Echoes Long Forgotten, Part 10: Here We Go

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(September 29th)

Byrce Ecchs stole another look at the wall clock, and then returned his attention to the heroes in front of him. “You know, I never realized how boring being a hero could be.”

Nadia stuck out her tongue at him. “I'll have you know, villain cataloguing is a critical task. Everyone that you've come into contact with could come back for Round Two, and knowing their capabilities is a big step towards beating them.” She paused, looking at the array of newspapers in front of her. The Champions were currently sitting around their kitchen table, surrounded by dozens of 'relevant articles'. “Granted, the job was a lot easier when I could count our opponents on one hand…”

“Think of it as the big leagues.” Lucky grinned, expertly reading over one of the articles as he spoke. “I used to help my dad with cataloguing – he'd spend two hours doing it, sometimes. And all of his were real opponents. These guys are probably all one-shots – doubt we'll ever see the Lethal Lamprey again, for example.” Tossing the article onto the pile, he sat back. “Actually, we should look into subscribing to the SEA's datanets, now. It's a bit more efficient.”

“Can't afford it. Datanet's, like, fifty bucks a month.” Amber shrugged, setting down her paper. “If our salaries would rise with our fame, sure. But the mayor's staying stingy on that front.” She smiled wryly, looking over to Bryce. “Second rule – if you're already independantly wealthy, that's a good start. Heroing pays crap-all. A lot of heroes take part-time jobs, actually, albeit ones with flexible hours.”

“Albeit?” Nadia raised her eyebrow.

Amber regarded her levelly. “What?”

“Nothing. Just… no one actually says that.” With a light shrug, Nadia returned her attention to her work.

“I say that.” Amber frowned.

“Never said it before.” Nadia quickly changed the subject. “Wonder if the Doc messed up on this one? Still nothing about the Witch Doctor in any of these stories.”

“Doubt it. Uncler Spencer doesn't make that sort of mistake.” Bryce gave the others a lopsided smile. “Impatience, yes. Overlooking things, sure. But not misunderstanding people.”

“Well, it's only been three days. We don't know how long it's going to take him to…” Jim broke off as the phone rang, glancing over to Amber. She smiled, nodded, and walked over to it, crossing the room and lifting it before the first ring had completed.

“Patchwork Champions, Timebender speaking.” She listened for a moment. “Hello, Mr. Mayor. How are things… you don't say. Really.” She listened again, then blinked. “Sorry, how big did you say? I see. Well, then. No, I think we can handle it. Of course, sir. We'll be down there in ten minutes.”

Hanging up the phone, she turned and grinned. “Looks like Ecchs wins this round. The Mayor's office just got word that the Witch Doctor filed for an appearance. He's coming in via the harbour, and we need to be there to meet him.”

“What was the size thing?” Jim asked curiously.

“Oh, something about a seventy-foot long zombie squid that the traffic helicopter saw coming in from the bay.” Amber smiled cheerfully.

“That sounds dangerous…” Bryce trailed off as the others all burst out laughing. “What?”

“The bay. He's attacking via the bay.” Lucky got the words out before collapsing into a heap of laughter.

“So?” Bryce looked baffled.

The others got their composure together. “The bay already has a monster,” explained Jim. “And Tony doesn't play well with others. Another classic Witch Doctor ploy." He laughed again, then shook his head. "We'd better get down there anyway, though. Don't want him to chip a tooth on zombie meat.”

Chuckling, he started out the door, and the others hurried to follow.

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