“So he is coming here soon?” asks Sam from next to me, “The Barbarian?”
It is just the four of us, Sam, Skyler, James and I, all in costume and awaiting the German President’s arrival at Heathrow Airport.
“He’s called President Adalbern now,” I reply, “And his plane is arriving any minute now.”
“So why us and not the Albion Defenders?” asks Sam, referring to how members of the independent League of Heroes were asked to greet him instead of the government sponsored Albion Defenders.
“The League has interacted with him a lot over the last century,” I answer, “The Defenders haven’t. Having the descendants of his former enemies and allies will make a good impression on him and reassure the public more than having the Albion Defenders would as the League is better known. Or so the government hopes. I personally agree with them given who else is going to show up.”
“Wait, who else is coming?” asks Sky.
“Sir Gawain,” I reply, “He and Adalbern go back centuries. He won’t let just let Adalbern into the isles without being there in person to keep an eye on him. I’ve sent Narszara to check on him and to escort the old knight. I think they’ll get along well. Both are honourable warriors and they share the same outdated ideals. She is also just as similar to Adalbern as she is to Gawain so I much rather she get to know Gawain first.”
“Better to have her befriend the proto-superhero than to have her befriend the proto-supervillain,” agrees James, “So remind me why is Adalbern, the ultra bad warlord, the President of Germany for life again?”
“He helped us, the Allies, take down the Nazi before the Russians could too involved and he was a better choice to lead the Germans than the other options at the time,” I explain, “He has done a really good job of ruling so far and hasn’t done anything too wrong yet. Nothing serious enough for our grandparents to care about at least. Plus I don’t think the Allies realised the implications of having an immortal supervillain elected to a position that is held for life.”
“I think I see it,” says Sky suddenly, “The Barbarian’s plane!”
“President Adalbern’s plane,” I correct dryly as I look towards the sky.
I can see the plane quite clearly with the armour, even if my HUD wasn’t highlighting it. I bet Sam will spot as easily as I did. His visor’s HUD is the same as my armour’s HUD after all.
“I see it as well,” notes Sam.
“I can’t,” says James.
“Commando has highly advanced senses hence why see spotted it while Lantern’s visor’s HUD and my armour both allow us to spot it,” I say to James, “Your telepathy is only helpful if they’re close, but out of sight.
“But I can tell that Britannia is nearby,” says James, “The Warden too.”
“Know why?” I inquire
“Their minds are shielded you know,” says James.
I do know what he means actually and James knows as my mind is shielded in the same manner. While it is easy for a telepath to detect someone’s mind, getting into it is an entirely different matter. Just as there are several different ways to break into someone’s mind, they are just as many ways to protect it as well if not more.
The four of us, the original League and the rest of the new League are old trained in most of them. While their League descendants count amongst the League in this matter, the Albion Defenders have less extensive training.
“I know,” I reply as the German plane comes down and begins its final descent.
I recognise the design. It’s one of mine. Not surprising as a lot of VIPs buy Sentinel Tech private jets to ferry themselves around in.
“So here comes the Barbarian,” says Britannia.
“President Adalbern,” corrects Aunt Mary.
I grin beneath my helmet.
“Anything else I should know?” asks Britannia as I look over at her.
I notice straight away a difference in her appearance. A brand new costume. Still cos-mat of course, but her old one was a full body suit that looked like the British flag with a mask that covered her head minus her eyes and lower face with a slit at the back to let her brown hair out.
Now it is majorly different. For starters, there is no mask to cover her face and hide her identity. I guess she doesn’t see the need to have one now with her invulnerability and public revelation of who she is.
As for the rest of it, it looks more like a Britannia statue. A white cos-mat shirt without any sleeves covers her upper body with a thick golden belt below it. A flowing white cos-mat skirt goes down to her knees. Knowing her and the Albion Defenders, there has to be cos-mat leggings underneath the dress. An ocean blue cape is draped over back.
“I’m going for a new look,” says Britannia as if in response.
I notice the golden Corinthian helmet with a red plume she’s holding her hands.
I think her old suit was more practical and traditional superhero looking.
“She is trying to look more like the historical Britannia,” offers Aunt Mary as an explanation for the new style.
“No trident and shield?” asks James.
“Wouldn’t fit with my fighting style,” answers Britannia with a shrug, “I’m a hand-to-hand combatant. That is how my power set works best.”
“So what are you two doing here?” asks Sam.
“Last minute changes to the honour guard,” says Aunt Mary, “Some folks higher up felt that there should be some Albion Defenders to escort the President around after all. Britannia is our team leader and of the League descendents within the Defenders, I’m the most famous and well known so the two of us got sent.”
“Anything we should know?” asks Britannia.
“Sir Gawain is going to show up,” I say.
“You sure?” asks Britannia, “He doesn’t leave Camelot for anything, preferring to stay out of the world’s affairs."
“I’m sure,” I reply firmly, “He and Adalbern have been frenemies for centuries. Ancient Brit and Ancient German. Knight in Shining Armour and Savage Barbarian Warlord. Proto-Superhero and Proto-Supervillain. They are the two immortal sides of one coin. There is no way Adalbern can come to the British Isles without Sir Gawain coming out to keep an eye on him. I’ve sent Narszara to meet him and escort him. She is so alike to both of them that she going to hit off with the first one she meets and I rather that be Gawain than Adalbern.”
We call fall silent as it is at that moment the plane finally lands.