Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams





Talk fast.



Style is my superpower.

BariStar – 5:09
Polarity just magnetized my train. On a Tuesday night.

LunaSam – 5:10
@BariStar You’re lying, no one goes after the green line.

BariStar – 5:11
No, I’m not lying!! I’d post a pic but she’s riding on the roof. Train is slowing down.

BariStar – 5:12
I can’t fucking believe this. 1st it rains on my boots and now there’s a supervillain threating my train. This is why I took the apartm

BariStar – 5:12
ent in the burbs. They’re not supposed to do this crap this far out of town, especially not on TUESDAYS.

Runningtime – 5:13
@BariStar lets see. rain on boots or villin attack wich is worse? #bimboquestions

BootsOnFoots – 5:14
@BariStar Check out our wedges sale, one day only!

Havespatulawillomelet – 5:14
@BariStar Wow, if only there was a superhero for boots. :-P

BariStar – 5:15
Shut up you guys, these boots are suede and I just bought them.

BariStar – 5:17
Has anyone heard about Polarity yet? Are the cops coming or…?

BariStar – 5:20
OK. Sonic Woman showed up 2 seconds ago. You know, the one who makes that sound when she flies over you.

BariStar – 5:22
Oh right, thx! RT @superinformed Sonic Woman changed her codename to Redshift like a year ago…

BariStar – 5:24
So the fight is def on. Polarity’s got the train in her beam or whatever, so it keeps rocking. Feels like being drunk on a cruise ship.

BariStar – 5:24
Which I have been.

BariStar – 5:25
RT @superinformed It’s a magnetic wave.

BariStar – 5:26
Sorry, guys, I don’t really pay attention to the cape scene. I just know Polarity bc that bank she tried to rob last

BariStar – 5:26
year is right by my job.

VillainHistory – 5:27
@BariStar You mean the courthouse on 18th and Morris? Is that why your Patter name is BariStar?

BariStar – 5:28
Not the courthouse. The coffee shop. BariStar like barista + star. Not barrister.

BariStar – 5:29
And who says “barrister” anyway? Like are you kidding.

VillainHistory – 5:30
@BariStar I don’t remember that.

BariStar – 5:32
Really? It was in October, she tore a hole through the roof and tried to attract all

BariStar – 5:32
the gold out of the bank. Fiesta & Siesta caught her that time.

Runningtime – 5:33
@BariStar fiesta & siesta? damn ur a c-list cape magnet huh. No1 even likes redshift she such a weak bitch

Runningtime blocked.

BariStar – 5:36
Can I just say, I love Redshift’s look. #thosegloves

BariStar – 5:37
Polarity dresses like skank though.

BariStar – 5:41
Something just happened! There’s bloat running down my window!

BariStar – 5:42
Blood*. Autocorrect is an idiot, amirite?

Havespatulawillomelet – 5:47
@BariStar Whose blood??

Havespatulawillomelet – 5:52
OMG what happened to you?

Sidekickenvy – 6:01
@BariStar Where are you?

Private message from: @lotsalattes 6:07

amy, u ok? will u make it to work tmrw??

BariStar – 6:11
HEY I’M STILL ALIVE. Sorry to worry you all.

Havespatulawillomelet – 6:12
@BariStar Oh good.

VillainHistory – 6:12
@BariStar Yay!

BariStar – 6:13
Lost Wifi for a while. Redshift’s power, I guess.

BariStar – 6:14
The train is completely stopped now. I can’t believe how long this is taking.

VillainHistory – 6:15
@BariStar Uh, yeah, are you new to this? Supervillains don’t really work with your schedule in this city.

BariStar – 6:16
Uh, NO, I’m not new to this, I’ve lived here 8 yrs. How dare you.

VillainHistory – 6:17
@BariStar Sorry.

BariStar – 6:19
But OK, there are tourists in here FREAKING OUT. One’s about to cry. It’s actually hard not to laugh. I’m so mean. Sorry sorry.

Sidekickenvy – 6:20

BariStar – 6:22
There’s a qws12ggggggggggggggggr

BariStar – 6:25
UGH Polarity’s wave ripped my phone out of my hand. Hit the ceiling and now my screen’s cracked! That bitch!!

BariStar – 6:27
Good thing I have villain activity insurance. And my dad said not to bother—LOL.

Havespatulawillomelet – 6:35
@BariStar You disappeared again.

BariStar – 6:36
Had to put my phone away while the magnetic field was screwed up, but it’s good now! The capes are off the train!

Sidekickenvy – 6:37
@BariStar Awesome!

Superinformed – 6:37
@BariStar So what’s happening now?

BariStar – 6:39
Redshift just tied up Polarity in a field between two residential areas. No metal. Plastic cuffs. #YEAHLADYSUPERHEROES #fightover

BariStar – 6:42
OK, made it to my stop. Thx for the company guys.

Sidekickenvy – 6:43
@BariStar Sure thing. Good to hear it worked out.

LunaSam – 6:44
@BariStar This wasn’t as exciting as I wanted it to be.

Private message from: @lotsalattes 6:45

glad ur safe amy, hate to be short staffed

Havespatulawillomelet – 6:45
@BariStar F’ing supervillains! Hope your next commute goes better.

BariStar – 6:49
OMG there’s a guy actually complaining to a station employee. No, really.

BariStar – 6:49

BariStar – 6:51
#tuesdaytrainfight #thankyouredshift #baristastories

Private message to: @SonicSass – 8:04

Okay, Elisa, I’ve had enough time to think it over. Maybe it was the Polarity thing tonight or watching that guy complain about you—your beam fried his tablet so screw you, apparently, even though you saved his life—but I’m done watching lunatics abuse this city just because they can. I don’t want to be one of those people who swear they’re going to move, then find themselves still here 30 years later, broken because one of Doctor Stain’s cyborgs destroyed their house or Omnigalaxis sent a bus full of kids to another dimension.

But I don’t want to run away either. If you’re still looking for someone to team up with you, I’m in. You bring the serum or radioactive bracelet or whatever it is. I’ll bring the costume.

I can be good at this. I know I can.


P.S. Why the hell did you never tell me you changed your codename to Redshift? I felt like an idiot on Patter today.

Vanessa Torline

Vanessa TorlineVanessa Torline is fascinated by many storytelling mediums, but her first love is a book—the kind with pictures and without. As a journalist, she has written about comic books, theatre, animation, and film in addition to news articles. She is currently working on other short stories and a young adult fantasy novel.