“Careful with her nose.”
The makeup lady, who Invisigirl thought resembled a poodle that was turned into a human, gently rubbed finishing powder over the young supers nose. Due to breaking her septum a few months prior, Winston wanted to be sure her nose didn’t crack like an egg.
When a persons nose broke, their septum typically resembled the letter ’S’. The doctor said hers resembled the number ‘5’. While Invisigirl made a full recovery, she wasn’t able to appear on the field for another week for the reassurance of the family. However, she could still appear in public. So now, she was there, at the KQRY TV station, about to be interviewed by Chad Brentley in front of a live studio audience.
At least it was the worst injury she ever had, now that she thought about it. At least she didn’t break a rib or a spine. At least she wasn’t shot. As someone who despised guns, that would have tainted her pride.
At least her injury gave her more time to prepare for this moment. Invisigirl had been scared then and was still frightened as she sat in that makeup chair. She wouldn’t have a parent next to her telling her what was and what wasn’t ok to answer. It was like being an adult. She sure wasn’t ready for that.
The kids weren’t allowed to accept personal interviews until they turned sixteen. After they did, their parents would make them practice with them as if they were training them for job interviews. Invisigirl found it sad really. It was just a TV interview, and yet, she knew, one slip up could reveal who she and her family were and they had to make sure she would not make that mistake.
When her mother was there a few years ago, the place was just a set with two chairs and a few cameras. Now, the station was expanded and Chad had actual people come in to watch and participate. The show itself had higher ratings and more people tuning in. While the supers were mainly to thank for the viewers, Chad had a wide assortment of guests come on.
“If you just be yourself out there, you’ll do great.” Winston told her.
“You mean my sarcastic bi–?”
“Don’t you dare say that word, young lady.” Her mom snapped like a rubber band, knowing what was coming. She was sitting on the sofa next to her. “One swear word on the air and you’re canceled. Is that understood?”
How her mother got so worked up over a few bad words was beyond her. And it wasn’t like she was about to use that word to describe someone else like last time. It was to refer to her. She could call herself whatever she wanted.
The woman that she did call that word to her mother was a teacher at school who gave her and her boyfriend detention for holding hands in the hall. Her mom should have been angry with that teacher, not her.
There were far more offensive things in the world than pretty girls that swore.
The young super rolled her eyes. “Got it.”
“When you relate to the public, you will appeal to them more,” Winston advised her. “And you relate to them very much. You gotta remind them of that.”
“But not too much of it.” Elastigirl added. “You don’t want to reveal too much or there’s going to be a problem.”
“Got it, mom.”
'Do this, but don’t do this.’ Was what she was hearing. Not confusing at all.
Outside the room, they could hear the rocking and rolling melodies of Johnny and the Rockets, a band performing live. Invisigirl wanted to hear the rest of the song and enjoy it like the people in the audience were, but the grown ups were talking.
“And it’s not like you have to make them like you. They already like you.” Winston continued. He knew people better than anybody Invisigirl knew. The tycoon had been nothing but helpful to her since the legalization of supers. He was able to help her get more people to like her.
Prior to her appearance, many supers came on the show and were all charming and funny. She remembered watching Voyd on the show going off in a bubbly manner about how she passed out once during orientation training. She claimed she fainted because the drills were exhausting, but Invisigirl knew why she was so perky about it. Voyd saw He-Lectrix take his shirt off and literally swooned. Turns out he’s pretty ripped.
As for He-Lectrix; he gave the audience and Chad a good laugh when Chad forgot he had electrical powers and shook his hand. If his hair wasn’t standing up high enough before, it certainly was after that.
The door to the dressing room opened by a woman with a clipboard and headset on.
“Invisigirl, you’re on the air in five minutes.”
The Rockets finished their song and the audience cheered. That officially meant it was time for her to go.
“When we return, Invisigirl makes her first appearance. So don’t you disappear!”
Invisigirl rolled her eyes at the stupid pun and slid out of her chair.
The black haired beauty finished the last of her diet Pepsi before turning to her mom, who had her arms open.
