Shades of Red

by ElenaRoan

Alternate ATF Universe: Pantheon

Character Focus: Vin, Chris

Disclaimer: Donít own any of them, written purely for enjoyment. Mog created the ATF universe.

Beta by Kalde.

Summary: Scintillation Shock asks them to mentor a 17-year-old hero with an unusual outlook on the world.

Please note: Text within '#' indicate that the words are being spoken by the Silver Archer using a voice modulator.

Prologue: A Request

"Any idea why he asked us to meet?" Dark Thunder asked, looking over at the Silver Archer.

#Not a one.#

They didn't have much longer to wait as moments later rappel lines announced the arrival of the United Heroes leader and several other heroes.

The Silver Archer nodded hello to the heroes, all of whom he recognised except for the young one with a teen hero patch.

"This is Cardinal," Scintillation Shock introduced, "Dark Thunder, Silver Archer."

#Hope you didn't want all of us. City's too volitile lately to not have the others on patrol.# The last few weeks had been interesting to say the least.

Scintillation Shock made a face. He knew what his former mentoree was referring to; he read the reports each night. He'd even started stationing some of the United Heroes nearby on alert it had got so bad. He figured it was the limits of the team that was being tested and so far they'd dealt with everything sent their way.

"You're who I wanted to talk to anyway."


"We need a hero for a late teen mentorship."

#Why us?#

Often the hero who found a teen would take on the mentoring unless there was a reason they couldn't. This included the hero in question having many demands on his time, a reason why Scintillation Shock rarely had mentorees.

"Because the powers of the one who found him cause him pain." There was something hidden in the tone of the hero's voice and it didn't take much for the two to figure out what.


Scintillation Shock nodded dejectedly. "He can't be mentored by me or anyone in my team."

"What causes the problem?" Dark Thunder asked. For all they knew their powers could cause the same problem.

"He sees only in infrared."

#That would do it.# The Silver Archer said with a wince, the bursts that Scintillation Shock put out would near blind someone in that situation.

"So you'll take him on?"

#Won't say yes or no at this point.# The Silver Archer replied, and neither hero missed the dejected fall of the teen's head.

"We'll get Double M to take a look at him first; make sure none of us are going to harm him with our powers," Dark Thunder added.

Cardinal's head jerked up. He hadn't thought that would be the reason for the caution.

#No one is going to abandon you just 'cause your powers don't play nice with someone elses.# Dark Thunder nodded his support of the Silver Archer's statement. #Shock, could you take him to our base? We'll meet you there once we're free.#

Scintillation Shock nodded. "Need any extra help?"

The Silver Archer looked at Dark Thunder.

"Can't hurt," the black clad hero stated.

With a nod the United Heroes leader signalled the four heroes with him to join them while he led the teen to a transport point.


Chapter 1: Vision

"Hi there," Medical Marvel said to the teen curled nervously on the couch.


"I'm Medical Marvel," he introduced himself. The Silver Archer and Dark Thunder had explained to him about the teen. "Silver Archer and Dark Thunder asked me to take a look at you to make sure none of our powers will hurt you."

"So, you going to drag me into your med lab to poke me all over like everyone's been doing since they found me?"

Medical Marvel chuckled. "No. Scintillation Shock arranged for me to see your scan and analysis."

"Oh. So why do you need to take a look at me then?"

"I'm not just a man in a suit of armour," he replied with amusement. "I have a sense that tells me whether something is wrong, what someone is capable of, and whether something will react with someone."

"Oh." He thought on that for a few moments. "So...what do you see?"

"I see your vision, it's always been on. My guess would be you've always wondered about those colours everyone talked about; you were probably diagnosed with monochromia when you were young."

Cardinal's mouth dropped open. "You can see all that?"

"Not exactly, I can see that you can see only in infrared and it's always been active. The rest is inferred from experience."

"Anything else?" His face was openly curious.

"You have several abilities that are not manifested yet and none of our powers would have an adverse effect on you."

"So you'll be able to teach me?"

Medical Marvel nodded. "Yes. I'll let the others know and we'll decide who will mentor you."

The smile he got in reply was brilliant.


Chapter 2:

#I'll officially be your mentor, all of us will help train you,# The Silver Archer told Cardinal.

"They are all very good at what they do," Scintillation Shock added. "I still get Silver Archer to spar with my team on a regular basis and the others usually join in, which hasn't hurt in the slightest. If I could I'd get them to train everyone."

The Silver Archer blushed. #Now you're just flattering us.#

The United Heroes leader chuckled. "If you ever went down to someone I'd probably skip the preliminaries and go straight to a full call out."

#Desiccation Wave wasn't that kind of threat.#

It was said softly and Cardinal quickly realised that the conversation had taken a turn into something private, and painful.

"Even if that dream had come true he didn't manage to take you out," Scintillation Shock pointed out. "Something bring that up again?" The memory wasn't usually that raw for them.

The silver clad hero sighed. #All of us have been getting flashes. You should have a report waiting for you when you get back.#

"Flashes? As in half remembered or forgotten dreams? Anything like last time?"

Cardinal slipped quietly out of the room, sensing that the discussion was delving into areas they didn't share with just anyone.

"They send you out?" Joculator asked jovially.

"No, they got into a discussion on dreams and I thought they'd prefer I wasn't there."

A tense silence descended upon the heroes in the room.

"Well," Medical Marvel broke the silence, "would you like to get started on seeing if we can get those dormant powers of yours online?"

"I thought Silver Archer was my mentor," Cardinal replied, a little confused at how everything worked.

"Yes, but I'm the expert in bringing dormant powers online," the armoured hero replied, a smile able to be heard in his voice.

He led the teenager out of the room.

In the other room Scintillation Shock and the Silver Archer continued their discussion.

#For the others it's mostly half-remembered dreams that give them split second warnings.#

"But for you?"

#Nothing specific, at least so far. Both Dark Thunder and I have been sharing a feeling of impending doom.#

Scintillation Shock looking both startled and worried. "You need help you call and we'll be here as soon as we can."

The Silver Archer nodded silently.

"I'd do a full call out simply on your say so," Scintillation Shock assured him.

#Hope it won't come to that, but something big is coming and I can only hope we'll be ready.#

A boom from downstairs interrupted them and both were out of the room in an instant.

"Relax," Shadow Mirage stated, reappearing out of his shadows having obviously gone through them to see what the matter was and having returned. "Medical Marvel managed to convince one of Cardinal's dormant powers to turn on."

#What is it?# the Silver Archer asked curiously.

"Would you believe; heat vision?"

All the heroes got bemused expressions on their faces; before there were superheroes and villains the most popular form of super power featured in stories was heat vision but no actual hero had ever possessed it, until now.

The Silver Archer's smile faded as he realised what the flash he and Dark Thunder had got the night before meant.


'Yeah, we'll just have to make sure to keep him safe.'

'Maybe we should have told Scintillation Shock to take him as far from us as possible.'

'Think we have the best chance of keeping him alive, hot shot.'



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