Superhero Upgrade

She had done her research before she travelled to Tokyo. The neon-lit buildings which reached into the sky to the temples. A blend of old and brand spanking new traditions. There was a layer underneath, dark and a little twisted. She made sure she knew all of it, which was why, when the heavens opened and it started to rain, she knew there had to be a vending machine somewhere. Using a newspaper as a makeshift umbrella, she crossed the road with the bustling crowd.
There were so many machines, grouped in twos and threes. Rice in one, sake in another…she peered into the third. What were those, underwear? Um, nope.
The rain was coming down now in heavy waves. The bottom of her trousers were soaked and it wouldn’t take long for the newspaper to fall to pieces. She was surprised it had held for so long. “I guess I’ll have to keep walking.” The hotel wasn’t that far away anyway.
An elderly woman glanced in her direction. Sasha had done research about the city but her understanding of the language was sorely lacking. She smiled as she approached her. She was sat under a shelter, a bowl of steaming rice and vegetables in one hand and a spoon in the other.
“English?”
The woman had a face filled with wrinkles and the smile she gave back to her only enhanced them more. Sasha had a brief spark of hope which was quickly dashed when she shook her head.
“Is there a vending machine which sells umbrellas here?” She gestured at a man with a bright red one. The elder woman frowned but must have caught the gist of it because she pointed at an alleyway. “Down there?” She nodded. “Thank you.” Going down a dark alleyway, it a strange city? Sasha was sure that was a big no no in every travel guide she’d read but how much trouble could she get into in five minutes? She darted for the alleyway and spotted the brightly lit vending machine at the end. It looked different from the others but it was when she was close she notice the one important thing, it didn’t have umbrellas in it.
“Bugger. Wait a minute, does that say strength?” She peered at the rain slicked glass. There was a list of stats, like you’d find in a dungeons and dragons game and a list of prices next to them. Strength, intelligences, wisdom, charisma and dexterity. 50 yen for three stat boosts? At least that’s what she thought it said. For a second she forgot about her need for an umbrella. She was already soaked. It was pointless now. She reached into her purse and put the money in. It was only when the machine gobbled it up and she’d pressed strength, charisma and intelligence, she noticed that nothing was coming out.
“You lost?” A voice came from behind her. Sasha turned around and noticed the two men who had followed her. His friend nudged his side and said something she didn’t understand, laughing. Unease built in the pit of her stomach. Only an idiot walked down dark alleyways. If it was a horror movie she’d already be dead.
“I don’t want any trouble.”
“That’s okay, we don’t want trouble either.” The man replied in broken English. “Just hand over your wallet and we’ll leave you alone.” He’s lying. They got closer, close enough that she spied broken teeth and smelt alcohol on their breath.
Suddenly a weird sensation swept over her and instinctively she pushed the man away. Sasha wasn’t the strongest person in the world but the man flew away from her as if he’d been hit by a truck. She looked at her hands in surprise and then at the other man, a smile crept across her face. “You guys picked the wrong girl.” She glanced back at the vending machine but it wasn’t there anymore.
“What are you?” The other man said, backing away with his hands up.
“I’m a freaking superhero.”