this. They just thought he was being goofy. They also did not know that he was unable to fly. It had been a long time since anybody had seen him on his dad’s shoulders. They assumed he had grown into his powers by now. He had possibly lied to them and told them that he had. He couldn’t remember.
His dad did not respond.
Sky Prince looked down at the street scene seventy-two storeys distant. Normals went about their business. There was a normal selling hot dogs from a vending cart. There was a normal buying a hot dog. There was a normal tying its shoe. There was a normal looking up at him. The normal looking up at him waved. Sky Prince waved back at it.
He flew rings around the building.
He landed on the brick wall, where he had started.
He jumped again. He flew again. He laughed and laughed. He flew very high. He flew very low. He bought a hot dog, hovering in the air. He flew very high again.
“Hey dad!” he said. “Hey dad!”
His dad did not answer.
The Junior All-Stars watched him, slack-jawed.
What idiots, he thought.
Sky Prince made up his mind. This was his big chance. He flew to a department store in the midwest. He bought himself a bunch of normal human clothes. He put them on. He left his superhero outfit in the dressing room for some souvenir-hungry normal to find. He flew to another city — he wasn’t even sure which one — and sat himself down on the sidewalk beside a fast-food restaurant.
He lived like that for four days.
He said to people, “Change? Change?”
His dad’s point about his secret identity needing a parent — or being homeless — had struck him as a good idea.
He said to people, “Can you spare any change? My name is Desmond Touché.”
After four days his body died. It lay there in a puddle of black blood. Just worn out. They do that. In the Eyrie, a sensor clicked, a gear turned, the sliding rack of clonebodies advanced one notch, and a new Sky Prince, who did not have any memories of his predecessor’s past few days — but who, weirdly, would find that he was still easily able to fly — stepped off of the assembly line.
He found his murdered father on the living room floor.
Next Update: Beast Mistress and the Blue Spark in “The Capetown Caper!”