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Personal Perspectives
by The Chosen One

*I guess there are some advantages to being Daredevil.*

I dance across the edge of oblivion, daring gravity to claim me, taunting the ground that waits anxiously for me to make that fateful slip, to miss that building's edge. My torso twists as I let my billy club fly, its thin wire grasping a distant flagpole. I know that there are atoms: I can feel them tearing into my face, my chest, my legs. A smile touches my ears.

Twirling into the air, I perch myself at a building's edge, allowing my oh-so-human body a moment of rest. My heart pounds like a jackhammer through my skull, which isn't a very comfortable feeling for most people. It's even more so for someone who can hear a flea sneeze a mile away. I'm used to it though, so I give it little notice.

It's not often that I get the chance to steal a glimpse of the city from up here. It's about this time that some teenagers decide to rob a liquor store, or some wife finally gets fed up with her husband's beatings and ends it with a couple .45's to his chest. Sure, I swing along up here often enough. But I figure it's not too different from when someone's driving their car through the countryside: Sure, you SEE the farms and the fields and the cows, but do you really SEE them? (Though, from what I'm told about them, cows aren't much to brag about seeing.)

I see my city sprawled out before me like a penitent pilgrim, and for a moment my body relaxes. Although, technically, I can't `see' my city. Heck, to be honest, I can't `see' anything. A good deed and a truckload of toxic waste took care of that for me years ago. "No good deed goes unpunished" as a wise man once said. (Boy, he had NO idea.) Actually it's more like I'm 'feeling' my city. It's kind of like... well... actually, I don't know what it's like. I guess you could consider it a radar of sorts, only a little more. I wish I could describe it better, but I can't. It'd be like asking someone with normal vision to describe how they're seeing that cow. Or, for those of you who associate better with things from pop culture, it's like asking someone why they like Apple Jacks (when they CLEARLY don't taste like apples).

So basically I got hit with radioactive material, went blind but got cool 'radar vision'. In short, I exchanged one sense for something similar. Plus all my other senses beefed up, though whether it's because of the toxic waste or because they're overcompensating for my lack of vision I'll never know. Having `super senses' can be cool sometimes, but not nearly as cool as some people would think. For instance, while I can hear the distinct heart tremor of a gunman sneaking up on me from fifty yards away, I can also hear Mr. Johnson fart from here (and he lives on Main Street). Somehow I can't help but think I got gypped in the super powers department (but I guess not everyone can get bit by a radioactive spider, now can they?)

I inhale the air around me: Gradually increasing humidity from the Gulf Coast perfume the down-flowing winds from Canada, both of which are percolating with Ben Grimm's digesting supreme bean burrito meal (no wonder the Fantastic Four keep Human Torch around). A rush of heat smacks my face: There's a fire two miles southwest from here. It's nothing big, just a small attic fire, probably sparked by bad electrical wire. The sound of cursing and the scent of steam is clear enough indication that the home owner found the flames and is taking steps to remedy the situation.

I gulp in a chest full of winter air. I can no longer feel my legs throb or hear my shoulders scream, so I guess I've given my body enough time to rest. Spreading my arms out, I lean back and let gravity take over. For a brief moment it feels like I'm floating, though in reality I'm falling faster than David Arquette's career. I can actually feel the ground rushing up from behind me (that nifty 'radar sense' at work), and in my mind I create a grainy image of black pavement and rusty dumpsters and stray cats and loose paper. Not wanting to add a messy red smear to this back-alley tapestry I shift my weight towards my head, altering my position to the point where, instead of falling with my back facing the round, I'm falling head-first: MUCH better.

I relax my grip on my billy club, letting its hooked end slacken. It hovers in the air with me, its velocity matching my own, until its J-shaped end snags something hard and metal: A flagpole. I kick the building with the heel of my foot just before the line goes taut, altering my trajectory just enough so that, instead of snapping back (and most likely tearing my arms out from their sockets) I swing like an urban Tarzan, barely grazing the ground with my gluteus maximus and launching back up towards the stars. With a disciplined flick of the wrist my weapon becomes unsnagged, retracting back into itself as I let another line free. It's a midnight tango I've danced too often, to a tune I can never let go.

Under my breath I thank whatever deity there is watching above that this is a quiet night. Times like these, where the economy stinks to all Hell and people are so frightened and confused by what's going on in the world that they don't know up from down, you learn to appreciate some quiet time to collect your thoughts.

No sooner do I utter these silent words than something happens. You'd THINK I would've learned to keep my big mouth shut. I lean my head towards the direction of the disturbance, reaching out with my senses:

Sounds: Gun shots. Screams. Broken glass and soft rubber chaffing against concrete. Squeaky laugher.

Smells: Gun power. Hot lead. Prepubescent hormones. Fresh blood. Singed flesh. Human tears. Right Guard.

Tastes: Stale bread. Salt water. Burnt pastries. Rotted bologna. Cat hairs.

Feelings: Cold winter winds blowing in from the Manhattan River. The heat of a thousand automobiles rising from the canyon below. Vibrations from nearby electrical wires. The sound waves of a million different voices over a million miles.

Sight: Black; Pure, untainted.

I thrust my knees into my stomach, rolling downwards like a cannonball. I clutch my wires, putting all my weight and all my trust into their mercy. My thoughts become steel, my priorities set. Innocents are in danger.

Reaching back, I give my city one last 'look', and contemplate cows.

My body merges with the shadows of the city, and I am gone.

Like the devil into the flames of Hell.

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