Reynolds didn’t get a chance to reply before more washed out supers showed up for the call. The arrival of a couple of familiar faces added some much needed legitimacy to their gathering and, fortunately for ET, mellowed out her jumpiness. Truth be told, the heavy footsteps had initially put Maysah on an edge, but she was quickly pulled away from as a man in a domino mask and rocking a Union Jack stepped forward. She didn’t have to know him to recognize the Tower.
Hex had spoken highly of the Tower and his family to Maysah more than a couple of times, and he’d tried to find a way for them all to connect. Nothing ever lined up, partially due to Maysah being so resistant to the idea of having a meet-and-greet that sounded like little more than a photo op and nothing else. There was one time where Harrison almost convinced her to tagalong with him to some stupid graduation event. She agreed to it as long as she was in plain clothes to avoid any kind of press. Then, she got doxxed and everything fell to shit. It was funny how things sometimes worked out. Harrison had been dying for the two to meet; turns out dying was the only way for it to happen. The Tower tipped his hat at her and headed towards Reynolds; she narrowed her eyes in return.
A twig snapped. Maysah folded her arms over her chest and fixed a frown upon Harrison’s protege as he stepped out of the shadows with his arms held in a “don’t shoot” position as he spoke. They’d never met as far as she could remember, and why would they? Stardust struggled as it was working with heroes that were her equals; there was no way she was going to deal with their superpowered interns. Still, she enjoyed Artistomancer’s anti-corporate antics from afar, although found them somewhat trifling compared to her methods, and would often tease Harrison by congratulating him on raising such a rebel. Harrison only brought him up once after the trial, and that was sometime after he had reemerged as Avant-Garde. She couldn’t tell if he was more disappointed in himself or the boy. Now, she looked at Lazlo, hiding behind a gas mask with a sick looking body that a stiff wind could break in two, and felt her own kind of disappointment. If Hex’s legacy amounted to little more than a strung out terrorist calling himself a revolutionary then what hope did she have of leaving anything worthwhile behind?
“Given both of our colorful histories,” he said. “Having the federales on our asses is not what we need right now."
“If either of us thought the feds could actually do anything, I highly doubt we would’ve shown up,” said Maysah with a scoff as the goddamn Biomancer, of all people, walked in. “Case and point.”
“Nice to see a reliable face,” said Eli after he’d the stones to call Maysah an old lady.
A surprised, singular, staccato laugh burst out of Maysah’s throat and shredded her intense severity to ribbons. She clamped a hand over her mouth, an actual smile poking out from around the edges of gloved fingers as she shook her head in disbelief. The only thing that had ever been reliable about her when it came to the Biomancer was being a thorn in his side. How many times had they fought in the past? Half a dozen? A dozen? It was enough for the memories to smear together into a scrambled mess of blurred, government black sites and corporate compounds while Stardust danced around Biomancer in a deadly game of keepaway.
There had always been a strange excitement whenever she faced Biomancer, partially spurred on by the knowledge that if she accidentally ended up blasting off a limb he’d end up growing it back. She had lost track over what the score was, but despite his little stint in prison it seemed that Eli had won their game in the end—Biomancer was a free man while Stardust was a wanted woman. Maybe she should’ve had Hex work her out a plea deal instead of help her disappear. Maysah dropped her hand to her hip; a smirk was still ironed onto her lips as a voice cracked from outside the fading light of Reynold’s fire. Like the first arrival, Maysah did not recognize the last arrival.
“Oh wow,” said Maysah to Eli, rolling her eyes at him after the woman called him out. “You should have that black heart checked out. You know, given your age.” The corner of her mouth twitched up. “ I’d hate to see that reliable face of yours croak.”
The group shut up as Reynolds spoke, catching everyone up to speed on the whole Reality Bringer situation. Maysah didn’t really give a damn if Cedar Fort was literally swallowed whole by something huge, but she was with Reynolds on one point: Harrison’s death wasn’t an accident. She owed it to the man to find out who or what exactly the Reality Bringer was and to bring his killer to justice, and if that meant rubbing elbows with a bunch of assholes in military grade armor mixed with thrift store costumes then so be it. She wouldn’t even complain too loudly about having to go to New Mexico. Hell, she’d even try and play nice with the man she’d put the fear of God into who was now asking her nicely to not blast him as he took one of pagers.
“Since you’re here for Hex, I’m not going to stop you,” said Maysah as she stepped to the side and folded her arms over her chest. It was only after the man had grabbed his pager and retreated to the wall that Maysah stepped forward and grabbed her own.
“I appreciated hearing that you kept his identity secret,” said Maysah in a low enough tone so that only Reynolds could hear it. Maysah didn’t know much about Harrison’s personal life. She always thought he never really had one, but maybe the guy was hiding an ex-wife and some shitty kids. Her voice grew grave. “Bad things happen when that kind of information leaks,” she said, fixing Reynolds with an unblinking stare. “To everyone involved.”
“Okay, well,” said Maysah loud enough for the warehouse to hear, her voice free from its sharp edges, as she stepped away from Reynolds. “I’m putting my faith in your, Reynolds. Harrison was a…” Maysah wrinkled her brow. Friend wasn’t the right word. “Harrison was important to me. Let’s bring down this Reality Bringer.”
Maysah settled by the entrance of the warehouse to keep an eye out while the others grabbed their pagers. She fidgeted with her own for a moment before deciding that it would be safer if she tucked it away with her phone. It must’ve been damn hard for Reynolds to get her hands on such prehistoric tech, and Maysah didn’t doubt for a second that the side effects of her power would fry the pager in an instant. Maysah reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a black bag that was designed specifically to prevent electromagnetic interference. She shoved the pager in there next to her phone and sealed the bag shut, blissfully unaware that at the moment she had one unread text message from a ghost.