Erin crouched in the rafters of an old High School gymnasium. She took in the scene below her carefully. A motley group of kids, varying between scrawny and overweight, had corralled 23 members of the school’s football team in the gymnasium. The captors were all members of the East Hills High Science Club. I don’t get this, she thought to herself. I know a few of these guys. They’re shy and quiet. What’s gotten into them?
“I hope you guys are in position,” she whispered into her suit’s built-in communications system.
“We’re good to go.” The voice came in from her earpiece, funneled straight into her ear to prevent any noise.
“Here I go, then,” she whispered back. In a fluid motion, she slid out of the rafters and swung on the line she’d already anchored behind her. She swooped through the room dramatically, a cape flowing out behind her, before releasing her line. She landed on the balls of her feet in a crouch just a few feet away from one of the kids holding the football team hostage.
Steve Hollister’s face made no indication that he’d noticed her arrival right in front of him, but after a moment he began to speak. “Eris, superhero, partner of Achilles. Named for Greek goddess of mischief. Are you here to rescue us?”
Rescue us? The question echoed in Erin’s head. “Actually, you guys look like you’re doing fine all by yourselves.” She nodded in the direction of the captive teenagers. “What do you need rescuing from?”
Steve’s face remained blank and vacant, but again he began to speak. “Science Club, misfits, intelligent, misunderstood. Victims, targets, weak. Football team are the worst offenders. Protective measures, keep our self safe. Cannot hurt us.” As Steve’s voice faded, Erin realized that each of the members of the Science Club had said the same thing and at the same time. “Other offenders still free. Unsafe. Require help. Are you here to help?”
Beneath her mask, Erin gently chewed her bottom lip. Right now, Flurry should be waiting by the side door. Flashback would be waiting at the main door for the signal from either Bass or herself. If I can’t talk these kids down, the Justice Teens are going to kick in the main door, with a huge flash of light and sound while Flurry tries to round them up before they can hurt anybody We don’t even really know what these kids can do. “Alright,” she answered. “I’ll see what I can do. What do you need to be safe?”
The Science Club answered again as one. “Require safety. Punishment of threats, bullies. They must be removed.”
Erin chose her answer carefully. “They won’t threaten you again. But I can’t punish them.” But I’d hate to see what you make of jail, or prison if you’re sent there.
The sudden flash of rage on Steve’s face, as well as all the faces of the captors took Erin completely by surprise. “Eris, goddess of mischief, deceiver, betrayer! We will not be imprisoned! We will have justice, retribution!” A blinding glow began to build up in each pair of eyes.
Erin dove to the side, and yelled the signal but she never heard it escape her lips. The gym was swallowed by an ocean of light and sound that buffeted her Erin was knocked onto her back.