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Since he retired - quit in disgrace, he told himself in semi-honest moments - from Alpha Team, Uriel had been slacking off.

Not job wise. His official reason/excuse for leaving Alpha Team was his photo studio, and that wasn't a lie. His business had suffered for all the time spent working with New York City's premier super group, and now that he could dedicate his time to it. Pulling 15 hour days working the studio, out in the field, getting good artistic photos, it's not slacking.

Of course, with all that time spent working, Uriel was neglecting his body some, and of course his powers suffered - as all supers know, their abilities depended upon their physical strength and stamina as much as their skill in wielding it. Not that it mattered, Uriel thought, he prefered having a slim look anyhow, and he had enough use of his powers for his photography.

And that's how things lasted for three years, starting with his last fight with the leader of Alpha Team, and ending with Smiling Bob's death. Hiding, tail tucked between his legs and pretending he didn't run. Wasting away while wasting his talents, as his handler wrote in his reports. No responsibilities aside from his studio, and the rest of the world could go fuck itself - with as much help from one Mister Photius in matters of individuals. 

Of course, Smiling Bob's death changed that. Alpha Team had no real leadership, and the government was starting to get worried about New York's team falling apart. The handler knew exactly what the solution was; there was only really one person who could hold Alpha Team together. If Uriel would take the offer. But the handler knew Uriel wouldn't take the job... directly.

No, Uriel would need an oblique approach. Asking him to train two new supers would eventually bring him back into the fold - the skunk could never resist mentoring people. And of course, he'd have to show a good example, as well as be able to keep up with two rambunctious "enochli̱tikó paidiá", as he called them. 

So, in time he made spare, after his lunch break and before evening appointments, he skunk started to work out again. He couldn't slack off anymore - he might get winded, but others might be hurt. Or worse. His studio might suffer, but goddamnit, someone has to look over these kids!"

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