"Ah crap! It's Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl." Yelled a thug as he saw the two superheroes crashing through the door of the bank he and his gang were robbing. After knocking out two thugs, the two superheroes looked at the remaining thugs.
"Alright." Said Bob with a neutral stare, silently enjoying the looks of fear the thugs gave him and his wife as they starred down at them. "We can do this the easy way or the hard way. The easy way is the boring way for me, but it'll leave you all uninjured and safe from further harm. And I'll leave you all to guess what'll happen if you choose the hard way." Some of the thugs just looked each other, uneasy at fighting the two veteran superheroes. Before any could make a decision, the leader pointed his gun at them and opened fire.
The heroes, not really surprised, just took cover. Elastigirl, seeing a chair a few feet away from her, stretched her arms to grab it and then threw it at the leader. The chair hit him so hard that it caused him to fly towards a wall and hit it with enough force that it knocked him unconscious. The other gang members, upon seeing their down boss, either surrendered or charged at them to avenge him. Taking over, Mr. Incredible charged at the three goons coming after him. He punched one to a wall, knocking him out and some of teeth, before garbing another and throwing him to the last guy, sending them both to the ground. Before the two could do anything, Mr. Incredible grabbed their heads and banged them against each other, knocking the thugs out. Now more convinced that it was a bad idea to fight the supers, the remaining thugs surrendered. Soon, the police showed up and arrested the gang. As they watched this happen, Bob looked at Helen.
"Another crime stopped, and we got enough time for make dinner for the kids." Said Bob. Helen just nodded as she wondered about their future dinner meetup with Tony's parents. It was in two days and she was getting more and more worried as the date got closer.
"Yeah, Bob. Are you nervous about meeting Tony's parents?" Asked Helen. Bob just looked at his wife, who motioned him to follow her in their car, the Incredibile. Once in the car, she spoke more to Bob, removing her mask as she did so. "I mean, that dinner will be an important thing, for all of us. If Tony and Violet decide to marry in the future, or in the very least have plans to, that dinner date may affect those plans."
"Why is that?" Asked Bob, not getting what Helen is worried about. Helen just sighed before explaining.
"Imagine this. What will we do once we find that Tony's parents are, say, former criminals or just plain rude people?" Bob just thought about it, wondering what to say, before giving his answer.
"Well, I'd forbid Violet from going out with Tony again. I mean, if they're former criminals, they'll really hate supers and that includes Violet. They'll probably forbid Tony from seeing her or us." Helen just nodded before speaking.
"Moving on. What if, instead of that, we act completely obnoxious or rude during that dinner meet-up? Will Tony's parents want their boy to be around with people like that, even if Violet is a nice girl?" Bob just shook his head, now seeing what she's going at. "I'm just worried Bob. If it goes wrong, Violet will be crushed. She really likes Tony, Bob, and I feel like they're made for each other." Bob just held his wife.
"Relax, honey. If anything goes bad at that day, it won't be because of us. Besides, from what I'd seen from Tony, his parents must be okay people if they raised a son like that." Helen just nodded. Maybe her husband was right. She was probably just overthinking things.
"Maybe you're right. I just can't stop worrying." Placing a head on her shoulder, Bob looked at her in sympathy
"Its okay to worry, honey. I mean it's a dinner with our potentially future-in-laws after all. But just to be safe, I'll talk with Dash. Tell him to behave while we're at the Happy Platter." Helen nodded at that, agreeing with her husband. Just as they're about to take off, Helen had an idea.
"Hey, why don't we just go and meet with them in secret." Said Helen. Upon hearing that, Bob stopped the car. Fortunately, they weren't in the road or anything. Putting the car in autopilot and instructing it to go home, Bob looked at Helen.
"Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of the dinner meet-up? I mean, the purpose of that is to meet them for the first time and get to know each other then. Meeting earlier will just defeat the purpose of that."
"I know that, but I'm not saying spend an entire day with them. Just a little visit. See how they run their business and how they treat their employees." Bob just rose an eyebrow at that.
"You mean spy on them?" Deadpanned Bob as he looked at his wife, who smiled sheepishly.
