This one's really good, and I'm pretty excited about it.
How would we really react to superheroes in our society? Would we embrace them? Of course not! They're different, things to be feared. Right?
So the government steps in and takes care of the whole problem. Any child who Manifests superpowers becomes a ward of the state. The parents are paid, of course, for their trouble raising the child until that point. But it's important for the government to step in, because uncontrolled powers can be deadly for the rest of the family. Even the point of Manifestation can be terrifying, and my main character, Chelsea, nearly killed her family in a housefire when she Manifested.
So she's taken to the Academy, where the government trains their Supers. As you can imagine, the arrival of Supers has changed the landscape of the world, but more importantly, it has changed the way the world fights its wars. What use are weapons as we know them when you have a Super who can absorb nuclear energy or crush missiles in his bare hands?
Chelsea knows she's going to be a soldier. She's a firepath, and she knows she's too destructive for anything else. When she first arrives at the Academy, she earns the nickname Wildfire after a campout disaster, and the Academy soon becomes concerned that she's not going to be any good to them if she's scared of her own powers.
That's where Liam comes in.
He's the poster child for the Academy. He Manifested when he was hardly old enough to walk, and his powers are some of the strongest the Academy has ever seen. He's tall, blonde, and he's got the strong jawline. Perfect Hero material. The Academy is already dreaming about the propaganda posters they can make of him.
He's also got a particular talent for annoying Supers into showing their true powers. So when he tries his technique on Chelsea and she shows off powers even she didn't know she had, he surprises everyone by asking to partner with her. He thinks he can help her, mold her.
And he might be a little bit attracted to her.
Chelsea, of course, thinks he's a stuck-up and condescending puppet of the government, but she's always seen things a little differently from the rest of the Academy.
He's able to train her for her first tour of duty, and while she's out, she catches the eye of the public. Reporters in the field start to follow her story. That's when she earns her mask, and her old nickname becomes a household name. After her first two years on duty, she returns as Wildfire the Hero. And the Academy knows it.
They try to groom her to be a Hero. They even give Liam to her as a partner. But she and everybody else knows that they can't keep her contained much longer.