Sarah touched down on the roof of a swanky hotel, the kind her father would have stayed at if he were visiting, and made her way to the room that had been sent to her phone. Never being one to just barge into a room she deigned to knock and was greeted by a chorus of laughs followed by a short pale woman opening the door and motioning for her to come in. “I’m sorry for the laughter, love. We just didn’t expect you to knock.” The gaunt woman chuckled and took a seat next to the window of the room. She gestured to the only seat left open in the circle of chairs that they had obviously set up. Once she was seated the gaunt women began introductions “ On your left is Dissolve and Lightning, of Controlled Destruction and Storm Cloud respectively.” She didn’t notice the red dot appear on her neck and the others were all looking at Sarah waiting to be introduced, Sarah let them continue “On your right is Steel, who took over as leader of Metal Malice after Iron’s death, and Light, who was invited despite not being a team leader. I’m Cloak by the way, took over Metro City Defenders after Laser stepped down.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Sarah pulled her phone out and unmuted it “Did you get all that?”

“Yes. It is as you believed, standing down.” The dot vanished from Cloak’s neck as Assassin stowed his rifle. “I will be returning to your father when Wizard returns to my location. He is informing the others of the situation and telling them to stand down. The sound of someone yelling “Wiz Kid” came from the hallway and then again from the adjacent rooms.

With everyone standing down Sarah hung up her phone and looked at the other heroes who had grown just a touch paler. “Now I’m sure you have questions but I have one better. Why are we meeting in a hotel?”

Cloak regained her composure and answered “This is the annual team leaders conference, for Metro City, that we used to advertise to try to put a little fear in criminals but since it got attacked we’ve decided secrecy is better than intimidation. Now, we usually just pick a place by throwing a dart at a board the day before.”

“Makes sense but I propose a different venue next year.” Sarah had already asked everyone if they were okay with hosting the conference before they had confirmed that this was the conference “We have a compound a couple hours’ drive outside the city. We can provide security and there are no civilians nearby.” Sarah chuckled a little for emphasis “Heck we can even get Tank and Wizard to help with security if it’s necessary.”

“We’ll consider it.” Cloak readjusted her coat and pulled a large envelope from it. “For now, let’s get down to business. First item on the docket is who is taking Christmas off.” Sarah leaned back in her chair and prepared herself for what was bound to be a very boring day.


Orpheus and Lily had been hanging out in the room next to the meeting room waiting for the signal to bust through the wall and thus had been the last group Wizard had picked up. As they stepped through the portal they were surprised to find themselves at a party. “What the…” Orpheus began.

“…hell?” Lily finished. Everyone there was a member of one of the teams that operated in the city. Some of them preferred the spandex costumes of yore while others preferred the more modern body armored suits that could at least stop bullets. Whatever their preference they were all suited up and casually talking to each other.

An older man came up to them and shook their hands “Hello, name’s Laser and welcome to project bait.” He laughed “Our team leaders are having their meeting to discuss next year and get to know each other so we figured we would do the same.”

“And naturally we would be a bigger target for any criminals who might want to prove themselves.” Orpheus said as he figured out the name.

“Exactly, so eat, drink, be merry, and be ready to move if something happens.” Laser finished and went off to grab another cup of what appeared to be fruit punch.

Once he was out of earshot the couple leaned in and began whispering “So should we go find Jane and Katherine or do you want to try and socialize.” Orpheus asked.

“Find Jane.” Lily pointed out Katherine talking with the members of Metal Malice that had attended. They were in color coded costumes so it was easy to pick them out. Copper and Bronze were doing their best to not try and seem intimidating despite their massive size while Silver was trying to get Katherine to join her in a drinking competition.

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