Chapter 4

“Hello Wiz-kid.” Orpheus said derisively.

“You know I hate that nickname Orphy.”

“I hate being pushed into the damned mountains with no clothes on but that didn’t stop you yesterday did it. Also, why can’t you just ask me to go through the portals instead of pushing me?”

“You have a history of being unreasonable. Also, it’s funny.”

Orpheus got up and offered Lily his hand. She took it and they both started walking to the door. “Lead the way dirtbag.” Orpheus said to Wizard.

“With pleasure.” He said as he lead them outside. Outside they found more buildings than had been there the previous day. “The small one off to the left is a gym like you would find in the city. Your powers may compel you to get into a certain shape and those facilities will help you with that. If you get a powerful urge to exercise remember to eat after as your power may have turned up your metabolism to eleven. The large bunker looking building is a range with various extras. Don’t worry about damaging the targets, I put some very powerful wards on them and if you break them you might just save my life. Finally the small squat building has some kind of super tech in it to make sure people don’t stumble on this location and hides you from satellites and low flying planes. I don’t know how it works but it is impressive.”

“I’ll be right back I want to go test something on those targets.” Orpheus said and he went off to the range.

“Where were these things yesterday?” Katherine asked clearly surprised at the presence of these new buildings.

“They were here yesterday.” Lily said before Wizard could answer. “I could feel them with my powers but we couldn’t see them. It was throwing me off.”

“So Wizard cloaked them either so we wouldn’t be intimidated or so we wouldn’t wander into them. Do we have it correct?” Sarah asked with a smile.

There was a crack like thunder from the range and Orpheus walked out. “I broke your ward. Have fun fixing it.” Wizard rushed into the range and Orpheus looked quite pleased with himself.

Jane looked at the others and asked, exasperated “What is with you guys? This is Wizard. How are you not at least a little freaked out? The guy fights monsters and now he’s here showing us around like tour guide.” The others just shrugged and asked Orpheus what he did.

“I wanted to see how tough his wards were so I stress tested them. They are really tough in case you were wondering and the ones on the walls are even tougher. But to be honest I wanted to break something of his.”

“Which he did. Now I have to make a new target.” Wizard said grumpily as he came out of the range.

“You were just saying how breaking them would be doing you a favor. Were you lying?” Sarah asked innocently.

“No it’s just…look I know what Orpheus did and I don’t know if I can protect against that. My predecessor could of but I’m not sure I can.”

“Bullshit.” Orpheus said assertively “If I hear you talking like that again I really will beat some sense into you.” He sighed.

“Well said. But I called dibs in training.” James said as he came into the yard. He was followed by a man who looked to be in his mid-forties.

“James and…is that Sage I see behind you. How did you drag him out here?” Orpheus said a smile creeping on to his face.

“Not my work. Prophet said that he needed to come with me today so we used his jet to get here. I’m hoping it sends the right message.”

Wizard laughed a little. “I hope you were going for “here there be dragons” because as far as the public is concerned this doesn’t happen. We don’t get together for anything short of a monster.”

“Perhaps it is time to change that.” Sage had spoken softly but it had rung out clear as though he had spoken it right into their ears.

“What Sage said. Now I brought stuff for grilling and a grill, Jane would you mind lighting it up when we get it all set up.” Tank said as he carried a very large box into the yard.

“Isn’t that a bit big. Wait I recognize this model. It’s the one my dad’s company sells. This made for cooking for events.” Katherine put her hand over her mouth as she realized what she had just said.

The others raised their eyebrows except for Sage who just smiled. Sarah exploded into questions as Tank and Orpheus started unpacking the grill. Wizard asked Lily to give him a hand with the propane and they went off to find the vehicle Tank had driven to the compound. Jane focused on summoning up flame.

When the grill was lit, Tank started cooking the massive amount of meat he had brought with him, Orpheus and Wizard started arguing about something and had devolved their argument into name-calling. Lily was sitting nearby giggling, which only made the two redouble their efforts. Katherine and Sarah were comparing notes on how they grew up and Jane was sitting with Sage just soaking it all in. “They act like brothers.” She said to her companion.

“Yep, Tank and I were hoping that it would happen they both kind of needed it. Neither one had a great time when they got their powers.”

“Orpheus was telling us about the whole being the twenty-seventh of the Twenty-Six thing. What about Wizard, I thought that was the same guy I had heard all the stories about before today.”

“Is that all he told you.” Sage said under his breath. “Much like with Tank, Wizard is a legacy of sorts. He was in the foster care system after one of his parents killed the other and the previous Wizard adopted him. He raised him for eleven years and on the eve of his eighteenth birthday the previous Wizard fell deathly ill. He passed on the power that night and hung on for one more week while Wizard tried to save him. I think that might have screwed him up a bit.”

“That sucks. But why does he look like his predecessor. You would think he would want to look different.”

“He can’t, the power won’t let him change his appearance and besides I think it has started giving him comfort, like his predecessor is looking out for him.” Sage started walking to the grill as Tank started pulling off meat. “I want the best cut so I need to get up there before everyone else.”

Jane had to admit after everyone had started eating that it was nice seeing these legends be people from time to time. She wouldn’t say it out loud but she did quietly admit to herself that she was having more fun here than she had had in a long time.

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