Tom shrugged back. "Yeah, I guess so. I dunno, it still just feels a little bit weird to me, they could have at least gone to Florida or something."
Tom paused. "Actually, no, nobody would ever want to go to Florida, so I suppose you're right."
He let the concerns about the mysterious Greek couple leave his mind as Grace displayed an in-depth knowledge of the resort's security protocols. He rolled his eyes with a chuckle. "Of course you read over all the security protocols before coming here, you're such a nerd."
He teased, before watching as she did her thing and opened up a portal back to their hotel room, going into it herself. Tom hurried in herself, knowing Grace well enough at this point to pick up on her signals.
And he was right - pretty much as soon as he stepped into the hotel room Grace wrapped her arms around him and pounced on him. Tom immediaely reciprocated, wrapping his arms around Grace too and grinning into the kiss, looking into her lovely purple eyes when she pulled back, as he ran his fingers lovingly through her equally as lovely and equally as purple hair. He enjoyed Grace's Korean terms of endearment, and he looked at her as she started talking, waiting happily for the declaration of affection that was about to come, and then...
The scene was very rudely interrupted by a loud, shrieking drill noise coming from below which made the entire hut shake. Tom jumped as Grace pulled back. "What the fuck was that?"
He exclaimed, looking around then down at the floor, then looking at Grace as she expressed her annoyance. Tom was more confused than anything - what the hell caused that noise, and why the hell was it coming from underground. He scratched his chin in thought. "What maintenance could they be doing under here, isn't this whole hut just built on top of like, sand? That doesn't add up, why are they building stuff in the sand? Maybe it was some kind of earthquake..."
And then the sound happened again, and quickly made it clear that this sound was manmade in origin and not an earthquake. It definitely sounded like a drill. He looked at Grace as she started ranting, clearly very annoyed at the fact that their fun was interrupted. It annoyed Tom too, and Grace's ranting ended up getting him more worked up over it, even though he thought that Grace was pretty adorable when she was mad at something. He raised an eyebrow. "Go underground? How are we gonna get underground? I know you have portal powers, but don't you have to know the place before you can portal there?"
He question, before his concern was answered with Grace's cool display of her ability. "Oooh... That was cool."
Tom shook his head. "Of course not. How can we be expected to have fun with that stupid noise?"
He watched Grace hop in before walking over himself, dipping his feet in a little before jumping in and landing next to her, looking around, brow furrowed in confusion. "Why the hell does a tropical resort have this underground?"
He walked over to the window with Grace, looking down. I have no idea what this is Grace... Is this some kind of secret lair?"
He said with a gasp. "Sure looks like one, look at those guards. We should probably get out of here and go get the others...
But Tom's plan was ruined by the sound of the chatting guards on the other side of the door, then completely ruined by the door opening and the guards spotting them and raising their weapons. Tom glanced at Grace, before looking back to the guards with his hands raised slightly. "Uh, yes we can... We, uh, work here!
Caustic had been a busy man over the last few months. While the killing of Rainbow Dancer had been a satisfying statement of intent to Castleburg, another thing that it meant was Division X was on his tail even more than usual. He was usually always a few steps ahead of them, but he had experienced a few close calls that were far too close for comfort. And then there was the general masses. At one point, he had taken a cab, but the cab driver had recognised his voice, and Caustic had just managed to kill him and get out before the man could contact the authorities. The collapse of the Wings of Law had left Caustic with much less ideas on how to put his plans into action. The Wings were stupid, incompetent heroes, but they were public figureheads and could be taken out without much stress on his part for maximum public impact. The rest of HERO, while still a group of fools who needed elimination, was definitely much less smug and incompetent.
So, considering his commitment to secrecy and covert movement over the last few months, Caustic found himself extremely surprised when, while skulking around in the backalleys of Castleburg one night, he ran into a man who recognised him. Caustic was about to quickly kill him, but the man identified himself as a member of the Brookside Bruisers. Caustic elected to listen to what the man had to say, and if he got bored, just kill the man as he was originally going to and move on. It was quickly obvious that the man had the intention of getting Caustic to join as some kind of enforcer for the gang. When Caustic just crossed his arms and remained silent, the man quickly mentioned about a meeting of criminal gangs on a boat in a few days time, telling him to think it over, before quickly handing him a ticket before running off down the alley.
Caustic thought about it over the next few days. On one hand, he hated the criminal gangs almost as much as he hated the heroes. They could direct their criminal influence into taking down hero institutions, but all they did was spend their time grinding out profits and selling off weaponry and technology to non-powered people. Such a waste. But on the other hand, he couldn't deny that the infrastructure of criminal networks could prove useful. Or, at the very least, he could use this boat meeting nonsense as a chance to sow some discord among the criminal groups. Chaos was good, it sapped the resources of HERO and left them a lot more vulnerable.
So that was how Caustic now found himself walking up the ramp to the luxurious river liner, handing his ticket to the barely intelligible man who was running admissions to the boat. He was donned in a sleek looking black face-mask which covered the bottom half of his face, planning to take it off once he got onto the ship. And he did just that when he got to the bar, standing there although he didn't actually drink. He looked around at the people who were here, not recognising any of them. Evidently there weren't any other high-profile villains here, it was mostly just criminal gangs. Pretty disappointing.
Caustic wasn't one for mingling, so he simply walked among the crowds on the boat, seeing if he could spot anyone he recognised from the news or from ICOSA files he had looked at in the past. And then, suddenly, there was the sound of a glass being tapped on. Caustic, like everyone else on the boat, glanced over to see what was about to happen. The Black Baron... Now this was a name that Caustic recognised. Even before his stint at Coldwater, the Black Baron was a pretty well known figure among the less than savoury characters of Castleburg for his hero-slaying prowess. But this man who walked out was nothing like that legendary figure. He was old, frail, like a gust of wind could blow him over. Caustic did not join in on the clapping, simply listening to what the old villain had to say. Uniting the criminal enterprises of Castleburg? An ambitious idea, but probably one that would never work. Too focused on profits, they would eventually betray each other as usual. But the next part made Caustic raise an eyebrow. A successor?
Caustic vaguely recognised the girl who stepped forward. From his perusing through ICOSA files, he was pretty sure this girl was somehow related to Zero, although he didn't know what her name or powers were. The Zero organisation was a constant source of intrigue for the underworld of Castleburg, but Caustic didn't think much of them. Why wouldn't the leader reveal himself, if he was allegedly so powerful? It was cowardice if anything. As all the criminals crowded towards the girl, Caustic stepped back, glancing outside the window as the boat began to pull off into the harbour. As he looked back to the room, he took note of a guy also standing away from the ground, franctically texting on his phone and downing his alcohol. He was fairly sure he recognised this guy, with his red hair, from ICOSA files too, but he couldn't remember where. Probably a high ranking individual individual in one of the gangs.
Caustic left his position by the window, brushing past the unknown redhead, before walking over to join the crowd of criminals to try and get a better look at this Black Baroness. @Hitman