“It’s stuff like that that keeps me optimistic, Captain.”
“Yeah, well, you know where you can shove your warm glowy feelings?”
He chuckled. “I’m serious. You and Ludwig keep me going these days.”
Presley’s chuckles dried up and he turned to stare down the elevator shaft. “I loved being a hero, back in my old world. Things were so simple then. You rode in on the white charger, slew the dragon, saved the princess, whatever. You did the Right Thing and rode off into the sunset. I was a hero, and that made sense.
“Here it’s only paperwork and politics.” His metal gauntlets clenched into tight fists. “We can’t help solve crimes because none of the Captains like us. We can’t stop evil wizards because the Arcanum doesn’t want to work with anyone. When we somehow find the Right Thing to do, we’re never allowed to do it. We’re Heroes, but it’s only a job description.” Presley sighed. “It’s like, in this world, there are no more heroes.”
Brother Fowl had tried to tell me something about Presley and I’d refused to listen. Since then I’d dragged him into more than one sordid mess. More than one crisis of faith.
Too late I realized that, despite his armor, Presley was still pretty vulnerable.
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