“Alright, keep up with me and we won’t have any problems,” said Tempus Manum, grabbing the envelope that contained my application off of the desk. He sighed as he turned towards the elevator and I ran to catch up with him as he strode at a leisurely pace. I hadn’t noticed the doors to the elevator because of how well it blended into all the white, but now the tiny cracks that separated the sliding doors were discernible. There wasn’t a button for us to press or any kind visible object to let it know we were there but the doors slid open immediately anyway. Inside, there were about a hundred buttons, none of them marked. Tempus Manum swiftly pulled an ID card out from his pants pocket and slid it into the rectangular slot at the base of the buttons. As he pulled it back out, black letters and numbers appeared on each of the buttons. He trailed his finger over them, clicking his tongue idly as he looked for one button in particular. Once he’d found it, he pressed it and took a step back, leaning against the back wall with his arms crossed over his chest.
“So where are we going now?” I asked, bouncing slightly as the doors closed. I shifted my weight from my left foot to my right in nervous anticipation. “Huh?” I was too excited to have full control over these movements.
“If you stay still for one second, I’ll tell you,” he said, glaring at me. I took a deep breath and stopped moving, standing as still as I could instead. Could I help it if I was just so excited to become a superhero that I couldn’t control my motions? “First, we’re going to go and submit your costume ideas into design so that we can get you a tangible uniform and not just an idea. Then it’s down to RE so we can get you set up in an apartment…”
“I get a house?” I asked, my eyes going wide.
“An apartment. Use your ears and listen. As a Hero with the POWER group, you’re entitled to housing. Technically, we should house you here, but there’s only five apartments built into the POWER group building; we’ve never had more members than that. So we’ll probably set you up in one of the buildings we own. It’s a good way to blend into the public. After Costuming and RE, it’s down to the Equipment Hall so we can get you set up with a comm unit.”
I didn’t want to create another outburst that would make him angry again, but I had to ask. “What’s that?” I finally said as the elevator doors dinged.
“It’s short for ‘communication unit’. It’s how I- and the rest of the POWER group- will be able to get in touch with you. It’s a pretty basic device, just an alert that we need to talk. Everyone else has upgraded and customized, so feel to do it yourself.” We stepped off the elevator into yet another large room. All around us were countless people working on different mannequins, sewing machines, and computers as they created different outfits. The four walls were lined with alcoves, and each alcove contained a different outfit. Three of the walls contained normal clothing, but the wall at the back of the room had alcoves filled with superhero suits, each with a spotlight shining down upon it. A tall woman sat in a glass office at the back, walking around and tapping on a tablet as she muttered to no one in particular. Tempus Manum walked up to the door and knocked gently, causing her to jump and turn to face us. I’d thought that was impossible in five inch heels, but apparently not.
“Monsieur Manum,” she squealed, running over with tiny footsteps to give the Hero a hug. He chuckled and pulled her off him after a minute. “How are you? Is this still how you insist on dressing, Monsieur?”
“I’m fine, Cherie, and so is my uniform. I’d like you to meet Stryker. She’s going to be joining us and she’s in the market for a new costume.”