A man jumps off the roof of a 40-story building. As he passes the 28th floor he hears the mobile phone ringing in his pocket. He regrets jumping. Why?
“I run faster than sound.
I can survive jumps from any height.
I am the strongest parahuman in this country.
I am a one-man-army.
I am Iron Fist.
I am here to protect this city.
I will bring The World Eater to justice!”,
he mutters to himself while jumping down a 40-story building to catch up with the villain. His mobile phone rings. A few seconds later he lands on the ground.
I forgot to leave my phone at home.
I smashed it during the impact, didn’t I?
… I am SO stupid.”
Writing something for this assignment gave me some trouble. At first I was thinking about dark scenarios. Maybe the man had lost everything or someone important died? Maybe he was just depressed and the call reminded him of the child he will leave behind? I couldn’t think of a justification for his regret that I liked under the assumption that he just heard the ringtone and never talked with anybody.
Having him talk with someone was not on the table either. A building with forty stories is quite tall, but I was pretty sure that he would not need much time to arrive at the ground. (I calculated it at home with four meters for each floor, 160m in total. If I didn’t do anything wrong, he would have about six seconds of flight time. A little bit less, even.)
So maybe he wasn’t trying to kill himself? Maybe he was a basejumper or something? From this thought I got the idea of a superhero. I am still not satisfied with the reason of his regret, but I liked this version way more than anything else that came to my mind before, so I went along with it.