The Interns shared a feeling of awe as they were led through the sleek hallways of their soon-to-be new home and base. Steve leading them through the various rooms and facilities they currently had access to.
They were already familiar with the meeting area; the kitchen, bathrooms, and bed quarters looked pretty standard, if a bit posh. What actually caught their attention, however, were the rooms more directly related to their duties as Heroes.
The armory, server room, garage,extra training and personal-meeting rooms were fit out with futuristic looking computers, hidden compartments, and could all be adjusted in some way. Steve used a small remote with him to activate certain adjustments, similar to the one Jack used in the gym.
Eventually Shane and Amy decided to speak up.
“Hey, Steve. I’ve seen a few Hero bases when I was younger, but this one seems weirdly high tech. Any reason why?”, Shane asked as soon as Steve finished showing them the emergency exits. Shane’s grandfather had never taken him to many active bases, too many security risks and danger. But recently vacated ones had been fair game, although some cajoling with the Heroes who had owned it was always needed.
“Same here. This all kind of looks like something a tech Super would make, but I’ve never seen their technology on such a large scale outside of the HCP.”, Amy followed up as they made their way towards their own personal lounge.
“Ah, yes, about that.”, Steve suddenly turned to face all of them and visibly drew himself up. “You can all probably tell by now that I’m not a Hero, but I am a Super, a Tech-Super that that has always been fascinated by infrastructure to be specific. Of course, I wasn’t the only one who helped upgrade this place.”, Steve walked over and sat down in one of the armchairs. “A little over a decade ago this team saved me and a group of other Tech-Supers from a domestic-terrorist group headed by a villain named Polaris.”, he explained with a far-away look in his eyes. “We were a group of five working with a small and private construction company. To make a long story short: Polaris took exception to our rather ambitious business aspirations and the Pristine Strikers saved us, me and my colleagues feel like we owed them. So, we decided to make the team our first customers.”, he finished with a wistful smile.
“Wait, if you’re not a Hero or with the DVA, then isn’t it a problem that you can see our faces?”, Greg asked.
Steve let out a nasally chuckle, “Don’t worry, I’m under so many contracts on privacy and disclosure that I’m in danger by just thinking about blowing the whistle on any of you.” He stands up, wincing a bit from the pain in his right knee, “Anyway, that about wraps up your tour of the base; It’s about time you met up with your DVA agent again.”
At that moment a shard of shimmering and misty light appeared on the floor right outside the lounge and Maria blurred into existence not a second later.
“Hey kids, who wants to have their first official DVA meeting?”, she announced in a sickly-sweet voice.
It didn’t take long after that for Steve to take his leave, citing that he didn’t have the clearance to hear any of what Maria would be discussing with them. Maria herded them toward one of the three official meeting rooms in the base, the door sliding shut behind them.
They all sat around the oval shaped table with visible excitement; the opportunity to learn more about their new lives as Heroes appealing to all of them.
“Now then; you’ll be learning about after-action reports, exemplary resource requisition forms, transportation requests, various readiness statuses, and, of course, scheduling.”
Greg and Vanessa visibly shrunk back a little into their plush chairs.
The first half of their meeting went by smoothly, if slowly, as Maria explained the more mundane intricacies of Hero work. Handing out instructions for filling out forms and switching slides on the projector in the room for each topic.
Amy and Shane had kept themselves mostly at attention throughout the meeting, glancing occasionally at their respective handouts. While Greg and Vanessa did their best not to show any signs of dozing while they sat.
For her part, Maria kept up a steady pace with an almost clipped tone to her voice, quickly going over the material; at least until the end.
“Now that we’ve gotten past the boring paperwork, it’s time for the really exciting stuff you’ll be experiencing with your Mentors.”, she said suddenly, and accentuated it with a clap of her hands, instantly bringing Greg and Vanessa to attention. “As Heroes of the DVA you can be under three active-statuses: On Call is the first and most common status you’ll be under, this is for any Hero or team that is available to be called upon by the DVA to handle any Super or Powered related crimes or threats across the nation. Although the number of Powereds in the nation has been predicted to decrease rapidly when the formula from the Charles Adair ordeal becomes readily available to the public.”, her eyes got a faraway look of plain frustrating at the last part. “Jesus, that was a cluster-fuck.”
“Across the nation?”, Vanessa questioned evenly.
“Yes. On occasion you may be called outside of your local area to deal with variant-human threats deemed appropriate for your team. There are only so many active Heroes in America after all, certainly not enough to cover every city or town.”, Maria replied with practiced ease. “Now then, the second status is: On Duty. This status is for when you are currently involved in any Hero related activity that would be troublesome to call you away from. This can range from actively fighting a gang, chasing down suspects, or infiltrating a criminal organization’s base.”, she continued, switching to a slide of three different Heroes doing exactly what she listed.
“And what would be the penalty for a Hero not immediately falling in line?”, Greg questioned with more than a little trepidation. “I’d hate to get suspended just because I took an extra minute to make sure some scumbag got put behind bars.”
The agent nodded in apparent understanding. “We usually don’t pull Heroes while they’re engaged with immediate threats such as criminal Supers or chasing a fleeing suspect. In such a situation you are given the liberty of time to take care of any immediate tasks before being transported.”, She said, smoothly placating the stocky young man. “But the status you should be most concerned about is the Inactive status. This one’s for when you’re either on your entitled one-day-per-week break, sleeping, undergoing surgery, therapy, or in an official DVA meeting. Just to be clear: You can still be called in even when listed as Inactive. When lives are in the balance anyone’s relaxation time is expendable.”, she took a breath and reached down to grab her suitcase before remembering something. “Also, you need to take at least thirty days off per year; we used to have a real problem with rookies burning themselves out early.”, Amy and Shane nodded at this, they’d both seen and heard stories of Heroes being consumed by “The Life” early on. “Now onto exactly how you’ll all be establishing your statuses and what is likely to be the most important person in your career…”
Maria reached down and laid her sleek silver suitcase onto the stainless-steel table, popping it open to reveal four small black boxes, “Say hello to Dispatch.”