Episode 7: HawkMoth

Bee:

It’s the Beacon.

Music: Intro selection.

Sound Effect: Keycard swipe.

Sound Effect: Beep.

Bee:

So, uh…Nelson Hall, huh?

Hawk:

Home sweet home.

Bee:

It’s not exactly the secret lair I was expecting.

Hawk:

Well, the lair’s next on the list.  Gotta start small with these things, y’know? Hero name, then costume, then butler, then secret lair.

Sound Effect: Distant chatter.

Bee:

Hey, aren’t you worried about anyone seeing you in your costume?

Hawk:

Not really.  I mean, with my hoodie on and the mask off, it just looks like I’m wearing some sweet leggings, right?

Bee:

I…I guess that works.

Sound Effect: Footsteps in hallway.

Hawk:

Hey, you seem like you know your way around here already.

Bee:

Well, I lived here last year when I was a first-year.  Fourth floor. The most miserable stair climb in the world when you need to do laundry.

Hawk:

Hey, I’m on the fourth floor too!

Bee:

Oh…lovely.

Distance/Volume: Quietly, aside.

Bee:

As if this night hasn’t been miserable enough already.

Transition: Fade.

Hawk:

And here we are!  Good ol’ 429.

Actor Sound: Bee breathes heavily.

Bee:

Oh…hey…it’s right next…to my old room.

Hawk:

Oh neat!  Well, welcome in!  Take a seat, make yourself comfortable!

Sound Effect: Stepping on crumpled paper.

Bee:

Umm, is there somewhere I should…anywhere I shouldn’t…umm…

Hawk:

Oh, uhh, yeah.  Let me just scoot away some of these comics, and you can just step on the paper—if it’s on the floor, it’s not important—and uh, don’t touch any of the fabric.  I’ll take care of it. And I’m sure we have a chair in here somewhere…

Bee:

Boy, you sure have a…busy room here.

Hawk:

Well, yeah, busy life!  Y’know, I’ve got classes, I got orchestra, I got ballroom, I got the end of semester production for my theatre major, and of course, I gotta keep up with my comics!

Bee:

You certainly appear to.

Hawk:

And of course, now I got practice with my own superpowers to take up my time, so I haven’t even been able to clean up for weeks now!

Bee:

Your superpower—you mean your superspeed?

Hawk:

Superspeedy, that’s me!  Yep, yep, yep!

Bee:

If you have superspeed, can you, maybe, clean your room super-fast?

Hawk:

Um, I tried that?  Yeah, and it does not go as well as it does in the cartoons.  As fast as I go, I basically can’t stop keep myself from running into walls when I try to superspeed around a space this small.  Plus, you still have to take the time to decide where everything is going and store it neatly and it’s all kind of a moot point if you still don’t have enough room for all your stuff.  Ah, here’s the chair!

Bee:

Um, thanks.

Sound Effect: Red chair crunch.

Bee:

So…Hawk, was it?

Hawk:

Technically, The Hawk, but Hawk is fine for casual conversation.  You know, I actually picked that because of the animal thing on your show!  Do you know how hard it is to pick just one superhero alias? There’s like a million possibilities and most of the good ones are already taken.  Especially for speedsters. So I just went with a fast animal cause of your suggestion!

Bee:

I would’ve thought for fast animals, “The Cheetah” would’ve come to mind before “The Hawk.”

Hawk:

Well, it did, but apparently “cheetah spots are way too garish!”  So, Hawk it is!

Bee:

Hm.  Okay then.  Also, sorry, this may be kind of weird and abrupt to say, but you seem amazingly not freaked out about all this.

Hawk:

Whaddya mean?

Bee:

Well, I mean, with no context, you just punched the crap out of a giant monster in the woods that was attacking someone who turned out to be a podcaster you listen to that tells you you’re not the only person in the world with powers like yours.  How does that not freak you out? I would be freaking out so much! Actually, I still kind of am!

Hawk:

Wow, you really do that a lot.  Just like in the podcast!

Bee:

And why were you in the woods dressed up in some sort of spandex Hawk suit in the first place?

Hawk:

Oh.  I’m out there pretty much every night.  And duh, I thought the costume made it obvious!  I’m a superhero! Doot do-do dooo!

Bee:

…Yeah, okay.

Hawk:

I mean, that’s what you do if you’re a good person who gets superpowers, right?  You use ‘em to protect people and fight evil. So ever since I got my powers, I’ve been trying to patrol at night and help people in danger.

