Alternate ATF Universe: Pantheon
Character Focus: Vin, Chris
Disclaimer: Don’t own any of them, written purely for enjoyment. Mog created the ATF universe.
Beta by Kalde.
Summary: All heroes are betrayed by someone they should have been able to trust.
Please note: Text within '#' indicate that the words are being spoken by the Silver Archer using a voice modulator.
"All we want is access."
The battered man looked up at his tormentor.
"You're going to kill me anyway."
"But there is a world of difference in ways to die." The owner of the menacing voice stepped forward into the light. The villain didn't need a costume to announce to the world he had powers. And the evil smile spoke of what torture he was capable of.
Chapter 1: Going
Vin glanced over the papers in his hands as he made his way back to the office. What tipped him off to the attack from behind he'd never be able to put a finger on, but it had saved his life.
The villain snarled in frustration as his attack missed, and Vin couldn't immediately place his codename. The first thing that raced through the sniper's mind was why on earth a super villain was attacking his civilian identity.
"Not so high and mighty now are you, archer?"
'What the hell??'
'Super villain just attacked me...and addressed me as archer.'
'Where are you?!'
'Around the corner from filing.'
Vin rolled out of the way of another attack. "Why are you doing this? I ain't anything t' ya."
"That's what you'd like everyone to think, Silver Archer!"
'What?! I'm coming! Just hang in there!'
'My civilian identity is gone, big time!'
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"All you heroes, think you're so safe in those civilian identities of yours. No safety anymore! All gone!"
Vin could see the hero liason officer, frantically tapping on her handheld computer tablet, look up, startled.
'What?!' Chris skidded to a stop behind the woman.
'If I understood what he just said correctly; all civilian identities have been compromised!'
'Shit! Do what you have to.'
"One thing I'll never understand about villains," Vin stated, giving up all hope of keeping his civilian identity intact, "is why you're always so sure that heroes are powerless without their costumes."
The liason's eyes widened even as Vin's hand closed on a couple of pens.
The villain paused and the sharpshooter let fly with the pens, one catching each elbow with unerring accuracy.
He crumpled with a surprised cry.
As Chris relaxed, a strong hand landed on his arm, pushing him gently but firmly to the side. He smirked as Scintillation Shock moved past him into the 'combat' zone and stood over the villain.
"Was there no other choice, Vin?" the United Heroes leader asked softly.
"From what he said; all civilian identities have been compromised. And he definitely knew mine."
Chris heard those around him start speculating on the identities of the rest of the Denver Protectors and sighed as most quickly figured it out.
"With Vin's out it's real easy to figure out the rest of us," Chris stated, stepping forward and ending his own civilian identity.
Scintillation Shock sighed, then pulled out his own handheld computer as it came alive with alerts. Reading quickly he glanced up with a grave expression.
"A dozen different civilian identities have been attacked in the last hour." Tapping in commands quickly he continued, "As of now, no civilian identities exist."
Small, unremarkable, pager-like devices on both Vin and Chris went off with urgent alerts.
"What's going on?" JD asked, drawing surprised gasps as he nearly appeared from thin air.
"Civilian identities are compromised," Chris answered.
"All of them," Vin added.
A sigh brought their attention to AD Travis as the former Judge looked at the files in his hands.
"Guess I'll give these to Team 3."
"Sorry Sir," Vin appologised softly.
"Just stay safe. And Tanner," Vin looked back at Travis, "say hi to Standish for me."
Vin gave a half smile and nodded.
"You have two options; relocate and take up new identities, or go full time." Scintillation Shock told the full group of the Denver Protectors.
#Don't know about anyone else, but I don't want to leave Denver.#
The rest of the heroes chimed in with their agreement of the statement.
"Full time it is then."
"What about Mary?" Dark Thunder asked, "and the AD..."
#All of those on our 'at risk' list,# The Silver Archer inserted, knowing what his friend wanted to ask.
"We're working on that. The shear number of those at risk is making it difficult."
"None of them are likely to take well to being relocated or needing to hide," Medical Marvel commented, thinking of his own lady, Rain.
#We could offer them jobs,# the Silver Archer suggested. #Going full time means there will be several positions we'll need to get people for.#
Behind his lenses Dark Thunder blinked; it hadn't occurred to him that the other hero would know so much about problems faced by full time heroes. But then again it probably should have, given who his mentor was.
Scintillation Shock smiled. "Talk to them."
The heroes nodded.
"Hello, Denver Protectors." Rain glanced over at Mary even as she answered the phone. So much had changed since the identities of the city's heroes had been compromised but she definitely didn't regret signing on with them when they decided to go full time.
The seven had had to give up their separate houses and move into the base. Chris' ranch had been remodled into the public base of the team. Mary had signed on as the public relations and press representative, while Rain had signed on as a glorified secretary and worked with her husband in the medlab. Orin was onboard as the law enforcement liason and Inez was running the café that had been set up there. Eve and Nettie had joined forces to run the educational program, the elderly superhero settling into retirement as her niece finally earned acceptance and a spot on the team from the Denver Protectors.
"No. A thank-you gift won't be necessary, they were just doing their job."
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