“Hello everyone,” I say to the assembled groups in the main room of the base a couple hours later, “As you know, I have finally found the location of the person responsible for almost every major incident that has plagued our country since Vistorix showed up in early July.”
We got all of the new Leaguers in costume in addition to the combat ready Albion Defenders. Britannia, Warden, Dreadnought, Green Knight, Robyn Hood, Multitude, Spectre, Eternal, Controller and Werebeast. Only Merlin, Powerbeam and Restorer aren’t here.
In the corner we got Darrac and Mia, who Darrac brought along. The two space pirates, excuses me, space privateers both look ready for the up coming fight.
A total of twenty one superheroes and two space pirates against whatever the Machine’s creator has to bring against us.
If they weren’t responsible for the deaths of several people, directly or otherwise, I might feel sorry for them.
I let my announcement settle in before I continue. I’m sure they already know that as I doubt they would be here otherwise, but it still has an impact amongst the gathered people.
I’m able to continue when another couple of people join our group. A man in a black cloak obscures his body from sight and only his glowing white eyes can be seen while other is man in bulky gold and red power armour.
Shade and Spartan. Two acquaintances I made a while back.
Huh, never thought I would ever think that way. Sure Granddad spoke about old acquaintances he made over years as a superhero, but it is another thing for me to be doing it myself.
“I hope you don’t mind us helping out,” says Spartan, “We both have some unfinished business with the guy you’re going after.”
“Every hand helps,” I reply.
Strange how we’re talking about this when the first time we met was when Spartan was trying to collect the bounty on my head for the person we’re now working together to go after.
But that was before the Machine attacked his flying aircraft carrier and we fought together against it. And it isn’t healthy to hold grudges. Best to let bygones be bygones.
“The Machine’s creator, now codenamed Machinist, is operating out of a sunken Sektain warship about twenty miles off the coast of the Isle of Wight,” I continue from where I left off earlier before the new arrivals showed up, “Now if you’re wondering how we’re going to get down here since only a few of us can breathe underwater, we got a couple of things for that. First is a small breather that you put to your mouth and it also acts a communicator. The second is a magical charm that Narszara has come up with allows us to breath underwater. They’ll also keep you dry and unaffected by the water. We got thirty of them so there is enough for everybody here to have one each. If you do lose the charm, it has a residue effect so if you do lose it during battle, the effect won’t wear off until a few hours later.”
I, Mary and Narszara hand out the charms and breathers. While everybody takes a charm, those of us in power armour don’t take a breather. All of us already have an equivalent built into our armour.
“So here is the plan,” I say, “We’ll split into four groups, roughly six in each. The first group will be Shade, Spartan, Spectre, Controller and Werebeast with Britannia in charge. Warden will lead the second group, consisting of herself, Dreadnought, Green Knight, Eternal, Multitude and Robyn Hood. The next group will contain Lantern, Bolt, Night Beast, Multiform, Storm Knight, Gateway and Accelerate. The last group will be lead by myself and will consist of Narszara, Darrac, Mia, Commando and Vision. Is that clear?”
I get a series of agreements and we begin to split up into our groups.
I think I did pretty well in choosing the groups. Each one is led by an experienced leader and has good variation of abilities in each of them. In addition, they are split up between the two superhero teams we have on hand.
“Okay for transportation,” I say once we’re in our groups, “Teams One and Two will go in the two pairs of Albion Defender jets we got on hand. Team Three will take the Star Guardian while Team Four will be going in the Dusty Corsair.”
I wonder who will pilot the Star Guardian without me there. I suspect Janelle might fly herself, but Sam or Vance might end up in the cockpit.
“Hey Janelle,” I whisper into my communicator, “Were you the one to let Shade and Spartan in?”
“Yes, I assumed you wouldn’t mind the extra backup,” replies the AI.
“I don’t,” I tell her, “But I would like a heads up next time.”
“Understood,” says Janelle, “By the way, I don’t think I’ll be able to hack the ship’s computers. You’ll need internal access for that.”
“Good to know,” I reply, “I’ll need the prototype then for quick hacking then.”
“I believe so,” says Janelle and I end the call.
“I’ll be right back,” I tell the others in my group, “Just need to grab something from my lab for this mission.”
I dart off to my lab and quickly find the gray box containing what progress I have made so far in creating an AI. The box is about the size of a computer mouse, but barely a centimetre thick.
While the AI isn’t sentient like Janelle yet, it will be far better at hacking the ship’s systems then I would be.
“Ready,” I say as I return to the others as they wait around the bottom of the Dusty Corsair.