“So what team is that one?” Mei asked, pointing to a pamphlet, “They look pretty strong… And… Mildly flamboyant,”
“Oh, they’re the Midnight Crusaders, mid-level team, probably a B or C rank,” Wildfire said, “If you wanna go contact them, it’d be no problem,”
“Generic name… Leader looks like an edgy goth kid who peaked in middle school… Pass, what’s that one?”
“The Outcasts, they–”
“Next, I’m not down for edgy team names…” Mei said, “What’s the next one you got?” She asked, laying down on the tree branch.
“The… Guardians of Earth…?” Wildfire said.
“Eh, at least they’re upfront with what they are, what are they like?” Mei asked.
“Solid B rank team, they’re a pretty large team where the most average to above average heroes start off in, so we should be able to find a bunch of heroes to help us out,” Wildfire said, “So, we’ll see how that goes, just do your best not to offend anyone,”
“Ah, when have I ever offended anyone?” Mei said.
“You’re joking, right?”
Mei and Wildfire appeared in front of the Guardians of Earth’s headquarters. Which ended up being a small apartment in the middle of downtown.
“This is them? Seems like a bunch of people trying to save money by cramming as many people as they can in one small area…” Mei said.
“It’s what I did in college with my buddies,” Wildfire said, “Brings me back a bit,”
“You went to college?” Mei asked, “I didn’t take you for the type…”
“What’s that supposed to mean?!”
“You wear spandex and go around speaking like a stereotypical good guy superhero who has never even said a curse word in his entire life. What do you mean what’s that supposed to mean?”
“That’s… Wow, I didn’t expect that to cut as deep as it did…” Wildfire said, “Anyway, let’s get this done,”
Wildfire knocked on the door. An audible shuffling was heard from behind the door, presumably the heroes getting ready for the unexpected visitors.
After a few minutes, a hero opened the door. It looked like he had either just woken up or had thrown on his costume in a hurry as he was still only half dressed and his hair was poking out from the back of his mask.
“Are you the landlord? Promise we got rent this month just give us a little bit,” He said.
“Err… No, we’re not here to collect rent… What?” Wildfire sputtered, “We’re also supers, is your landlord– nevermind, getting off track, we need some help,”
“Oh, uhhh… Lemme go see if we can…” The man closed the door. More audible shuffling could be heard.
“I dunno about this, they don’t seem to be the most… Proactive of people…” Mei said.
“Look at you, finally learning how to mince words,”
“I’m just saying, it smells like ***** and depression and we’re still in the hallway, I can only imagine what it’s like on the inside,”
“There’s the kicker,” Wildfire said, “Either way, they’re about as good as we’ll get considering you don’t have any presence in the superhero world, and I’m a C-rank hero at best,”
“Eh, you got fans though, you’ll be fine,”
Suddenly, shouting could be heard from inside the room. Two distinct voices with many smaller hushed voices all around.
“We can help! You’re just a lazy piece of **** who doesn’t want to do anything that requires an ounce of effort!” A female voice said.
“It’s not that, I just–” A man started.
“No, I’m done, none of you want to do anything about anything anyways, I’ll go find somewhere else to stay!” She said.
The door flung open, the woman made direct eye contact with Mei, smiled, then slammed the door. When the man attempted to open the door, it crumbled at just their touch.
The man looked at Mei then off to the direction where the woman had run off to, “Uhh… Sorry, we can’t help you… We’re… Going through some stuff…”
Mei shrugged, “You know what the worst part about all these supers is?” Mei said, “They all talk a lot, but they don’t really do much,”
“To be fair, they’re being asked to go to another dimension to help you specifically, someone they don’t really know,”
“They’re also being asked to help the Bronze Lynx and my entire school of 800 something high schoolers…” Mei murmured, “It’s not a selfish thing on my part, it’s selfishness on theirs… It’d be so much easier for me to just say **** it and do nothing,”
Wildfire snickered, “You’re an interesting one, Necroia, it’s been a wild ride seeing you in action,” He said, “I’ve been having lots of fun though!”
Mei heaved a sigh, “Why do you even help out? It’d be so much easier for you to be like the other heroes and just pretend nothing bad is even happening,”
“It’s like you said, I’m a stereotypical good guy superhero, I’m not gonna let people suffer as long as I can help it… That’s why I’ll see this out til the end, you’ll get your dad back, and your school, if it takes me my life,” Wildfire said.
