The public memorial for The Eagle was quite the spectacle. Held in Jason’s hometown, the mayor of the city and the President of the United States unveiled a statue of the heroic figure, his face covered in rags with a katana and crossbow strapped to his back. Millions around the world watched as the city celebrated the life of a man they barely knew.
All of the usual figureheads recited their rehearsed speeches in their best attempt to honor the life of the greatest hero the world had ever known. Harry also gave a speech which Sabrina actually found to be very touching. Amara on the other hand refused, unwilling to break down into tears while the world looked on.
The private funeral for Jason Haze on the other hand was a very intimate one. Only Jason’s immediate family, the embassy group and the remaining members of the Assembly were in attendance. The service was held discreetly at his church in Omaha, and his body was then buried next to his mother’s in a nearby cemetery.
Here genuine tears of grief were spilled for a man who had touched the lives of all of those in attendance. Amara could barely hold herself together, having a difficult time coming to terms with all of the issues between the two of them that would be forever left unresolved.
With time the wounds of loss healed and the Assembly got back to work. They decided to rebuild the Superhuman Society of Earth from scratch with a few major changes. Harry even agreed to rejoin the team following the events in Peru.
This time around there would be no island and no city. Taking more of a “cardholders” approach, members would be scattered throughout the globe living wherever they very well pleased. They would be encouraged to interact and engage with one another through means of digital communication or by organizing geographical events. This would provide members with a support system while trying to deal with the struggles of living in a society that had not been designed for people like them. The SSE would now focus more on helping powered individuals learn to function in normal society rather than pulling them away from it.
The Assembly would still recruit from the SSE for new membership. They would hold quarterly tryouts at different locations around the globe. Any SSE member who wished to join the Assembly would need to fill out an online application, and if accepted the Assembly would pay their travel expenses to attend a tryout. Anyone drafted into the Assembly after tryouts would then be shipped off to their secret training academy before becoming an official member. Upon completion of their training new members would then be assigned to one of the new IAS headquarter buildings in Tokyo, Sydney, London, Rome, Johanassburg, Moscow, Beijing, Rio, or at their primary headquarters in New York City. They’d decided that scattering their membership in as many locations as possible was probably in their best interest.
As for Sabrina and the others who had helped to take down The Insider in Peru—the council decided to develop a special assignment for the seven of them. Upon completion of their training they were to form a covert task force assigned to respond to threats around the globe—major and minor alike—operating under the umbrella of the IAS. They would operate in the shadows, away from the spotlight. The Assembly would deal with the press and the bureaucrats on their behalf, while they focused solely on the protection of the innocent. Of course the other members of the Assembly would be available to assist them with any of their higher profile assignments.
Sabrina was ecstatic when she heard the news from Harry. She knew that the new task force represented Jason’s ideals—that being a hero wasn’t about being in the spotlight and selling your life stories for profit. It was about standing up for the innocent no matter how insignificant the mission might seem, and protecting all of the people who aren’t able to protect themselves without discrimination.
“Who you are shouldn’t matter,” he’d once told her. “All that matters is what you stand for.” The Eagle on his chest was not a marker of his identity, but rather a symbol of his character.
As she sat with her teammates in the very room that they’d first met, Sabrina could not have been happier. Peru had created an everlasting bond between them that could never be broken.
Amara knocked on the door before entering the room, though as a member of the High Council she could come and go as she very well pleased. The room quieted as she stood at the head of the table, gazing over her new task force.
Sabrina stood up and walked over to greet their new boss.
“We are at your service Sir,” Sabrina said formally.
“At ease,” Amara said in a tone that suggested the formality was unnecessary but that she appreciated the effort.
“So you are the council’s new cronies,” Amara said in an attempt to lighten the mood.
“We’ve been discussing a name,” Blaze blurted randomly.
Amara raised an eyebrow. “Have you now?”
“We just think the International Assembly of Superheroes Specialized Task Force, or the I-A-S-S-T-F is a bit wordy,” Blaze explained.
A lopsided grin formed on Amara’s face. “So what did you have in mind?”
Blaze looked around the room for support from the other team members.
“Something like—The Next Generation,” Mandy said from the seat next to Blaze.
“No, that’s been done,” Jeremy interjected, causing Mandy to make a disappointed duck face. “What about—The Super Generation, or something like that?”
“Eh,” Laura groaned, adding her valuable input.
“What if you flipped it, and made it—Generation Super?” Blaze suggested.
The others at the table kind of rocked their heads back and forth and made sounds that suggested it was okay, but that it could be better.
Amara continued smiling as she watched the energetic, yet ultimately irrelevant debate rage on.
“It’s still a bit long—Generation Super—sounds a bit clumsy,” she stated. “How about something that is still along the same lines, but rolls off the tongue a little nicer? Say…Gen-S.”
Everyone at the table turned to look at everyone else. All at one time they began to display signs of riled excitement, clearly in favor of Amara’s suggested title.
“That is spectacular!” Blaze shouted to no one in particular.
“Alright then, Gen-S,” Amara said to the group, “I will be talking to you all again shortly.”
Amara turned to walk out of the room. When she got to the doorway she stopped to look back at Sabrina. “Aren’t you coming?”
“Me?” Sabrina asked, not expecting an invitation.
Amara held out her hands and moved her head forward as though Sabrina should have expected it all along. “As the leader of the new Gen-S Task Force I expect you to occupy a seat on the council.”
Sabrina smiled wider than she probably should have. She hadn’t realized that she had been officially assigned the position of Team Leader. She quickly followed Amara out the door.
Once in the hallway, Sabrina did her best to catch up to the much taller Amara. The top of Sabrina’s head only reached as high as the other woman’s shoulders, but at the moment she felt larger than life.
“What was the codename you were using again?” Amara asked as they made their way down the hall to the council chambers.
“Sparrow,” Sabrina replied proudly.
“No,” Amara replied, shattering Sabrina’s misplaced pride. “That’s too small—too insignificant. Sparrows flee from danger—you’re stronger than that. You need something bigger—something bolder for your codename.”
Sabrina was stumped. She hadn’t thought that far into it. She had liked the name Sparrow because of the meaning behind it. Jeremy had come up with the name to represent being a smaller version of The Eagle.
“Like what?” Sabrina inquired, wondering what the veteran superhero had in mind.
Amara stretched her mouth and shrugged. “I’ve always liked Eagle.”