Chapter 2

When the groceries were put away all five of them settled down in the living room. They were debating what to watch when there was a knocking at the door. “It’s unlocked” Orpheus called.

“I figured but didn’t want to intrude.” A voice boomed from the other side of the door before opening it. On the other side of the door was mountain of a man who had become known to the world as Tank. He was 6’6’’ and the product of years of intense training. He was 67 years old and had the body of a man half his age. He would have been imposing if he wasn’t smiling and carrying a case of beer. “A fan sent a case of this micro brewed stuff and figured you might want to share it with me.”  He said as he ripped open the case and tossed Orpheus a beer. Finally noticing that they weren’t alone Tank apologized “Oh, sorry ladies I didn’t realize that you all were here. I’m James, I’m a friend of Orpheus here.”

“You are also the hero known as Tank, the strongest man alive. So, I hope you don’t mind me saying this but. WHAT?” Jane asked with evident confusion.

Orpheus answered before Tank could. “James was my teacher. We were stuck in the middle of fuck all nowhere for several months while I got ahold of my powers. It was more…cozy than this place is.” He turned his attention back to Tank. “Is David or Wizard here as well or did they flake again?”

“Flake.” Tank said with a huff as he plopped down on the couch next to Lily. “So, what are you watching?”

Sarah answered “I’m trying to get them to watch this cool show that started last week. It’s about a world without powers. It’s got this guy and he…” she trailed off as she noticed the door with all the equipment behind it was flashing. Orpheus and James had both pulled out their phones and were reading something.

“It’s Hero should I go?” Tank inquired his tone becoming businesslike but with just a hint of sympathy.

“No.” Orpheus sighed. “If you are forced to attack him it could start a war, but I can get away with it.” He rose and downed the beer he had been drinking.

“I’ve come to speak with the Elemental heroes.” A male voice boomed from outside. The girls went to the windows while Orpheus opened the door and walked out.

There was no mistaking the man outside. John Mccallan the man who had gotten the power of Hero after a disastrous attack at his graduation had killed everyone but himself and twenty-five of his classmate. When the dust had cleared all twenty-six had developed powers but none were as impressive as John and his girlfriend Lianne because they had gotten Hero and Heroine, neither of which had ever been seen before. The Twenty-Six as they had become known had thrown their lot in with the government and become a force to be reckoned with. John, or Hero now since he had insisted on only using his power name since he had started fighting crime, was one of the only heroes who wore a cape. His powers had altered his features to be more appealing and something kept him and his gear from ever looking dirty or grimy.

He was a symbol of the government’s power and their most powerful member. This naturally put him at odds with Sage and the other “free” heroes. He was also in the lineup of the most powerful super heroes in existence and he knew it. “Well if it isn’t little Orphy. What are you doing here? I thought I was supposed to be looking for super heroes not pathetic crybabies.” He laughed at his own joke. “But seriously where are the Elemental heroes. I am here to tell them to join us if they know what’s good for them.”

“Girls, would any of you like to go with the idiot or should I remove him?” Orpheus called over his shoulder. They all shook their heads no emphatically even though the tint in the window meant he wouldn’t have been able to see them. They had heard the horror stories about what happened if you didn’t cut it in their training. Stories of experiments to extract powers and torture to make people give them up when that didn’t work had surfaced recently. “Seems they don’t want to go with you. So, if you would kindly get the fuck off my property I would take it as a personal courtesy.”

“You don’t scare me Orphy. I am taking those girls with me even if I have to drag them.” Hero said with a snarl.

“Wrong answer.” Orpheus said as he pulled something out of his pocket. Hero jumped pack and then stared confused as Orpheus opened his palm to reveal a series of small marbles. He started to laugh but got the wind taken from him when the first one hit his crotch at Mach 1. He yelped in pain and the next one broke his knee cap. “You see John I have to ramp up to gauge my power output so that I don’t kill you and trust me I can kill you. Your other powers may make you stronger than Tank but in raw strength and durability he has you beat and I almost killed him once by using too much power. So, let this be your warning John and be sure to tell your masters this too. If anyone attacks the girls I will do to them what I did to Pluto.” He ended his threat by walking over to where John was kneeling and flicking his head. In a flash John flew off into the distance.

With him removed from the premise Tank and the girls came outside. “How much power was that?” Tank asked.

“What you said was 30%. I didn’t want to kill him just get my point across.” Orpheus said with a smirk.

Jane interrupted whatever response Tank had been preparing to give “You just manhandled Hero. The guy the news has been saying is the strongest hero that the world has ever seen. How can you be so calm about this?” she cried. She took a deep breath and asked a pointed question “How do you think the government is going to take this?”.

“They are going to call up Sage and pay him a lot of money to ask if I am telling the truth about Pluto. He will say yes because I did destroy it in training. Pants will be darkened and then they will respect the boundaries I have set. If they don’t? Well, I haven’t found an object that is too large to launch and we have a mountain right over there.” He pointed and let the implication sink in. “Besides, as much as I hate John, Lianne won’t let them pick a fight that could cost innocents their lives.”

Tank chuckled. “Sounds like a good girl. I have another few hours to kill before Wizard swings by should we head back in and watch that show the little blonde lady, Sarah right, was talking about?” The girl’s shrugged and headed back inside talking about what had just happened. Tank leaned in and whispered to Orpheus “So you went with Railgun. Are you sure that is what you want to do?”

Orpheus smiled sadly “Yeah, I don’t think the world is quite ready for me to go public and I want the discovery to be part of the girls’ training.” With that said he headed inside and sat in the chair he had staked out earlier.

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