“Then I guess we’re in this to win or die, ‘cuz I don’t intend to quit until I get them back or die myself either,”
Wildfire smirked, “I just had an idea!” He exclaimed, “We’ve got some pretty nice powers, and I’ve got a bit of a social media presence, what if we made our own superhero team? Then we could hold our own tryouts and recruit heroes that way!”
“Yeah, but then we’d become like the other superhero teams… It’d have to be planned out– have a lot of things to prevent corruption too…” Mei said, “I mean think about it, those guys were living out of an apartment and were a mess, but still considered a ‘decent’ superhero team, what are the others like…”
“They all kinda suck,” A woman said.
The two turned to face the newcomer, “Who the–” Wildfire started.
“Ohh, she’s pretty,” Mei said.
“Hello, Matthew Ryle, Xiang Mei… Or perhaps Wildfire and Necroia are more proper for this encounter…”
“How did you–” Wildfire started.
“I get around a lot,” The woman said, “I do know a lot of things… I mean, I have been alive for what feels like eternity at this point… You two are interesting though, I’ll be sure to keep an eye on the two of you,”
“Who even are you?” Mei asked, “You’re like… Kinda freaking me out, but in the way that I don’t necessarily mind but like it’s still weird and I want it to stop sorta way,”
“Like when you aren’t sure if it’s a bee on your back or just your sweat so you’re just sort of just praying to any god that will listen that it’s just sweat?” Wildfire commented.
“Well that’s when you think of if its going up your back or down your back,”
“But bees can go up and down your back! What if the bee is just going down instead of up?” Wildfire said.
“****, you’re right…”
“You’re getting distracted,” The woman said.
“Oh, right! Who are you?” Mei asked again, trying her best not to get sidetracked again. It was just so easy to start thinking of something completely unrelated to the topic at hand.
The woman giggled, “Are you getting distracted by your thoughts again?” She asked, “No matter, I’m what the humans would call a god, though, I guess goddess would suit me better, you can call me…” She thought for a moment, “I’ve always liked the name Hades,”
“That’s badass…” Mei murmured.
“Anyway, I’ve overstayed my welcome,” Hades said, “I just wanted to see what the two of you were like… And I’m not disappointed, but I won’t take away from your next guest, the two of you seem to be getting popular!”
With that Hades disappeared into the darkness, replaced by another woman. It was the girl from the Guardians’ apartment– headquarters building!
The woman trotted up to Wildfire and Mei, panting and out of breath, she spoke quickly but neither of them caught any of what she said.
“Say again? I don’t think I quite heard you,” Mei said.
“I– You– Sorry– Phew…” The woman took a few minutes to recuperate.
A bottle of water appeared in Mei’s hand, which she offered to the woman, “Here, have some water, don’t ask where it came from,”
The woman greedily gulped down the water and exhaled deeply, “Phew… Okay, I just wanted to say, I’m sorry on behalf of the Guardians of Earth’s actions! I’m not part of them anymore, but I wanted to help you since I’m a hero and that’s what we do!”
“I mean, I was kind of hoping to get a whole team since we’re gonna probably be going up against some tough ****, but any help is welcome,” Mei said.
“Yeahhh, any help is good help!” Wildfire said, “What’s your name?”
“Ashl-ahh you meant superhero name, that was almost bad…” She said, “I’m Teenie! I uhhh, change size… I can also kinda… Read emotions and stuff,”
“Hey, that’s pretty cool!” Wildfire said, “Do you have… Any sort of super strength as well? Or just those powers?”
“I mean, I’m a little stronger than normal people? But not super super strong,” Teenie said.
“Good enough for me!” Wildfire said, “Whaddya think?”
“Digging the powers, plus not instantly just saying no to helping out,” Mei said, “I like her,”
“That’s a first,”
Mei performed a superspeed wedgie on Wildfire. It was like a normal wedgie, but with superspeed rugburn, so it hurt 1000x more.
“Shut up…” She murmured, “Anyway, welcome to the team, Teenie,” Mei reached her hand out to shake Teenie’s, “We’re a bit odd, but we’re good people, promise,”
Teenie giggled and shook Mei’s hand, “Nice to meet you– err…”
“Necroia, that’s Wildfire,” Mei said, motioning over to Wildfire trying to undo his wedgie but failing miserably.
Teenie nodded, “Nice to meet you Necroia! And Wildfire too, of course!”
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