Melissa stood in the bedroom of her house in the suburbs of San Diego. It had become a pretty desolate place recently, thanks in no small part to her job. Almost everything was coated in dust. Still, she managed to make herself comfortable when she had some time off, and tonight, she was doing something even rarer for her than sleeping in her own bed, hanging out with a friend. She finished buttoning up her white dress shirt and pulled on her shoulder holster, double checking that her gun was loaded. It wasn't just part of her job description that she was always prepared. She threw on a brown leather jacket and sat down at the foot of the bed, lacing up her black Converse sneakers.
Her cell phone began rattling on the nightstand and she sprung for it, answering before it tolled twice. "Hello?" she said.
"Yes, sir..." her smile gradually began to drift away, "But we aren't scheduled to ship out again for another week... Tomorrow... Yes, sir, very good." She hung up and sighed, running her fingers through her scraggly blonde hair. Sometimes, she wondered if her job was really worth it, if the long hours, the strained social life, and the ever-growing collection of scars were really worth it. Hell, the only real relationship she'd had, all the way back to when she was in the CIA, was with a superhero who couldn't even spend the night with her without sending himself on a guilt trip about neglecting his responsibilities. No matter how much he cared about her, she would always come in second to his mission. Still, for wall the madness, exhaustion, loneliness, and almost being eaten alive on a regular basis, she wouldn't miss it for the world. She got to live her fantasy every day, or the closest thing to it without being bitten by a radioactive something-or-other. Every day, she was in the middle of the action, at the heart of a world inhabited by real life, honest to god, super heroes. And villains, unfortunately. Not to mention, if she didn't have this job, she would never have met Amelia.
The Gaslamp District
Melissa entered the crowded bar as the sun was just starting to set. For some reason, she always felt tempted to kick open the door when entering a bar, probably because she watched so many westerns growing up. The gun strapped under her arm didn't help to quell the urge. She took a few steps inside and scanned the room, straining her eyes to make out individual faces in the dim red light. She liked this bar. Drinks were cheap...ish, and they didn't play crap on the juke box. But good god, did the lighting screw with her eyes. Maybe she was early. Where was Amelia hiding?