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Anonymity is an Excellent Precursor to Bullshit

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Imari distinctly remembered the first time she’d ever seen the hero.

It hadn’t been in person, no, but on television. Her little sister, Kimie, had been watching raptly, teenage girl hormones abounding as she squealed over each and every appearance the blond hero made. Imari wasn’t one to follow heroes, but she’d had time on her hands, and more than a little bit of a desire to procrastinate on her economics final, so she’d settled down next to Kimie and watched away.

She’d seen a bit of Chargebolt around, but mostly in the form of hearing the name thrown around, and she had some vague recollections of seeing some pictures of him. Getting a proper look at him, she could understand why her sister was so obsessive over him. The guy practically exuded charisma, not to say anything about how (very) attractive he admittedly was. Kimie, who’d always had a penchant for gravitating towards ‘pretty’ men, looked positively enraptured.

“So, what’s blondie in the news for?” Imari asked, snatching a handful of her sister’s abandoned pocky and ignoring Kimie’s protests.

“His name is Chargebolt, nee-san,” Kimie huffed as if she’d been mortally offended by Imari daring to nickname her favourite hero. “And he’s getting an award! For the Nishida Tower Collapse, remember?”

Imari did remember; she’d heard the news of the conglomerate tower’s structural failure over breakfast on campus. She’d also heard a lot about heroes who’d flown into action to get out as many people as they could. Imari had never been one to obsess over heroes, though she did have some favourites, but she deeply respected all of them. Throwing yourself into the thick of a dangerous situation like that? It took serious guts.

“Oh yeah. He was involved in that?” she scrambled to remember Kimie’s ramblings about the hero. “I thought he had an electricity-based quirk?”

“He does!” Kimie exclaimed, looking delighted that Imari had remembered. “He kept all of the electricity in loose wiring at bay, while saving people at the same time!” Kimie sighed, giving the TV screen a truly impressive goo-goo-eyed look. “He’s so amazing.”

Imari rolled her eyes good-naturedly, but found herself remaining by her sister’s side, watching the smiling hero accept the medal that the mayor of Kyoto – the site of the disaster – draped around his neck. Imari had to admit, she could understand the more superficial reasons people had for being fans of the hero; he was incredibly attractive.

As the ceremony winded down, paparazzi slid over, and Imari found her interest waning. Kimie was free to gush over whoever she wanted to, but Imari really should start her essay. She got up from the couch, determined to do just that, when she heard her sister gasp. Curious, she looked back at the screen.

Chargebolt had been talking to interviewers, all easy charm and pretty smiles, and in the midst of it, a little girl had somehow gotten free of the barriers meant to keep the public out, and run over to him. Imari thought she knew what to expect. The hero would calmly ignore the intrusion as a friendly security guard ushered the girl away. It happened with practically every hero; as much as they loved their fans, maintaining a good media image was also important to them.

That was why, when Chargebolt instead excused himself from the reporter, squatted (not an easy feat, given that the guy was pretty damn tall) and started a cheerful conversation with the little girl, Imari had to try hard to not let her jaw drop open.

Kimie saw the shocked look on her face and laughed. “He does that a lot! He’s so sweet.”

Imari just blinked at the screen, taking in the image of a hero who seemed to legitimately care more about conversing with a child than talking to a prestigious reporter, and realised that maybe, she should have paid more attention to her sister’s obsessions.


Imari didn’t like to say that she became obsessed – she just took an interest in her little sister’s favourite hero after viewing the news segment, and took it upon herself to find out more about him.

Ok, fuck it, maybe she was a little obsessed. But she couldn’t even blame herself. Her sister’s love of the hero was justified.

He was 24, just two years older than Imari herself, incredibly attractive, friendly and so charismatic it almost hurt. She trawled through what might have been hundreds of hours’ worth of interview footage, endless statements the hero had made, and looked through practically the entire history of the hero’s combat involvements. She even went back so far as to find footage of his participation in UA Sports Festivals.

And after all of that, to put it lightly, she was a fan of the hero.

