Binding Oaths – Chapter 25 | Arc 2 Sisyphus

It was later in the evening that Shane found himself flipping through the channels on the TV in the common room he and his fellow interns shared, particularly focusing on the news-oriented ones. Most we’re still playing clips of the Minotaur event or reporting on today’s shooting; Shane briefly wondered how long it would take Lenny and his team to start selling merchandise for an intern that started their debut in such a non-public friendly way.  Eventually he settled on a news station that was displaying one of the local senators giving a speech about the increased gang violence occurring in several districts.

Shane hadn’t particularly kept on top of politics in recent years, the last two years of the HCP had practically consumed all of his attention, but he was knowledgeable enough to notice this particularly infamous figure. His name was Robert, a fairly old and liberal senator in his fifties that always championed for policies that either supported Heroes or would incentivize other supers to apply to the HCP. But he was most known for what he was rather than what he’d done: The first powered ever to openly take a position in government.

It’d had made him a bit of an idol among certain groups of Powereds and even some Supers, acting as a sort of role-model that represented how Powereds, despite their disability, could still be productive and successful members of society.

Of course, this was slightly undercut by the fact that his power was fairly benign if Shane remembered the news articles correctly, an NTC class if there ever was one.

Not to mention how hated he was by purists and Humanity First crazies. Shane thought.

The sound of three doors opening pulled Shane’s attention from the androgynous senator on screen and he turned his head to see Amy, Vanessa, and Greg step out of their rooms. They had all changed out into their base-going clothes, which usual consisted of lose fitting jeans and t-shirts for quick and easy changes in case of emergencies. Though Amy was sporting a plain white blouse to go with her blue jeans in contrast to the greys and blues of her two friends. And it wasn’t lost on any of the mentors how heavily it contrasted with Shane’s black shirt and jeans.

“I told you guys I’m fine. I’ve been shot at before.” Shane sighed, turning down the volume using the remote so that they didn’t have to shout over the TV.

Amy took the lead, as usual. “We were actually thinking on how we’d spend our one day off for the week. Yes, I know, it’s a little unusual for us to take one so early into our internship but our schedules are mostly free this weekend and I think a little stress relief might do us some good.”

Shane quirked an eyebrow. “I’m not adverse to taking a day off but do you really think this is the time to do so? Feels like now we should be on high alert and learning as much as we can, considering how bold the criminals have gotten.”

“That’s… a pretty bleak sentiment. Being on mission twenty-four-seven seems like it’ll burn us out.” Vanessa said as she floated over to her favorite spot on the couch.

“Nah, he’s right on target actually. We should be learning and getting some more local experience.” Greg said as he relaxed into an armchair. “But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way for us to do that while relaxing at the same time.”

“And I think we have a very practical way of doing so.” Amy said. “A certain kind of bar to be specific.”

Shane’s realization of what she was suggesting quickly overtook his growing suspicion that Amy had planned out this entire conversion. “You really think our mentors will go for it?”

“Funny you should ask.” Rikki’s voice suddenly rang out from behind them, making them all nearly flinch as they turned around. Jack and Rikki hovered a few feet in the air behind them, both in full costume, presumably just having finished their mid-day patrols. They dropped to the ground as soon as everyone turned towards them.

“Assuming we’ve read the room right and my conniving Amy was talking about going to a Hero Bar?” Rikki asked sardonically.

“It seems less conniving and more like a tactically sound decision to me.” Shane spoke up.

“Not necessarily mutually exclusive but fair enough.” Jack started off. “Shane’s right that you all still have a lot to learn that can only be gained through experience and Amy is right about you lot needing to relax. So, a Hero bar does sound like the perfect opportunity: It’s a place to drink and relax and you get a chance to mingle with the locals and get a feel for who stands where in this city.” He smirked a little before asking. “That is assuming you all are of age?” Which was quickly met by a chorus of eye rolls that purposefully ignored before clearing his throat. “Now there is the more serious problem of convincing Elizabeth and Hugh. Those two workaholics are usually all about training and they’re probably going to start working overtime considering how quickly the White Boars have been escalating.”

“You really think she won’t go for it?” Vanessa asked. “I know that Elizabeth can be a little intense, that’s why I choose her, but she’s always been down for a little rest whenever our shifts and training is over.”

“Those may just get longer soon.” Jack warned. “But no, I actually know what’ll get them to tag along with us. I just worry for the state of my wallet afterwards; neither of them are prideful enough to pass on the offer of free drinks.”

Shane mentally acquiesced to his mentor’s decision and relaxed back into the leather couch, turning up the volume on the television once more. The young man hadn’t been exactly crazy about partying or the club scene, not that the ones he’d attended in college hadn’t been good. It was just that he was a little cautious of someone with a power as dangerous as his being intoxicated for any extended period of time.

He looked over at the others and was mildly surprised to see that Vanessa looked equally as lukewarm about the prospect, thoroughly unsurprised when he saw Greg grinning like an idiot, and was positively shocked to see Amy sporting a grin that would make his sister proud.

If nothing else, this outing might give him some more insight on the people he was expected to risk life and limb for and with.

Binding Oaths – Chapter 24 | Arc 2 Sisyphus
Binding Oaths – Chapter 26 | Arc 2 Sisyphus

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