I stood there side by side with Latency and Unperson. They are still known to me as Derek and Maxine. Ricky – or Plural as he is now calling himself – is in the New York Juniors team along with Micheal, who rechristened himself Beacon. Ellen was taken from us, the only casualty of the attack on Norfolk.
We were waiting, overhearing Gunsmith talk into the camera.
“…e here at the NHN will finally introduce the three new members to the Oklahoma City’s very own National Heroes Network Junior Group! Unperson, Latency and Ryan!”
We walked onto the stage from the left. Both I and Unperson were heavily armored. Unperson’s mask was a face-plate covering her eyes but still giving her sight. The Goggles she wore earlier worked by making her see through an instant camera feed. It wasn’t efficient, but the technical guy behind it made an improved version for her.
I wore clothing suspiciously similar to riot gear. It was painted white, to my approval. The facemask was clear as I didn’t feel the need to hide my face. They all knew who I was anyway.
Derek was the only one of us not adorned with bullet proofing of any sort. I guess he felt he didn’t need it, due to his ability to not get shot. As much as his bravery entertained me, watching him go out in a silver morph suit was rather embarrassing. Seriously, what the fuck.
It was a small press release, mainly to justify the sudden growth of the Oklahoma City Juniors. They are now seven members on this team, making out group the fifth largest NHN Junior Group in the USA. Unperson and I waved.
The crowd was justifiably nervous. When people are asked about Incontinents, they don’t think about potential superheroes.
They think of Biohazard, who turned his hometown into a desolate wasteland where even rocks are rotting away. They think of Japan, a country that was turned into a jungle state where every animal has sentience. President Inugami is currently trying to reapply Japan for the UN at the moment, but he’s having issues. Apparently there is new legislation about UN memberships, and ‘nations who have undergone severe demographic, military and/or governmental restructuring due to the influence of superpowers are no longer allowed access to the UN’. I can see why, with all the Kingmaker states and the one or two islands run my maniacs with hypnotism and god knows what else. They think about Nightmare.
I decided to finally break the silence. “Hello, I’m Ryan. The girl to my left is Unperson,” I said, gesturing. “And the person to my right is Latency.”
“We’ll ask any questions the best we can as members of the NHN Junior Group first, and as individuals second,” I finished, stepping back.
The first hand shot up, a petite girl. I pointed to her and she immediately looked at her question on the notepad. “Why are you called Ryan?”
“It’s my name,” I said. “You know me anyway,” A second person raised their hand once I was done with her, and I pointed at them.
“Do you think you’ll be a good addition to the Oklahoma team?”
This was a question we were all prepared for. A big thing that recently has been making the rounds is the idea of team synergy. We’d been told about our companions from Gunsmith; Pivot, Event Horizon, Stacker and Maxwell. We also were told about the current Oklahoma situation.
Unperson answered this question. “Yes. Both us and the NHN believe we are capable and suited to working in Oklahoma city with the current team situated there.”
Gunsmith walked up and gestured us off before any more questions occurred. It was time to meet the Oklahoma Juniors.
“So you three are the new guys, huh?” asked a green hooded figure in the Junior Group living quarters. It looked less like a dormitory and more like a storage closet, with boxes everywhere. Me, Unperson and Latency were standing at the door with our luggage; some clothes and toiletries.
A blue skinned figure walked out from where I assumed the toilets were, wearing a bathrobe. “Quiet, Stacker,” he said.
“I’m Maxwell, nice to meet you.” he stuck out a hand and it tuned to normal, surprising him slightly. He took a step back, reeling his hand away.
“Sorry,” I shrugged. “Can’t really turn it off.”
“It’s okay, I’m almost in the same boat.”
Latency walked out of my radius and turned to his glitchy, lagging self. Stacker raised an eyebrow.
“Shit, you guys really are Incontinents,” he smirked.
“And?” asked Unperson. Latency Blinked into a glare at Stacker.
“Never seen one apart from Maxwell, but he’s not like you guys.”
“Not ‘like us’ how?” I asked. I was having my patience wear thin and having my curiosity piqued at the same time.
“Well, for a start, Maxwell is a hero along the lines of ‘Internally Incontinent’ which means his powers don’t really affect others. His skin tuns blue, but he has other powers,” began Stacker. “Most thinking types are also like that, Powers are always working, but they don’t affect others like yours do unless they act on it.”
“I see,” I said. I’ve been cursing my lack of knowledge in super-culture for a while. Hell, I feel like I’m going to be cursing a lack of knowledge in everything for years to come.
“Well, looks like the newbies are here,” said a young girl as she walked in from behind. She held out a hand to me. “I’m Pivot.”
“Ryan,” I responded.
“Huh? No alias?” she cocked her head.
“It’s not like I can hide my identity,” I smiled at her, shaking her hand.
She sat down on one of the several couches scattered around the room. Maxwell had already went to his room to dry off. Latency and Unperson both looked for their rooms to change.
The alarms blared just as Unperson found her room.
“A metahuman robbery at West Bank is being conducted by the north side rioters. NHN Juniors Group has been assigned to deal with the threat.”
Pivot ran to her room to get her stuff. Maxwell walked out of his, and whom I could only guess was Event Horizon walked out of hers.
“Okay newbies,” said Event Horizon. “Time to shine.”