A table rose from the floor before them, with five glasses atop it in the corresponding positions of their drinkers.
Before Carmen was placed a small glass of absinthe, the green liquid crystal clear and shimmering a little in the light; a mug of frothy beer was set before Bobby; before Eliza, a Long Island Iced Tea served in a frosted highball glass; and set in front of Cassandra was a perfectly shaken vodka martini.
Set before Atlas was a glass of iced water, which he swigged at before he spoke.
"Miss Delacroix, I must ask - the new show." She groaned a little at this.
"If you're going to complain over the content, then you can take it up with my-"
"I adored it," he calmly added. "I merely wished to ask where you derived such an unusual idea." She allowed what had just been said to register in her mind before smiling and sipping at the absinthe. She told him of some of her experiences, of her bizarre dreams that had led to the strange creation that now graced music halls across America, Atlas listening enraptured all the while.
Once she had finished, he then turned to Cassandra, asking the good doctor how the new sonata was coming along - again, he drank in the facts as she regaled him with the details of composition, the clever shift in key midway through the first section and how she had found the idea of the notation in a peculiar strand of amino acid she had been studying.
From this, he turned to Eliza and asked her on her reading - he then gestured to his shelves with a flash of a smile as she dashed over to look over them. As she scanned the shelves and dipped into one or two of the leather bound tomes, he asked Flint of the latest fight only to be met with a stern retort.
"Dammit, Silver. You call us up here with no rhyme or reason to it, and quiz us on our lives? Is this a joke, man?" He stood impetuously, but turned as Silver spoke once more.
"I require assistance."
"With what, man?" Flint's heart was matching his namesake at this point as he moved closer, though Atlas simply stood there and stared though him.
"There have been several murders, Mr Flint, all of them attributed to simple "acts of God". I intend to succeed where the police cannot, but for this, I require expert assistance. I need help." Flint seated himself, his mouth closed.
Atlas continued: "I have been travelling for a good number of years of my life, always striving to help the helpless and do good whenever it is possible to do so. But I am just one man - I cannot act alone any longer. So I selected four candidates that I would invite to join me here to aid me both now and, with any luck, in the future as well."
Delacroix was the first to react to this.
"Ha - alright, Mr Silver. I'm game. I don't know what you want with an artist, but I'm happy to help where I can." She smirked a little.
"Glad to hear it, Miss Delacroix - after all, any woman who can captivate an audience and knock a dock worker off his feet with a single punch is a welcome addition." Her eyes widened - how did he know? What else did he know? But that same smile - the smile that seemed to say that all was going to be well, and that all would come to right - calmed her a little, and she nodded with a smile as she finished her absinthe.
Fleet stood next, beaming.
"Well, it all sounds a little bizarre, Mr Silver - but you seem bona fide. I'd be delighted to join your little quest, as it were." She held out her hand in a joking lady-like manner, only to be met with a warm hug.
Tames stepped forward with a bundle of books beneath each arm, grinning wildly as she moved back to the table.
"An adventure sounds like a great idea - I'm in!" she blurted, only to be met with a single silver book held out to her. She opened it - blank pages, save the lines. She checked the inside of the front cover:
To Dr Eliza Tames,
PhD and upcoming
I hope this serves you
well, my friend.
She graciously accepted the little tome of her own, and bowed to Atlas - to which he bowed in kind before another hug. Finally, Bobby Flint stood.
"You're all damned crazy, I reckon. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but... hell, if you need a fighter, I'm your man, Atlas." They embraced, two men of iron, before Silver took to the helm and began to steer the airship away from the Tower.
"Your chambers are labelled with your names - inside is all you need for the next few days. I picked the clothes out with a little help from Mike, and the stores within should be to your liking. Get some rest - we head to the crime scene at dawn." They moved into the depths of the vast chamber, and Atlas Silver steered the airship, his silhouetted frame heaving levers as if he were the Titan of old, hoisting the sky back to its rightful place in the darkness.