Sarah was securing the necklace Katherine had bought her, for Christmas, when Lily came out of Orpheus’s room in a sparkling green dress and asked “Okay, I get how you got Orpheus to dress up for this fundraiser but how in the hell did you get Tank to even agree to go?”
Jane answered as she came down the stairs “I asked him to go as my date.” She was dressed in a red dress that seemed to flicker between orange and red as the light caught it.
“And are you?” Katherine asked with a wry smile.
Jane shook her head and laughed “Not in the slightest. He just understands that it sucks being the only one going without a date.”
“And to the question about why he got dressed up…” Orpheus came out fiddling with his cuffs and was followed by Tank, who cut an impressive figure in a suit. Orpheus glanced back at the big guy “Who do you think taught me how to tie a tie?” Orpheus continued to fiddle with the cuffs of his suit “I swear, I will never get used to these things.”
“Stop messing with them.” Tank’s voice was calm and almost fatherly and it had a noticeable effect on Orpheus. His shoulders dropped and he calmed down just a little.
Orpheus offered his hand to Lily and she took it. As the couple started to float up Sarah got their attention “Remember Lily is going to be under Earth when they ask for your names and try not to pick any fights. We have heroes coming in from other cities and I don’t want to cause trouble.” The couple nodded and took off for their usual landing spot, they could land in front of the building the fundraiser was being held at without raising a panic but they wanted to have a nice walk.
Their choice to walk meant that they heard the ruckus of the paparazzi and other groups that had gathered outside the fundraiser. The protestors were there, like they always were whenever anyone did anything, and seemed to be mainly focused on protesting heroes in general. The media starlets were there, taking questions from field reporters about whatever their most recent project was. There were heroes glad handing the crowd as they walked in. Some wore their costumes under their suits or had worked a dress into their usual outfit but most didn’t bother. “I don’t really want to walk down that carpet, do you?” Lily said.
Orpheus smiled wickedly “I learned a new trick from Assassin when he was helping us the other day, and I really want to try it.”
“Is it going to make a scene?” Lily asked.
“Will anyone get hurt?”
“Unlikely but I would never doubt people’s ability to get themselves hurt somehow, but it won’t be me hurting them.”
Lily thought about it for a moment and then shrugged “Could be fun.”
With it decided the couple began to walk towards the building again. Orpheus focused on the ability of Assassin and what it meant. An assassin wasn’t just some punk who killed people for money. An assassin was a professional. An assassin was a face in the crowd that even the best witness couldn’t remember accurately. An assassin moved through crowds like he wasn’t even there and most importantly, in this case, an assassin didn’t get caught on camera. As he fully understood the ability Assassin he felt it “click” into place and begin operating. He saw all the paths that would get him to the front door but he had already chosen his path. When his feet touched the red carpet that lead from the drop off line to the door the cameras all began to flash towards him and for a moment nothing happened. When the first paparazzi realized his camera wasn’t working he was worried. When the news that had been transmitting live lost video, they called it technical difficulties. A few of the heroes realized what was happening as the young couple made their way to the door and all the cameras stopped working until they were out of the shot.
At the door, they were greeted by a skinny man wearing a nondescript suit and howling with laughter. No one paid him any mind. “Assassin I presume” Orpheus greeted the man “Why do you look so different from last time?” Orpheus paused and considered what he had just said. “How do I remember what you looked like last time so well?”
Assassin was quick to collect himself, though he was still smiling. “I changed how people perceive me for the party. You could do it too now but it isn’t really worth it, I just like to. Anyway, the lady told me to guide you two to her when you arrived, follow me.”
When they got to Sarah she was already engrossed in a conversation with a petite lady that Lily and Orpheus didn’t recognize. Katherine was standing next to her talking to a man in the suit that Orpheus almost didn’t recognize but was able to identify when he heard his voice. “He’s just being paranoid. He was always like that…speak of the devil” Light said as they joined the group.
“Ah my ears were burning and I was here thinking that it must be one of the brainless paparazzi outside but instead it was you.” No small amount of venom dripped into Orpheus’s voice “Jury’s still out on the brainless thing though.”
Lily put a hand on his shoulder and whispered into his ear “Sarah said play nice.” Orpheus turned to look at her and found her wearing her serious face.
“I am being nice.” Orpheus replied with a sly grin. As he turned his attention back to Light “So tell me, Nance, when was I being paranoid. Because as I recall every time I said that I had a bad feeling about something I was right.”
“That’s not what your brother says.” Light remarked offhandedly.
“My brother’s an idiot. If something doesn’t go wrong for him personally than nothing goes wrong.” Light looked like he wanted to argue but he was stopped by the sound of something crashing down outside followed by some indecipherable yelling.
All the heroes made a movement to go investigated but then a portly man held up his hand “Ladies and gentlemen don’t worry about the commotion outside. Champion is doing security and assures me everything is under control.”
The people who knew he was there watched as Assassin pulled a high-powered rifle from behind a tree and went outside. The party resumed and conversations returned to the standard levels of polite boredom that usually came with these things. “The lady known as lightning will not be attending tonight madam.” Assassin said as he seemingly reappeared next to Sarah, the rifle was nowhere to be seen. “She was caught up in the commotion outside and suddenly collapsed when the fighting was over. In my professional opinion, she suffered a heart attack.”
“Thank you, Assassin.” Sarah pinched the bridge of her nose and brought her friend over to the rest of the group “This is Cloak, I trust no further introductions are needed.” The assembled heroes shook their heads. “I was just telling her about your theory, Orpheus…”
“And then another person drops of mysterious causes.” Orpheus finished.
“It does seem to lend credence to the idea.” Cloak said as she made a note on a pad of paper that she seemed to pull from nowhere. “We’ll start looking into it as well, it’s the least we owe Laser.” A moment of silence was had for the fallen hero before the conversation continued. “Still we can’t do anything until after the fundraiser.”
“Katherine and I have to go glad hand with the mayor and some of the donators” Sarah sighed as Cloak moved off to do the same. Light had already vanished from their sides and was talking with the portly man from before, presumably the mayor. “Do any of the rest of you feel like something is going to go wrong?” Orpheus and Lily just nodded, they always felt like something was going to go wrong and they were just waiting for the boot to drop. “Well, I guess just keep an eye out.”