|What: Three heroes walk into a tunnel...|
Psychic bees. Seriously? Giant ants breaking into banks were easier to believe than psychic bees... if only because Sam didn't have any problem with fighting giant ants that could chew through a bank vault but psychic bees were really kind of scary.
So, he's off to prove that they weren't psychic. Hopefully, now that he's used a lot of internet research to find a way past the security in Grand Central Terminal, he'll find something in the abandoned service tunnels that will explain why all the bees were gathered here. Even after the cleanup, there are tiny bee corpses in the corners. It's kind of sad.
Sam pulls up his shields and steps out into thin air above the next tunnel down instead of taking the ladder. He shimmers with golden light and the air around his feet fills with the red glow of a well-controlled rocket. Sam-evator, going down.
Aloke tried it, and it /seriously/ does not work. How Superman gets his elbows and knees maneuvered inside a goddamn phonebooth is anybody's guess. Aloke's not even as big as old Kal'el. And do you know how hard it is to find a goddamn phonebooth today? It's hard, ok.
Anyway, Aloke eventually gives up, zips home, changes, and flies back out in his yellow, orange and red Edith Mote hero costume, lookin' sharp. He flies into the tunnels through an above-ground station, luckily moving faster than the attendants can see, and bombs down through the labrynth, a yellow firefly flitting about at high speeds, until he finally gets in range of what he's heard about. He pauses to get his phone and check his location, only to make the sudden realization that 3G wasn't going to cut it down here. He hmphs, and looks around.
Psychic bees, giant ants, interdimensional raves...really it was all good for Axiom. This weird stuff just made him happy since he absolutely loves being a superhero. And weird or not, he's pretty sure there has to be a reason for psychic bees. Like a bee-controlling villain or something. So he suited up, gathered some tools, and snuck his way in through the tunnels. He'd traveled a bunch of them before. It made getting around the city easier as a homeless kid. He's just getting to the bottom of one tunnel when he notices a glow coming from another. Letting out a little squeak of surprise, he looks around for somewhere to hide and ducks around a corner until he can see if the source of the glow is friend or foe.
One of the glows belongs to a tall blond man all in black, his face partially obscured by black goggles with clear lenses. Once he lands, he consults a phone in his hand, then shines a flashlight up and down the tunnel. It's kind of hard to tell at this point whether or not he's a bad guy, just from the visuals. He is, though, maybe a little too good sometimes. He just looks like some ordinary biker or something who happens to also double as a rocket once in a while. Sam's looking for any kind of sound source or chemical residue down here that would explain the bee activity.
After giving up on his phone, Laser decides the best way to search the tunnels is by flying at maximum speed through the tunnels, and to just look everywhere in the few of minutes it'd take him to do that. A search pattern! Laser begins his high-speed peek, zipping up and down passages all through the service tunnels. Eventually, the maskless hero is surprised to find himself blasting past a young man obviously looking for a hidey hole. But watching Axiom means Laser wasn't watching where he was going, and flies full speed into the hovering Cannonball, like a solid blast of light.
Frowning slightly, Axiom squints at Cannonball. He watches the man for a moment and then gets that odd feeling that he's being watched. It only lasts as long as it takes for Laser to blast by. Axiom squeaks and tumbles out into the open. "Ow."
BAM. Laser smacks straight on into Cannonball and... nothing much happens at all. Sam got some extra shield up at the last second, took off all of an inch, and caught Laser full in the chest. All the lost kinetic energy surges into him and, while it stings like hell and pumps his power up so that he'll have to drain some off, but he's fine. Unmoved.
"Hey there." Cannonball holds Laser up with big hands on his shoulders. "You doin' all right? Something chasing you?" He's got a lazy Kentucky drawl and he's completely unfazed by someone slamming into him at top speed.
Laser finally gets his jaw working again from the stun, and realization that he's not actually dead. "Whoa, hey, sorry guys." He blinks, apparently assuming Axiom and Cannonball are together. Or well, not /together/ but buddies. Partners. But not /that/ kind of partner. Well who knows? Stop asking hard questions. Jeez. Laser drifts back on his shouldn't-be-hovering-for-any-known-reason and takes in the scene. Then he remembers Sam's question, "Oh, no, nothing yet. I was trying to find out more about those bees down here. Want to make sure there aren't any more hanging around." Oh Laser. What if /these/ are the guys who /brought/ the bees? New Guy 101. Attend that class.
