Lily sneezed into the crook of her arm again, causing the guards flanking her with guns in their waistbands to flinch a bit again at the sudden movement of the small teen.
Honestly, how was she supposed to concentrate when trigger happy fucks like this got twingy at the smallest movement? It had been scary at first, but now she was just annoyed.
Lily was currently hunched over a laptop of middling quality, the desk it was situated on made of cheap wood and metal. She and the guards were in one of the White Boars’s many hideouts “appropriated” across the city, this one being an old office building far from most of the Hero bases in the city. The place smelled of dust and was damp and leaking from the frequent showers the city had been subject to for the past few days. And the weather forecasts were indicating that it wouldn’t be letting up anytime soon either.
The young Super sneezed again before groaning. This damn place’s mold and dust was starting to get to her on top of her allergies from the seasons change in weather. And that wasn’t even taking into account her workload; they’d been working her ragged for days now. Monitoring any nearby Hero patrols to find a pattern, trying to find out secret identifies, and documenting any potential power weaknesses that they could exploit. The latter of which being the only one of the three that bore any fruit, minimal for some Heroes, strongmen didn’t usually have an obvious kryptonite, but the others we’re easier. Her parents were seriously worried about the “increased shift time” but Lily managed to mollify them with vague statements about it being a busy month.
Styx’s shadows were dissipated by nearby light sources, Goblyn had a special glowing summon that she was pretty sure was radiation based, Organicum’s material burned really easily, Defensive Dugout’s shield were air permeable, etc etc.
Honestly, the gang only had a few select Supers and gadgets that could exploit such weaknesses, but that didn’t really matter. As far as she could tell, the plan wasn’t to necessarily beat the other teams, at least not yet, but the list of weaknesses would still be useful for the big event.
But she had to do something else today, and like most of the things they’ve been doing recently, she didn’t want to do it because it reeked of competency.
Today Lily was forced to help direct their teleporting boy to certain key locations. They had precious few Supers that could teleport entire groups of people, so it was imperative they had a wide range of useful places to go to. And since most teleporters couldn’t port to places they’ve never been to, it necessitated getting all of them to any new hideouts they made.
They couldn’t do this all at once, of course, but it had to be done nonetheless and with some discretion. And thus, Lily was forced to keep track of and direct this one.
“Did you make sure to go through every room?” Lily asked as her summon watched the red-head walk out of the warehouse. It had taken a bit to get used to seeing through her creature’s eyes while communicating with an earpiece. But she’d gotten the hang of it, and plus, it freed her up to do other things on her laptop.
Other things like tracking where Daniel was in relation to a certain building.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Daniel said, tone annoyed and a little jittery from the frigid winds. “Are we done for the day yet, I’m freezing my ass off.”
“Don’t worry, you’ve only got one more stop.” Lily replied, her tone oh-so-sympathetic.
The guards were just thugs with a fraction more brains than muscle, barely even qualifying as members. The most complex orders they’d been given were to watch out for anything strange and to protect her from getting jumped when she left.
So, neither took note of Lily when she directed the kid to stand in front of the hideout of a certain man named “Jan Alexander”.
* * *
“Word on the street is you guys have been having a rough couple of days.” Olivia said.
“Word on the street? Jeez, Olivia, I know we’re both old but we should at least keep with the lingo. Otherwise how’s anyone supposed to take us seriously?” Pulp replied.
Styx would have chuckled at the exchange, but he didn’t want to give the already nervous looking guards that were giving him looks an excuse. So instead he focused on the room he was in while Spectrum leaned against the opposite wall, arms crossed.
They were in another one of Olivia’s hideouts, in the back room of some butcher shop that was closed for the day. The smell of the room was permeated by all the raw meat that had been chopped and processed in other rooms. The floor was grimy and the closest thing to furniture were the six wooden chairs and metal table in the center of the room. And only one person, Olivia, was using a chair to sit down at the moment. It let Pulp look down at her, but also gave off the not so subtle message that she was completely relaxed even when meeting with the strongest team in town.
Olivia and the two thugs she had at the only exit to the room were wearing thick leather coats to avoid shivering from the draft in the building. While the Heroes, sans Styx, only wore slightly thicker versions of their original costumes. They were warmer versions but not by a lot; Heroes tended to focus on mobility and ease of movement above all else unless absolutely necessary and the material of Styx’s suit was already incredibly good at retaining heat. Getting a chill that could be healed was a lot better than a loss of mobility that got you killed in a fight.
“I think I’ll stick to my current vocabulary, thank you very much. I’m sure the millennials in my crew will tell me if I really need to get up to date.” The middle aged said with a wry smile. “Now then, what exactly did you and your friends come here for?”
Pulp rolled her eyes at that but didn’t waste any more time. “We just came here to trade for any you have about the White Boars Supers before one of your boys messed it up.”
Styx’s eyes widened behind his helmet, expression turning pensive. His mentor’s expression didn’t betray anything, though Shane recognized the slight tension in his hands that let him know that the older Hero was ready for violence. Pulp had told them earlier about how an infiltrator, from what she guessed was from Olivia’s crew, had made the White Boars turtle up even more than usual. Severely limiting, or completely stopping any attempts by other Heroes to gather information.
They hadn’t expected her to bring it up in such a tactless way. Though in retrospect, maybe they should have; The woman liked hanging around Elizabeth and Rikki after all, and neither women were exactly known for their propriety.
The air became very still and all the levity evaporated from Olivia’s face and the two thugs in the room seemed to tense up, sensing the shift in mood. “Messed up?” Oliva asked, voice void of any specific emotion. “Could you elaborate?”
Pulp didn’t seem phased in the least by the change in atmosphere. “Your boy, Tony, tipped them off to the possibility of plants even deeper inside whatever organization they have when he bugged out with all the grace of a retarted rhino.”
Olivia’s eyes hardened just a touch more, showing the calculation of one of the leading crime bosses in the entirety of Brooklyn. And most importantly, one of the few the White Boars hadn’t dared directly cross for fear of being systematically taken apart.
Then as quickly as it was there, her expression became a neutral mask again
“Fine.” Olivia Rothstein. “Let’s start with the girl with fire powers. And yes, before you ask, almost all of them seem to have powers that would be very effective against your little monster over there.” She said, waving a hand in Styx’s direction.
“Good.” Pulp said simply, a not-so-friendly and satisfied smile stretching across her face. “That makes things much easier.”