"Come on, we've done it before. And it won't hurt anyone." Bob just rubbed his neck at that. Its kind of felt wrong to do so, but he honestly was anxious to see what Tony's parents were like and he was getting impatient, waiting for the day that they can go to the Happy Platter to meet them in person. The wait was killing him. Sighing to himself, he held the bridge of his nose before speaking.
"I guess a short stake-out won't hurt anybody." Helen just nodded in agreement, thanking Bob for agreeing with her. "We'll do it thirty minutes before the Happy Platter closes. That should give us enough time to do patrols as well as cook dinner for the kids."
"Good call. I can't wait for this." Said Helen as she looked at the road. Bob, meanwhile, was thinking of what Violet was doing right now. School should be over soon, and she'll be back in half an hour.
Half an hour later
As Violet as waiting for the final class for the day end, she looked at Tony, who was taking notes of what the teacher was saying. Smiling a bit, Violet watched as Tony scratched the base of his brown hair as he tried to decipher what the teacher was saying. He'd always did this whenever a teacher said something confusing and it was something that Violet found cute. Probably one of the many reasons she had a crush on the boy when she first laid her eyes on him. A few minutes later, class ended, and everyone was going out and ready to leave for home.
As Violet was at her locker, packing her things, she saw Tony giving her a wave, waiting for her. Waving him back, once she packed her things, she went up to Tony and the two left for home.
"Did you understand what the teacher was saying during those last few minutes?" Asked Tony as they got on the bus. Violet just shrugged as the bus took off. The ride on the bus was uneventful, with nothing of note happening. When it was time to drop Tony off, the boy gave a kiss good bye to Violet, promising to call her later, before leaving. As she watched her boyfriend leave, Violet wondered on what to talk about with him when he called. By the time the bus dropped her off and she opened the door, she already had seven topics to pick from. Upon arriving at the coach, she was immediately caught the sight of Edna playing with Jak-Jak, actually smiling to herself. When Edna learned of Jak-Jak abilities, she volunteered to baby-sit him whenever Bob and Helen were out doing hero stuff and while she and Dash were in school. And despite her misgivings, Edna was, surprisingly, a good babysitter. Much better than they're previous one. The fact that Edna enjoyed Jak-Jak and his behavior was really a plus as that meant she won't do anything bad to him when he does something damaging. Upon seeing Violet, Edna coughed and looked at Violet.
"Your little brother is quite a handful." Said Edna, going back to her business mode, though she didn't hide her joy with Jak-Jak. "Now that you're here, my time is up. I'll be here tomorrow at around 7. Good day." She then began to leave. Just before she opened the door, however, Edna looked at Violet. "Oh, by the way. Avoid using the upstairs bathroom. The boy made quite a mess in there." Before Violet could comment on that, Edna left in a hurry. Sighing to herself, Violet picked up Jak-Jak who began to munch on her hair. Giggling at her, more tolerable, brother, she put him in his baby chair and began to take out her stuff. Upon getting out her homework, she began to work on it, finishing it all in record time. After finishing it all, Violet began to think of her boyfriend Tony and what he was doing right now.
"Probably helping his parents with their business or doing his homework." Thought Violet with admiration as she thought of her boyfriend helping out his parent's business to the best of his ability. That's what she liked about Tony, among other things. Despite his popularity, the boy didn't let it go through his head. He genuinely cared and liked people, despite what their status in school is. He had friends that were both popular and unpopular, something that earned him the respect and hatred of some of the other popular kids. He didn't bully people, he stood up for people when they're bullied, and he didn't think twice of doing something unpopular if he felt like it was the right thing to do. That was among the things, along with his good looks she supposed, why she had a crush on him in the first place. He was popular, but also quite modest and considerate. And when she began dating him, she was happy that it all wasn't a farce, that he was as good willed as his public face was. And she couldn't wait to meet his parents, who were likely just as good as he was. She just hoped she left a good first impression for them, lest she be embarrassed for the rest of her life over it. She also hoped her family didn't do anything embarrassing as well, particularly Dash. Looking over at a clock, she frowned when she saw that it was four-thirty.
"That's weird. Mom and dad are usually here by now. Wonder what's keeping them?" Chalking it up to hero duty, she shrugged and went to play with Jak-Jak, who was fighting over a raccoon for some reason.
