Psychic Sue walked into the kitchen of the headquarters of the Elite Force of Britain, and instantly stumbled forwards. The Cloud was in the room, making himself a cup of tea when he saw her. He dashed over, and held Sue by her right arm.
“Are you alright, Sue?” he asked, “You seem very pale.”
“More so than usual?” Sue replied with a slight giggle, “but no, I’m fine. I walked into this room to a barrage of psychic energy, that’s all.”
“Does that happen very often here in the kitchen?” Cloud asked, looking around the empty and rather untidy room.
“Not in here, no…” Sue answered, “Which makes it all the more strange.”
The Cloud walked Sue over to one of the chairs at the round dining table in the centre of the room, and sat her down. “I’ll make you a cuppa. That’ll make all the difference!” He said with a broad smile. The kettle began to bubble and steam away, as the water inside it boiled. The Cloud poured the contents of the kettle into two large mugs. “Do you have milk and sugar, Sue?” He asked, as he absent-mindedly watched the water pour. “Sue?” He turned to face Sue as he didn’t receive a reply, and was shocked to see Sue slumped across the table. Leaving the mugs where they were, he ran over to Sue, and sat her upright in her chair. Her eyes were open but she was staring blankly forward. He shook her gently, but there was still no response. He ran to the communications unit by the door, and pressed the loud tannoy button, which was standard practice in situations such as these. “Medical emergency in the kitchen” Cloud announced, his voice booming throughout the headquarters complex. “Could Doctor Flopp please come to the kitchen immediately?”
In the gym on the seventh floor, Lycralad was running on the treadmill as Firetop was completing another set of reps on the bench press. Invisible Charlie was on the leg curl and Green Gladiator was struggling with the pull-ups.
“I can never get a rhythm with these things,” Gladiator said, finally giving up and dropping to the floor. “That’s it for me for today, I think, possibly even for this month. It isn’t as though I need the exercise…”
“Unlike you, Gee,” Lycralad said, “we haven’t been imbued with natural athleticism so need to do these work outs unless we turn to blubber. And a plump superhero is no good to anyone.”
Lycralad looked behind him and saw Muriel Magnificent who had just walked into the gym. “Present company excluded, Muriel. You did wonderfully when you were plump.”
“Thank you. I’m flattered, I think” Muriel said.
“And you still would be, had you not gone through your transformation and all.” Lycralad realised he wasn’t really helping matters. Muriel simply smiled and looked over to Firetop.
“That’s me done too,” Firetop announced. “Just time now to get a quick shower and head out. Parrot Girl and I are going out for a meal tonight to that new restaurant on Midview Lane.”
“That’s why I’m here, Firetop,” Muriel said, “Parrot Girl has just been on that social media thing we use and she’s asked me to let you know she has to cancel. She’s helping Simba Katiya investigate somebody by the name of Ragdolly Anna, and they are running late.”
“Such is the life of a superhero, pal!” Lycralad smiled. “We just can’t make plans. Have you not learned that yet?”
“I…” Firetop was interrupted by the tannoy system.
“Medical emergency in the kitchen; Could Doctor Flopp please come to the kitchen immediately” The Cloud’s voice boomed out across the room.
“That sounds bad.” Invisible Charlie said, getting up from his bench. “I wonder what’s going on.”
Eli Flopp walked into the kitchen, followed by his nurse, Angela Chance, and the receptionist Natalie Byte. “Now, Cloud,” Eli said in his usual business-like manner, “How can I help you today?”
The Cloud was sat beside Sue, who was still staring blankly forwards. He simply gestured his left palm towards her.
“Oh, dear,” Eli said, to Sue this time. “Now then, let’s have a look at you.” He shone a light into both of Sue’s eyes, and got nothing from her. “She isn’t responding. How long has she been like this?”
“She’s just walked into the room, sat down and this happened. I was making her a cuppa.” The Cloud thought for a second. “She did say she received a barrage of psychic activity when she walked in.”
“That seems to be the case.” Eli said, beckoning Angela over to him. He pointed to her bag, and then pointed twice in an upwards direction. He then motioned his index finger in a circular pattern three or four times before nodding at Angela. Natalie stood by the door, swiftly writing everything into her notebook. Angela took out a small black square device which had a green pulsating light at the end of an antenna.
“Ah. I see.” Eli looked at the device and then at the Cloud. “This is a mini Psychic Recorder that Sue loaned us a while ago. It’s more of a psychic resonator than a recorder, but the green light indicates that there is indeed psychic activity talking place in this room as we speak. It has been attuned to pick up some things, but it isn’t as sensitive as Sue’s Psychic Recorder. We’ll need to get Sue up to the medical centre and see if we can decipher anything from this contraption.” Eli gestured for Natalie to wheel a chair into the kitchen. The Cloud helped to move Sue into the chair, and she was then taken out of the kitchen by Natalie.
The telephone on the communications console rang as Eli walked passed, so he answered it. “Who?” he asked, “I’ll pass you over to the Cloud who’s nearby. He’ll be able to help you.”
“Hello,” the Cloud spoke into the receiver as he held the door open as the doctor and nurse followed Natalie and Sue out into the corridor outside the room. “Tracy Major? The Prime Minister? Oh, sorry. You’ve called during a bit of a situation. Sorry. Say that again… the line isn’t very clear at all!” The Cloud concentrated on the voice at the other end of the line. “Yes. Meeting. Got that. Raymond Reed? R-E-I-D-E… got that. Controller of Superheroes? Has he anything to do with Sue? Psychic Sue? No… OK. He’s on his way here now? You’re on your way here now??? Ah. I see. You want a meeting calling? Got that. OK. We’ll be ready for you when you arrive.”
For the second time in less than half an hour, the Cloud pressed the intercom button to activate the tannoy. “Could all members present report to the meeting room immediately, for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister. She will be here within the hour.”