“Best of luck, you will do great.” She started her pep talk as she embraced her daughter. “I’m so proud of you.”
“You always tell me that.” She pointed out.
“Because I always am. I know this isn’t easy for you but I know you can do it.” Her daughter had anxiety, so fame in general did not come easy for her.
Her hugs were always like that of a mama cobra wrapping herself around her nest, loving but sometimes smothering.
“I can’t go out there but I will be waiting for you. And we’ll do something fun to celebrate when it’s over.” Elastigirl promised. “Now, go make them smile.”
Elastigirls pride and joy gave her mother a small smile and a nod before leaving through the door.
As Invisigirl made her way towards the set, Johnny and the Rockets were coming her way. They were all sporting electric blue matching suits and proud smiles, praising one another on their performance.
“Hey! It’s Invisigirl!” One of them said excitedly. They all perked up further.
“Oh man, I can’t tell you how incredible it is to be able to see you in person!” The member with a saxophone hanging off his neck went to shake her hand. “I didn’t mean to make the bad pun there. It really is incredible to see you in person!”
“It’s a common adjective, isn’t it?” Invisigirl commented, shaking all their hands. “I heard of your music a little bit, you sounded great.”
“Ah, gee.” The member with the guitar, who she assumed was Johnny, flushed. “That means a lot. Hey, if you don’t have our record, I can get you one. We’ll all sign it for you!”
The other band members nodded their heads with a gleeful agreement.
“That would be fantastic.” Invisigirl smiled. “After the show?”
“Real quick, could you sign this for me?” Johnny pulled out a small notebook and a pen from his jacket. Invisigirl simply nodded, flipping to the nearest blank page and signing her name.
Her autograph had to differ from her normal handwriting. Violet Parr wrote in cursive. Invisigirl had to remember to sign everything to fans in print.
“There you go. Wonderful to meet you all.” She gave the five members a nod. Then, for show, she vanished. They all snickered.
“We are live in one minute!”
Chad started looking down the set to where the back door was to see if his next guest was anywhere as he was finishing his cigarette. “Where’s Invisigirl?” He inquired to the same woman that informed the young super beforehand it was almost time for her to come on. The woman told him she was probably invisible and standing close by. Chad reached his hand out to see if he could feel anything.
“And we are live in ten!”
Invisigirl was quiet as she took her seat and made herself appear before everyone. Nine more seconds and her face would be on every television in Munciburg and New Urbem. Elastigirl assured her she was ready but now with five seconds left, she wasn’t too sure.
A light that said 'Applause’ flashed above the audience and they did as such.
“I’m here with superhero prodigy Invisigirl.“ Chads golden voice began to leak from his TV perfect teeth. "Now, Invisigirl, this is officially your first one on one interview and I am honored to have the privilege of you appearing on my show. You were supposed to be here a couple of months ago but I understand you broke your nose.”
“That’s correct.” She had given him a simple first response as she crossed her legs to make herself comfortable. It shouldn’t have raised any controversy. Right?
“Well, I’m glad you made a full recovery and that you’re here with us tonight.”
“Thank you for inviting me.” That was a lie. “I’m excited to be here.”
That was a lie.
"So, Invisigirl, do you have a secret identity?”
Invisigirl wanted to look at the camera with an annoyed expression painted on, but she remembered that her mom told her earlier to be nice. 'No, I was actually born with the mask on. I go to school like this everyday.’ That could make people laugh, but it would sound mean.
“Yes.” She answered. “If everyone in my family has to wear a mask, then so do I. Can you imagine what would happen to me at school if my classmates found out who I was?”
“I reckon you’d be the most popular girl at school.”
“Or the least.” She certainly didn’t want that. Dating Tony Rydinger gave her enough attention from people who wouldn’t give her a second glance in junior high. A secret like that spilled would either make her the prom queen or the ultimate social outcast, neither of which she favored. The worst part about it is that the social drama at school would be the least of her problems.
“Why did you choose the name Invisigirl?”
“Simple, Chad. It combines the words ‘Invisible’ and ‘Girl’. I’m an invisible girl. It works.” Those words came off more as 'It’s obvious, how are you too stupid to figure it out yourself?’ Crap. Was that answer too blunt? Yes.
