Simikiel felt much the same exhilaration as she flew through Brooklyn with her mentor, Crusader.
They had to take some evasive routes to make sure their trail wasn’t easily followed, as instructed by Pulp in her request—a relatively easy feat. Simikiel’s shifted form constantly glowing wasn’t as much a problem as one might think. It was cloudy outside, but the kind that seemed to cover the entire sky while still being to bright for most to look straight up.
The directions Pulp had given via the Dispatch system eventually lead them towards a loan apartment in the local abandoned district. Calling the structure “unstable and ramshackle” would have been an understatement.
‘I knew a Hero’s base wasn’t always exactly glamours, but really?’ Simikiel thought as her mentor walked in and she followed quickly from behind. The formation was familiar to them and matched their power-sets; Crusader could intercept and detect any threats ahead of them while Simikiel could react quickly to any attacks from behind. They hadn’t had cause to use this strategy in any high-stakes situation as of yet, to Simikiel’s frustration and Crusader’s relief.
Wood creaked and loose bricks crumbled as the two super-heroines made their way through the small apartment. Until they arrived at a surprisingly secure looking basement door.
Crusader put her hand to the side of helmet again before nodding to herself and wrapping on the door five times with varying intensities. Two strong bangs, one regular knock, and two small knocks. The combination apparently satisfied whatever security system was there, as the wooden slid to the side with a hiss immediately afterwards.
Simikiel was slightly miffed that she was being left out of the loop in terms of information and was just being lead along like a child. Even if she could understand why a Subtlety Hero like Pulp was hyper-paranoid about secrecy; her own mother wa- had been one after all.
The red carpet that lead down to the basement was just as unusually clean and sturdy as the door that preceded it. Not even creaking as Simikiel and Crusader made their way down and stepped into the basement proper.
This behemoth of a basement was far bigger than any run-down-apartment basement had any right to be. Every surface of the large chamber was an impossibly smooth steel that was only broken by the equally shiny and smooth metal doors, three on both the west and east walls.
Pulp stood in its center, a cocky grin splitting her half covered face, costume as prim and proper as her surroundings. Though it’s dark blue, bordering on black, costume was an odd contrast to their silvery surroundings.
“Impressive isn’t, rookie?”, she said with a good-natured chuckle.
Simikiel immediately tried to wipe the wide-eyed expression off her face as Crusader stepped forward.
“Stop trying to fluster my Intern and get on with the meeting, Pulp.” Crusader said with a chuckle as she strode forward and gave the Heroine a fist-bump.
“Do you two know each other?”, Simikiel asked, eager to change the subject.
“I met her when she first officially started Hero work in this city; around three months ago.”, Crusader said as she and Pulp turned and strolled toward the desk and two chairs near the end of the cavern.
“Not even a day after I’d set-up my base and stocked up on spare costumes than did some psycho Super with the ability to blast things into glass went on a rampage.”, Pulp said wistfully. “Little-shit nearly killed me too!” She exclaimed with mock indignation.
“After the battle was over, and there was a chance to mingle, I found out she was a solo and a subtlety Hero that was operating locally. So I decided to keep tabs on her; she’s had semi-stable communications with our team ever since.”, Crusader explained as they made it to the end of the room.
Simikiel and Crusader took a seat in the two wooden-cushioned chairs while Pulp sat behind the metal desk. It was just as minimalist as the room around them, with only a laptop and what she guessed was a server, perched on top.
“Why do you want to work with our team?”, Simikeil asked, finally taking the initiative. After seeing that Crusader made no move to stop her, she continued. “We appreciate the offer, but why us specifically? There must be other subtlety Heroes you could work with.
Pulp leaned back, her finger-less gloved fingers steepled as she pondered the question. “Well, you’re right about there being more subtlety Heroes than just me, even if there’s only five in total. But I don’t particularly trust any of them and they all seem to be focused on spying and tracking; while I’m more of a infiltration kind of girl.” Her tone was smooth and assured.
“Alright then, why not just do it by yourself? You’re already a Solo-Hero.”, Simikiel asked.
Pulp let out a very unladylike snort. “Are you kidding? The DVA would be up the ass of any Hero that tried to do covert-ops without being under direct oversight from one of their reps. And for Solos’ like me: That means working with an official Hero team and reporting to their representative.”
Simikiel settled back into her chair, satisfied with the answers she’d been given. This felt like she was recruiting her very own team member; Even if Pulp was a bit… cruder than she’d expected from a subtlety Hero.
“And why exactly is our team ‘ideal’ for you to work with?” Crusader spoke up for the first time, managing to affect a tone sounded both accusatory and curious.
Pulp simply shrugged her shoulders. “Based on the types of Supers we’ve been able to suss-out that the White Boars have; a team like you would be excellent to strike at any targets I get close to and can point you towards. It’s no secret that the Pristine Strikers has the most raw firepower out of any other team in Brooklyn; you are effectively a vanguard of destruction. Not exactly ideal for rescue, relief, or espionage work but you excel at what you’re good at.”
Simikiel’s spirits lifted a bit at the unabashed praise. Of course, she’d already known this to be the case; there was some significant difference between inferring it based on research and having a fellow Hero acknowledge it.
Crusader made to ask another question when Simikiel’s earpiece crackled to life.
<Simikiel, Spectrum has requested a direct connection through your comms, do you accept?>
Based on the Crusader’s sudden “Yes.” while pressing her hand to right side of her helmet, Simikiel guessed she had gotten a similar request from Dispatch. Pulp simply watched patiently as she also responded in the affirmative.
Then Dispatch let Spectrum come on the line and relay his information.
Their reactions were mostly hidden by their suits, but their tense postures and clenched fists were more than enough indication that Spectrum’s news had been less than pleasant.
Some, as-of-yet-unknown person or persons, had put a hit on Styx and attempted to take him out. Opened fire on him with a rifle while civilians were still in the area; throwing him into a building with telekinesis when the shots had been blocked and their position was found out. They’d failed, but Styx had still suffered some significant injuries and was undergoing healing.
There was only one group that Styx would have garnered that level of attention from.
A worried look came across Pulp’s masked face as she continued to watch the two Heroines that she was almost certain were shaking with rage, but no indications of grief either. “How bad is it?” She tentatively asked.
“The White Boars just tried to take out Styx in broad daylight. Suffered some pretty bad injuries too.” Crusader’s no-nonsense and clipped tone did little to hide the anger beneath the surface.
“Congratulations, Pulp; this just got personal. Infiltrate their ranks, point us toward the ones pulling the strings, and well be more than happy to act as that, ‘Vanguard of Destruction’, you want.