Getting up, Axiom will just have a bruise or two later. Dusting himself off, he glances up at Cannonball and Laser. No attacks, no threats...so he relaxes. And then he sees Laser and jumps. The teen quickly stops himself from mentioning that he's seen Laser before and approaches slowly. "You g-g-guys are investigating the bees too?"
"Exactly that," Sam says. "Just a..." He holds up a finger, then looks up. Yeah, that level up there was clear. He doesn't fire blasts up that way, he fills the whole area above him with a condensed shield, glowing with the effort as he drains off some of the energy he just soaked from Laser.
"Sorry, still a little scorched from getting overloaded once lately," he says, once he's done. "Haven't uncovered anything. One of my friends was here when it actually happened, I'm just following up. Cannonball." He offers his hand to Laser. It's not that he's being naive here, it's just that he's got an escape route and he'd be really shocked if he couldn't at least blow this place in a hurry.
"Hey, nice to meet you, Cannonball." Laser nods, and turns, still floating to look more welcoming and offer his hand to the younger man, "And hey, aren't you... um, yeah, Axiom, right? Nice suits, fellas. Do you two work together a lot?" Nice way to ask, -why have I never heard of Cannonball?-
Axiom watches Cannonball produce the glow with his powers and grins. "So c-cool," he murmurs. "One of your friends? Who was it?" Axiom's a curious little guy. He shakes Laser's hand and pauses when recognized. "Y-y-yeah," he's shocked he was recognized. "Umm, no. This is the first time I've met Cannonball. I heard a couple rumors about him online once though," he says. Fanboy, he's been to all the rumor sites and hero message boards. "I haven't found anything yet either."
"Spider-Girl." Sam flashes Axiom a smile. He and Spider-Girl show up in the same place often enough and she hassles him endlessly on Twitter. No secret that they're friends. "She came back with a bit of evidence for me, but I wanted to check around. Psychic bees... well, let's just say I wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley. Or tunnel. Which does make me wonder why I'm down here."
"Yeah, me too," Laser says, agreeing with Sam's wondering. "But ok. At least it's not dark." Laser grins, winks and, pulses his own glow briefly, and nodding to Sam as well. "And we're all making new acquaintances. It's good for folks like us to stay connected. So, any idea where we should start? I've already looked over about 20 percent of this level of tunnels, in that direction. But that's mainly because I couldn't figure out which way Grand Central is from here." He shrugs and grins again.
Axiom is a total Twitter newbie. He only just opened an account for the first time that morning. At the mention of Spider-Girl, Axiom instantly perks up and grins. "Oh! Meeting her was r-r-really awesome and copying her powers was...spectactular," he says, blushing a bit. "Psychic bees are pretty strange. I have um..no idea where to start either though."
"Well, let's take some of the tunnels and we can..." Twitter is the answer to everything for Cannonball, at least some days. "...here." He holds his phone so Axiom can see his Twitter feed. "SG and I use Twitter when we're out of other options. Direct messages, mostly. She's the_spider_girl. I'm smashbrother... I pretty much broke everything when I first got my powers. If you want to give me your handle, I'll add you and you can direct message me if something comes up. You, too," he says to Laser. If either of them turns out to be evil, Sam can just block them later.
Laser nods along with the general planning, and then gets his phone out. He knows his students love the Twitter. Or so he's heard. They use it. To say stuff. But apparently he's a little more hip than anyone would have guessed, because when he fires up the app he downloaded one time and promptly gave up on, he taps in a name, and holds it up as well. "Yeah, thanks, Cannonball. That's a great idea. It lets you keep in touch without having to give out personal information. Nice. I get it now!" He seems pretty pleased with himself and points out his screenname. "Here. you can get me at dont_laze_me_bro." He smirks, certainly aware of the amusing video.
"Be careful down here. It's easy to get lost and some of the tunnels and not all of them are safe," Axiom warns the others. "There should be some hobo code," he blushes a little, not liking the term but knowing no better one. "on some of the walls. It can help," he says, not quite realizing that the others likely don't understand the symbols. When Sam produces the phone, Axiom takes his out. "Oh um...I'm just figuring this out still but I'm um universal_sidekick on this Twitter thing," he says. "I'll be in touch for this and if you ever n-n-need back up or something," he says.
"All right, then keep in touch." Cannonball gives in to the instinctive ruffle he wants to give Axiom's hair. New little heroes--so cute! "Shout if you need anything and watch yourself," he says to both of them. "I'll see you two around." With that, he powers up slowly and then lifts off into the tunnel overhead.