Shotgun wandered by the glass walls of the gym. Grappler rarely used the equipment in the manner designed. He bounded from the bench press bar and skipped from the wall. A somersault followed, where he managed to catch hold of a metal girder holding up the ceiling. Dangling from one of the rafters, he began a routine of chin ups.
A large open adjacent area was set aside for his team to train against each other. Odin and Multibeast sparred using their respective abilities.
Shotgun continued on, stopping by a bank of video monitors. Javelin sat in his chair watching them. Each screen revealed a different point on the surface and the surrounding bushland. Per every video shot, either one or two armed guards stood or walked at their stations.
Shotgun’s face darkened. A guard sat back against one tunnel wall with his head slumped forward. Javelin pressed an intercom switch.
“Guard in tunnel 9b.”
The guard jolted, rapidly getting to his feet.
“This is Javelin. If I catch you asleep at your post again, I’ll come down there myself. Is that clear?”
The guard waved acknowledgement at the camera.
“They’re a necessary evil,” said Shotgun.
“I know,” said Javelin wearily. “All the extra eyes and ears allows us to rest and keep this location a secret. Our plans to dominate this planet will come so much easier as we gather an army.”
Shotgun grinned. “And they come cheaply too. We only have to offer them the crumbs of our conquest, but even the crumbs make them wealthy by earth’s standards.”
“This place might not be a secret for long, sir.”
Javelin always referred to him as “sir,” much to his embarrassment.
“You’re referring to Politically Correct?”
“Sir,” Javelin said curtly. “I’ve hacked government computers. I know where he’s held. If you like, I could slip in there, silence him, and leave without them knowing.”
Shotgun sighed. “There’s no need. Politically Correct is a priest of the Kalungran arts. Among other things, he’s specifically trained to resist torture. And even if he wasn’t, the authorities of this planet have laws against using violent interrogations. So I assure you, Javelin, we’re quite safe. Anyway, you’ve done this all day. Go and eat. I’ll take over for a while.”
Javelin removed his helmet and placed it on a desk by the console. As he left the monitor room, Shotgun seated himself to watch. Not all the guards were on camera at any one time. Patrolling their stations often took them out of view.
Darkness had settled on the bushland around the mine’s entrance. Several cameras had only shots of trees. He waited. Moments later, guards returned into view on some cameras, but not on others. Minutes after, he saw the rest on their respective monitors.
Accounting for them all, he sat back in the chair and rolled his eyes to the wall. The temperature gauge revealed the air conditioning had activated again due to its thermostat. His comrades complained of how humid it was so far below ground. Not that he could tell. Since his accident, he neither experienced heat nor cold anymore. Nor did he suffer the pangs of hunger.