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Threat Level: N/A
Destructiveness: N/A
Killability: N/A
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Might: F
Survivability: E
Recovery: D
Mobility: E
Spark: D
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Powers: Enhanced Sight and Hearing, Sonic Blasts, Durable Arms, Metabolic Regeneration, Desert Jackal’s Reflexes
Classification: Projector/Stalker

When Danny reached the agent’s office, anxiety had his heart beating faster than it did during combat. His temples throbbed and sweat soaked at the back of his head. The waist-high, blue-skinned woman that answered the door did nothing to calm his nerves. It wasn’t just her. Everyone he encountered in the building had similar height and identical skin colour. They all wore baby blue jumpsuits, making them all near identical. Only their white hair in varying styles gave them some degree of individuality.

Danny hoped to meet Sasha’s aunt, discuss everything, and leave straight after. Much to his disappointment, a blue-skinned woman wearing black-framed glasses and a high-pony tail greeted him instead. She dropped a stack of forms in front of him.

“What’s this?” He asked.

“We need information on your education, family history, professional history, and several other tidbits,” she answered.

Danny raised an eyebrow, studying the stack. It was as thick as his little finger. “I don’t know what Sasha told you, but I’m mostly here for a meet and greet. Isn’t this a bit premature? I’d like to talk to your employer first and find out whether we’re a good fit and maybe find out how all of this works.”

“This is a high security building. The criteria for taking people on as clients, how we protect you, and serve you are all privileged information. First, I need to ensure you’re not a security threat. Then I’ll ensure you’re someone we can work with. Only then will Rebecca meet you.”

Blue-skinned office workers watched Danny as he filled in the forms. He filled in medical questionnaires, detailed his relationship with Kaka, and had to detail his favourite chicken recipe. Meanwhile, a couple of blue-skinned people walked by him several times. Whenever Danny looked at them, they diverted their eyes. Whenever he paused, the people watching him shifted their attention to their workstations. Danny’s hand-mouths heard their fingers dancing over glass surfaces. He recognised them as physical keyboards. However, he saw no Holo-devices in the room. It meant they didn’t use the standard technologies popular in the city and with the League.

Is this a psych test?

The questions made little sense and the constant observation felt unnerving. Danny was sure they were testing him, but he failed to discern the parameters or purpose behind it.

Things got significantly weirder when a skinny man a couple of inches taller than the other blue-skinned people approached Danny. He pointed a strange gun-like device at him, and Danny reflexively threw up his forearms in front of himself.

“Chill out, mate.” He chuckled. “It’s just a scanner.” When he squeezed the trigger, green lines of light burst from the device and scanned him from head to toe. The man raised an eyebrow, studying a screen attached to the device’s side. Danny lowered his arms, and the man scanned him a second time, and then did the same from every direction. “All done!”

“What was that?” Danny asked.

Instead of answering, the man turned on his heel and disappeared through a door in the back of the room. He couldn’t help but feel concerned as he worried the man had scanned him for a meta gene. If the agency found out his powers came from an unknown source not of their dimension, it could spell trouble for him and Kaka. There were no publicly known devices or procedures capable of tracing an individual’s meta gene without a DNA sample. The League and private organisations tended to often hide information and tech. He hoped an unknown super agent wouldn’t have such benefits.

“What was that scan?” Danny asked when the woman that gave him the forms returned for them.

“Beta is pretty weird,” she told Danny. “We think it best not to ask him too many questions. It never turns out well.”

The mixture of intense, intrusive, and mundane questions eventually frustrated Danny. Yet he kept working his way through them. The woman and other staff members interrupted him several times by getting him to fill out more urgent forms. His annoyance almost got the best of him when three people got him to fill out his bank details twice each.

Then the clock struck twelve—exactly ninety minutes had passed since he entered the building—the first woman returned again, took all the forms from him up and left. Danny looked around confused for a minute, trying to figure out whether they were genuinely gathering information, testing him, or joking.

All the blue-skinned folk hurriedly returned to their work when a new woman entered the room. Unlike the little-folk, she looked like an ordinary person.Supers came in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. However, it was the first time Danny had seen as many with eerily similar physical characteristics.

“Daniel Das, it’s a pleasure to meet you finally,” the woman said, offering him her hand. Danny jumped to his feet and shook it. “Rebecca Myers, you may call me Becca. You made quite the impression on my niece.”

“That’s right. Things got a bit out of hand—”

“She’s my only human employee and prone to making human mistakes.” Her statement confirmed Danny’s suspicion. The little folk weren’t human. “Unfortunately, her colleagues dematerialise if they get more than a hundred metres from me. So I can’t send them out to look for new clients.”

Then it clicked, and Danny’s constant analysis of super history proved useful. “You’re Golemancer!”

“That’s right.” Becca smiled, nodding.

Six years had passed since Danny last saw Golemancer in the news feeds. He remembered her as the League’s rising star at the time. She had gained a better position than Dryad in half the time. Then, suddenly, she announced her plans on going solo and separating herself from the League. The press conference had caused a lot of controversy since the organisation relied on her powers for logistics, management, and suppression during rift breaks.

Golemancer’s power involved creating soldiers out of blue clay she conjured. The figures Danny recalled from the vids had no human features, were oddly shaped, and rarely had faces. They weren’t the people he saw walking around him.

“These are your golems? I thought they were mindless soldiers.” Several sets of bright blue eyes turned on Danny at once, and he immediately wanted to put his foot in his mouth. They probably considered that an insult. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s quite alright,” Becca said. “They started off that way, but time made them grow intelligent, stronger and more self-aware. The League recruited me not long after I awakened my meta gene. I’d lose golems regularly and then create more on the fly. I never took the time to get to know them or nurture them.”

“Is that why you retired?” Danny asked.

“Once the older ones started gaining human definition and getting smarter, I knew they were more than just golems. Nowadays, I prefer thinking of them as my children. I couldn’t bear to lose any of the few that remain. Seeing them hurt causes me pain too—figuratively—so I retired.”

“Wow.” Danny found himself at a loss for words as he looked around the room, studying Rebecca’s children as they went about their work. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any offence by calling them golems.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Becca laughed, patting his arm. “Enough about me, though. We’re here for you. Before we get started, I want to make something clear. For a hero-agent relationship to work, the most important thing is honesty. I don’t expect you to tell me everything, but it’s important we don’t lie to one another. Is that clear?”

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J Pal

  • London

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