“But what about Ultraviolet?”
It was blatantly obvious why she couldn’t go with that name. Her parents had gone over this with her.
Until she had an official name, the public would know her as 'Invisibility Teenager’ and she did not like that.
Going by the name of Ultraviolet was too risky. People would make connections. ‘Hey, have you noticed that violet girl at our school kinda looks like Ultravoilet’? People weren’t that daft.
Invisigirl felt like she needed her panic button even though the answer for this question was sorted out in advance.
Her ‘panic button’ were signals she’d make to her parents or Winston whenever she was in a conversation leaving her uneasy. Two heel taps meant ‘I need you to intervene’ while three meant ‘I need you to get me out of this conversation’. Three taps and two crossed fingers behind her back said, ‘This person is threatening/harassing me.’ These signs had come into great use at social events when she just needed an excuse to disappear and helped greatly to reduce her anxiety.
She couldn’t use that in front of rolling cameras though.
Invisigirl looked over at the audience, hoping to see her mother there. Elastigirl was where she said she would be, to her dismay.
“It… It’s too obvious. The name Ultraviolet.” ‘Oh no! Did I just give myself away?’ “It’s generic. Anyone with the ability to turn invisible can use that name.” ‘Good save.’
“Really? Because it seems perfect since ultraviolet rays can’t be seen with the naked eye.
Funny. She didn’t recall asking for his opinion. Invisigirl didn’t even think he’d know that.
"What about Incredigirl?”
That name made her cringe whenever someone called her that. She remembered how she ranted to Winston about why she couldn’t go by that name even if she could change it later. If ‘Incredigirl’ was what she started going by, that’s all people would ever call her, and she didn’t want that.
She also remembered how angry her father was at Dash when he said his name should have been Incrediboy. Invisigirl didn’t understand why it upset her father so much. Incredigirl would probably add fuel to his fire and she didn’t want that.
“To be honest, it’s pretty juvenile. And I’m not a kid.” Far from it. She was in high school now. Soon she would have to get a part-time job for work experience.
“That might work but it sounds like the name of a pageant contestant.” And beauty pageants were degrading, according to herself. Though the name certainly was age appropriate and was favored over ‘Invisibility Teenager’ and ‘Incredigirl.’
“Invisigirl sounds very similar to Elastigirl.” Chad pointed out.
“Well, she’s my mother.” Invisigirl shrugged. “She said I could use that name, so I don’t see that as an issue.”
It was a name no other invisible superhero could use because it was unique to her thanks to her famous mother.
Chad had to shift the subject to keep the audience reeled in. “Now, I have to ask, Invisigirl, have you seen The Invisible Man?”
“No, I have not.” The super answered calmly.
“Do you like scary movies?”
Thinking back on her experiences with spooky cinema, her experiences were neutral or negative.
The movie she saw on her first date was a horror film. As much as she wanted to cling to her date for protection, her parents were sitting behind them, so, she sucked it up. Then there was this time she watched this scary movie at Tonys house, where he could protect her from specters freely without her fathers hands stopping him from placing his arms around her; House on Haunted Hill.
In the beginning, nothing too horrific happened, until an old lady with heavy cataracts, rotted teeth, and long fingernails appeared in the light of the young heroines candle. Both the girl on the black and white screen and Violet screamed their heads off. Tony turned the TV off as fast as he could and scurried to turn on the lights.
Violet felt pathetic because she started sobbing. Tony held her like a good boyfriend did and reassured her that there was nothing pathetic about being scared, even if it was just a from a movie. She stayed enclosed in his arms for several minutes.
For a while, she slept with the lights on and was terrified of old ladies.
“I guess I’m neutral to them because I haven’t really seen any.” She answered, thanking whatever god there was up there for allowing her to catch that trick question. If people knew both Violet and Invisigirl didn’t like scary movies, they could start to think.
“Now, regarding your hair color;” Chad moved forward. “It’s very unique because nobody in your family has black hair. Do you know why you do?”
