The reporters launched themselves at her, but beyond them she spotted the young children who were among the hostages. They were understandably shaken, had more than a few tears among them, but they all studied her with total fascination. And Miranda understood—only one force could prevent this horrible situation from being purely traumatic. Well, perhaps two, but Fantastic Man was still busy with the police.
Miranda hopped over the press and slowly descended near the families. She focused all eye contact at kid level and boosted her enthusiasm.
“Hey, kids! I wanted to thank you all for being so brave in there. I was so impressed.”
Two boys and two girls, all elementary age, detached from their respective parental units and rushed at her. No hesitation, no fear. The tears dried up, and they let her know exactly what they thought of her.
“That was so cool how you bent that gun!”
“You are like the fastest person ever!” The boy flung his hands every which way in his best imitation of super-speed. “You were all zoom, zoom, zoom!”
“You’re really short,” another observed.
Miranda laughed. “You see, what happened is when I was your age, I ate my fruits but not my vegetables. So I grew up strong, but not big. If only I had eaten those vegetables, too!” She shook her fist in a show of lamentation.
The kids giggled.
“You’re awesome, Ultra Girl!”
“How’d you become Ultra Girl?”
“Ultra Girl, how do you fly?”
“I like your hair, Ultra Girl.”
The barrage persisted, and the kids were absolutely certain that her name was Ultra Girl. They liked it, even. Why did they have to like it?
The reporters had formed a semicircle around them. Cameras recorded everything.
If Miranda was going to correct the record on her superhero name, this would be her best opportunity, her only opportunity. The cement was drying.
“Hold on a second, kids,” she said patiently.
The kids fell silent, leaning forward to catch her next words. The reporters were doing the same.
“We’ve got to get something straight here,” she continued. “I’m not Ultra Girl. I’m Ultra Woman.”
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