I’m just a regular guy. Or, at least, I was a regular guy until I was bitten by a radioactive caterpillar and became The Chrysalis ™. Still, in the few years after that horrific event, I was able to maintain a certain sense of stability in my life. My wife was alive (and human), and I had a steady job at an insurance company. Sure, I spent my nights and weekends stopping some purse snatchers and grabbing cats from trees, but, for the most part, my hero life and my regular life stayed relatively separate.

All that changed when a (unnamed for legal purposes) billionaire “superhero” with no powers showed up on my doorstep and asked me to join his superhero team and save the world. I was flattered, but I also had two kids to think about. Saving little old ladies in my own neighborhood on the weekends felt pretty tame compared to going up against hordes of aliens from outer space. But [billionaire name redacted] was relentless. He showed up to the house in a flying car. He took my kids to Disneyland (which he bought out for the day so they didn’t have to wait in lines). He brought my wife rare flowers that were flown in on their own jet. He bought me a diamond watch (subsequently destroyed by alien goo). He talked to me about duty and responsibility and how saving the world meant keeping my family safe too.

I felt I had no choice but to sign on to the superhero team, and we went to space for six months (I lost my job during this time, as I didn’t have enough PTO and saving the world from aliens did not count as “voluntary medical leave”). I made a few good friends on the team. They died. And then, on Earth, my wife (along with all the other wives and the one ex-boyfriend/enemy spy) was kidnapped by a supervillain called the Zookeeper and turned into an anteater.

My kids, luckily, are safe. But because I (and the still-surviving half of the superhero team) got pulled into a wormhole on my way back home, I missed ten years of their growing up. Luckily, my sister took them in, and they turned out to become pretty cool teenagers who take great care of their anteater mom. Unfortunately, due to our crash landing into their neighborhood on our return, my sister’s successful local restaurant was totaled, and her insurance refused to pay anything because of some new loophole that exempts insurance companies from paying for any damages caused by a superhero or superhero vehicle crashing into privately owned property.

I wasn’t worried though. I had savings in the bank. But when I went to withdraw some money, the bank manager told me all of my savings had been confiscated by the city to pay for damages caused by superheroes. When I told them that I had been in space at the time, they told me that it didn’t matter because [redacted billionaire name] had me sign some paperwork before we left, so I was part of some superhero registration program and liable for the damages caused by other superheroes in the group. I asked them about a loan (I’ve always had good credit), and they told me that my credit score had plummeted due to complete inaction over the ten wormhole years.

I tried going back to my old company for a job, but because they were a pre-superhero-damages-loophole insurance company, they’d gone bankrupt and shuttered. As a last resort, I turned to someone who I knew couldn’t (and wouldn’t) turn me away—the billionaire who dragged me to space in the first place. Surely, [redacted billionaire’s name] could loan me some money so my very own sister wouldn’t lose her house and see my entire family end up on the street. I mean, he’s a billionaire, right? Plus, he was the one who got me into all this mess in the first place.

He still hasn’t returned any of my calls. Or any of the messages I’ve sent him through our team messaging app. I’ve even tried broadcasting his superhero logo against some clouds over the city at night. But no response. Who knows? Maybe he’s on vacation. Except, I did happen to see on the news today that his company is expanding into the insurance and banking business.


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