Cloud Nine

Flight’s the most common ability, the superpower equivalent of brown eyes, the sort of thing they don’t even bother to make you register for. Just one less thing to worry about, if you got it. Easy to pick up on, too — babies fall all the time, except for the ones that don’t. Hard on the parents, a little, but what the heck, they leash regular toddlers, too.

Cloud Nine washes windows.

She likes the solitude of high altitude, the closeness of the glass, the faces on the other side gabbling at her. It’s meditative work, the sort of thing where you put on some music and go on autopilot, working your way across and down, over and over again, forever. She’s part of a team of seven, six cleaners and one platform, working the Kaiser tower, a 102 story needle of glass that useta was the tallest thing this side of the river but nowadays is just one giant among many.

Still needs to be cleaned, though.

Takes them four months to clean the whole tower, and by the time they’re done with the first floor it’s time to soar back to the top and descend again. It’s not easy work, but it’s steady. She pauses, takes a sip of coffee from the thermos strapped to her chest, watches the sunrise. It’s still night down on the street, but up here the sirens and the gunfire and the scuffling have all faded away. She waits until the sun touches the tip of the old, useless zeppelin dock, then swoops away to clean up the city, one window at a time.