Kimie was delighted, because now when she went on a tangent about how soft Chargebolt’s hair looked to touch, Imari could just dive right in with how she definitely thought the jagged black streak was natural (Chargebolt didn’t seem like the type to care that much about his appearance; he had a more casual look to him). It was a little exhausting for their parents, but they just seemed happy to see the two of them so united on the one front, and for Imari to be so upbeat even in the midst of an intense assessment period.

It was annoying for them in the sense that when Kimie asked to order a new poster, Imari was two steps behind her asking for another one. But there were more positives than negatives.

Kimie was still more of a mega-fan than Imari, though, hence why, when Imari got interested in joining fan communities, Kimie rattled about twenty of them off the top of her head.

“Oh! You should join MPAS!” Her sister exclaimed. Imari raised an eyebrow.

“MPAS? What’s that?” Kimie flushed a little.

“Well, the official name is Mr Pikachu Appreciation Society, but MPAS is the nickname,” Kimie explained, brightening up. “It’s a discord server! Just for fans of Chargebolt. It’s not that big yet, but you’re good at discord! You’d like it!”

That was true; Imari was a fan of discord in general, having been admin of a few servers back in high school. She didn’t use the platform as much anymore, but it would be good to get back into it.

“Sure.” Imari shrugged. “Just send me the link.”

Kimie beamed at that, and raced off to undoubtedly grab her laptop and do just that. Imari smiled, shaking her head. Her sister was wild at times.


When Imari first joined the Mr Pikachu Appreciation Society (which was a hilarious name), under the moniker of Jetstone, the server hadn’t been too large. Just 80 people or so milling about and obsessing over their favourite hero. It was nice, just as Kimie had said.

But it was also seriously under-organised and underappreciated by the wider circle of Japanese hero fan communities. So, Imari gently submitted an application to be a moderator.

And when it was approved, and she’d had a long talk with the owner – a lovely girl named Miyo who was grateful for the help – she overhauled the entire thing.

And, somehow, that established her as an MVP of the server. Bafflingly enough. Not that she was complaining; Kimie thought it was incredibly cool that she was already a moderator of the server, and that she’d managed to improve it so much. Imari didn’t put too much thought into it.

Though, she really should have. Because, as it turned out, servers boasting good role systems and clean setups attracted attention. And just like that, MPAS suddenly started to grow.


#announcements

Bald Tiger ∙ 7:05PM
@everyone Important reminder that the Shizuoka Hero Con ticket sales are opening up in 2 hours! Everyone’s favourite electrical hero is going to speaking at a panel there so if you wanna see him in person, have your web browsers and wallets ready! ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
⚡️ 404 | 😲 258 | 😍 223 | 💖 194 | 🥵 177 | 🥳 92

Mozzarella bae ∙ 7:05PM
I’m literally gonna scream I’m so excited

ChiChi ∙ 7:05PM
BITCH SAME HOLY SHIT

hunayyyy ∙ 7:06PM
Im gonna have to bring extra pants to this con bc the minute I see my boo Imma be drenched

Bald Tiger ∙ 7:06PM
@hunayyyy put that in the #nsfw-chat or so HELP ME

ChiChi ∙ 7:06PM
I WAS SCREAMING ABOUT THE TICKET SALES BUT NOW IM SCREAMING ABOUT HUNAYY OH MY GOD
LIKE MOOD
HES SO FUCKING HOT BUT J E S U S

JesusWasGay ∙ 7:07PM
You called?
OMG
@hunayyy KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS

Mozzarella bae ∙ 7:07PM
lmao the mods rly said fuck horny rights

Jetstone ∙ 7:08PM
Oh wow 🤣
For real though, thanks @Bald Tiger! My sister has been dying to go see him irl. It’s so annoying that its 3 months away.
(and I gotta agree with hunayyyy here, he is f i n e)

hunayyyy ∙ 7:09PM
VINDICATION


Imari didn’t honestly notice the user when they first entered the server. They usually had upwards of 20 newbies a day, and their username kind of got lost in the chaos of everything else. Despite being a moderator of a server that had somehow collected over 8,000 members in a span of 4 months, she hadn’t noticed the guy slipping in. After all, they got a pretty standard welcome from the rest of the server.

