“Mr. West, your 11 o’clock is here.”
Mr. West’s office was a modest affair on the 15th floor of Halo Tower One in the heart of Keystone City. Halo moved their offices to the bold Midwestern mega-city after the late 1980s Wall Street crash. The company is responsible for many of life’s necessities from laundry detergent to building materials to military armament.
Mr. West is not an employee of Halo. His office is on a floor not maintained or controlled directly by Halo. The rent has been paid for the next 80 years, meaning that the people who will eventually replace Mr. West will likely be based in these very walls.
A photo of his girlfriend Linda is to his left. A photo of his aunt and their family and friends are at his right. In front of him is a virtual monitor display, a largely hard-light desktop screen that he can touch to access. The fact that he’s just sitting behind a desk bores him considering he could just run from the 15th floor to London to Tokyo in milliseconds. But he made an appointment with an old friend a week ago, and he needed to keep it.
“Hello Wally,” the visitor said as she entered the room. The woman was dressed in a dark blue dress with a black blouse. Her hair was jet black, slightly curly, and down to her shoulders. The way she presented herself was almost goddess-like, but it was just a meeting of old friends and equals the way they hugged and embraced each other.
“Hey Donna, glad you decided to come.”
“It’s always a pleasure to see you. It’s been a while.”
“Too long, my dear. I’ve taken that you’ve heard about the new guy in Metropolis, right?”
“Yeah. He’s kind of making us obsolete.”
“On the contrary. What he’s doing is putting folks like us out in the open. We’re not obsolete.”
“Plan on wearing a cowl again, Kid?”
“Maybe. The name’s kind of taken nowadays. Plus, I’m far from being a kid. And you’re no girl yourself, Troia.”
“Ah. You remember that old chestnut. It fits me better anyway. At least better than Agent Blue.”
“I dig it. Heard from Garfield lately?”
“Little beast is still hitting on anything with a skirt, but he’s a good guy. Sweet when he wants to be. Last I heard, he was heading to London with Rachel.”
“They’ve always been close, haven’t they?”
“Off and on. Meanwhile, Isiah and Jen are in South America. How about the professor?”
“You mean Jeremy?”
“Yeah. Smart as hell, but quiet.”
“In the labs, as usual. Marlowe said that they could handle his experiments in the basement.”
“Something we’ll have to clean up eventually, I suppose.”
“Let’s hope not.” After Mr. West said that, he glanced at the photos of his predecessors. The three Agent Reds before him.
“Donna, am I making them proud?”
“Of course, Wally. They picked you and have nothing but confidence about what you’re doing here.”
“And what is that, exactly?”
“The Society exists to do things regular folks aren’t capable of doing. Because of that stupid law, we’re still underground … though we’re standing in a shiny skyscraper in a busy town.”
“It’s a big world. The guy in Metropolis isn’t the only one. Others are coming out. The Bat vigilante in Gotham’s out there too. We won’t be underground that much longer.”
“Of course not. We’ll help them out and rein in those that make us look bad.”
Agents West and Troy looked down at the streets below. The lunchtime crowd was growing larger and busier. The pair couldn’t do nothing but smile.
“It’s a new world out there, Donna. Are we ready for it?”
“Of course, Wally. But the real question is if the world is ready for The Society?”