The second day, Peter, still confused by the events of the previous day, decided to arrive for work at eight. It was the same thing as before, though: As soon as he walked in, Grundle tapped him on the shoulder and told him what to do for that day. He borrowed a chair from the coffeeshop and began to work.
At nine-thirty, nine oddly dressed people dashed in, making a din as they did so.
“Where is he?”
“Is the news really true? I can’t believe it!”
“He has NEVER done such a thing without consulting us first! How could he?”
“Lalalala… someone dies. Yay.”
“SHUT UP, JOKER! Work now, not play!”
Peter had started to forget Grundle and the other oddities about his job, but the sight of these nine people compounded his bewilderment. For starters, all of these people donned colourful elastic costumes that covered their whole body, save for the face. Each costume had distinctive marks, such as letters, or a picture, punctuating the costume.
“You!” A tall woman in front, apparently the leader of the odd tribe. “Who are you? Why are you here? How are you related to Homrado? And that plastic chair!”
“Yeah, madam! He stole a plastic chair from our shop! Do you want me to help get rid of him?” piped a small pimply teenager, who was decked in white and black, and had a huge grinning face in the middle of his costume front. He was the one who had shouted ‘lalala’ just now.
“NOT NOW, Joker!” barked the woman. “Answer me, or I will really get Joker to do something to you! Mind you, his jokes are really unbearable, so I advise that you speak up!”
“Um, I work here, actually. This is my second day of work! Who are you guys?”
But the woman did not appear to be listening. “Are we all here? Dog?”
A burly man decked in a ridiculous brown furry suit stood out from the crowd, and began to count the number of people present with slow monotonous movements of the finger.
“Six hundred seventy, mam,” he uttered after half an hour, which caused the woman to slap him with her long arm, before launching into her own rapid counting.
“There are ten present. We cannot start a meeting without twelve. Now that Homrado is gone…”
At this point in time, Grundle ran into the scene, holding a large tray of paper coffee cups, and Peter was surprised to see that he was now donning a small and tight brown suit. “I am here, madame, and I am Grundle of the Long Arms – “
“I do not really care for you, but now that you are here, we only need one more!”
“Madam!” Zingman barked, emerging from the mishmash of weirdos. His name, known to all, was exactly so due to the fact that his elastic outfit had “Zingman” written on the front. “We can use HIM.” He pointed a stubby finger at Peter, who was startled.
“Um, excuse me, I am only an – “
“That would do. You, guy, follow us.”
Peter thus found himself standing up, and following the oddly-dressed people into a large room behind his own office, which he had always thought was a meeting room of some sort. He was proven correct, as he saw that a elliptical wooden table took up almost all the space in the room. The eleven people seated themselves promptly, as if they knew exactly where they should be seated. Peter meekly sat himself down at the remaining chair – right next to the tall fierce woman.
“The six-thousand, seven-hundred and thirty-third meeting of the Circle come to order!” shouted the woman. “I am Jocasta the Leet,” – Peter made a mental note of this fact – “and I shall chair this meeting in… the absence of Homrado.” Silence ensued. Followed by a simultaneous burst of outcry.
“OH, WHY???” screamed a woman. “WHY did he leave us!”
“He was always so careful – “
“And so deft with his weapons, I don’t see how – “
“SILENCE!” A wave hit the members of the meeting, and all obeyed Jocasta. “Now you know that the enemy we are dealing with is no ordinary assassin, can we get down to more serious stuff? Like finding out where this guy came from?”
And all eyes were fixed on the only person who was not wearing an elastic superhero-like suit.
“Madam, if I could just offer an explanation.” Zingman verbalized slowly. “It is apparent that Homrado meant for him to do something. And it is too coincidental that this man pops up at Homrado’s office just as we found out the news that our great boss had… died.”
“Point taken!” shouted Jocasta in what was already her milder voice. “So… some introduction?” And all eyes were again on Peter, who stood up tentatively.
“My name is Peter Abendore, I work here as an – “
“That would be enough, Peter. Sit. Now that all twelve of us are ready, let us begin the meeting.”
“First, let us list down Homrado’s enemies, who may or may not have killed Homrado.”
A few people sniggered. Grundle volunteered. “Madam, that would be an impossible task. All the UberVillians have some personal feud or other with Homrado. Half the UberHeroes are jealous of Homrado’s lofty position. Homrado has his twelve brothers who would stand to benefit financially if he died. Et cetera.”
“Um, point taken, Grundo. Now, any more specific suggestions, anyone?”
“Grundle, actually,” squeaked the diminutive Grundle, to no one in particular.
“Could it be… Pokester?” It was Zingman who said it. Behind the dull-looking face of Zingman was a mind laden with experience and consequently a small bank of wisdom.
Gasps sounded from around the room. Peter stifled his laugh. Weird names, all of them.
“The last time they fought, Homrado trapped Pokester with his Forked Tongue mechanism and Pokester got jailed for two years. But remember what Pokester said as he got escorted off to the prison?”
Jocasta was not looking grim anymore, but instead was in a state of deep contemplation. “He said…” And altogether, the Circle muttered,
“I’ll get you, you slimy green blob.”