Bee:

Wait, so, had you seen the luptile before?

Hawk:

Luptile?  What’s - oh, like lupine reptile?  Like, the wolf-lizard?

Bee:

Yes!  See? You get it!  Portmanteaus are great.

Hawk:

I know!  Also, no.  I hadn’t seen it before.  Otherwise, I would’ve already known I was in the same place as you and—

Actor Noise: Hawk gasps in astonishment.

Hawk:

Capy and Newt!  Ooh, this means they’re here too!  We can have a whole super squad! Well, Newt might take more convincing since he seemed so sour in his episode.  But have you talked to Capy again?

Bee:

Yeah, that was last epis—oh, actually, I guess that hasn’t happened in the show yet.  But I guess I have at least two episodes worth of content now. Not bad for one night.  Even if I did have to almost die to get it.

Actor Sound: Hawk gasps loudly.

Hawk:

I just realized.

Bee:

What?  What is it?

Hawk:

I just realized I can get spoilers on your show.  And behind the scenes. I am the content now.

Bee:

And that’s very cool and all but, um, you really don’t want my BTS.  It’s mostly just me double checking that I’m recording and then dropping the recorder.

Hawk:

No, this is cool.

Sound Effect: Bouncing on spring mattress.

Hawk:

This is so cool.

Sound Effect: Bouncing on spring mattress faster.

Hawk:

I fought a monster and I’m getting a super team and I got to meet a podcaster in real life all in one night!  Ahhh! This is the best night ever! Ahhh!

Bee:

Hawk, calm down, please, you’re gonna—

Sound Effect: Key unlocking door.

Bee:

Oh no.

Sound Effect: Dorm door opens.

Moth:

Hey, I’m home…

Silent beat.

Hawk:

Oh, hey—

Bee:

Oh heyyyy, uh, roommate of Hahhhhers?  I’m, uh, Bee. Like, short for……Beatrisk.  Not like the insect. What? Here for completely normal reasons.  Also your roommate isn’t wearing a su-hu-perhero costume or anything!  No, because that would be weird, right?

Moth:

…Hawk?

Hawk:

Wow Bee, that was tremendously terrible.  Also, you don’t gotta lie around Moth.

Bee:

Moth?

Hawk:

That’s her codename.  Don’t worry, she’s in on all of it!  She’s the one who made my super awesome costume!

Bee:

What.

Moth:

Hey.

Hawk:

Moth, this is Bee!  She does The Beacon!  Apparently she was here at our school the whole time.  Oh! And I fought the wolf thing! How cool is that?

Actor Sound: Moth sighs heavily, resignedly.

Moth:

This is going to be a whole other thing now, isn’t it?

Hawk:

Sure is, buddy!

Moth:

I’ll make some tea.

Hawk:

You don’t have to—

Moth:

I’m making.  Tea.

Hawk:

Ooo-kay!  Thanks, Moth!  So Bee, whaddya wanna—

Bee:

You told her?  You told your roommate everything about our powers and-and-and everything?

Hawk:

Well, yeah!  Every Batman needs their Alfred.  Plus, I needed to explain why I needed the costume.  Moth is super great at making costumes. She actually does commissions for cosplayers.  Right, Moth?

Sound Effect: Water bubbling in electric kettle.

Hawk:

Moth says yes.

Bee:

But I still don’t understand.  You could’ve made so many excuses.  Made up so many lies. And after all the times on my show I said I absolutely could not tell anyone else about my powers for real, I don’t understand how you could just tell your roommate.

Hawk:

Yeah, I kind of get the feeling we’re pretty different kinds of people, because I really didn’t get at all why you kept saying that.

Bee:

Wait, what?

Hawk:

I mean, you can get where I’m coming front, right?  Like, isn’t the most frustrating part of the superhero movie always when they’re struggling between keeping up their regular life and hiding their secret identity and you’re just shouting at the screenlike, “Just tell them!  Your life would be a billion times easier if you just told them you can’t make it to dinner because you have to save a bus full of orphans!” Why can’t we just cut that whole annoying secrecy bit out? It worked for Iron Man!

