He peeled off his shorts and hit the shower. Long ago, he’d given up the lycra costumes to fight crime almost au naturale.
The benefits were immediate; so much so that rest of the Legion, and even some of their foes had taken to doing the same:
- Faster to get changed
- Cheaper than replacing wrecked costumes each week
- No restrictions of movement
- It looked hot!
That last one was a joke, but behind the chuckle, it was also true. Heroes were the paragons of society and their good looks encouraged the ordinary people to model themselves on the virtues they extolled. Ergo, if you've got it, flaunt it! Besides, Jolt loved the feel of the breeze combing through his ample chest hair as he charged across town to the rescue.
Fever joined Jolt in the shower block and they shared the same stream of warm water. Without a word, Fever took the soap and began washing Jolt’s back. He was a faithful sidekick, even at times like this when he needed the soap far more than Jolt did.
The mud formed a landslide down Fever’s taut body as the water washed away the evidence of his embarrassing fall in the dirt. It had been a dirty fight anyway, with Quicksand turning the ground beneath them into sludge. But Jolt had faced that foe many times and knew what to expect, leaping forward and tasering the villain with his electric touch before the ground began to soften beneath the nearby skyscrapers. Fever however, was caught off-guard and toppled into the growing quagmire before he knew what was happening.
Ah, to be so innocent again, Jolt thought, remembering his early days fighting crime. In this business, you learned the hard way, and you never made the same mistake twice.
Jolt turned into Fever and took the soap from him, gliding it gently over his ward’s chest.
“They say a mud bath is good for the skin,” Jolt teased.
Fever backhanded him across the arm, and the soap dropped to the tiled floor. Jolt smiled as they both eyed the soap then each other. Fever sighed and slowly sunk to his knees before his mentor.
He opened his mouth but was cut short by the sudden burst of the alarm. Instantly, the duo were out of the shower, drying themselves off as they raced to the control room. The printers were already spewing out details of the crisis while the wall of monitors showed the worried face of the Chief of Police over the one-way video link. His plea for help was full of urgency and frustration.
Like a well oiled machine, the duo split. Jolt tore open the lockers to grab fresh shorts for both of them, tossing one pair to Fever, who caught it without looking up. His other hand had already sent a response to the Chief, letting them know they were on the case. On the monitors, a suburban street was now on show, with crashed cars and frightened people littering the street and nearby playground.
“It’s Bounce,” Fever read off the missive. “Up to his usual tricks. No one hurt except for a bit of whiplash, but lots of property damage.”
Jolt growled. “Bounce?! Haven’t seen him for a while. What’s he been up to? It’s not like him to be this overt. Come on… you can take this one. He’s a harmless prankster, more annoying than anything. It’ll be good practice for you.”
And with bodies still glistening from their recent shower, the fighting duo charged to the scene. On the monitor’s behind them, a large, circular shadow burst into view, slamming into the camera and killing all transmission.