Karla was humming to herself as she cooked along with her other chefs. Business was booming lately. People have been coming all day for a taste of the Happy Platter's food, to the point that there was a line outside. She didn't know why, usually they only got a fourth of these people on a good day during the spring season, though she suspected it was her secret way of doing things. After placing the finishing touches on a steak meal, she gave it to a waiter, who rushed to get it to a customer. Sighing to herself, she looked at her employees, seeing that, despite them being a bit tired from doing all this cooking, they were performing admirably. Seeing on struggling a bit, she went over and patted him on the shoulder.
"Take a break, David. You've earned it." Said Karla. The employee just looked at her in shock.
"But ma'am, there's still so much to do and you need all the cooks you can get." Karla just smiled at him before speaking.
"I know, but I rather have workers that aren't making simple mistakes." She then pointed to the burger he made. When he looked, the man cursed. The meat had a bit of red in it still.
"I'm so sorry ma'am. I'll try to make another one quick." Before he could, Karla brought her hand over his.
"You're not. You need to take a small break. I can't afford these simple mistakes, David. I'll take over your things. Don't worry, I can handle it." Still a bit unsure, the man looked at Karla, who simply smiled. Sighing to himself, the man agreed and apologized to her, which she rebuffed, saying that he's human and that he needed a break. Once he was gone and making sure that no one was looking, she hovered her hand over the meat patty and conjured a small fireball over it. After lightly tossing it over the patty, she watched as the fireball did its work and rid the patty of its redness. Checking it for any other small problems, Karla placed the top bun over the burger and handed it out to a waiting waiter. With that done, Karla was about to do another order when another of her employees, a girl named Clair, walked up to her.
"Um, ma'am, there's a couple of people asking for you personally. They said that they wanted to speak to you about your family and some dinner you have planned." Raising an eyebrow, she walked out of the kitchen to see Helen and Bob Parr, the parents of the girl that her boy was dating, now in their civilian personas. Sighing to herself, she walked over to them, hoping that whatever they required will be quick. She needed to help lessen the work burden on her employees. When she was two feet away from them, Helen spoke.
"Hello, Mrs. Ryder." Said Helen with a smile. "I know that this isn't the best of times to speak with you, but can we have a few minutes of your time. Its about the dinner we had planned." Raising an eyebrow again, she motioned them to a corner away from the crowded restaurant. When they made it, Karla spoke up.
"Please do make it quick, I need to go help my cooks with all the orders. I'd just forced one to take a break, lest he make a major mistake, so they're a bit understaffed at the moment." Helen nodded her head.
"Of course, Mrs. Ryder. I'm so sorry about this. If we've known that it would be this busy, we would have picked another day to meet with you." Karla sighed at that, sensing the sincerity in Mrs. Parr's voice.
"There's no need to apologize. To be honest, I'm shocked that I have this many people coming over to have a bite to eat. Its not unwelcome, but I'm concerned for my employees and the strain it'll have over them." Helen and Bob nodded in agreement. Having this many people can't be good for the cooks. Still, they couldn't help but feel a bit happy at Karla's concern. Its clear to them that the woman cared about her employees and wanted what's best for her business and her employees. Sighing, she spoke up. "Anyway, what's this about? The dinner is this Sunday, so why are you here?"
"Well, we wanted to meet up with you in secret. Get a good feeling about you and her husband?" Karla nodded upon hearing that.
"Ah, I see. I completely understand, Mrs. Parr. So, I suppose you're wondering where my husband is?" Upon seeing them nod, she continued. "Well, I'm afraid he's not in today. Though my husband is the co-owner of this establishment, he has other duties that require his full attention. I'm sorry to tell you but you will rarely find him here with the rest of us." The two nodded upon hearing that.
"We understand, Mrs. Ryder. But from what we've seen so far, we can tell that Tony has a good mother and probably a good father as well." Karla nodded at that, though she had a sad glint in her eyes.
"Yes, he does. He has a better father than a mother." Upon hearing that, the two Parrs looked at her in surprise.
"You don't need to sell yourself short, ma'am." Said Bob. "You're a great boss and a great parent, if what we've seen from Tony is any proof." Karla just snorted at that.
"Believe me, Mr. Parr, all the good things that you see in Tony came from his father. He didn't get anything positive from my side. The best I can do for him is to ensure that he meets a good girl and live happily with her and to steer him from any bad practices." The Parrs just looked at her in pity at that.
