Binding Oaths – Chapter 19 1


When Shane came back from his meeting with Lenny, prepared to bare some significant news from said Agent, and possibly get backlash for it. He was incredibly surprised to find everyone was fretting over Vanessa. And after hearing about what happened from Elizabeth, he was too.

Vanessa was laid out in the First-Aid room on a large bed, even though her “wound” from the laser weapon had already healed. It also looked like she was being interrogated by Steve.

“-es, for the last time; It completely melted off pieces of my costume and hurt me without pushing me back.”, Vanessa’s exasperated voice was the first thing Shane heard when he was ushered in by Elizabeth.

Amy, Greg, Jack, Hugh, and Rikki were all surrounding Vanessa as she lied back, still in her now-tattered costume, sans the mask. Her exposed midriff only showing the barest hint of a light reddening of the skin.

“Can I go get my Debriefing over with now? I want to get that out of the way as soon as possible.”, Vanessa grumbled. “Besides, I don’t want to make Maria wait too long.”, she said, though everyone in the room doubted her urgency was out of any concern about Maria’s patience.

Steve just shook his head before speaking, “If that’s all you can remember about that weapon, then yes. It’s still mystifying though; there’s a reason regular humans aren’t running around with laser cannons, the recoil should have shattered that man’s arms. Not to mention the fact that something strong enough to go through your costume and burn you when at full-power should have at least made you stumble.” Steve’s power may have been all about building integrity and power sources; but he’d hung-out with plenty of the more “traditional” tech Supers to know some of the trade secrets.

Vanessa simply waves off his rambling and kicks off the bed, giving Shane a quick “Welcome back!” before striding toward the changing area. Elizabeth was right behind her, and presumably they’d be on their way to the debriefing room soon afterwards.

Shane was still turning over what Elizabeth had told him back in the hallway; “That blast would have killed most regular strongman types. And even some of the Hero quality strongmen I know would have been properly injured.”

He was glad that his teammate had managed to take down a Super threat on her own, and make a good showing while doing so. She’d definitely needed the confidence boost of handling a situation solo. But hearing about how she could have been seriously injured if she hadn’t noticed the guy early on had been… unsettling. Shane resolved to talk to the others about it, and probably Jack too. But now probably wasn’t the time; he needed to tell them about Lenny’s plans and get approval. And the First-Aid room probably wasn’t the place to do so.

Luckily, Jack had his own news and apparently shared Shane’s sentiments about appropriate venues for discussion. “Alright, while we wait for those two to get back from debriefing, I’ve got a few announcements to make.”, Jack announced as he looks around. “Come on, it’s better that we discuss team matters in the actual meeting room. We have all those comfy chairs for a reason.”, he says pointedly to all the Interns present before leading them out into the hallway.

Soon enough they made their way back to the familiar walls of the main meeting room, the chairs as plush as always.

Jack gestures toward Amy, Greg, and Shane as soon as they’re all seated. “I expect you three to fill Vanessa in after she gets back to her room, this isn’t news I need to tell her personally.”, he says. “We are going to be doing some community work tomorrow to help cleanup destruction from that Minotaur guy from a couple of nights ago and get a little good PR. Nothing too complex; the actual construction workers will be organizing us and any other Heroes that will be there.”

“Not to sound like an elitist prick; but doesn’t the city already have a group of Supers trained to help with that kind of thing?”, Greg asked.

“Yes, they do. It just that Heroes with particular powers tend to expedite the process greatly. You should count yourself lucky; A lot cities only opt for getting companies that take care of the main stuff; like keeping buildings from coming down and clearing streets of large debris. While leaving all the little stuff to the citizens.”, Jack explained.

Greg’s nose scrunched in disgust at the revelation, but he didn’t say anything more.

“Well, since were on the topic of PR, I’ve got some good news.”, Shane started off. “My agent is trying to set us both up for an interview with Neal Chandler, in about a month from now.”

His Mentor’s reaction was less than promising, “Lenny is doing what now?”

***

Vanessa hadn’t quite known what to expect when she got out of, what she considered, an overly long debriefing. But she definitely hadn’t been prepared for all of her fellow Interns to be waiting in the lounge for her. Especially not Amy in the front holding a… tub of ice cream and a large spoon?

The tall young woman sighed, even as she kept moving towards them, “Guys, Im fine. Really.” Vanessa’s statement and resolve didn’t stop her from taking the offered comfort food before plopping down on the main couch. “But if you really insist, I guess we can sit down and talk about it some more.”, she relented to her obviously jittery group of peers.

All of their nervous, yet relieved, smiles brought a reluctant one to her own tired face as they sat down around her.

Binding Oaths - Chapter 18
Binding Oaths - Chapter 20

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