Dire Sun had been living on his own for three months now. The army didn't seem to have followed him. Nobody from the Red Giant program had shown up to take him away again. His former squadmate, codenamed "EKG", had left as soon as he'd regained consciousness after the escape. Dire Sun hoped EKG was doing well for himself.
He stalked the aisles of the all-night grocery store, feeling out of place, pushing a trolley that seemed just a little too small. His bulky body and ham-hock hands made him feel out of place everywhere, and people tended to stare. His mountainous frame was built for battle, not suburbia. He felt better when he avoided people, hence the all-night grocery store at 1am.
As he was trying to decide between some different cuts of steak to go with his daily pasta dish, he heard a commotion at the front of the store. He peeked around the end of the aisle to see what was going on. Some punk kid with a knife trying to rob the register. Don't get involved, don't get involved, he thought to himself, eyes squeezed shut. He was wearing his army fatigues just because it was laundry day, so he felt like keeping an extra-low profile today. But when the woman at the checkout screamed, his body leapt into action of its own accord.
Dire Sun rounded the corner of the aisle and bounded down it, picking up speed. The shelves shook and his heavy footsteps echoed all through the store. Halfway down he gave a yell which drew the robber's attention. The kid's head snapped up in surprise, just before Dire Sun's full bulk smashed him into the back wall. He was knocked out cold, and Dire Sun extracted himself from the massive dent he had made.
"Oh, thank you so much!" said the distraught cashier through her tears. She wiped them away and took a better look at her rescuer. "I haven't seen you somewhere before, have I?"
"I ... shop here a lot," he said, starting to squirm. He noticed the kid coming around, so took out a zip tie from his pocket and hog-tied the kid's hands to his feet in a smooth, practised motion.
"I should ... get going," he said, and turned to head out the doors.
"What about your food? Oh, and we should take a picture! For the news or at least for my Facebook. Please?" She was looking at his enormous biceps, which flattered him just enough to get him to pose for the picture. He did go back for his shopping after that, and the police arrived a few minutes later. And even though it was just police procedure, Dire Sun found he liked this kind of attention.
He liked it even more the next day when the press showed up to take his picture and get his story. He especially liked that they kept calling him "hero".
A guy could get used to this, he thought.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - The next stage in the journey of Dire Sun.
PPS - I'm trying him out as a character in the Champions Online MMO.