This is a collab by Hemalurgic Headshot and Sazedezas
Lord Kelvin rested on his broom-crutch, basking in the sun. It was a fairly inefficient form of heat gain, but certainly reliable. The throbbing of his leg was only a dull ache, buried in the back of his mind under the guilty euphoria of power. He hadn’t realized the true potential of his abilities, but now… Olympia Polaris would watch its back.
He stood in the middle of a random suburban street, Arachnerd some distance away, looking around. Or perhaps communicating with her spiders. Kelvin didn’t know. Or care really, for that matter. He glanced around. Were there people living here? He wondered. These houses looked identical to the others: worn, poorly tended, darkened windows, overgrown lawn. He squinted, scanning for tiny signs of humanity, or a frightened shadow through a window. Nothing.
Arachnerd the Blackweb was awake. It had taken three cups of the blackest coffee available, but she was finally ready to… Whatever it was she had been planning. She was having a bit of trouble remembering at that moment, so she checked her Spyders.
Spyder had lost its target somehow, so she checked its memory - which for a spider included only the highlights - and found that the young cartoonish Epic of yet indeterminate gender had apparently teleported away with a couple from out-of-town. Odd, she thought. I didn’t think there were many teleporters left after what happened in Portland, Oregon. Just Obliteration and a few others who - according to probability - should be much farther away. Spyder 5 had followed her established procedures - or perhaps her subconscious mind had directed it, she was never sure which - and followed the Epic’s companion, the man with the van.
Arachnerd continued her inventory, and found Spyder 7 quite agitated. It had returned from ERA HQ with a letter, and Armageddon was walking away from the Webyrinth with that very letter. She sent the Spyder - one of her tarantula couriers - after him as quickly as she could, cursing the distance that kept her from giving new orders to the rest of her horde. The letter was still open in the Epic’s hand, however, and Arachnerd didn’t need to get Spyder 7 much closer to Armageddon before she could get the gist of it.
“Lord Kelvin” she called, using the Name Riley had adopted with the guy behind the coffee shop counter. She continued checking her Spyders “There’s a conference tonight at the stadium for Epics with an interest in the city’s rule. Thought you might want to know-IS THAT-WHO-I-THINK-IT-IS?!” She hadn’t meant to cut off like that, nor had she intended to think aloud, but the sight was so shocking, she couldn’t help it. She’d focused on Spyder five for just a moment, but it had been enough to reveal that following the impressively-armored van was a red car. Not just any red car, but a Saab 9000 Aero. And Nathaniel Snyder was driving.
“What?” Kelvin turned away from the houses at Arachnerd’s outburst. “Who? Wait, a conference?” An appropriate time to display his power, but if all of the city’s Epics were going…
“Yes. I think it will be the best place to establish my neutrality permanently, and you can make critical alliances.” Arachnerd was still reeling slightly that Nate was already in Olympia Polaris. She knew his car was fast - it was basically a Swedish snow race car - but he couldn’t have left Lost Vegans in time to be there already. Unless… He had left for Olympia Polaris the very day of their breakup. Interesting. Of course, they had always intended to move to Olympia Polaris if they couldn’t locate surviving members of the Survivors, with the hope that they could try to re-found the organization in Alberta, but Arachnerd had been sure that Nate would have taken longer to pack.
Kelvin nodded. “We’ll have to stop by then,” he said. “But… who was… the surprise…” He struggled to articulate what had made Arachnerd cry out. A tiny traitorous ball of fear coiled up in his chest. What if it was one of her enemies? Arachnerd seemed quite powerful to him with her army of spiders, but if this surprise person was dangerous… He had only one leg!
“Nevermind,” Kelvin declared, brushing aside his inhibitions. “What time is the conference starting?”
Arachnerd finished composing herself. “Bloodlight. [time]” was all she said. She knew that, considering the brevity of Nate’s Epic period and his lack of ambition made his name - both as an Epic and as a Hand or “Maple” as they called them here - was rather obscure. There were, of course, those who knew of the Snyders, as their organization - the Survivors - had maintained a surprising amount of sovereignty and security for [X] years, and if information about the goings-on in Lost Vegans ever got out, it could certainly have included the fact that the Epics Arachnerd the Blackweb and Bloodlight had destroyed the Survivors’ headquarters.
If nothing else, she thought, it will be interesting to see how much is known and how much by Lord Kelvin.
“How do we get to the stadium?”
Bloodlight. Kelvin filed that back in his mind. It was a cool name, but he had already picked his own. Based on Lord Kelvin of old, the namesake of the one true unit of temperature. He thought it had a nice ring to it.
“I honestly have no idea how to get to the stadium from here. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve been there ever… maybe when I was a kid…” Kelvin trailed off. “I suppose we’ll just poke around.”