Binding Oaths – Chapter 35 | Arc-2 Sisyphus

Spectrum hadn’t taken a seat for more than few seconds, recruitment papers and other documents neatly stacked in front of him, before the door to his office swung open and Pulp confidently strode in.

Spectrum hadn’t noticed before but upon closer inspection he noticed something peculiar about Pulp’s costume. Aside from the fingerless gloves and odd cape on a melee fighter, her blue and black suit was almost aggressively generic. Though he supposed, outside of his own odd color scheme, Spectrum didn’t have much room to talk with his fairly basic costume design. He supposed that they both just valued practicality over style.

“I hope you didn’t wait long.” She said before taking the seat opposite him.

“Not at all, you were exceptionally prompt. Especially considering how damaged the main road to here is from that recent bank fight.” Spectrum replied before setting his palms on the table. “Landscape Unit really dropped the ball on that one.”

“I wouldn’t be too hard on them. Who could have guessed that plasma manipulator would blast through the roof and try flying away when all his friends went down?” Pulp replied, her tone only slightly sardonic. “And, forgive me if this segue is a bit too obvious, but speaking of unexpected developments; Why do the Pristine Strikers want Pulp the loner to join their team? I’m a decently good Hero, if I do say so myself, but I’m not exactly the most well-known solo worker in town.”

“We pick new teammates based more on ability and skill, rather than popularity. And don’t bother with the ‘decent good’ talk; based on your exceptional record you would fit right in.” Spectrum reached over and picked up one of the stacked documents. “You took down three drug and two arms dealers during your five years of official Hero work while with a problematic team, four of which you took down without the operation descending into a big brawl. You managed to snuff out a group of tech-genius Supers planning to take over a city with a Manhattan Class weapon.” He picked up another page. “And your most notable combat accomplishment: While separated from your team and under ambush you single handedly defeated ten Supers. Eight standard class and two demolition, with only one being seriously injured; even Seamstress would be impressed by such a showing. That kind of raw fighting ability combined with a cunning mind is exactly what this team needs right now.”

Pulp tried not to let the genuine and pleasant shock show on her face. She’d known that Spectrum had a lot of clout in the Hero world and definitely had more official connections than she did, but she hadn’t expected him to dig up that comprehensive of a file on her so quickly. Although she doubted the file detailed how that specific scenario where she had to fight off an entire gang was due to a monumental fuck up on her teammate’s part. “You’re sharper than your team’s reputation indicates. Everyone in town just thinks you’re a modern version of the Gentle Hammers. The current team notwithstanding.”

The Gentle Hammers had essentially pioneered the idea of a specialized team of Heroes, instead of the standard well-rounded team. Specifically; they’d been a team of heavy hitters, mostly strongmen. Another group of Heroes based in the city, Brewster, had inherited the team name from one of it’s founding members, the legendary Hero, Titan.

“And if I’m not mistaken, your team had a bit of a falling out with their last Subtlety Hero and hasn’t even attempted to reach out to others for the past five years.” Pulp continued. “It’s not exactly a secret amongst the community that you don’t really trust the local ones.”

“That’s not without reason and you know it.” Spectrum almost, almost, snapped at her. But managed to keep his tone to just a low disapproval before sighing. “But… I can’t deny that you’re right and now that decision is hurting my team and it’s up to me to fix it. And I wouldn’t be lying if I said that the past few years of seeing Rancid, Intuition, and you do some top-notch work didn’t wear me down.”

“I’d be giving you a lot of trust by doing this.” Pulp said bluntly. While she may have been more skilled in the technical and physically demanding parts of subtlety work, she was no slouch in the social side either and Spectrum hadn’t given the slightest hint of dishonesty with his admission. It was best to be straightforward from here on out.

“So would we; Subtlety Heroes aren’t the only ones with secrets.” Spectrum replied as he brought up two pieces of paperwork. “But I’m willing to chance that risk if that’s what it takes to get my team back on track. We’ve had too many close calls in too short a time and I simply cannot abide by that. As things are; it’s only a matter of time before innocents get hurt due to my lack of forethought as well. Please.” That last word wasn’t spoken as a plea for help or with desperation but with the sullen acceptance of a man who knew he needed help and would do almost anything to get it.

Pulp gave the older Hero a long look before saying. “…Let me see those forms again.” She reached over and grabbed the dual sheets of documentation. The act of meticulously looking them both over and tracing certain lines with her finger was purely for show and just a way to give herself a little time to think, she’d already studied recruitment documents extensively before even coming here. Not that she needed much time to think about her choice anyways, Spectrum had already gotten her with his last line. Pulp reached down and pulled out a pen from a compartment on her utility belt but didn’t start writing yet.

“Alright, before we start making things official we should put everything on the table to make absolutely sure you know what we’re getting into.” Then Pulp told him what her power was. Spectrum didn’t exactly become gob-smacked at the revelation, but it was satisfyingly close.

“… Yeah, I think you’ll fit in just fine here.”

Without further ado Pulp speed-read the documents one last time before signing her name onto the dotted line. “Now we can get to saving this city. And by the looks of what I’ve seen around the city recently; we get to beat on some racists to boot.” Pulp said with a grin.

Spectrum returned the expression with surprising eagerness. As concerned as he was about the safety of the people in his city and his team he hadn’t become a renowned Hero because he didn’t like a challenge. And a chase like the one he was on now just got his heart beating in a way no other activity could replicate.

That grin quickly faded away as his earpiece crackled to life and Dispatch gave him a rather distressing notification.

Pulp saw the look on his face and decided to venture an educate guess. “Is it your intern again?”

“It’s fucking Styx again, yes.”

Binding Oaths – Chapter 34 | Arc-2 Sisyphus
Binding Oaths – Chapter 36 | Arc-3 Minos

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