The sound of a robotic voice saying, “An asshole is calling you” told Orpheus that his brother had finally heard about Laser’s death.

“That took almost a week. You’re losing your edge.” Orpheus joked.

“No, it just took a week to get your present approved.” The pride in his voice was palpable but didn’t seem to be overbearing, for once.

“My present?” Orpheus questioned.

“Due to recent developments, we have been given permission to “question” Brimstone. Me, you, and Mind are headed to The Abyss to drag every little piece of information out of him. It took a week to get you added to that list.”

“This might just be the best gift you have ever given me.” This caught Lily’s attention and she raised an eyebrow in question.

“Tomorrow at the coordinates I’m sending you. See you at noon.”

Orpheus took a moment after hanging up to collect himself. “I’ll be gone tomorrow” he informed the room. Lily cocked her head and Orpheus continued “My brother needs me to help interrogate someone who might know about the recent events and the attack. We are headed down to The Abyss so I’ll be out of cell signal for most of the day.”

Jane looked up from her phone and asked “Hey I always wondered, how do they send people down there. I was told it was too deep for submarines.”

Sarah answered before Orpheus could “It’s too deep for normal submarines. My dad’s company has a super-tech on staff who makes vehicles with the same kind of shield we have on the car. A sub with one of those should be able to make it all the way down.”  Jane nodded her understanding and went back to texting.


The next day Orpheus touched down at an unassuming dock in the middle of nowhere. Hero and Mind were already there. Mind was asking “How long do we have to wait?” when a submarine surfaced and the gleaming dome around it deactivated.

Once they were inside the sub the discussion began “So, about what happened with Laser…” Hero began.

Orpheus held up a hand to silence him “I’ll save you some time. We have no leads and we don’t know if it is isolated. My paranoid side says that we should look more closely at Flare and Irons’ deaths but I can’t prove anything.”

Mind rubbed his temple as his attempt to read Orpheus’s mind was met by a screeching noise “Fine, I’ll stay out of your head.”

“Thank you” Orpheus responded and wondered for a moment what Mind had heard.

Hero ignored the exchange and pressed on “You might not have anything concrete but I would still like to hear it.”

“Iron was drinking alone during the day before he was found. The bartender says that he was a regular and always came around on holidays that stressed family. The belief is that he finally cracked and couldn’t take it anymore. Flare on the other hand had a known temper but seemed to have it well in hand. Then all of a sudden, he goes ballistic on some random guy. The prison he was being held in temporarily said that he never calmed down and they had to sedate him every day.”

“How did he break out then?” Mind asked.

“Flare is one of the fire based abilities. When he was being told about his transfer he probably stored some power away to burn out the sedative at a later time. That or someone else woke him up and his anger made him too powerful to keep contained.” Orpheus answered. “Then there’s Laser.” Orpheus sighed “The only power I know that could do that is Plague but it would have spread if it was him.”

“He hasn’t been seen in a few years though. He could have gotten better at controlling it.” Hero pointed out.

Orpheus shook his head “It’s at the core of his Word. A plague spreads otherwise it wouldn’t be a plague.”

Mind’s brow furrowed as he thought “It could be more than one person. If Plague worked with someone like Contain they could achieve it.”

“They’d have to do a linked power to get the timing right.” Orpheus pointed out.

Hero looked at him like he was crazy “A what?”

“Powers that emit or control something can be temporarily linked to provide different results.” Mind explained “Take Fire and Water for example. Together they can make and control steam. It isn’t as strong as what Steam can produce but they can product a lot more of it since they are top tier compared to Steam’s middle tier.”

“Mostly correct.” Orpheus broke in “Steam is actually a high tier ability but the current user is limiting himself for some reason.” Mind looked a little stunned and Orpheus explained “Not everyone uses, or knows how to use, their full power. Some limit themselves for religious reasons while others just don’t want to scare people or worse.”

“What do you mean by worse?” Hero asked.

“Metro city has an absurd amount of powerful people but most of us don’t bother to hide our faces. Do you know why that is?” Hero shrugged and Mind just continued to stare “We aren’t faceless gods flying around dispensing justice as we see fit. The people who pay attention see us at the supermarket or the coffee shop and we become people. It makes people feel like they can confront us and so they don’t. If we wore masks and were that strong it could cause a revelation riot.” Before they could continue the green light that signaled they were almost there turned on and the conversation died. It was replaced by grim faces of determination.

When they got to the interrogation room Orpheus and Hero waited by the door while Mind went to the shielded viewing room. “I’m not going to tell you…” Brimstone began to say as they stepped into the room. His voice caught in his throat as the walls disappeared under sheets of darkness.

Dissolve” Orpheus commanded the table between the two men and the criminal. When it had faded away they sat down.

“We’re going to play a game of “And That’s When”, Brimstone” Hero’s voice was like ice.

“The way it works is that he is going to ask you a question. From there the game begins.” Orpheus’s voice was much more easy-going and almost playful.

“If you answer properly then it becomes And That’s When someone got him a beer, or something good like that. If you answer improperly or just refuse to answer then it becomes And That’s When Hero walked out of the room.”

“Answer improperly after that and it becomes And That’s When the screaming started.” Orpheus was smiling a cruel smile and the darkness began to flow from the ground and wrap around Brimstone’s legs.

Brimstone had always considered himself a strong man. He had considered himself the type of man who would never crack. He might have been right but when his fear addled brain flickered through all the things they could possibly want to know about he had already lost. “We got it.” The voice on the intercom said.

“Thank you for your time Brimstone.” Hero said as the two men got up and the darkness began to disappear. “You’ve been a huge help.”

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