3 August 2010. 0000 hours: The gym, Armory I
“I gotta tell ya Red, this is some frickin’ cool work-out space!”
“Glad you approve, Joe.”
“Yeah, I been pushin’ a bitta tin lately, thought I might build back up a little. Ya might not think it ta lookit me but back on th’ force I wuz a lot beefier.”
“Good luck with it. I mean that – I know all about rehab. You might want to call the others in now.”
Joe Tripley shoves the IT room doors open and barks at Matt, then walks through to the break-out room. Terry’s just fixing a pick-me-up tea, Thad’s looking at the Villain pinboard.
“Red’s ready an’ waitin’ – get inta th’ gym a’ready! Where’s Martin?”
“He headed out – had something to fix he said…”
Muttering something about kids and stamina, Joe walks back to the gym, trailing beverage-sipping team-mates. Red is waiting:
“Now, over here, I’ve put together a rough mock-up of the scene at Sir Titsalot. I apologize for the lack of exact scale…”
“Hey, nice impression, Red! That’s the crazy prof in Back to the Future, huh?”
“Dr Emmett Brown, yes, young Terry. Played by Chris Lloyd. And he wasn’t crazy – all his inventions worked, remember?”
Joe nods: “I remember that hover-skateboard – I wanted one of those back when I first saw th’ second movie!”
“You didn’t want the Delorean?”
“I wanted Lea Thompson – hur hur hur – she wuz a lot like my first girl Milly Fogarty… come ta thinkuvit, maybe that’s why I started going with Milly…”
Thad shifts uncomfortably. “Maybe that’s something for just you and your psychologist to share! How old were you when you saw Lea Thompson, Joe?”
“Aw hey, it wuz a re-run on TV a’ready by the time I noticed sweet Lea,” scowls Joe. “Milly wuz the real deal! On’y, it ain’t easy bein’ a cop’s girlfriend, and she dumped me.”
“So, you were a cop for quite a few years?”
“Yep, joined up straight outta school, got promoted inta th’ narc squad back in ’02, went undercover straight away pretty much. Got my ass blown off, got comped out, enduv story.”
“Yeah, I originally wanted to work in law enforcement. I even drew up plans to run a detective agency in Lincoln. Then in ’07 – back when Obama’s backstory was getting nationwide attention – I realized being a neighborhood organizer would be a more direct route to help my people. I find it gives me a leadership role sometimes: it’s a great sense of satisfaction.”
Matt shrugs. “Interesting, Thad. As you may know I was actually R&D manager at my IT firm. I’ve thought about putting in some time, maybe a course or seminar, in leadership.”
Terry laughs, a trifle condescendingly:
“Well, you know all about me already – entertainer to the masses (of children) – grew up under Mystic’s shadow… I know all about leadership.”
“Under Mystic huh? Hur hur hur!”
“She is my Aunt you know Joe!”
“One hot Aunt dude! You are one lucky sumbitch!”
Red’s loud throat-clearing pulls the four away from their reverie and back to the model.
“So boys, let’s walk this through. When you got there there were cars burning all up and down both sides?”
“Not all of them – it turns out Jack – or maybe Gunship – doesn’t kill civilians if he can help it.”
“And there was a ripped-open getaway car blocking the T.”
“With evidence people had fled from it!” Matt adds.
“Yeah – we needta get out over ta Pisano’s Butchers an’ Tonifanni’s dump over in th’ ‘burbs in th’ worst way!”
“Be patient, Joe. If you put in some training time, your odds of success grow.”
“Yeah sure, I know. But right now, seems like we on’y got th’ one fighter, an’ that’s me.
“Maybe ya c’n talk ta Martin about gettin’ inta th’ fight quicker. Sure, he c’n use missiles, but with no Skylark he’s gotta pitch in.”
“We can plan a lot better,” Thad chips in. “First, we ought to have a general go-to plan of who takes on what type of meta. Second, we need to make sure that the non-fighter, me, is not left isolated, because Noose is very quick to pick up on that.”
“Ain’t nuthin’ wrong with just whalin’ on th’ one target at a time though!”
“Sure, point taken. I agree we have wasted effort trying to tackle everyone at once.”
“My preferred MO is to wait, and wait, and pick off people when they reveal themselves,” comments Matt a trifle grimly.
“Hey – on’y time I got ta use my preferred MO was ‘way back at th’ warehouse!”
“Still, Matt’s preference may work in with what we all need,” Thad counters, “since we need to wait until people like this Teleporter show themselves, and I need someone nearby me.”
“Like you, Joe, I’ve felt I have to pitch in, getting myself into situations I’m not ideal at,” comments Terry.
“Ya don’t need ta get so low though – stay high if’n ya can!”
“Once Nightfall and I are down, there’s no need for you to be low,” agrees Thad. “Your powers are vast – OK I know you don’t see it that way, but that’s pretty much how we all see it – and best used from on high.”
“Well, I can certainly hold ‘Light of Truth’ in hand and unleash it as an area effect… or I can sling ‘Fog of forgetfulness…'”
“Evil, Terry! Remember, we talked about this! Wiping a memory is evil!”
The walk-through proceeds, and by the end of it most of the group have a better idea of the powers they can combine – next time!