Bee:

Okay, first of all, Iron Man is fictional, so it only worked out for him because the writers made it work.  Secondly, Iron Man was a smart guy in a supersuit. He didn’t spontaneously manifest supernatural abilities.  When we tell people about our powers, we’re asking them to accept that there is a whole different reality to the world, and we’re making ourselves the subjects or—or the targets for them to try to understand that reality through.  So do you see why sharing this with the people scares me so much?

Hawk:

I mean, yeah, I guess.  You’re worried they’re gonna go all mutant registration on us or something?  Which I might be worried about too except for the fact that Moth was totally cool when I told her.

Moth:

Tea.

Bee:

Oh.  Thank you.

Hawk:

Thanks, Mothra!

Moth:

Mm-hm.

Bee:

Wait, Moth, can I ask—are—were you really just fine with your roommate telling you she has superspeed?  That didn’t freak you out or bother you or anything?

Moth:

You mean, did it bother me in an existential sense to have my idea of what a human can do shattered by my roommate showing me she could retrieve a rock from 10 miles away in less than a minute?  Yeah. Enough to make me actually do anything about it? Not so much.

Hawk:

See?  Totally cool.

Moth:

Can I get back to work now?  I need to finish that fem!Roadhog tank before AniMarch.

Hawk:

Go at it, girl.  Oh hey, are you gonna finish your—

Moth:

Mm.  My tea.

Hawk:

Oo-kay.

Bee:

Hawk, it’s nice that your roommate accepts you and all, but I just don’t think everyone would react like her.  Not everyone is quite so—so—

Hawk:

So taxed by the demands of cosplayers seeking extravagant costumes that the only rest she can look forward to is the sweet embrace of the void?

Bee:

I was going to say tired.

Hawk:

Yeah, that too.

Bee:

And I’m saying that there’s got to be so many other people out there, people not like Moth, who could hate us.  Fear us. Want to know how we work.

Hawk:

Yeah, I get that, and I’m not saying we have to tell the whole world at once.  But what about your roommate?

Bee:

…What about her?

Hawk:

Well, I’m just saying, if she was the one who came out with these powers, would you hate her?

Bee:

No, of course not!  She’s—she’s my friend.

Hawk:

So, do you actually think she would hate you?

Bee:

I-I don’t know.  Maybe not hate, but I don’t think she’d love it.

Hawk:

Really?  She seemed so nice on your show.  She bought you a mocha!

Bee:

And she is nice, honestly!  But it’s kind of just…me. As a person.  I mean, I just, I want people’s first impression of…whatever we are…to be something good not...not someone who can’t even figure her own powers out and has to um and aw her way through every conversation.

Hawk:

Ohhhh, so is that why you’ve been trying to get Newt and Capy to step up?  So you don’t have to be first contact with the normies?

Bee:

I mean, not entirely.  There’s also still the luptile.  That’s the biggest concern right now.  I really do need other people to help me fight it.  But yes, it would be nice if I could find someone to be the voice of our…us.  And I’m not saying that just because I don’t want the responsibility! I just think, it would be for the best of everyone if we had someone...better to stand up for us.

Hawk:

Well, say no more, miss!  Because I, great hero The Hawk will vanquish the beast and stand up for the us!

Bee:

Wait, really?  You—you’ll fight the luptile, if it comes to that?

Hawk:

Hell yes I will!  Honestly, I’m glad this thing showed up.  I was starting to feel a little silly just running around there in the dark with nothing to do and no one to save.  Like, seriously, you’d think at least someone would get held up at knife point once in a while.

Bee:

Ohh, this is such a relief.  I thought I’d never find anyone to work with.  And I will work with you as well as I can, to make sure this thing gets taken care of and we can move on with trying to figure out our powers.  But you should know, it looks like it’s still going to be just on us, unless we can find anyone else. I don’t think Capy and Newt are going to help.

Hawk:

Never fear, fair citizen!  For I—

Moth:

What did we say about using the hero voice indoors?

Hawk:

I’ll put a dollar in the jar later!  Anyway, yeah, I bet I can get them in on this too.

Bee:

Really?  Cause it kind of seemed like a hard no from both of them.  You haven’t even heard Capy’s episode yet, but it was—it was bad.  I don’t think she and Newt are going to want anything to do with our little movement because they’ve both got bigger plans for their futures that apparently “don’t involve getting eaten by a giant wolf monster.”

Hawk:

Well, maybe that’s what they said, but frankly, I don’t think what they want matters all that much right now.  One way or another, we’re gonna get them there.

