Dust kicked up behind Kimmy as she raced across the desert. The hot air ripped through her long black hair, sending it trailing behind the rest of her.
At the moment, she was pushing Mach 1. So far, it was the fastest she could go, but she got faster every day.
Right now, though, she was just happy to be running. And not just running for fun. She was in training!
I still can’t believe I’m going to be a legit superhero, she thought.
It had been only weeks ago that she had been contacted by the Academy of Super Heroes. Word had spread fast of the mysterious blur that had stopped a bank robbery in its tracks. The Academy had figured out that that blur was actually a high school sophomore who had only recently discovered her abilities, and decided to put them to good use.
Her parents had been really proud, which was kind of weird. They weren’t even angry she hadn’t told them about her powers. Heck, they hadn’t even hesitated in agreeing that she should go to the Academy, even though it meant sending her away to a school full of other super-kids, where she would be risking her young life to fight crime, both of the average and supervillainous variety.
Not that I’m nervous, she thought. But I would’ve thought Mom and Dad would be a bit more opposed to their little Kimmy going off to super-school.
Kimmy began to slow down. 600 miles per hour . . . 500 . . . 400. She continued to slow down as she got closer to her destination: Death Valley National Park. She saw a small group of people on one of the many hills and coasted over to them.
The group was made up of ten people. Nine of them were other kids, around her age. The youngest was maybe thirteen, the oldest about eighteen.
The last person was not at all her age. He had gray hair and a weariness on his face and in his muscles that only came from years of experience. This was Coach Ackerman, ex-super-heroic-speedster, current gym coach.
Well. Not so much, gym coach. More speed trainer.
Or “a really fast Yoda,” as Kimmy referred to him when she was sure he wasn’t around. It was his job to train all the students with super-speed abilities.
“Fong.” Coach Ackerman grumbled, “You’re late.”
“Sorry, Coach,” she chirped. “I got held up somewhere in Kansas . . . or maybe Colorado? I’m not really sure. There was all this civilian traffic, so I had to go into the wilderness, but then I got lost ’cause my GPS wasn’t really working right and I almost went north by accident but I didn’t and I kept heading west – ”
Kimmy stopped when she noticed the confusion on some of the other kids faces.
“What – ” she began, but the coach cut her off.
“You’re talking at super-speed. Again,” the coach admonished. “Show a little restraint, Fong.”
Kimmy nodded her understanding. Was I seriously talking at super-speed? she wondered. Well, I mean, of course I was. Everyone else heard it, but how did I not notice? I notice when I move fast. Is it different?
Kimmy shook her head violently. No time to get lost in thought. Then she noticed that no one had moved. Coach’s mouth was hung wide open, like he was taking an extremely long sigh. She had been thinking and moving at super-speed. With a grin, she willed her body to slow down again.
Coach growled. “First exercise of the day is suicides. Use the state lines. Once you go coast-to-coast, get up to Alaska. I’ll be waiting.”
Several of the trainees groaned, but were quickly silenced by the coach’s glare.
“And Fong,” the coach barked, “wipe that smirk off your face. This isn’t JV cross-country. We’re training you to be heroes, so you better act like it!”
Kimmy stopped smiling. So did all the other trainees. Coach Ackerman wasn’t fun when he was in a good mood. In a bad mood, he was liable to have you run to China backwards.
“Now all of you, line up!” he shouted.
His students complied instantly. Literally instantly, on account of the super-speed.
“On your marks!” Coach shouted.
Kimmy crouched in the starting stance, pushing all thoughts from her mind. It was time to run.
She could feel the speed beginning to fill her body. She smiled.
“GO!” Coach bellowed.
With an enthusiastic whoop, Kimmy took off toward Nevada.