Charlie ‘Skid’ Moore ran leisurely in traffic, easily keeping up with the forty mile an hour pace. His bright suit of red shirt and blue pants stood out in the traffic. He’d originally gone for a dark grey and black, thinking it looked cooler, but after four very near misses with hurtling vehicles, he’d opted for a brighter, more visible color combination. While it kept him from more near misses, it also created it’s own problems. People, especially those in the news business, and fanatics on both sides of the ‘superhero’ argument were prone to following him around. It made it hard to enjoy just being himself for the sake of it. Now however, the rush hour traffic made it easy to avoid the newsies and just enjoy running.
Skid accelerated to sixty miles an hour, weaving quickly between cars. The cars honked, with some swerving to avoid the speedster in traffic. Skid grimaced at the noise and prayed that he just hadn’t started a chain reaction wreck, but beyond agitated honking, nothing sounded like a wreck. Thankful, and just a bit tense, Skid took the down ramp and dashed east towards the dockyards. I’ll start patrolling there. The scanner last night said there were a few robberies. Some missing crates and busted loading doors. I can check that. He angled off on to Belcher street, then sped up.
His field of vision narrowed. His eyes started to have trouble registering things closest to him. The ‘tunnel effect’ continued to narrow as he accelerated. God if I could only see stuff around me. That was what had gotten the papers to nickname him ‘Skid’. Early on in his career, he’d tried to use his full speed to catch a van escaping from a convenience store robbery. He was on the van so fast that he barely had time to register the impending collision and darted out of the way. He tripped on steps to a brownstone, then stumbled along the sidewalk, still at high speed.
He’d managed to dodge a couple out for an afternoon stroll, then angled back into the street and stopped running. The skid marks of his melting sneakers as he tried to stop like a comic book hero were over sixty yards long. The van got away by turning on a side street while Charlie had frantically tried to avoid collisions. He learned his lesson after that, staying under sixty miles an hour in moving traffic. He’d accelerate, when he had room, but in a city like Boston, room to run flat out was near impossible to find.
He turned off Belcher, then slowed and turned on Collier. The street ran north and fronted the warehouses that stored good from the ships being serviced at the docks. The pace on the docks and warehouses was frantic. It looked to Charlie like a ant nest that had been kicked open. Cranes were moving cargo off the freighters in large pallets. Another freighter was sliding containers down a ramp to waiting eighteen wheel tractor-trailer flatbeds. The line of trucks waiting for cargo stretched over a quarter mile by his estimate.