Bee:

What’s...that supposed to mean?

Hawk:

I mean, it’s another stupid hero trope that I think a lot of origin stories would be a lot better off without.  The whole “reluctant hero” thing. We all know they’re gonna end up saving the the city or the world or whatever, and we could all have a lot more time for cool fights in the middle if they didn’t spend so much time in the beginning hemming and hawing over whether they really have to use their powers for not-selfish reasons.

Bee:

Okay, well, first of all, I think the reluctant hero trope can add to the narrative tremendously when used effectively, and regardless of that, we’re talking about real people here.  This isn’t just some story we get to rewrite because we don’t like someone else’s interpretation. If Newt and Capy don’t want to fight, then we can’t make them.

Hawk:

Maybe we can’t make them.  But we can push them.

Bee:

I...I don’t think I like the sound of that.  Um, maybe I should—

Hawk:

Wait, hold on.  Just think about it.  You’re the one who’s been saying how much people are going to be hurt if we don’t stop the luptile.  We’re responsible for this stuff! Isn’t it worth giving those guys a push into doing what they’re supposed to do if it saves other people?

Bee:

I...maybe.  I don’t know.

Hawk:

Just think about Uncle Ben!  Think about how Uncle Ben would still be alive if Spider-Man had just gotten his shit together in the first act!

Bee:

I don’t know if that’s true...

Hawk:

Hey Mothra, help me out here.  What am I trying to say?

Actor Sound: Moth sighs.

Sound Effect: Rolly chair over wood floor.

Moth:

You’re trying to figure out if it’s right to make people do stuff they don’t want to do if it’s for the greater good, right?

Bee:

Stuff they don’t want to do that could get them killed!  It’s more complicated than just “don’t want to.”

Moth:

Maybe.  Maybe not.  It’s just a matter of whether you think whether people with power should be responsible for what happens to people who don’t.

Bee:

I mean, I..I think they should at least have a choice—

Moth:

Then you think everyone has the choice to abandon everyone else.

Bee:

Well, no, but—

Moth:

Say Hawk and I are working backstage on a theater production.  Something goes wrong with the rigging and a heavy set piece starts falling towards me.  Hawk is 20 feet away. With her superspeed, she could rush me out of the way. She knows very well that this could expose her superpower to everyone else working on the project.  She also knows she could be hurt in attempting to rescue me. Still, the risk of what could happen to her is significantly less than what will happen to me if the set piece hits me.  Do you believe Hawk has a responsibility to at least try to save me?

Bee:

I—

Moth:

Would you blame her if something happened to me and she did nothing?

Bee:

I—I don’t know...Maybe. But—

Moth:

Would you blame yourself if you could’ve said something to her that would’ve convinced her it was worth the risk, but you held it back because you didn’t want to make her uncomfortable?

Bee:

...Yeah.  I probably would.

Moth:

...There you go.

Sound Effect: Rolly chair over wood floor.

Hawk:

Thanks Moth!  You always get what I’m trying to say.  So what do you say? Are you in on our Avengers Initiative?

Bee:

I...would still need a little time to think about it.  And do you really think you could even get Newt and Capy to agree?

Hawk:

Trust me.  If I know anything about superheroes, I know that they A) fight evil and B) bring people together.  I just need to have a few words to help ‘em see what roles we have to play here.

Bee:

Well, I’m glad you at least seem confident.  You seem to have a much better handle on this whole powers and being heroic thing than I do.

Hawk:

Well, the superspeed definitely helps with that.  Gotta go fast, y’know?

Distance/Volume: Bee speaks quietly, in horror.

Bee:

Oh god.

Hawk:

Besides, you’ve been super helpful too in sniffing us all out like this.  I don’t think I’d be out there heroing it up if it wasn’t for your show telling me to keep at it.

Bee:

Wait, really?  My show actually helped someone?  

Actor Sound: Bee laughs incredulously.

Well, that’s nice to hear.  It feels more and more lately like I’m just talking into my own tin can.

Hawk:

Come on, give yourself more credit than that.  Maybe you’re not Iron Man, but you’re at least, like, Phil Coulson.

Bee:

Doesn’t he die?

Hawk:

Not in the TV universe.

Bee:

I’m pretty sure he dies then too.

Hawk:

Yeah, but then he Jesuses it up and comes back!

Bee:

Either way, I think I’d be happy if we all managed to get together on something, even if it’s not fighting the luptile.