The answer, for her, wasn’t much of a mystery. Voyd also had unique hair that she claimed she was born with. Both of their hair colors had to be that way for the same reason. This case also applied to a Norwegian queen from a couple centuries back, who Violet saw had ivory hair but read that her parents had dark brown and honey colored hair.
“Well, we think it has something to do with my powers. Perhaps they affected the color of my hair the same way they did the color of my eyes.” She was glad he asked her this. This gave her the chance to make things clear to the public. “It’s pretty annoying when people claim that either I’m adopted or I dyed my hair. If I dyed my hair, the hair dye wouldn’t turn invisible with me because hair dye is not natural.”
“And how do you respond to the adoption rumors?”
“If I could show them my birth certificate, I would.” She responded.
Invisigirl wished that Violet could tell this to her obnoxious biology teacher who insisted to her that she had to be adopted. He made her come home that day in tears. Invisigirl recalled begging her mom for a DNA test for proof. Her mother agreed for her reassurance.
Just as she had hoped, her mom opened the envelope with the results and said, ‘Yep, you are definitely our daughter.’
“But I don’t have to prove who I am because I know who I am. Anyone that doubts that is wrong. I would not be on this team if I wasn’t born into this family. I am as much an Incredible as my brothers and I don’t have to prove that to anyone.” Her answer was strong, empowering and somewhat aggressive, showing the world where she stood. The audience applauded.
“You know where you stand.” Chad simply nodded, though he did want to applaud her. “Now, my favorite move you did was when you made that wall of plasma spikes at that runaway car. Can we roll that clip from her suitcam?“
The monitor cut to a clip from Invisigirls suitcam. It showed a runaway car zooming right towards the young heroine as she jumped in front of it. Her hands waved and a wall of plasma formed, shaping into crystal-like spikes and impaling through the front of the car. After that, the audience could hear Invsigirl going, 'Oh my god, I can do that!?!? Mom, did you see that!?’
The audience chuckled at her last comment.
"Now, you disappeared before the cops arrived though.”
“Well, I had a boy waiting for me at the movies.” A smile cracked at her witty response.
The audience laughed again.
"Did you make it in time?”
“Just in time.” Invisigirl smirked.
“And are you still talking to this boy?”
At this point, she was doing more than talking to this boy. She and Tony were walking on air. As naive and cliché as it sounded, Violet thought she found her true love. True, they were still in high school, but it was amazing that they’ve gotten this far. She couldn’t see herself loving anybody else.
“That, I cannot answer.” Invisigirl shook her head. Her mom would be proud.
“Now, a deep question.”
Invisigirl braced for impact.
“When it comes to juggling two lives, which one comes first? The super or the civilian?”
She had to think for a moment. While Invisigirl knew the answer, she wasn’t sure they were ready to hear it.
“Really?” Chad seemed surprised, his back straightened up.
Invisigirl nodded. It seemed like the right time to spill her guts out. “I’m a teenager, Chad. I will not always be a teenager. There are teenage things I want to do and it’s not fair for me to have those opportunities interrupted or missed by some store robbery. Yes, fighting crime as a family is important, but my parents told me that if I was ever busy with friends or guys, to not worry about anything else.”
It wouldn’t be fair for Tony either for her to cancel their dates at the last minute, leaving him confused and even angry. How long would he be able to stand it before telling her he can’t play this game anymore? He’d be forced to break her heart, and she’d be devastated.
And it wasn’t like he was free whenever she was. He had swimming, choir, and his job at the Happy Platter. Any chance to spend time with him couldn’t be wasted. Every second together had to count.
“I like fighting crime. But I need to be a kid first. I didn’t choose to have powers and I’m not going to let them disrupt my day if I’m doing something I think is important. If I’m not doing anything, then yes, I’ll go help my family in an emergency. But I’m going to choose being a teen over a super while I still can.”
The audience seemed to grow silent, which was highly unsettling for her. Were they approving of this or not? She couldn’t be sure without a cheer or a boo.
Without a comment, Chad looked at the camera and said, “We will be back after this commercial break.”
The ‘On Air’ sign dimmed.