"SALES ARE DOWN?!?" an angry man in his 40s shouts, while stomping down a hallways in a green & purple suit of chitinous power armor, his helmet off. "How can SALES be down? The Ant-Lion and Goliath Beetle lines are some of our most popular!!"
The chinless, quivering man beside him stutters, "W-well sir, it turns out our marketing people have done research, and the thought is that since our suits never actually KILL any superheroes, then they're... um... not worth the money- not credible enough."
"... Not credible enough? KILL SUPERHEROES?!??!" the man shouts again. "NOBODY kills super-heroes! My suits don't kill super-heroes! GIGAWATT doesn't kill any super-heroes, and HE'S considered a top-tier! The god-damn HUMAN TANK never killed MEGA-WOMAN- why isn't HE considered 'not credible'? Do you have any idea how hard super-heroes are to KILL!?!? IF THEY WERE EASY TO KILL, then they'd just be REGULAR idiots!"
"Be that as it may, sir..." the man continues, "foreign governments and influential, um, underworld figures buy the suits as status-symbols and as protection against super-powered intervention... If the suits aren't seen DEFEATING their supposed targets, then it becomes more difficult to claim they can accomplish said protection."
"Well thanks for that, Exposition Eric, but I already KNEW our business model- *I* came up with it!" He growls, calming himself down. "Something must be done. We're going to have to ACTUALLY do what we say the suits are capable of. Kill off some super-hero."
"I can make up a list of low-tier, non-powered super-heroes, sir... there's always no shortage of THOSE in their first couple of months..."
"No, no, you're right on one thing... this has to be someone CREDIBLE." Professor Mantis says. "It can't be just some idiot- people will see right through that. What we need are ROOKIES... but POWERFUL rookies. Maybe a legacy hero? Heroes are ALWAYS getting replaced by brown-skinned rookies! Find me some of THOSE- kids with flashy super-powers but no experience- EASY targets, but SHOWY ones. But where..." he says, his voice trailing off.
Then he looks up, and notices a news report on the television in his office. Indicating the arrival of the Victory League, and the very public defeat of the Weapon-Masters.
"I'm BOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREDDDDDDD..." Eris, Goddess of Chaos and Discord, whines while she soaks in her bath.
"Bored, mother?" says Horcus, God of Retribution For Perjury. He's not at all put out by his naked mother cavorting around in front of him. It's a god thing- they're all used to this sort of deal.
"Athena's just been so BORING to mess with lately- same old Wisdom, same old powers... I need something NEW. UGH- I feel like I've tried to ruin the lives of every superhero alive by this point. Isn't there anything you can find me to do?"
"Not really my job, mother."
"Come ON, sonnnnn... it's time to foment chaos and create a revolutionnnn..."
"Perhaps later, mother- I've got to finish this statement on behalf of the Atraxians over the false blood-oath sworn by the people of Lavaworld."
"... you are such a disappointment to me."
"I love you too, mother."
Just then, the eyes of Eris light upon one of her many screens, showing events from across the universe. The public debut of the Victory League.
"Alright, the first meeting of The Renegades is called to order" says Brickhouse, a man made entirely of what looks to be a brick wall in the shape of a person. "We need a game-plan, and a way to get rid of any super-heroes who mess with us. We need some CRED."
"How much credibility do we need? Most of us are well-known in our own right, with some top-tier foes. You've fought ATHENA repeatedly. I take on SuperStar all the time. And we already have the exact amount of guys to have a one-on-one battle with most super-heroes" says Kid Spectrum, ordinarily one of SuperStar's foes. "That's pretty mandatory for villain teams, right?"
"Yeah, but we can't just take on the Legion of Light right out of the gate" says War Pangolin, a huge anthropomorphic pangolin. "I mean, I respect you guys, and I'm not as down on myself as I used to be. But we need some FIGHTS under our belt before we can take on the BIG leagues."
"Hmph! I say we just crack some easy targets first!" says GripSlash, a hardcore, edgelord-y '90s-style guy with spiked whips. "Tear some NEWBIES apart, and instantly get some respect!"
"Heh! I like this dude" Kid Spectrum says. "So... are there any heroes who've been replaced by minorities, lately? We can get us some of that."
Just then, the TV screen shows the debut of the Victory League. Publicly taking down the Weapon-Masters, another villainous squad.
"Hey boss, check this out" says Jawdropper, an extremely tall, extremely muscular super-villainess with a bright pink mohawk.
"What is it?" Asks Valedictoria, her long, brown hair cascading down her back as she walks in, adjusting her spectacles.
"Some new superhero team out there. Looks pretty girl-heavy."
"Oh?" She's almost satisfied.
"Yeah, four out of five."
"Hmph. Not even 50/50 yet? Oh well, it's better than SOME. Are they in prominent positions?"
"I dunno- looks like they got some rich dude speaking up for them. And some old Golden Oldie super-hero as Team Leader."
"WHAT?!?!?!?!" Valedictoria shrieks, her voice suddenly full of rage. "Not even 50% female, and then they let MEN talk for them?!? This is EXACTLY the reason why the Four Fatales exist, my sisters!" she shouts to the other three super-villainesses around her. "To punish a world that creates sexist, femmephobic things such as THIS! This 'Victory League'..." she says, looking at the group's team name, which appears on the newscast headlines, "... is going to to be an EXAMPLE."
"N'YAAAHHHHHHH!" a fat, cigar-smoking blue alien shouts in disgust, as an intergalactic wrestler walks in. "That was PATHETIC! The crowd was TOTALLY unconvinced!"
"What did you expect?" the woman barks back, taking off her mask. "Kosmic K'lara is gone- you can't just put somebody in a mask and have her copy the same gimmick! They're gonna KNOW I'm not her! Our fighting styles are too different, and the mask isn't fooling anybody!"
"N'yahhhh- you're just not trying HARD enough, see?" he responds. "You got the skin-pigment DNA changes, you got the mask, you got COUNTLESS vids of her fighting- you can make this WORK, see?"
"Ugh- it's too late. The crowds dug her enough that they're not gonna just believe that I'm her" she responds. "You're just gonna have to convince her to come back."
"CONVINCE HER? Easier said that done, see?" he replies. "She left us HIGH AND DRY. And a promoter like ME doesn't beg! We'd hafta fly in and MAKE her come back! But an operation like that on EARTH isn't gonna be cheap! Ya gotta grease the right palms and avoid any super-hero contact! And NO fighter is worth THAT hassle! Why, I'd hafta capture an entire TEAM of super-heroes to make a venture like THAT worth it!" Just then, he looks at one of his vid-screens, showing a new super-team appearing on Earth. One of which has crimson skin and a familiar face and voice.
And that's it! That's the end of the first part! Everyone take an Experience Point ! Hope you all had fun! Next part starts up in a day or two!!