Unceremoniously, I flopped down onto the couch, the Mardi Gras-esque domino mask I’d been wearing all day now sat on the coffee table. From the side table I grabbed the glass of wine the kind one could pour a half of bottle of red into. I also pulled out the voice recorder, a device that I found helped on cases, voicing my thoughts and locking it down into my aural eidetic memory. Especially observations that were not conveyed through sound. I took a sip of the full bodied shiraz blend, I thumbed the play button on the recorder and listened to my notes for the day.
“April 12 2015,” boy I hated the sound of my own voice. “I received an encrypted message from an unknown source. Referring to my moniker Liarbird which was particularly disconcerting as I rarely utilise it. The message itself gave an address to a warehouse in Spotswood, offering work for someone with my ability in return for payment. As well as myself, three other parahumans were also invited to the briefing:” The recording paused a moment and I took another sip.
“Deadbeat, a short stocky, girl with black hair cut into bowl cut, she had goldfish-like features which were not hidden by a mask though she was wearing a black leotard with an overcoat. Her personality is best described as abrasive and confrontational. Currently I am uncertain to what her powers entail.”
“Wrighteous, is a tinker with a specialisation in aero applications, remote controlled drones the size of insects is what we saw today. Her costume comprises of leather aviation cap, googles, ivory scarf, slacks and boots. She’s smart, cautious and stubborn displaying a firm set of morals.”
“The third cape raised some eyebrows; it appeared to be Pressure Point, a vigilante that went quiet about a half a year ago. She definitely appeared to be Pressure point, height and size seemed to be consistent and the multicolour vein patterned, full body suit she wore looked legitimate. The thing that irked me was her voice. Pressure point always put on a ‘voice’ but there was always a bit more vibrato in this one. I just don’t think this is the same girl but out in the field her powers lived up to those of the original Pressure Points’.”
“Once we were gathered we received the call from our mysterious benefactor over speaker phone. The voice was altered to mask its identity.”
On the recording I recited the conversation perfectly mimicking the augmented voice of the benefactor. “Welcome,” a no nonsense voice greeted us augmented to hide their identity. “Firstly, the job I am about to offer you may require you to break the law and make enemies, so if you have any compunctions I suggest you leave now.” The voice had waited for dramatic effect then continued. “Very well, two days ago the corporate cape agency Eureka moved two large packages from the Eureka Tower headquarters to a butchers in Footscray, a place called Chan’s Meats. The establishment has known Black Light affiliation. I require the four of you to retrieve the packages from Chan’s Meats before they are moved, how you achieve the results is up to you but do it with discretion. Beneath the barrel is a suitcase with a retainer for your services and on completion of the job you will be further compensated. The packages are to be delivered to Coburg cemetery where you will deliver the packages to the Zafarelli mausoleum where the exchange will occur. Finally, do not open the packages.”
“I would feel comfortable if I knew who I was working for,” mimicking Wrighteous.
“Then you will be working outside your comfort zone. Information will only be given on a need to know basis,” our employer said sharply.
“What resources are at our disposal?” I queried.
“You have a case full of money and you’re parahumans, impress me. I look forward to your success.”
“With that the line cut out. The group then proceeded to plan. ”
“April 13 2015”
“Utilising Writeous’ bugs we surveyed the goings on at Chan’s Meats. Eventually, Mr Chan himself received a call. Writeous piloted her bug onto the hand set and managed to pick up the voice I recalled as Glitter Bomb a member of Heartache’s Black Light crew. The exchange was arranged at 9 that night.”
“With that we formulated a plan. I would ring Mr Chan mimicking the voice of Glitter Bomb and making an abrupt rescheduling of the exchange. Driving a rented small truck, Deadbeat would wear a bike helmet posing as Glitter Bomb with myself in the passenger seat throwing Glitter Bomb’s voice. Pressure Point and Wrighteous would provide our back-up in a separate car.”
“The plan was going swimmingly, the two large human sized crates were moved from the meat locker and into the truck. It wasn’t until we were half way to Coburg when we met trouble. We were being followed by a motorcycle that appeared to be ridden by the real Glitter Bomb. A combination of Deadbeat’s erratic driving, my gunshot mimicking and Pressure Point’s powers, we managed to lose our tail.”
“At the first opportunity we stopped the truck, and against the wishes of our employer we opened the two human sized crates. Inside were two bodies of parahuman gang, the Rail Rats; Clot whose blood sets hard creating a protective coat and Scratch with the ability to alter the material properties of his body by scratching the top layer of skin off. Both appeared to display some battle damage but also displayed mortal gaping wounds in their torsos. Clot had bleed out enough that he was effectively stuck to the crate. After resealing the two crates we made it to the rendezvous point and handed over the two crates and received our money. From there each of us went our separate ways.”
“If we are to assume the Eureka team did kill Scab and Scratch not to mention Black Light ties. This could be detrimental for Eureka’s public image and their corporate sponsors. This raises a few questions to what the motivations of our mysterious employer are.”
With that, the play button popped up signalling the end of the recording. I paused for a few moments in reflections then reached for the bottle of wine topping up the glass.