The lights were low in Hero Hall, casting shadows over everyone but Glow Man, who’d been shadow free since the reactor spill of 2003. The mood among the heroes was as dark as the Hall.
The meteor was coming.
Actually, Hero Hall wasn’t really a hall at all. It was more of a storage room. A rather spacious storage room though, with a poker table, microwave, and Police blotter, twenty some odd feet below the Eighth Street Wal-Mart, where Origami—the leader of The Supremes—worked from time to time when he couldn’t get enough hours at T G I Fridays.
“So what’s it going to be?” Origami asked darkly. His voice was low, full of gravel and broken glass. A demon red cape drowned his shoulders, billowing into a Grim Reaper hood that hung lower over his eyes. “Pizza or Chinese?”
“Shouldn’t we be a bit more concerned about the impending meteor strike?” Asked Rational Man as he toyed with the lapel of his sensibly priced blazer.
“I vote Chinese,” said Glow Man.
Rational Man huffed. Ignored as usual.
“We had Chinese two nights ago,” whined The Glider. He squirmed in his chair. Both his shattered, heavily casted legs were itching like crazy.
“I feel your pain,” The Empath sighed, placing a doughy hand on The Glider’s shoulder.
“Well I vote pizza,” said Captain Know-It-All. “If we get Chinese, I know the sweet and sour pork is going to be only moderately acceptable, and I’m certain it will leave me with terrible indigestion.”
“Hey. Do you guys feel that?” Asked Rational Man. The card table had begun to tremble. “Origami? Is that you?”
“Paper,” Origami replied snootily. “I manipulate paper, Rational Man. You know that. Just paper. Not card tables.”
“I just thought, you know, because the table is mostly wood, and paper comes from trees that—
“Paper!” Origami barked. He put an exclamation mark on it by transforming the Chinese take-out menu before him into a ferocious dragon.
Glow Man applauded.
“Pizza it is,” Origami growled. “Empath, give me the phone.”
“Origami?” The Empath sang. “What’s the magic word?”
“Huh?” grunted Magic Words, who was hunched over, half asleep in his chair.
In the corner, the microwave began to jitter. Dust drifted down from the ceiling, seasoning the heroes and the card table that had progressed to a full out quake. From somewhere overhead—possibly in the sporting goods department—a muffled cry rang out.
“Uh, guys?” Rational Man began. “Maybe instead of calling the Pizza Place we should try and call Meteor Man?”
Glow Man laughed. “Meteor Man? He still owes us twenty three bucks from taco Tuesday. Why would we invite that cheap skate for pizza?”
“Uh, because he can communicate with meteors?” Rational Man said. “Maybe he could, you know, stop this one from killing everybody.”
Glow Man laughed again.
“Rational Man,” Origami began ominously. He leaned in, steepled his fingers. “We are The Supremes. The greatest collection of superheroes Megaton City has ever known. We don’t need a hack like Meteor Man—who by the way completely refuses to pay his club dues—to save us from something as mundane as a little space rock. We are more then capable of stopping it ourselves.” He leaned back. “Plus, we still have plenty of time. Commander Telescope estimates the meteor isn’t coming until 8 o’clock tonight.”
A gang of rats scuttled out of the far wall, darting across the room and just as suddenly vanishing, searching for higher ground. A gassy fissure opened up across the floor, spider webbing after them. The table cracked in half. Overhead, it sounded as if a herd of elephants and an out of tune marching band were break dance fighting in the Home and Garden department.
Rational Man checked his sensibly priced watch.
Dramatically, the door flung open.
Meteor Man stood in the threshold, back lit by dazzling white light, the picture of stoic, square-jawed superhero-dom. His gaze was unblinking gun metal. His canned-ham fists rested on his hips. His magnificent, billowing cape smelt of justice, and freedom, and just the slightest hint of tacos.
“Finally,” Rational Man whispered.
“Everyone,” Meteor Man boomed heroically. “Magic Words texted me you guys were getting pizza. I want in.”
Rational Man groaned. “Oh, son of a bi–