Hawk:

Yeah, man!  Like our own—our own—say, are you more Avengers or Justice League?

Bee:

I think I’m more Justice Friends.

Hawk:

Hey, are you gonna finish your tea?

Moth:

Don’t give it to her.  It’s caffeinated.

Bee:

Oh god, I really should not be drinking this then.

Hawk:

Haha, score!

Moth:

Hawk, no!

Hawk:

Hawk, yes!

Bee:

And, um, listeners, Hawk is now dabbing.  The girl in the superhero costume is now standing on her bed and dabbing with a mug of tea in hand.  Oh boy. What’ve I gotten myself into?

Transition: Fade.

Distance/Volume: Bee speaks in a slightly hushed tone.

Bee:

So, um, it’s about one in the morning and I just got done talking to Hawk.  Honestly, I’m still not entirely sure what to think of her and the whole…superhero thing yet.  I am grateful she was there tonight. And I’m grateful she wants to help fight the luptile. But her attitude towards showing off her powers is a little worrying, to say the least.  If I had been anyone else, there would already be a—a normie out there, aside from Moth, who knows about us.

For now, Hawk has agreed to not tell anyone else about us.  I don’t think I have to worry about Moth telling anyone either.  When I left, she was so deeply engrossed in looking up cute pig clipart references, she didn’t even hear me say good-bye.  Or she just ignored me.

And I’m still considering Hawk’s offer for the push.

Silent beat.

Bee:

I’m almost home now.  I’m guessing Wolfie will be asleep at this point, so I’m just going to call it a night for recording.

Sound Effect: Key in lock.

Sound Effect: Dorm door opening.

Oh.  Wolfie.  You’re still up.  And…standing in the middle of the room.  Why?

Wolf:

What the fuck, Bee?  Where have you been?

Bee:

Um…what?

Wolf:

Did you just forget?  Us walking home in the dark and you running into the woods after something growling?

Bee:

Ohhhhhh.  Oh, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.  I-I got distracted and I—

Wolf:

So distracted you didn’t see the 60 texts I sent you asking what the fuck happened and where the fuck you were?

Bee:

I’m—

Wolf:

I waited for you.  And looked for you.  And you couldn’t even text me a goddamn thumbs up to let me know you were okay!  I thought you could be dead!

Bee:

It wasn’t—it wasn’t anything!  I didn’t even see anything! It was probably just a stray dog!  I’m fine Wolfie, I’m fine!

Silent beat.

Wolf:

I thought you might not be.  Some people tonight aren’t.

Bee:

What happened?

Wolf:

There was an accident.  Or something. There was—Jesus Christ, are you still recording?  Turn it off!

Bee:

But I—

Wolf:

Turn it the fuck off!

Sound Effect: Recorder click.

Transition: Cut.

Bee:

Hey, it’s me again.  The Bee from the tomorrow of meeting Hawk and trivia night with Capy.  The tomorrow that is now today. And, um…it was a rough night. Wolf told me after I got home that there’d been a car crash on the road from downtown to campus.  A car with five students swerved off the road and rammed headlong into a tree.

Most of them were…okay.  Bruises, scratches, whiplash.  A broken rib for the driver, I heard.  But um…the one in the passenger seat wasn’t wearing her seatbelt.  She flew straight into the windshield. As I understand, she…still hasn’t regained consciousness.

They’re all saying the guy who was driving was drunk, even though he was the designated driver and everyone in the car insists he was sober.  But, y’know, how could he have been sober when he says what made him swerve was a giant monster in the middle of the road?

A giant monster, he said, with a big yellow eye.

I know it was the luptile.  And that’s two people it’s hospitalized now.  And apparently this was…just a little after I met Hawk.

Any day now, it’s going to kill someone.

Silent beat.

Bee:

I think Wolf is still mad at me.  She won’t talk to me.

Silent beat.

Bee:

Fox disappeared again too.  Ever since I panic texted her, all my messages to her have been bouncing back.  I think I scared her off again.

But I know she’ll be back.

Silent beat.

Bee:

I texted Hawk.  I agreed to work with her.  We’re going to figure this out and make everything better.

Silent beat.

Bee:

We have to.

Silent beat.

Bee:

I think I’ll go back to bed now.  It was a long, long night and I have a lot of work to catch up on.  Until we can talk again, this has been The Beacon. You are not alone.