Aquamarine sat down in a shadowed back booth of the meta bar. It was the only kind of place he could go without being bombarded by norms wanting to talk. Most heroes didn’t take their secret identities for granted, but they usually did take the ability to have one for granted. Not so for Aqua he never had the luxury. The world knew his true face and he couldn’t hide it if he tried. Thanks to overwatch he could at least keep his residence a secret, it helped a little. Sometimes he wondered what the heroes did before overwatch had set up shop.
A guy was trying to enter the bar without ID or demonstrating powers. He had one of those blank black masks of an overwatch red agent. Creepy fuckers. Most people didn’t even know they existed, like the bouncer. Most heroes had never even seen one, but you could find them if you knew where to look. The could be found guarding anyone on overwatch’s ‘protected’ list. The healer who had joined them for a day had done so to get away from her red agent. That was the innocuous stuff they did, but there were rumors of less savory things.
Aqua had seen it first hand once, before he had joined Surround Sound’s team. Well not seen it, nobody saw what happened. He had seen two of them enter a building with a group that had wiped out an entire team. Ten minutes later they left, situation resolved. Aqua had asked overwatch who they were, the answer had been cryptic.
“Heroes exist to fight humanities nightmares, they exist to fight our nightmares.”
“Who fights their nightmares?”
The red agent had convinced the bouncer to let him in with his overwatch phone. Funny how important these simple phones had gotten. Sound had designed them but whoever had programed them was a prodigy even by the standards of those who had enhanced intelligence. Aqua figured that if the red agents had nightmares they were about overwatch. The red agent had made his way to the bar and ordered a drink. This lead to Aqua thinking about a question that had bothered him for some time, how do they drink with those masks. The answer was simple, an unseen hatch allowed the bottom portion to slide up revealing his mouth. Aqua waved the red agent over to his booth and the agent decided to join him. They sat in silence for a little while.
“Sorry we almost lost that healer.”
“It’s ok, I’ve seen how hard it is to control a scene when fighting.”
“I have never encountered a situation where it is necessary to fight.”
“You really are a monster aren’t you?”
“We prefer the term lethal class power, but yes I am something of a monster.”
“Don’t you have a healer to protect or something?”
“She is in a secure location. Besides there is nothing happening to her right now that she would want protecting from.”
There was something about the way he said protecting, like it was an inside joke or something that started Aqua thinking. Then he remembered, Olivia.
“So they really are a couple, not just one of Olivia’s arrangements?”
“Yeah, they had a bit of an argument when she joined you. But I’m sure she is begging Olivia for forgiveness on her hands and knees right about now. Probably literally.”
“Will she get it?”
“Already has, it’s all formalities in the meantime.”
“So you figured you would hit up the town dressed like that in the meantime.”
“No I came looking for you.”
“We need to talk about Surround Sound.”
“What about him?”
“He is old”
“So what, you think just because he is old he is losing his edge or something. The man is a legend and will continue to be one.”
Aqua was offended that this damn kid was questioning his leader. Sound had been at the top of the game before he had gotten his powers and continued to be. This kid was calling him old, Sound had more experience than anyone. Sound had survived the day before red agents took care of the serious nightmares. He had saved the world from so many different threats it was literally impossible to record some of them. Aqua would have to later admit that he got a little upset and raised his voice a little.
“All legends have baggage Aquamarine, Surround Sound has more baggage than anyone. I just want to know how well he is carrying it.”
“He is carrying it fucking fine.”
“That’s all I wanted to hear.”
“You came down here to check up on my boss.”
“That and I heard you guys were recruiting.”
“What looking for an application?”
“Me no, but we have a speedster in Nevada that needs to be relocated. He is still to young to let him go solo.”
“Speedster’s are usually really fragile, sure you want to send a young one out onto the field?”
“He keeps threatening to go solo if we don’t put him on a team. Besides your team has two bruisers to take the hits.”
“Fine send us the details.”
“That all I can ask.”
They lapsed back into silence as the red agent finished his drink and reset the bottom part of his mask. This red agent wasn’t really a hero by any definition of the term but somehow it seemed appropriate for Aqua to ask him a question that Aqua asked every hero.
“Why do you do it.”
“Put on that mask every day.”
“I don’t really, there isn’t much call to wear this mask very often. The reason I put it on in the first place is very simple. My sister thought it would be a good idea.”
“I have never known her to be wrong yet.”
“What would you do if it turned out she was wrong?”
“Probably kill her.”
“You have a weird relationship with your sister.”