(This story takes place in a possible dystopian future)
The sound of sirens and screams filled the air. Everywhere you turned there was complete and utter chaos as people struggled to get away. Men and women, some armed with batons, others with handguns began to pursue those who were foolish enough to try and run. Some were even dumb enough to fight back. A tall burly man with receding blonde hair picked up a piece of rebar and swung it at a woman with a pistol. He was the first of many that would die as the woman shot him twice in the head in rapid succession. One younger boy tripped while trying to run away, and was met with a volley of batons from three armed men. Across the street from the pandemonium stood a young man with dark brown hair and lightly tanned skin. He watched with horror as these armed men and women pursued their prey like lions hunting gazelles. He had the power to help at least some people, but the cost was too great he thought. Instead like a coward he stood and watched while men and women, boys and girls all pleaded for mercy from their assailants. But these assailants weren't simple criminals or villains. They were representatives of the government. Police and armed guards that were sent to stop a pro super rally. The rally was a feeble attempt to try and show support for super powered individuals and to show the government that they were vital in bringing peace to all. But this government didn't listen. Instead they used violence to break up the rally and beat or kill those that resisted. The ones that surrendered would be arrested and taken away to a private location. It was doubtful they'd ever be seen again. The young man was fortunate enough to not take part in the rally, but unfortunate in that he had to helplessly watch while innocent people were struck down. He could help the situation, or die trying. There was a time before things got this bad where he would have fought back to support the people being assaulted. But how could he fight the police? How could he help with out revealing he was different? So like a coward, he simply turned and walked away. The sounds of sirens and screams still filling the air.
Daniel awoke in a cold sweat and was panting like a dog. He looked around confused before grabbing a glass of water on the table next to him. The water was warm now, but he didn't care. His throat was dry and he drank it all quickly before setting the empty glass back on the table. He shook his head and wiped the sweat from his brow. "Damn it..." He muttered to himself before laying back down on the couch. He stared at the ceiling for what seemed like hours. Sleeping was always something he hated since gaining his abilities. After all, what good is being able to move quickly when you are asleep? Even though he couldn't run fast like before, he still hated it. Although for a different reason now. Before it was the fear of being as slow as everyone else. Now it was the dreams. But they weren't just dreams, they were memories. Memories from years ago when things first started to change. Unfortunately, he had to sleep. As much as he tried to stay awake for days at a time, the Sandman always seemed to catch up to him. It was a losing battle, not unlike the current situation he was in. Suddenly there was a light knock on the door. Daniel sat back up and looked to the door. "Come in Shiori" The door opened slowly and standing in the doorway was a smiling young woman. "How did you know it was me Danny?" She perked a brow before flicking on the light. The bulb was dull, but it still allowed the two to see each other. Daniel looked unamused and crossed his arms. "Daniel. And I knew it was you because you knock like an old lady." Shiori giggled slightly at the remark before stepping into the room. She was a pleasant looking woman. Probably even considered attractive, although not so much to Daniel. He looked at her like a sister really. Daniel sat up more and uncrossed his arms. "So, what's up?" Shiori walked over and sat on the couch next to Daniel. She gently brushed a few strands of hair from her forehead and smiled at Daniel. "Well, I have a surprise for you! I was going to tell you in the morning, but I couldn't wait."
Daniel raised a brow before shaking his head. He let out a light sigh as he glared at Shiori. "You know I don't like gifts Shiori. You and your dad already do so much for me." Shiori continued smiling and shook her head in response. Daniel could tell from the look in her eyes that she really wanted to tell him what the present was, but he didn't want to know. He didn't want anything more from her or her father. They were good people already. They took care of Daniel. Gave him a place to stay rent free, gave him food, clothes, and most importantly, they gave him company. Without them he didn't want to think about where he'd be. But he knew. He'd either be rotting in a cell, dead or maybe worse. Daniel still didn't like the idea of them hiding him, as they could get into serious trouble. But what could he do? He had one leg and zero other options. Plus he doesn't really like to argue. Shiori, still smiling as always, looked at him intensely. Daniel rolled his eyes and shook his head. A small smile formed on his face before he spoke. "Okay okay. I can tell you really want to tell me what it is, so go ahead." Shiori stood up so fast that Daniel thought she'd get whiplash. She quickly and quietly shuffled across the floor and exited Daniel's room. Daniel sighed as he thought about what it could be. Knowing her it was probably an 'I heart Shiori' T-Shirt or something. Maybe it was fresh muffins or cookies. She did like to bake after all. She always seemed so happy. No matter what was happening in the world around her, she stayed optimistic. Daniel both admired and disliked that quality about her. Being so naive was dangerous. Especially these days. But there was nothing he could say to change that about her. Maybe the world still needs people like her. Dreamers.
Moments later, Shiori appeared again in the doorway smiling. "Are you ready for your surprise?" She was clearly excited to show Daniel the gift. Hell, she was bouncing like a rabbit in anticipation. Letting out another sigh, he gave a slight nod. "Okay. Ta-dah!" She reached behind her and pulled out a tall gold and grey mechanical leg. Daniel looked stunned as his jaw dropped. "What the Hell?" That was all he could say. Shiori lifted the robotic limb almost effortlessly and walked over to Daniel. "Surprise!" Daniel inspected the prosthesis carefully. It looked brand new, at least compared to his current mechanical leg. It seemed much sleeker and high-tech, but what really drew his eye was the foot. It had an actual metallic foot, rather than the awkward ball that his current leg had. He shook his head in disbelief and shock. He stared at Shiori and scowled. "Shiori, how much did this cost exactly?" He swallowed hard preparing to hear a high price. Shiori scoffed and shook her head. "Don't worry about it. I've been saving up and working on it for a while now." Daniel laid his face in his hands before lifting his head back up and speaking. "Why didn't you tell me about this sooner?" She smiled and tilted her head and brushed a few strands of hair from her face. "Duh, I wanted it to be a surprise. Plus you would've just told me not to do it anyway." Daniel scowled again and shook his head. "You're damn right I would've said not to! What's the point of having a new leg if I can't leave here anyway?" Shiori rolled her eyes and giggled. "That's the great thing about this leg. You can actually run with it. Think about it." Daniel jaw dropped once more as he pondered what she said. A strange feeling came to him as he smiled. A feeling of joy.