After work, Anne went back to her dorm. She messed around on her phone, trying to figure out the best way to take The Killer’s Gallery down.
It didn’t take her long. In fact, Anne found that The Killer’s Gallery app was surprisingly easy to manipulate.
Heino, the guy whose account she’d hacked into, closed his account. This wasn’t a surprise. But it took just a couple hours of noodling with the app before Anne found dozens more account names and passwords.
She stayed up all night playing around with it: logging onto an account, hiring assassins to kill other assassins, logging off, then doing the same thing with a different account.
Laying in bed, above which was taped a poster of a giant mech, Anne giggled.
Why is this so much fun? She wondered. She sent a clown with chainsaws for hands against a man-crocodile hybrid, sent a living scarecrow to kill the clown, sent a coked-up pop singer to kill the scarecrow, sent a blood wraith to kill the pop singer, and so on.
In that moment, she saw herself as an anti-hero. After all, wasn’t this what superheroes did? Didn’t they take down the bad guys, no matter the cost?
Sitting in her bedroom with a dumb app, she was taking down a 21st century murder ring! All these creatures who’d been hired to kill were going to find themselves facing emotions similar to those they’d engendered: fear, rage, confusion.
She imagined how they might respond: Is someone trying to kill me? How dare they try and kill me? Why would anyone try and kill me?
The reason she couldn’t stop smiling was this: her actions were making the world a better place. Isn’t that what heroes did?
“A hero,” she muttered to no one but herself. She was just being more honest about what heroism meant.