#welcome-page

MEE6 ∙ 1:33PM
→ Everyone welcome @sparkplug296!

Wormyworm ∙ 1:33PM
FRESH MEAT FRESH MEAT

Chickadee ∙ 1:33PM
*banging hands on table* FRESH MEAT FRESH MEAT

70% water more like 70% fat ∙ 1:34PM
*flossing* FRESH MEAT FRESH MEAT FRESH MEAT

Sparkplug296 ∙ 1:34PM
oh shit hi y’all

Wormyworm ∙ 1:34PM
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR MEAT?

Sparkplug296 ∙ 1:34PM
UM
grilled?

Wormyworm ∙ 1:35PM
WHAT ABOUT HUMAN MEAT?

Sparkplug296 ∙ 1:35PM
too chewy

Chickadee ∙ 1:35PM
what

Sparkplug296 ∙ 1:35PM
what

70% water more like 70% fat ∙ 1:36PM
you’ll fit in great sparky


70% was a weird user, but they ended up being right. Sparkplug296 did fit in very well among the server. They were polite, hilarious, and also knew lore about their favourite hero that many of them had not yet known. It was no surprise to Imari, at least, that they slowly endeared themselves to the admin, and eventually made it all the way to the top.

#moderators

Topbitch ∙ 3:31PM
@Bald Tiger, @Wet Spaghooti, @Jetstone, @JesusWasGay, @LookAtDais(y)Nuts, @Carl Sells Drugs, @Nerdy, @Quasi
Attention mods! I got an announcement to make!!

Bald Tiger ∙ 3:31PM
👀👀👀

Wet Spaghooti ∙ 3:31PM
owo?

Topbitch ∙ 3:32PM
Yes indeed……you’ve probably all seen it coming, but today makes it official! Please welcome @Sparkplug296, the newest addition to our mod team!

Nerdy ∙ 3:32PM
FUCK YEAH
WELCOME TO THE CLUB SPARKY!

Sparkplug296 ∙ 3:32PM
Thanks!

Bald Tiger ∙ 3:33PM
FUCK YES YOU SUPERB LIL SHIT
I KNEW WE WERE GETTING A NEW MOD BUT I DIDN’T KNOW WHO AND AGSDHFDGG IM GLAD ITS YOU!

Sparkplug296 ∙ 3:33PM
afsgdhwfertyhj thank! I wasn’t expecting it but I’m glad!

Jetstone ∙ 3:34PM
Well, welcome to the mods! I’m sure you’ll do great 😊


“We’re so close!” Kimie squealed under her breath, rocking on the balls of her feet and looking up at Imari with unabashed excitement. “Do you really think we’re going to be able to meet him?”

“I mean, considering how much these tickets cost, I sure hope so.” Imari joked, looping their arms together so she didn’t lose Kimie in the crowds. Waiting to get the tickets had been a nightmare; hero cons sold out so fast that she’d practically broken her keyboard getting tickets for the two of them, but they were finally here. The three month interim between buying the tickets and the day of the actual convention had been nightmarish, but worth the wait.

Looking around at the bright colours of the posters around them, Imari felt her heart soar. She’d always dismissed hero cons before, as something that looked fun but not at all her scene. How wrong she’d been; now that she was here, she felt like she was walking on air.

She was practically buzzing with energy when she and Kimie finally got up to the entry gates, had their passes scanned, and were let into the massive convention hall. Kimie squealed again, and though Imari would never admit it, she did too.

“I wonder if anyone else from MPAS is here?” Kimie asked, spinning in a circle to take in the space around them. The con had been a huge source of discussion for the last few months, especially since a good number of people on the server had managed to get tickets for it. Imari herself had been discussing it on the server’s general chat. She’d even gone so far as to share a picture of herself, in her nice outfit and everything, just in case anyone wanted to meet up.

“It’s a possibility.” She shrugged, grinning at her sister. “I mean, they know what I’m wearing, at least, so if we collect some new friends, that’s why. Now come on, the panel is starting soon!”

