I paced nervously in the main room of the hotel suite I had rented for the interview. I heard a beep as the door unlocked. It opened and closed so fast I never saw the hallway. From the door, a blur crossed the room in a second and popped into focus as the green and yellow clad speedster ironically called The Speedster. The door opened a second time at normal speed and a young man in a black suit walked in.
“You could have left the door open for me,” he said to the speedster. I recognized him as a local “psychic” who had helped the police with a few cases.
“It’s called making an entrance,” her voice was modulated and filtered by her helmet to be unrecognizable. She turned back toward me, “Are you, George Gregory? The reporter?” I nodded. She turned back to the suit clad psychic, “You got a lock on his brainwaves?”
The psychic rolled his eyes at her, “I’m filtering his perceptions and editing out any identifying info.”
“Great,” she said and took off her helmet. A halo of black ringlets sprung out from The Speedster’s head. The face of a young black woman smiled at me. “It gets a little stuffy in there.”
“Aren’t you worried about me identifying you? Spoiling your secret identity?” I asked.
“Not as long as Mind Reader is here,” she said loading a few chunks of cantaloupe from one of the food trays requested for the interview onto a plate. “Close your eyes and try to remember what I look like.” I did so and only the most general descriptors came to mind. Her face was like an out of focus picture. I opened my eyes and her face was back in focus.
“I’m editing your memories as they’re being formed. You get the experience but not the memory,” Mind Reader told me. He walked across to room and took up station in the corner. “Just pretend I’m not here.”
A gentle knock sounded from the glass door leading to the balcony. “That’s Brick. I’ll get it.” Again she disappeared in a blur of green and yellow and reappeared at the glass sliding door. She unlocked and opened the door. A large man wearing a gray t-shirt and blue jeans walked in. He stopped just inside the door and surveyed the room.
“Is the room secure?” he asked. His voice was quiet almost a whisper.
“Um, let me check,” Speedster said disappearing and reappearing briefly at the bedroom doors and the main door to the suite. “All doors secure.” The man’s shoulders dropped slightly and his hands fell loosely to his sides. “Grab some grub. We’re still waiting on the rest.”
“Bedrooms are clear,” a voice said behind me. I turned just in time to see a young woman finish walking through the door to one of the bedrooms. She was dressed in black yoga pants and a black band shirt I couldn’t quite place.
“You walk through walls?” I asked.
“Yeah. Hi. I’m Ghost. It’s kind of my thing,” she said walking through a chair to get to the buffet.
“Are you actually a ghost?”
“No, I’m not a ghost,” she looked to Speedster, “I thought we picked this guy cause he was smart.”
“I am smart but I don’t have any info about you. You aren’t mentioned in any of the after-action reports about the mother-ship assault.”
“None of the reports were written by anyone who was there. That’s why we want to talk to you. To set the record straight.”
The hallway door beeped and opened at a normal pace this time. A third woman entered with a young man following behind her. I recognized her as The Baton a vigilant from a nearby city. The young man was a complete unknown like Ghost. He walked around the perimeter of the room with a handheld device waving it at the corners.
“Room is clear,” he said.
“Good,” The Baton said, “Mr. Gregory, it’s nice to meet you. I’m The Baton. The young man who walked in with me is called The Kid –”
“Only until I come up with something better,” The Kid interjected.
“Has everyone else introduced themselves?” she asked looking around at her fellow superheroes. Speedster nodded, Ghost shrugged, and Mind Read gave a small two finger salute.
“I’m … uh The Flying Brick,” the large man said, “They usually just call me Brick.”
“Well, now that introductions are out of the way; let’s get down to business,” Baton said, “We want to tell our stories and his story.”
“Whose story?” I asked.
“None of us knew his name. I called him the spook,” Ghost said
“I called him the man in black,” Mind Reader said.
“Mostly we called him That Guy. As in who was that guy?” Speedster said.
“He was the one who brought us together as a team. He had another team, too. First Strike Team. The strongest powered people he could find and organize into a team,” Baton said.
“I wasn’t aware there was another superhero team,” I said.
“They died assaulting the alien mother-ship,” Brick said, “We were the backup team.”
“We’ll get to that but first we should tell our stories. Who wants to go first?” Baton asked.
The others looked back and forth among themselves. After a minute Speedster stepped forward, “I’ll go first.”
To be continued in “Backup Team – The Speedster”