Because I'm a blatant bandwagon-jumper these days, (and also because I wanted to see if we here on the TTV boards could start our own superhero universe like Marvel and DC have,) I present to you...
The Phoenix Call
A middle-aged man, carrying a small earthen jar in one hand, a decorative cane in the other, and the weary expression of the recently bereaved, stepped through the rotating doorways into a large atrium. The white, overcast skies outside may have been gloomy, but inside here it was arguably worse - aside from the two-story tall wide glass windows at the front, it seemed like every available surface had been covered in a dark black-and-grey, highly reflective fine marble, with occasional streaks of deep blue that did nothing to lighten the oppressively monochrome atmosphere. The people were no better, either, dressed in slick business suits but themselves appearing drab and unhealthy as they waited in lines or quietly shuffled papers around, speaking in whispers so quiet that the man still felt uncomfortable at the unnatural silence. Approaching one of the desks near the back, he rang for the attendant. The woman who answered was pasty, portly, and irritable, and the man's heart instantly sank. "How can I help you." She stated.
In response, he put on a quivering grin that failed to take away from the tears gathering in his eyes. "My... wife here," he held up the jar, "left us this past week. She used to work here, and so she wanted me to spread her ashes from the top of your tower."
"I need to verify. Can you tell me her name so I can look her up." The woman clicked on a mouse to activate the terminal before her.
"Linda. Linda Atwood." The man said. "Linda..."
It took a few moments, but finally the woman found the result. "Linda Atwood. Worked here for six years, moving up the ranks from janitor to member of the board of directors. Resigned three weeks ago, citing health reasons but refusing to elaborate." The woman looked back up at him, biting her lip as she struggled to maintain her passionless hostility. "Fine, you can go. But only go onto the roof, then right back. Elevators are behind me and to the right."
Passing her desk, he breathed a sigh of relief, though the analytical portion of his brain was already at work processing this new information. As the elevator doors opened, he whispered to the jar still nestled in the crook of his arm. "Did you hear that, Rhea? Seems this 'Linda' was pretty high-profile."
Instead of pressing the button for the roof access at floor 45, he instead hit B4 - the fourth level below ground. The moment the elevator doors were open again, he turned right and strode down the bland concrete hallway, passing many unlabeled grey-painted doors on the way. He counted each one under his breath, then on number seven, stopped and jimmied the handle. It was unlocked, thankfully. He didn't open it all the way, just enough to reach through and set the jar down. Removing the lid, he whispered "Good luck, Rhea." Then he was gone, striding back toward the elevator with none of the pain and sadness he'd shown earlier.
After several long moments, something strange began to happen. The ashes in the jar came alive, glowing orange and red as though something molten flowed just beneath the surface. Then they suddenly flew upward, swirling around and around before finally coalescing into a single form.
A young woman, perhaps in her early twenties, stood up from her crouching position. She was of Egyptian descent, with very dark skin and blackish-brown hair that she wore in a prim bob-cut. She wore a strange suit of unknown black material, with dark red tiles in a snakeskin pattern running down her front and back. She was lean and lithe, but strong, with fists toughened by training. Her brown eyes swept the darkened room, and she considered her options.
A: Take out any security cameras first; better to buy herself time.
B: There's no time to waste; she'd better just get what she came for and go.