Captain Coffee preferred a French roast. Lighter brews would seem more the Captain’s speed, but they lacked the complex, chocolatey undertones that made life worth living. Undertones that gave him purpose. The light-reflecting puddles of oil floating on the coffee’s surface represented islands of refuge from the surrounding darkness. Islands the Captain felt an obligation to protect. He would consume the surrounding midnight murk of evil so the rest of the population didn’t have to.
“Hm?” Through the slits of his eye mask, he appraised the young girl behind the counter. She had rosy plump cheeks and her dirty blond hair was tied up into a bun. Wrapped tightly around her person was a forest-green apron with Kenzie stitched in white cursive on the top right. She was new.
“I said that I’m sorry, but it will take us about five minutes to brew another pot of the dark roast.”
“I see.” There were four people in line behind the Captain. He was watching them all. They didn’t know it, but he was. A little black-haired girl and her mother stood directly behind him. The little girl was rubbing a piece of the Captain’s silk cape between her fingers. He smiled down at her and she smiled back. Her mother pulled her back and chastised her.
“If you’re in a hurry,” Kenzie said, “I can pour you a cup of our medium-bodied house blend and add a shot.”
“No!” the Captain replied.
Kenzie raised her eyebrows and looked at the other customers.
Mixing roasts was a definite no-no. Captain Coffee couldn’t put a finger on it, but it always seemed to dampen his abilities. But Kenzie didn’t know any better.
“No, thank you, young lady. I will wait.”
She rang up the total of two dollars and nineteen cents.
“Can I get a name?”
He preferred to use an alias when he wasn’t in uniform, but he hadn’t bothered to wait today. He had woken up that morning with a strange feeling in his gut, so he came in dressed for action, prepared for anything.
“Captain Coffee,” he replied.
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