The Drop-Off

“It’s over, Grosbek!” Kestrel’s voice boomed through the sky.

“Not while I still live,” I cried. “And you die!”

It was a sub-par line - far from my best work - but I had more pressing concerns, like making the drop-off.

My archnemesis Kestrel, the hero of Falcon’s Point, streaking across the sky in his brown and white costume. I braced for his impact in midair, my long cape falling just above the rocket boots which kept me suspended seventy feet into the air.

The sleek skyline of the city sprawled out before us. Several news choppers and at least one police helicopter buzzed around us. We had an audience, it seemed. That always made things interesting. 

A second later, he crashed headlong into me. 

“Stealing money from an orphanage is low,” he said as he slammed his fist into my jaw. “Even for you. What’s next? Stealing candy from a baby?”

I shrugged in midair.

“Kids shouldn’t have that much sugar,” I replied. “Trust me. They’ll thank me later.”

“You’re sick,” he said as he swooped in for another blow, the pointed beak of his hawk-shaped mask grazing me in the shoulder. I grunted in pain before grabbing hold of his cape, twisting his anti-gravity device in the process.

“And you’re dead,” I said as we both plummeted towards the earth at high speeds.

The drop-off was finally in reach. 

Until Kestrel kicked me in the stomach in mid-fall. Briefly flabbergasted, I stumbled back in midair before catching my balance once my rocket boots kicked in. I stood, now sixty stories up, and looked out to see a familiar news chopper buzz by. The side door of the helicopter had slid open, as a slim woman with long brown hair held a microphone, with a cameraman also kneeling down by her hip to capture the action.

He’s showing off for her again.

I sighed.

This was supposed to be a simple drop-off, not a full-on fight. 

When I turned back, Kestrel had regained his anti-grav capabilities and was soaring through the sky, circling me once again. I rolled my eyes as the fight began once more.

Kestrel launched two sharp bladed projectiles at me. He expected me to dodge or deflect them. Instead, I barrelled right into them, letting them pierce both of my shoulders. I grunted in pain as I rushed towards him. I’d patch myself up after this fight, This was too important an opportunity to waste.

I crashed into him, using the two blades now lodged into each of my shoulders as effective barriers for further attacks. Kestrel definitely wasn’t expecting my crazy suicide dive as we both plummeted to the ground. He tried to block me, but our mutual death spiral made it hard for him to get much purchase, especially as the G-Forces began to take hold. I reached for his utility belt on his waste.

“Don’t make this weird, man,” Kestrel said through gritted teeth. “She’s watching.”

I completed the drop-off and kicked off Kestrel with immense satisfaction, returning the blow to his stomach. I heard Kestrel grunt on the way down. That brought a smile to my face.

I watched as my arch-nemesis plummeted to the ground with increasing speed. For a moment, I worried I might have kicked him too hard. I glanced up to see his girlfriend in the chopper clutching the necklace on her chest as she watched him fall, her eyes wide with fear.

“C’mon, don’t do this to me, pal,” I said to myself. 

In the last moment, Kestrel managed to pull up, rebounded into the sky just inches away from the sky. I did my best to appear shocked, and then turned and swung my rocket boots into high gear. Kestrel was already gained in me, spinning towards me like a corkscrew. 

He collided with me, knocking the ill-gotten gains from the orphanages out of my cape. My rocket boots sputtered black from the impact as I began to fall towards the ground, only for Kestral to grab me by the cape. My hand grasped a rip-cord on my cape, cutting it from my costume like a faulty parachute as I sputtered away.

“Curse you Kestrel!” I said as I retreated back to my lair.


It’s all over the news. Kestrel thwarts Grospek’s attempt to rob an orphanage. Fortunately, the drop-off worked. Within a few days, the news breaks that Kestrel finding out the orphanage was a front for several cartels. It’s soon dominating the airwaves.

“Cutting a little close there, pal,” I told Kestrel over a secure line.

“Yeah, well, you didn’t have to kick me so hard,” Kestrel’s voice comes through the com.

“Likewise,” I tell Kestrel. 

“Guess I got carried away,” my archnemesis says. “Until next time, bro. Thanks for your help.”

“Anytime,” I replied.

I turned back to my rocket boots, dissected on the table, and begin tinkering on them. Maybe one day I’ll actually manage to outfly Kestrel.

Until then he needs all the help he can get.

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