Kimie lit up, grabbed her hand, and the two darted off, searching for the hall.


The panel was everything that Imari had dreamed of. Chargebolt was, in fact, there in the flesh – as were a good number of his fans, judging by the volume of screaming when he took his seat – and he was just as kind, light-hearted and pretty as he usually was. Imari could still scarcely believe he was only two years older than her.

The panel wasn’t just Chargebolt, of course, though he was the main attraction for both Imari and Kimie. Polarity had been roped into it as well, though the red-and-white haired hero was distinctly shier than the blond was. Pinky and Real Steel had also come along. An underground hero – Mindjack, she was pretty sure his name was – was also in attendance, sitting at the enviable position of Chargebolt’s immediate right. Imari found every question and answer fascinating, but whenever the blond hero opened his mouth, she found herself rapt with attention. Shit, she really did have a celebrity crush, huh?

She felt a little disappointed when the panel ended, but, as Kimie happily reminded her via the avenue of screaming in her ear, that now meant it was time for the meet and greet, which set her heart racing like a horse on steroids.

She and Kimie navigated their way into the line; not very close to the front, but far from the back, thankfully, and Imari did her best to calm herself down.

“I’m so excited!” Kimie squealed, bouncing up and down as Imari took deep breaths. “I don’t get why you’re so nervous. He’s super nice!”

“I know!” Imari said, pressing a hand delicately to her chest. “But…it’s different. We’re a lot closer in age than you are.”

“Oooooh, I see,” Kimie said, elbowing her in the side as she grinned wickedly. “You tryna fuck?”

Imari choked on thin air.

“Kimie!” she gasped, staring at her cackling little sister. “First of all, don’t use language like that, and secondly, no, I’m not. You know there are rumours about him dating someone right now around anyway.”

“Hmm, fair,” Kimie said, turning back to the front. “But if there weren’t rumours-”

“I’m sorry, I’ve chosen to no longer speak Japanese.” Imari said primly, trying not to smile as Kimie cackled again.

The line moved gradually but consistently, and as much as joking around with her sister calmed her down, Imari still found herself a little starstruck when they finally got to the front and saw him.

Christ, he was tall. She’d read over articles where the hero had explained that he’d actually been on the short side – 5’6’’ like Imari – in high school, but had shot up to ridiculous proportions once he’d hit 17 or so. He towered over her now, and she couldn’t stop the small, surprised squeak she let out when she realised.

Kimie, ever the extrovert, had no such reservations.  

“Oh my god!” she shrieked. “You’re like my favourite hero! Can I have a hug?”

Imari blinked at her sister’s enthusiasm, while Chargebolt himself just laughed – and god the sound was even better in person than through the TV – and grinned at her.

“Aww, you’re too sweet. And yes to the hug, as long as it’s okay with your…” he looked over at her, blinking for a minute before guessing, “sister?”

Imari blinked, nodding and smiling shyly. “Oh, uh, yes. To both things.” Kimie shrieked in delight and practically tackled the blond, knocking the air out of him judging by his slight wheeze. He recovered quickly, though, returning the hug and even going the extra mile to scoop her up and spin her. Kimie looked like she’d been handed a key straight to heaven when he set her down, babbling out more praise interspersed with requests to sign things. Chargebolt, to his eternal credit, didn’t look overwhelmed by the onslaught, just obeying her requests with a genuine smile on his face.

“Sorry about her,” Imari apologised when she finally got Kimie to calm down and run over to the merch stand nearby. “She’s very, uhh, exciteable.”

“It’s no problem!” Chargebolt grinned. “I mean, hell, I was the exact same way when I was younger.  She seems like a sweet kid.”

“She is,” Imari chuckled, already finding herself at ease, “mind if I grab a picture?”

“Not at all!” he grinned, ducking down so that he could easily fit in the frame. Imari found herself blushing, but it was a good picture. Even if she did look a little awed in it.

“Thank you. I should probably go wrangle my sister now.” She said with a grin. Chargebolt laughed.

“Probably.” He said. And then, winking, he said. “Nice to meet you, Jetstone.”

