Victor absently massages right above her knee, around one of the points where the brace presses into her leg leaving permanent bruises on her body. It has to be tight, though. If it isn't tight, it doesn't work. She basically wears them all the time now, except when she has to go out on her world, then it's just a cane, because the braces are too recognizable. Well-oiled, shining and brass, a little bulky but still beautiful. The media assumes they're to make her stronger, not to keep her functioning. To make her more meta, not to let her get around. They don't realize she can hardly walk without them anymore.
Cole keeps her on top of her physical therapy, even though she hates it. And she's more active than ever now that Giddy is running and... she thought being a superhero was hard. Potty training makes patrolling seem like a breeze.
Except for right now. Except for this killer. The papers don't even have a name for this guy (or girl, but statistically more likely a guy), because he doesn't stick to any recognizable pattern. All genders, ethnicities, ages, manners of death. No similarities to tie the victims together. Some abducted from their homes. One from the park. One from their work. No one saw anything. He's like a ghost. He doesn't showboat or write notes or brag or leave clues, so it took months for the police to even work out that it was the same killer. Actually, it was finally the lack of all clues that became his signature. Everyone messes up, leaves evidence, a trail. Except him. Public terror has gotten so bad that Doc and Surge are openly working with the police, instead of quiet, shady meetings in back rooms.
And nothing. Solving a murder like this isn't like the procedural cop shows. You can't put evidence in a mass spectrometer and get a magic answer. You can't look at bug larvae in the treads of the shoes to find the location of the murder; newsflash, bugs have legs and wings, they move around. No holographic computer displays, floating touch screens, universal fingerprint database (not that he ever leaves any fingerprints). Old equipment that's at least ten years out of date, sometimes more.
There's nothing to do but wait for another body to drop. So when she gets the call from the morgue, she calls Clark and suits up. This has to end now.