"Mrs. Ryder, you shouldn't think so low of yourself." Said Helen, touching Karla's shoulder at that, something that Karla allowed. "Tony clearly loves you and he's a good boy. Even if you say your husband did most of the work, you must have helped out when he was growing up. He wouldn't say anything positive about you if that wasn't the case." Karla sighed at that.
"You're a kind woman to say such things, Mrs. Parr, and you have my thanks for saying so." She then looked at the growing crowd. "I would love to continue this conversation, but I have too many customers right now and too few workers to keep them all happy. So, if I may, I need to leave you two alone." Knowing that she's busy, the two said goodbye and left, but not before telling her that they'll be ready for dinner Sunday. Nodding her head, Karla went back into the kitchen to help ease the burden on her workers.
The Ashen one sighed as he walked out of a door. After closing the door, he held his helmeted head.
"Well, I tried my best." Said the Ashen one. "Karla isn't going to like her answer." Suddenly praying for his boss's life, he was about to walk away when he heard the bellow of laughter.
"*Chuckles* I take it that you've failed to get a vacation, eh, Ashen one?" Asked a fellow man in armor as he walked up to the Ashen one, voice full of sarcasm. Though he wore knight armor like the Ashen one, this man's armor was radically different than the Ashen ones'. In that it was built for intimidation with its thick shoulder pauldrons and the helmet that was shaped like a gargoyle. On the man's back was a gigantic mace, nearly twice as tall as the man, yet the man showed no discomfort in having it on his back. As the man approached the Ashen one, the man sighed.
"I tried to get her to get someone to take my place and to reveal us to the world, but she wouldn't have any of it." The man chuckled at that.
"Gods. They always think that they know what is best, even when another solution is right up there in their face." The man then looked at the Ashen one, crossing his arms. "I take it you have something important to do."
"My son. His girlfriend's family is having dinner with us this Sunday and I want to be there for his own sake." The man grew silent upon hearing that. "And I can't overburden you or Sirris on my duties, Eygon. Both of you have your hands full with something as important." The man, now known as Eygon, responded.
"I'm not really overburdened. I think Irina is doing well enough right now and I think she doesn't need me there anymore until the baby comes." Said Eygon, his sarcastic tone gone, replaced with a tone of sincerity. "If you want, I can take your duties for a while and have Irina visit you guys until this dinner of yours is over." The Ashen one looked over at Eygon.
"You would do that for me?" Asked the Ashen one. Eygon just waved his hand.
"No, I just need someone to take the burden of taking care of that woman. Her mood swings are overbearing, even for me, so I decided to be cruel and have your family bear the rest of her mood swings." The Ashen one chuckled at that. "But in all seriousness, I can deal with a couple of wraiths. They aren't as powerful as they used to be."
"Don't underestimate them, Eygon." Said the Ashen one seriously. "Something has been empowering them as of late." Eygon, however, just scoffed.
"I can deal with it. I wouldn't be a knight of Carim if I let something more powerful than I to scare me. Its our duties as knights to face things head on and without fear." Nodding his head in agreement, the Ashen one sighed.
"Alright, but Irina has to be in my home. That shouldn't be a problem right?" Eygon scoffed.
"Problem? She'll be ecstatic to see your brat and Karla again. She kept complaining to me that we should visit. Well here's her visit. You'll be complaining to me later on when she arrives. That woman won't shut up. Her pregnancy has made her bold." The Ashen One chuckled at that.
"Like I don't know it." Said the Ashen one, remembering Karla's own pregnancy.
"Anyway, just give me what you have on these wraiths and I'll investigate with you." Nodding his head, the two ventured to a café to discuss the situation.
In an abandoned church, a woman was overlooking a statue of a woman with a sword.
"Are you certain?" Asked the woman as she continued to examine the statue. A man behind her, dressed in white and had a gold mask, nodded.
"Yes, mistress. The wraiths we send were defeated by the one called the Ashen one." Said the man. Upon hearing that name, the woman growled.
"Send more wraiths at him. He will pay for what he was done to us." Said the woman. The man nodded before leaving. Once he was gone, the woman looked at the statue.
"He will pay for what he did to the church, sister. And he will pay for what he did to you and Elfriede." Thought the woman as she remembered her sisters.