“What the fuck,” said Derek. “What the fuck was that about?”
I had no patience.
“What happened was Ellen joined that fucking bitch and her fucking posse, D!” I snapped back at him. Ellen joined the Hunting Party. Why? Why the fuck would she do that? My head was racing.
“Ryan, calm down,” said Derek, interrupting my thoughts. “I get it, I know how you feel. Please think before you act.”
“Why? Why the fuck should I?”
“You’ll get yourself killed, or worse.”
I took a moment to think. Derek was right, there was nothing I could do. It would take a month to heal my arm properly, and even then my powers are useless in certain situations. I haven’t even one a single fight.
“Fine,” I said, still bitter. I took a second to exhale. “Fuck.”
The door opened slowly after what felt like an eternal silence. It wasn’t Maxine and any medical staff, but Event Horizon. She stood there, looking as concerned as she could.
“I heard about the news,” she said. “I know you two and the other one were close.”
“Yeah,” sighed Derek. He got up to leave.
“I was going to visit today to see about your arm, Ry. I guess these things happen.”
I looked at her, much calmer than before. I took a moment to realize she was still in costume. A pink mask over her head, with a green triangle on the center of it, covering her nose and her top lip. Odd choice. Derek closed the door behind him.
“I’m actually not good at this, and I feel I’ve come too early, but I’m there for you and your friends. Maxwell is there too,” she said. “Don’t let this be about yourselves, Ry. You, Unpe- Maxine and Derek are pert of the team now. You are part of my team. I want to see you at your best or at least make sure you feel better than before you joined.”
It was awkward, slow, she tripped up once and there was a hint of selfishness to it, but I needed it.
“Thanks. I’ll tell the others when I see them.”
She got up to leave and ran into Maxine. There was a nurse with her.
“He broke his arm again,” the nurse said to Event Horizon.
“I see. I’ll talk to you later, ” she said to Maxine, walking out the room.
It’s been a week since my accident. I’m healing faster than usual, and I’m up and about now.
“Hey you three, what’s up?”
It was Pivot. Event Horizon was behind her. She was relatively normal as far as most brain type supers went. Her specialty was on making machines with a central component, that both allowed for easy rebuilding but also left her creations with a glowing weakness; everything is built around a single, central component.
She wore a slightly modified labcoat. A single steel wire held it together, and allowed it to provide maneuverability and protection.
“Not much,” replied Maxine, eating a sandwich from the cafeteria. Derek was already finished and I was busy enjoying a surprisingly not terrible soup.
“We need to talk,” Pivot said, pausing for a moment. “Not about what happened, it’s more about the actives thing before the bank heist incident.”
“Oh, that,” I said. “What was it about again?”
“Druggie’s formula and powers.”
“Really?” I said. I wasn’t in the mood for it.
“You’ll need to hear this, so listen up,” said Event Horizon, reading my expression. She and Pivot sat down next to either side of Derek.
“I figure you know the gist of what Druggie does, right?” asked Pivot.
“Chemical based hero, creates tons of powerful formulas and drugs,” said Maxine.
“Yeah. Anyway, you all got injected with his ‘Awakening’ formula. This is different, and it works off of regular awakenings.”
Derek shifted to slightly, a little worried. I’d be concerned about this too if I was in his shoes. Or Maxine’s.
“Awakenings are caused moments of extremity. Winning a Drag Race, being in a fight, surviving a disaster… all of those can cause a power to erupt,” lectured Pivot. “Druggie’s formula forces this, causing a random ambient power. There is a passive effect and an active. You guys need to know about your ‘actives’ and how to use them.”
This actually isn’t as bad as I thought. Derek relaxed a little.
“It’s easier if we learn about these powers and stuff in a controlled environment than in the middle of a fight or something, right?” asked Maxine.
“Yeah,” replied Event Horizon. “That’s why we are telling you now. You know us, there isn’t much going on at this very moment and you guys may be out of action for a while anyway.”
“Figures,” Derek said, looking up at Event Horizon as she walked over to Pivot.
“We’ll do this in the training room,” said Event Horizon, standing from her seat. “Gunsmith has to watch over us, for supervision purposes.”
Pivot got up from her seat. “You all coming? No time like right now.”
We all looked at each other and got up at the same time. We all finished our meals anyway.
“Okay,” I said. “I think it’s unanimous.”
Event Horizon walked off. “I’ll go get Gunsmith, you guys follow Pivot.”
Pivot led the way as Maxine walked next to her, with me and Derek close behind them. I noticed that Pivot’s labcoat was a little larger than she was, reaching down to her ankles.
“Hey Pivot,” said Maxine.
“Yeah?” Pivot continued walking down the hall.
“So why were there only four of you guys before we joined?”
Pivot took a moment to think.
“One guy moved to another group, the other guy cou-” she began, before stopping abruptly. “yeah, sometimes people leave the team.”
“Oh,” said Maxine, trying to segway the bitter feeling in the air. “let’s talk about something else. What’s up with the guys we fought a week ago?”
“The North side Rioters?”
“Yeah, them!” Maxine exclaimed.
“They all sorta awakened during a riot that happened last year. We didn’t catch up to them and by the time we knew about them they’d already been causing crimes.”
“I see,” I said.
“It’s a combination of bad luck and opportunity for them, really.” Pivot stated. “They were mostly poor kids before the riot, then they got hit by the worst of it and became looters, then muggers, then… well, this,” she gestured to the air.
“Oh, we’re here. let’s wait for Gunsmith and Event Horizon.”