“Defender? There’s two of you?”
Craig Carson gaped at the sight of two Defenders standing next to a terminal in RenCen, where the arch-hero volunteered his time to help coordinate young heroes in handling the myriad threats to the city and outlying regions.
“Yeah,” Defender sighed. “I was trying to construct a dimensional disphaser, so Shadow Destroyer couldn’t return here.” He shrugged. “Got him instead from an alternate dimension. He’s friendly though.”
The other Defender was addressing a young hero. “If you collect, say, fifteen of their hankerchiefs, you should stumble on some evidence of their guilt.”
“Huh?” the young hero said. “In what universe does that make any sense?”
“In this one.” Defender-2 said. “Now get moving!”
“Jerk….” The young hero muttered, and he took a swingline in the direction of Westside.
“Man, did you see the costume on that guy?” Defender-2 whispered. “How many shades of black can you mix? That’s worse than the frigging nineties. Ugggg-lee.”
“That’s not really very polite,” Defender-1 chided.
“Hey Defender!” another hero shouted. “Are you going to penetrate each other?”
“Why you…” Defender-2 muttered, and his gauntlets began to charge.
“Easy!” Defender-1 said. “We’re big enough to put up with a few insults. Let them blow off some steam. It’s healthy.”
“Is he always such a boy scout?” Defender-2 asked.
“Yep,” Craig answered, nodding fiercely.
“And blowing off steam? Is everyone here some sort of psycho who tries to kill each other while criminals run amok? All I see are fights! With more explosions and guns than your average warzone!”
“Pretty much,” Thundrax shrugged.
“It’s good practise,” Defender-1 said. “They’ll need it.”
“Uh, yeah. Riiight.” Defender-2 was rolling his eyes behind his faceplate.
“Hey Defender! Why don’t you kiss yourself?” another young hero sneered.
“Good lord!” Defender-2 gasped. “What the hell are you wearing? Demons wouldn’t be caught in that spiky crap!"
“I am a demon!” the woman said, emitting a cloud of green gas. Craig coughed, but two Defenders activated their filters.
“Are these heroes, or psychopaths?” Defender-2 asked.
“They’re a little intense,” Defender-1 replied.
Thundrax continued to cough. “Worse than Deanna Hawke,” he sputtered.
“Who?” Defender-2 asked.
“Professional assassin, using bows and arrows.” Defender-1 said, and he brought up a display.
“Good lord! Why is she wearing panties?” Defender-2 asked. “And she’s not even attractive. At least have the body if you’re going to run around wearing that. And that gas! They should call her the Fartress. By the way, do male assassins run around in their jocks?”
“Stick around here.” Defender-1 said, nodding in the direction of a scantily clad male hero. “Come to think of it, Craig, aren’t you shirtless almost half of the time?”
“Um…. Uh…” Craig sputtered again.
"And for a great and mighty fighter, you sure lose a lot." Defender-2 added.
“Uh, Defender. Is he around here permanently?” the hero asked, pointing at Defender-2, changing the subject.
“Nah,” the other Defender said. “The Kaiserin factor should come into play. I should be gone by tomorrow morning.”
“Craig, there’s a bit of trouble by the docks. Can you?”
Craig nodded, cracked his knuckles, and took off in a swoosh of wind and thunder. Defender-2 sighed.
“All these heroes are as noisy as they are ill-mannered,” he said, shaking his head. “God, I sure can’t wait to get home!”