The rest of the Mother Earth Force gathered around Near Absolute Hero as he came into the training facility and sat down heavily at the table.
“Spill it!” ordered Mother Earth herself, her image and voice on a laptop.
“They’ve been keeping something from me for a couple days down at the firehouse,” said Near Absolute Hero. “The fire services in Montreal are being shaken down by a new arsonist there. They want 2 million dollars to stop their reign of terror – er – fire.
“How on earth can you tell arsonists apart? It could be anyone claiming they are a serial arsonist…” thought Modern Ninja aloud.
“This arsonist has a clear modus operandi. They start the fire about a meter up with methane being the ignition source.”
“No!” Exclaimed Tail. “Not the Flame Tosser! Surely he should have disappeared better than this!”
“How come there are no reports about this in the news?” asked Mother Earth being sensible.
“They ordered quiet in the press, that is until tomorrow night’s deadline. I was going to go there myself without telling the crew and make up for losing him a few weeks ago.”
“That would be a fool’s mission,” said Mother Earth. “Flame Tosser wouldn’t be so brazen unless he had some advantage over you.”
“It’s like we talked about,” said Modern Ninja facing Near Absolute Hero directly, “He knows you can’t use your power indoors. He’s mulled over why he has escaped you.”
“And I think,” Mother Earth said, “he expects the whole team to come after him. I’d be wary of any meeting with him. He’s the type that likes an advantage.”
“Yes, we believe he is expecting the full team,” said Near Absolute Hero. “Some video captured him and what appears to be 2 ninjas near one of the fires. One for each one of us.”
“We all will have to go,” said Tail standing up arms akimbo. “This will be the first mission of the Mother Earth Force.”
“I’ve gotten through to a private jet at the airport. We can be out of here in minutes,” said Mother Earth.
“Only Mother Earth can be truly safe from this diabolical fiend,” said Near Absolute Hero.
“You fear injury or death?” asked Tail.
“No, but it’s a certainty that I will encounter that smell yet one more time!”
“The horror,” said Modern Ninja. She alone knew about Near Absolute Hero’s trauma on the subject that forced him to relive the smell again and again. She just hoped that she would not have to suffer as badly.
They all got up and headed to the airport.