Squad Stories: The Pentagram #1
The Belle Reve conference is a familiar sight to those in the front row, and a growing familiarity to the eight-fingered man in the row behind, but to Bito Wladon, the sight is new and unpleasant. Gone are the Balkan trappings of his home country. Gone even is the urban roar of Coast City, fetid and unbearable as it was. Now, there are only the stark gray walls of the Belle Reve conference room, the killers in the rows ahead, and the Steel-eyed woman on the podium, her hands rested on her hips.
Unlike that buffoon from Vlatava, Wladon wanted no part in the criminal element, and yet here he is. In his eyes, he was arrested unjustly by that imbecile with the green ring. The diamonds that rest in The Coast City Museum hail originally from Modora, it was simply Bito’s intention to return them to their rightful place.
And maybe gain some much-desired power in the process.
Boomerang: So what’s on the menu today, eh Waller?
Bito, under his breath: Prattling fool.
Boomerang: Ay! Excuse me?
Waller: Got something to share with the class, Sonar?
Bito: I implore you, do not link me with those names the filthy tabloids gave me.
Waller: Too late, suck it up. Now, it’s come to my attention, and to the attention of some the higher branches, that there’s been a cult cropping up and kidnapping young girls near the DC area. Most of those girls have been the daughters of prominent senators. Naturally, they want this scourge stopped, and, provided they’re still alive, the girls recovered.
Deadshot: Who’s the cult? Anyone we tangled with before?
Waller: It isn’t, actually. They call themselves The Pentagram.
Angle-Man: The what?
Waller: Did Creeper rip off your ears, too, Bend?
Angle-Man sinks lower into his seat, his arms crossed. Wladon notes that Bend seems not to be taken by The Waller Woman either.
Waller: Supposedly they were active during the whole War for The Card fiasco, but no one had any indication of their activities until after the dust cleared. Apparently they never actually got involved. We have a general location thanks to The Answer’s obsessiveness, and No-ears here will take you as close as you can get. You can surmise what to do from there.
Sonar, bitterly: That’s putting a lot of faith in us, isn’t it.
Boomerang, smirking: Careful now, kid. One wrong word and. . .
Boomerang: Speakin’ o’ ole Exclamation Point, will he be guiding us on our merry way?
Deadshot: Also seems like Orchid would be good for this raid.
Answer, over their earpieces: Orchid and I are sitting this one out. The best I can do for you on this one is shout obscenities in your ear. If that helps you, then I’ll be fucking glad to do it! I will be monitoring the two naughtier operatives on the computer here though, so smile, you’re on bio-reader!
Deadshot: What about Orchid?
Answer: She’s uh, busy. (hey don’t touch me there), and uh, she’s not feeling herself (yeah no, there’s fine) and uh, she has to wash her cape. Answer out.
Boomerang: I’d say she’s not feeling *herself* in the slightest, if ya know what I mean, eh?
Sonar: Why do you suffer these fools?
Waller: Because so far they’ve been useful. I suffer you too, don’t forget. Now, anything else?
Deadshot flicks his cigarette butt away. It bounces off the wall and lands in the trash can across the room.
Deadshot: I got a question. Seein’ how last time we were blindsided by Rustam’s boys, who are we up against here? Specifically.
Answer: Confound it, don’t you know I’m planting flowers?
Waller: I’m not going to begin to unpack that. Just tell us who’s in the current roster of the Pentagram, and you’ll be free to tend to your . . . garden.
Answer grumbles: Alright fine. Their leader is some short oaf calling himself Brimstone, probably with BO to match. After that is Deacon Blackfire, one of the countless nutjobs from Gotham’s sewers. Then you’ve got Blaze and Satanus, the brother-sister duo almost literally from hell, and last, and probably least, Hellhound. He’s a dog lover.
Waller: And their power sets?
Answer: Nope, that wasn’t in the deal, now if you’ll excuse me- *the line goes dead*
Boomerang: Face it, Amanda, y’finally found a personality stronger’n yours.
Waller: That remains to be seen. If there’s nothing else, it’s time to roll out. Task Force X is already above-site, combating a fabricated Seven-headed dragon of our own design, I advise you get on your way. Bend?
Angle-Man, standing up grudgingly: Alright, it’s not like we have all the same incentive. I’d like to be paid too, you know.
Waller: Don’t push your lu-
Before she can finish, the Squad have vanished in a green triangle of light.
Somewhere, deep under the foundations of one of Washington’s DC most-loved monuments, under the massive marble throne and kind, watching eyes cast in marble, something detestable and bloody has been taking place. Over the past few weeks, four girls have been spirited away through a specially-cut door in the base, and never heard from again, their screams echoing through the freshly-carved halls and lost amidst the barking of hellish dogs.
The fifth of those girls, newly kidnapped, lies semi-unconscious on an oak table older than the monument itself. The air is filled with the haze of burning candles, the light is low, and five figures stand in symbolic position.
They are ready to complete the ritual.
Brimstone: And, with this mystic dagger, may the wicked lord that we sacrifice this virgin blood to,
Blackfire: Hear our praise,
Satanus: Accept our gift,
Blaze: Grant us power,
Hellhound: And- *KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.
The five stand in silence for a moment. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Perhaps it was just more of the foundations collapsing.
Hellhound: And- KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.
Hellhound: Alright, what the hell.
Brimstone sighs: Someone get the door.
Blackfire: What do you MEAN get the door?
Satanus: I for one, find it entirely obvious what he means. Hellhound, get the door.
Hellhound: Why me?
Blaze: Cause you’re closest, puppy.
Hellhound: You’re closer than I am! Blackfire is closest!
Blackfire: That is DEACON Blackfire to you, mutt!
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
Brimstone: For Sweet Satan’s sake, will one of you assholes get the door?
Satanus: Not I, sir!
Blaze: Nor I.
Brimstone: I don’t CARE who’s not getting the door, I only care who IS!
The door slams open with a resounding thud and a flash of green light. The wood nearly shatters against the wall and the sound echoes through the chamber.
Blackfire: WHO DARES!
Deadshot: We do.