The Green Gladiator, Stealth Gentleman, Crimson Songbird and Parrot Girl met in the Pyramid Lounge, as they’d arranged earlier that day, in their civilian identities. Viridian had opened a psychic link with the Stealth Gentleman, and was able to hear their words, and relay the conversation to Icewind and Sia Klath, who were gathered with him aboard Viridian’s spaceship on the dark side of the Moon.

“What can I get you all?” The waitress asked, as she approached, her face lit up by the brightest of smiles.

“Just a jug of water, and four glasses, please” Stealth asked, returning the smile.

“Nothing to eat?” the waitress jotted their order down on a small notepad, still smiling broadly.

Stealth Gentleman still smiled back as he shook his head. The waitress walked away and he looked back at the group. “OK. What do we do now?” he asked, the smile instantly becoming a frown.

“We’re still EFB members, regardless of what Reide has said.” Crimson Songbird commented.

“Well, you all are,” Parrot Girl commented, “although I’m still an honorary member, I suppose.”

“What do you mean?” Green Gladiator asked, somewhat confused. “Reide sent us all packing!”

“He did, but he obviously hasn’t read our by-laws.” Crimson Songbird continued.

“The Songbird is correct” Viridian said through the Stealth Gentleman. “All members remain members until they and only they decide to leave. They can’t be forced out of their place in the team.”

“But by us all walking, doesn’t that mean we have left?” Green Gladiator was still confused.

“No. Only by us declaring that we have officially left the team means we have left.” Songbird added.

“Even if we’re rubbish?” Gladiator asked, thinking of his recent performance on the team.

“We are a team to help everyone, Gladiator.” Stealth said, “Even ourselves.”

“OK. I think I get that now; but what does that mean now?” Gladiator had a lightbulb moment and felt very relieved… confused but relieved.

“Here you go,” The smiling waitress returned with a large jug full of water, and half full again with ice. Four glasses had been placed around the jug on the tray. “Would you like anything to eat? Our Aztec Burgers are out of this world.”

“Aztec Burgers?” Gladiator was confused again. “I thought this was an Egyptian themed place?”

“There are pyramids all over the place, sir,” the waitress answered with a smile although quite robotically, “not only in Egypt.” Her smile never left her face.

“I see. I just thought… never mind.” Gladiator felt his cheeks begin to burn. Songbird looked at him and smiled back, with a wink. “We’re fine with the food,” she replied to the waitress, who walked away leaving them to pour the water themselves.

“So what do we do now?” Gladiator asked, realising he was being of no help to the group whatsoever.

“I think we should just observe what is going on for now.” Stealth said. “Let Reide think we’ve gone, but just keep an eye on things.”

“Give him too much time and he’ll read those by-ways.” Gladiator felt proud of his comment. Crimson Songbird smiled once again.

“Good point, Glad. We need to give him enough rope to hang himself with, and not enough to tie us all into knots. The by-laws are written very clearly, so if he does check them it won’t take him long to find this clause.”

“I don’t think he’ll read them.” Stealth replied. “I think he’s setting up his own regime and not even thinking about us having our own regulations before today. But still, I think we need to find ways to keep him busy so he doesn’t have time to find them.”

“I have a way,” Sia Klath said through Viridian and in turn Stealth, “But it may cause some structural damage to the headquarters. It will probably also alienate me even further. But this is only one way of many more that are needed.”

“Whatever it is, Sia, do it.” Stealth replied. “Don’t tell us anything more. We should all act covertly. Cause frustration, delay. But remember our colleagues. We can’t tell them what we’re doing, but we mustn’t do anything that would harm them.”

“Agreed.” Songbird said, and together they all repeated “Agreed!”

Songbird looked at Parrot Girl, who now had a sad look on her face. “What’s wrong, PG – we’re doing this for the good of the team.”

“I know,” Parrot Girl replied, in a whisper, “It’s just that I have to lie to Firetop again.”

“You don’t need to take part, Parrot Girl,” Stealth said. “With you being an honorary member, you can step back. We wouldn’t hold it against you.”

“No, I know,” Parrot Girl said. “And that’s just it. I know. I’m already involved.”

“Reide will probably not be expecting us to join our own team,” Songbird commented. “But I think he will be expecting us to try something. He may look like a bumbling idiot, but it seems he knows what he’s doing.”

“I agree,” Stealth replied. “He’s obviously got a plan, but for what else I have no idea. Let us lie low for a couple of days, and then see what we can do to cause a little disturbance.”

“This actually sounds like fun.” Gladiator said, smiling broadly.

“But this is very serious stuff,” Stealth replied sternly. The Gladiator’s cheeks began to burn again.

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