Threat Level: N/A
Power Type: N/A
As per habit, Danny checked his phone for the latest traffic updates . His uncle, who he endearingly called Kaka, had nagged the habit into him years ago. Danny appreciated the sentiment. After all, the danger rating in London’s many neighbourhoods could change at the drop of a hat. Civilians—especially the powerless—wandered into black and red zones regularly, and either never left or spent the rest of their lives crippled.
For every League-sanctioned hero in London, there were a dozen minor villains. As a result, the League struggled to maintain the peace across the city. London’s extremities suffered the most. The powerless and citizens without powerful abilities relied on the ThreatLevel App to plan their routes to and back from their destinations regularly.
Holloway Road — Yellow
Arsenal Stadium — Orange
Finsbury Park — Yellow
The threat level around the stadium had changed since Danny had last checked the app. It didn’t bother him too much. He lived on Holloway Road. It featured six lanes and heavy traffic. As a result, it had excellent surveillance, making it reasonably safe. So, he took his usual route home.
London supposedly had the largest variety of supers in comparison to any other place in the world. Some went as far as to call the city Super Central. Standing in between the Americas and Europe, it served as a perfect connecting point and housed the League’s headquarters, after all. Danny had barely left the gym when he saw his first hero.
Talon lazily flew overhead. His metal feathers on his ten-foot wide wings moved independently as he changed direction. Neon blue claws grew out of his boots, earning him his name. Danny pulled up the Super Database—a less than legal extension of the ThreatLevel App. It copied the League’s strength measuring system to provide an estimate of all known super’s powers. When he pointed it at Talon. The super’s data appeared on screen.
Threat Level: D
Power Type: Genius-level intellect and omnifabricator with a focus on light, high-speed, power armour.
*Suspected ability to slow time perception. Might be due to advanced sensory equipment.
Many theorised that Talon had an affinity for technology modelled after birds but due to the lack of concrete evidence the app didn’t feature the tidbit. Danny watched Talon glide down the road while waiting for the zebra-crossing signal to turn green.
I hope I never awaken as a Fabricator.
Getting the most out of powers in the category required heavy monetary investment, which he lacked. He could get a corporate sponsor, of course, but that required a base product which once again demanded having capital for prototypes. The rare technopath could make do, but even then, they fared best with a slew of gadgets in their pockets.
He was lost in his thoughts and daydreams when an invisible force pushed him to the ground. A heartbeat later, a hooded figure darted past him, carrying a lockbox Danny recognised. It featured the dojo’s logo and had come from Sal’s office. Danny identified the man holding it too, as he ran across the road without waiting for the lights to change. It was the short and skinny baby-faced individual from the gym. The air rippled around him as he ran, leaving Danny wondering whether he was a Projector with kinetic force abilities or a Controller that manipulated wind.
It doesn’t matter. Couldn’t help even if I wanted to.
After the recent conversation, Danny struggled to make himself care about Sal’s loss. He was sure it was a significant amount. Almost a third of the gym’s members paid on entry and in cash. Many were villain’s henchmen or had past squabbles with the law. It helped them avoid the League’s tracking softwares. Danny guessed the young man was one such client, making him difficult to track with the law. If Sal foolishly didn’t keep all his cash earnings in the lockbox and only visited the bank once a week, he wouldn’t have suffered the loss. He had no one to blame but himself.
During his walk home, Danny found himself fortunate enough to spot more members of the League of Heroes. The more visually appealing of the pair, Dryad, had recently made a name for herself by rapidly climbing the super association’s rankings. She not only had the public’s eyes because her ability to grow flora and control them turned everywhere she went into a garden, but also because she wore no clothes besides vines and leaves. They hugged her sultry frame, barely covering her breasts and genitals. Several forums claimed that her power set included pheromone control, which would explain the hundreds of men and women fawning over her.
The hero walking with her, Druid, had only just appeared on the League’s roster. He had a Northern, almost Irish look about him, with his square jaw and flaming red hair. Like the senior hero next to him, he wore no mask but still managed to keep his identity a secret. Druid had won the public’s eye when a news broadcast showed him bringing down a villain with an exploding pine cone and then swarming them with foot-tall mushroom people. Now, hero enthusiasts speculated on what kind of power his wooden shotgun housed.
The rest of Danny’s walk home was mostly uneventful. No super-powered crooks knocked him down while fleeing a crime scene. He was fortunate enough to avoid other League members, too. Even though spotting them was a treat, conflict often followed them. He had avoided getting caught in crossfires for twenty-one years and hoped that would never change.
The aromas drifting from Kolkata Tandoor reached Danny’s nose long before he saw it. He entered the mostly empty waiting area through the front entrance. Danny recognised the speedster waiting by the counter, flicking through images on a Holoscreen. The cuboid container on her back featured the shop’s name and logo. Danny had seen her run and unless the young woman featured any other powers, she was no more than a F-rank Mover, making her powers useless for much besides courier and delivery jobs.
She spared Danny a brief glance and didn’t reciprocate his wave. The others shot him a smile. He recognised one as a regular who always got a Garlic Naan, Black Daal, and Butter Chicken. Danny didn’t recognise the rest and ensured the surveillance camera above the door was functioning before slipping through a door in the back.
“Danny!” Kaka called before he could sprint up the stairs to the apartment above. “Come in here, please.”
A loud sigh escaped Danny. He would’ve preferred ignoring Kaka, but refused to embarrass the man in front of his staff. So, he wiped his face, brushed his hair back and complied.