“I wasn’t expecting such a quick arrival from you” Daniel commented, looking as Alissa ascended towards the platform of the flying craft.
“Come on, Daniel. I’m a top level supervillain” she answered.
“Yeah, but I mean, your main ability is telekinesis. It doesn’t give you that much of an advantage for speed” he pointed out. “And I don’t think you can contend that”.
“Well, then imagine how frigging powerful I must be” Alissa stated, ascending through the staircase.
Several others were entering the Cloud Palace at the same time, arriving through different methods. Alissa only knew a few of them, but most faces were familiar by now. The Scandinavian-looking man with the glowing gold mane was crossing the entrance at that moment, followed by a Latina that Alissa could not recognize. The large entrance to Chairman Patil’s dominions stood open for all of them.
They all went directly to the Main Hall, and sat in their allocated spaces. Alissa sat with a small group of high level telekinesis users – even though most telekinesis users were quite proficient with their abilities, very few of them actually qualified as high level, due to the nature of the ability –, and greeted them while she waited for the council to start. Beside them was the group of the Scandinavian-looking man that Alissa had seen before.
“Hey, I always see you around here” he introduced himself. “I’m Robert, from Oxford”.
So he wasn’t Scandinavian, after all. Alissa shook his hand. “Hi, I’m Alissa”.
“I see that you are part of the telekinesis group. That’s a rare one”.
She laughed. “We’re still the largest group in the energy division”.
“True, true. Though I have to say that we have a couple of promising recruits that might reach our level soon…”
“Do I have to take that as a threat?” she joked.
“Oh, of course not, not yet… We’d have all of the elementals to deal with first” Robert responded.
“And the council of fundamental forces” she added.
“There is no officer of gravity, so that’s just three members to fight off. It’s still probably impossible…” he said, making some mental calculations.
Alissa looked towards the large table in the front of the room as she felt the presence of Chairman Patil. It was impossible to not notice her, which was part of her power. In her realm, she could do whatever she wanted, and imposing her presence on everyone else was an important thing to do in front of hundreds of super powered individuals that could get cocky. It was the reason why she had been chosen as Chairman of the League of Supervillains.
“Good evening to all of you, fellow members of the League of Supervillains. I am pleased to welcome three new members to this meeting of high level supervillains” she announced, and then paused. “I’m going to be brief today. Our current strategy is not working”.
There was a murmur in the room. Alissa had known this some time ago. Others probably had, too. It was difficult to not notice if you were active in the field. Just a week before, Jane and her had completely destroyed an entire building, and killed dozens of people in the process, including policemen, yet there had been no reaction from the Enlightened. There had been no disruption whatsoever, and, from the lack of national and international news stating the opposite, Alissa knew that this must be happening on a global scale.
Chairman Patil let them have a moment, and then silenced them all. “The Enlightened can resist the kind of traumatic events that we have imposed onto them. Social cohesion is keeping everyone together, and our current methods are not enough. In fact, we have noticed a strengthening of the influence that the Enlightenment has on its victims in regions where the population density has reduced drastically. Lower and middle class supervillains might even have trouble moving through some of those regions, which have now become hostile to us, the unenlightened”.
A woman from the crowd stood up. “And what is the plan of action?”
“We need to change our strategy” the Chairman explained. “For that we need to do several things. We need more survivors, and more trauma that will agitate the Enlightened. And we need press coverage of it all, so that the Enlightened cannot just avoid facing the trauma”.
The discussions went on for a while. The specifics of the new strategies were completely uninteresting to Alissa, if not for anything else, because she had yet to see a method that would actually manage to startle the Enlightened and change things. It was also mostly things that had already been discussed: don’t destroy a school, kill an innocent child with a name instead. The impact was supposed to be stronger, at least in theory, but the work that needed to be done to research their victims was too much of a hassle for Alissa.
“They’ve got it all wrong” Robert murmured. “It’s more about killing central members of the social map, those which are highly connected”.
Alissa turned towards him. “Do you think so?”
He doubted for a second. “Yes, that’s what I think. It’s probably even better to do so while in a public act that is being broadcast to the world”.
“Then we already know who our first victim has to be” Alissa concluded. “It has to be someone like the president of the United States”.
“Oh. That’s actually a good point. But wouldn’t that create a lot of chaos?”
“Isn’t that the whole point of this organization?” Alissa asked, making a hand gesture to point around her.
“True” he conceded. “That was a very stupid remark on my part”.
“It’s OK, it’s not even been a year, and we are all learning how to be supervillains” she smiled. “Let’s sneak out of this meeting and get to Washington. It should be a short flight, because the Cloud Palace is flying over Toronto right now”.
“Wow, so apart from telekinesis, you also have navigational powers?”
She was caught a bit by surprise. “Sort of, yeah…”
“That’s incredible. Anyway, let me check if the president is going to be there today” he said, bringing out his phone. “Yeah, apparently he has a press conference this evening”.