Holding Out For A Hero, Part 12: Victory Lap

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(March 18th)


At the base of city hall, glass steamed in the sun, melting away like dew as the remnants of Evangel’s spell faded. A short distance away, an EMT team looked over a mortified Turbine and Shatterdrive, who were stiff and shaken, but otherwise uninjured from their misadventure. Others checked on the hostages Blossom had saved, treating them for shock and minor scrapes.

The Magisters gathered by the building’s entrance as the police led Evangel away, bound in iron handcuffs, and waving away the EMTs when they tried to come over and look at them. Blossom watched her go thoughtfully. “Are they going to be okay with her?” she asked. “She's got a lot of magic.”

“Not a problem,” Jack reassured her. “Those manacles are designed specifically to ground magical energies, and she’s rather spent as it is. They’ll be more than sufficient to keep her under control until they can reach a proper facility. Even so, it wouldn't hurt to go along and keep an eye on her.”

Catherine smiled. “I'd tend to agree, Jack. Oliver?”

“Sounds like a plan. Alice is bringing the jet around, but you'll have to walk over to Campus Martius to get on – there's no closer areas she can land.”

“Understood, Director. We'll be there in five minutes.” Catherine looked over her team, nodding to them. “You heard the man. But I’d say our first mission was a total success.”

“Says the woman who didn’t have a girder dropped on her,” Invictus muttered.

“You could probably stand to work on your dodging larger objects,” Catherine allowed graciously. Invictus tried to glare at her, but his expression quickly dissolved into laughter as the rest of the team joined in.

“I hate to cut in again, Magisters, but you aren’t in the clear yet.” Oliver’s voice sternly broke over the line. “There’s a dire threat approaching from the west.”

“There is?” Alarmed, Blossom spun in that direction, twin wooden daggers sprouting from her hand. She hesitated. “Is that what the reporters are running away from?”

Piper’s head snapped around. “Oh, no.”

“Oh, yes. They've caught your scent, and they won't be easily avoided,” Oliver said, holding back laughter.

“The direst of threats, indeed,” Nimble murmured softly.

Blossom’s mask went blank, and her daggers vanished back into her arm. She looked between her teammates uncertainly. “I don’t get it.”

“You will in a minute.” Roland plastered a smile on his face, turning towards the reporters. “Here they come.”

Blossom took a half-step back, hiding behind Jack as the reporters reached the team. Catherine glanced over her shoulder at the team, and then stepped forwards with a sigh. How did they manage to get here so quickly? “Good morning, everyone. This is actually sort of an active crime scene, and we need to go and get debriefed, so we have no comment at this time…”
“Ms. Becker! Ms. Becker!” someone promptly yelled. “Susan Greer, Detroit Free Press! We’ve had reports that the villain who attacked City Hall was calling herself an evangelist! Is this a religious attack?”

“Can you answer rumours that Turbine was badly injured in the attack?”

“Is it true that a member of your team leapt from an airplane and survived the fall to City Hall’s roof?”

Piper twitched. “What did I just say?” she demanded. “No comments! Ask the police, I’m sure they have a report already prepared!”

Invictus leaned over as four more reporters attempted to ask questions simultaneously. “This is not working.” He hissed.

“Ladies, gentlemen!” Jack's voice rang out over the crowd, and the reporters stilled. “I understand that you're interested, but we're really quite busy. You see, Mr. Henry is waiting for our reports, and we really need to cross over there to speak with him…”

“You what?” Oliver's voice echoed over their comms, but Jack was already pointing towards the other side of the town's square, where a long black car was just pulling up to the side of the curb. As the door started to open, the reporters, following Jack's gesture, swarmed towards it, barking out questions. Almost instantly, Jack broke into a sprint in the opposite direction.

Catherine stared at him for a half-second, and then starting running after him. Roland, brow furrowed, looked over towards the car, where the reporters were just starting to realize that the man they were accosting was a local politican and not Oliver Henry at all, back to where Catherine and Jack were running, and blinked. “Oh. Blossom, we should…” He broke off abruptly, realizing that Blossom had vanished. “Hey!”

“Mister Lamontagne!” The shout came from one of the reporters, and Roland dashed after his companions.

“Dammit, people,” he growled into his comm, “what's the big idea leaving me alone like that?”

“In public appearances, as in wars, you must be ready for whatever opportunities the shifting battlefield presents,” Jack said with a grin.

“Ms. Becker!” A middle-aged man stepped out from the alley in front of them. “Mack Saller, East Coast Times! Could you comment on wooah!” As he tried to raise a tape recorder in the direction of the fleeing heroes, he slipped on a patch of wet leaves that hadn't been lying across the ground a moment before. As the team raced past him, Blossom rejoined them, her mask smiling brightly.

“You see?” Roland pointed out. “When your teammates are in trouble, you move right in. Thanks, Blossom.”

“I will certainly keep that in mind,” Jack said with a slight smile.

“The important thing is, we're in the clear.” Catherine risked a glance over her shoulder, and then nodded. “I love teamwork.”


Next Story - Hungry Like The Wolf

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