Colin was annoyed.
This wasn't a particularly unusual occurrence, though it wasn't that he didn't like the people he worked with, nor the work itself. It was just the fact that, at almost any given point when he wasn't Tinkering, he could be doing something much more worthwhile.
As his motorcycle cornered a turn, his mind wandered to his latest collaboration with Dragon, the Endbringer prediction program. If they managed to predict where Endbringers would attack next, they would gain worldwide fame, and save millions of lives in the process.
He shook his mind from his more important work to attempt to bring his focus to the incredibly boring patrol he was currently on. It was the graveyard shift, and the gangs were in a lull. It would be unlikely that any of the major players would make a move for a few weeks, beyond some minor tagging and fortifying of their borders.
Of course, during the fortification process, any mook could start a minor fight with another mook, to which others would have to respond, and then the capes would have to get involved, and then he would have actual, useful work to do on patrol. Getting in fights was the only thing other than Tinkering that he found to be useful, as what was the point of Tinkering, if those designs were never used in the field?
But, until then, all he had to do was drive around the route and try to stave off bor-
"Absolutely nothin' going on tonight, bossman."
Colin grated his teeth at the radio intrusion. Once Assault started chattering aimlessly over the radio, there would be no stopping him. He'd hoped to get through at least half of the shift without interruption, but apparently the boredom had gotten to the Striker first.
"Helloooooo, Armsy? You there? C'mon buddy, talk to me."
Fighting off the desire to pinch the bridge of his nose, Colin called over the comms, hardly keeping the derision out of his voice, "Assault, please refrain from cluttering the radio unless you are calling in something."
He could just imagine the eye roll Assault was giving him as he resonded, "Please, the only action we're gonna get tonight is-Oh shit, hold on, I got something over here."
Colin praised every deity that he didn't believe in that something had cut off the inappropriate joke that Assault was undoubtedly about to make, as the red suited hero continued his report.
"Yeah, on 5th Street, between Lords and Maple, I got a probable cape unconscious in an alley. I don't recognize the costume."
A quick glance at the street sign above told him that he was only 3 blocks away from the reported call. Of course, that would put Assault off of his assigned patrol route, but that could be dealt with later.
"On my way."
A quick turn down the next street, and an acceleration pulled him into view of the other hero, who was knelt down in the entrance to the alley with his hand on the unknown cape.
The girl on the ground was wearing an incredibly professional costume, a slightly revealing gladiator outfit with her shoulders and cleavage exposed, a tiara holding her vibrant red hair down, and gloves and greaves covering her forearms and shins.
Lying on the ground next to her were an ornate bronze shield and a well built sword of the same color.
Pyrrha looked up at the woman standing above her defiantly.
She had nothing left to give. No Aura left for her to try to attack. Her sword and shield lost amongst the rubble at the top of the ruined Beacon Tower.
Cinder Fall stalked over to the kneeling girl, drawing her bow.
Pyrrha met her eyes, verdant green meeting fiery gold, she gasped out, "Do you, believe, in destiny?"
Cinder's eyes narrowed as she smirked victoriously.
The arrow flew true from the short distance, driving through her chest, and hitting her heart. Pyrrha felt her breath stop. She didn't feel the pain of the wound as she choked for breath.
Gasping, she convulsed on her knees, her vision swimming, and her thoughts losing focus.
She felt a hand caress her cheek.
Pyrrha Nikos faded away in the breeze, falling into the blackne-
Pyrrha shot up from the bed she was lying on, gasping heavily as she regained breath. Her heart raced as she started to scan the room, her body tensin-
"Woah, woah, easy there, girl. Nobody's gonna hurt you. You're safe here."
Pyrrha recoiled at the soft voice, her tension fading away. She felt just how tired she was, the remnants of her Aura starting to reform did nothing to rebuild her strength. She looked up to see a man in a rust-red uniform and a half mask standing over her, his hand pressed softly, but firmly, against her shoulder. He was smiling.
"That's it," he spoke in that same soft voice, "Just relax, you're gonna be fine. Just catch your breath, and relax."
Pyrrha took heavy breaths, exultant in the moment that she could breath, remembering being unable to breath just moments ago. She looked around the room she was in.
It was a standard looking hospital room, white walls and sheets, machines beeping and whirring. It didn't look like any hospital she'd ever been in, but it was a hospital. Another man stood on the other end of the room, wearing what looked to be...power armor?
That was strange, he didn't look like an Atlas soldier, though the colors were the same, and why would an Atlesian soldier be in her hospital room?
She started to recover her breath, taking shallower and shallower heaves. The man in the red outfit continued to murmur words of encouragement and relaxation, and Pyrrha felt her heart rate dip back to normal.
"That's it," the man cooed, "That's it, just relax now. Everything's fine. Can you tell me your name?"
She looked up at him quizzically, he didn't know who she was? That was odd, most everyone on Remnant knew her face. Maybe he was seeing if she had a concussion.
She cleared her throat, "My name is Pyrrha Nikos."
He looked taken aback, and Pyrrha curled in on herself. He did recognize her.
To her surprise, the oddly dressed man did not apologize, nor did he seem amazed, rather he babbled nervously, "No, no, I meant your cape name."
Cape name? What did he mean by that?
She tilted her head at him confused by his words. He looked at her expectantly, "Y'know, like your hero name, or whatever."
"I, um," she responded hesitantly, "I don't know what you're talking about."
The red man shot a glance at the not-Atlesian soldier, and he nodded back. The red man turned back to her, asking, "What's the last thing you remember?"
She looked up at him nervously, then back down at her lap.
He made a confirmatory noise, then began to speak once more, "I see, you'r-"
"I was on top of Beacon Tower," she interrupted him, as he recoiled, "I was fighting this woman, she, she wanted to destroy the school, and, and..."
"Hey, hey, hey," he started to babble again, "just relax, Pyrrha. Um, what's Beacon? Is that some kind of college or something?"
She opened her mouth to say something, then stopped, and tried again, "You know, the huntsmen school? Beacon?"
The red man opened his mouth, then closed it. Then opened it again, then tilted his head in thought.
"Hey," he started slowly, "This might be a weird question, but what's the name of your planet?"
She furrowed her eyebrows, that was an odd question. She thought she might as well humor him, "Remnant."
He perked up, outstretching his hand, "Well, that explains it. Very well, my name is Assault, and I would like to officially welcome you to Earth Bet!"
Pyrrha's eyes widened.