Imari’s brain stopped working. “Wait, wha-”


#moderators

Jetstone ∙ 5:31PM
GUYS IM SCREAMING THIS IS A CODE BLACK FUCKING EMERGENCY OFGHFJGH I CAN'T BREATHE

Carl Sells Drugs ∙ 5:31PM
o shit
whaddup jet??
did something happen?

Jetstone ∙ 5:31PM
IM GONNA LOSE MY MIND GUYS
HOLY  F U C K I N G  SHIT

Carl Sells Drugs ∙ 5:32PM
WHAT HAPPNEED

LookAtDais(y)Nuts ∙ 5:32PM
happneed

Carl Sells Drugs ∙ 5:32PM
STFU DAISY IM TRING TO GET TO THE BTOTOEDM OF THIS MYSRERY

Bald Tiger ∙ 5:32PM
TRING
BTOTOEDM
MYSRERY
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST CARL

Carl Sells Drugs ∙ 5:32PM
SHUT UP
JET WHAT’S THE EMERGENCY

Jetstone ∙ 5:32PM
I KNEW I WAS GONNA SCREAM AND CRY TODAY BUT I DID NOT THINK THIS WOULD BE THE REASON WHY
Y’ALL IM QUAKING
I MET CHARGEBOLT

Bald Tiger ∙ 5:33PM
*gasp*
DADDY
Was he as much of a snacc irl as he is in my dreams

Nerdy ∙ 5:33PM
pls never say daddy again

Bald Tiger ∙ 5:33PM
no

Nerdy ∙ 5:33PM
every day we stray further from god

LookAtDais(y)Nuts ∙ 5:33PM
hell yeah we do

Nerdy ∙ 5:34PM
daisy no
also Jet what’s the news?

Jetstone ∙ 5:34PM
OK SO I WENT TO THE HERO CON IN SHIZUOKA YEAH
GOT TO SEE CHARGEBOLT AND A BUNCH OF OTHER HEROES IN THE FLESH
IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME
AND YES TIGER HES FUCKING HOT THIS HAS BEEN LONG ESTABLISHED
BUT
AFTER I GOT A PHOTO WITH HIM AND WAS WALKING AWAY HE SAID ‘NICE TO MEET YOU JETSTONE’
IM SCREAMING

Bald Tiger ∙ 5:35PM
wait what
your discord handle?

Jetstone ∙ 5:35PM
MY MOTHERFUCKING DISCORD HANDLE
AND BY THE WAY
THIS IS THE ONLY SERVER THAT IM JETSTONE ON
I HAVE A DIFF NAME IN EVERY OTHER SERVER IM IN

Nerdy ∙ 5:36PM
I mean I believe you but how would Chargebolt even know you?

Jetstone ∙ 5:36PM
SEE I THOUGHT THAT TOO
THEN I REALISED
I POSTED A SELFIE W MY OUTFIT AND FACE VISIBLE IN THE GENERAL CHAT TODAY

Bald Tiger ∙ 5:36PM
holy SHIT

Carl Sells Drugs ∙ 5:36PM
ARE YOU SAYIG THAT FCUKING CHARGEBOLT IS IN THIS SERVERR

Bald Tiger ∙ 5:37PM
HOLY SHIT

Sparkplug296 ∙ 5:37PM
oh damn


Imari blinked at the 600 notifications that greeted her when she rolled awake the next morning, most of which seemed to be from the moderator’s chat. She and the others – along with Kimie, because she could hardly keep this insane information from her dedicated little sister – had sat up all night discussing the new development.

The idea that the very hero they’d spent hours gushing about on the server was one of its members was downright shocking, as well as moderately embarrassing, too. Almost everyone on the server had gotten involved in those discussions at one point or another, so she did have to question how the hero himself had stayed under the radar.

They’d done some expert, Sherlock Holmes-style deductions last night to try and narrow down who it could be.

As one moderator, Daisy, had pointed out, the server had a lot of lurkers, and the hero likely wouldn’t be among them. Something told Imari that if a hero were to join a server full of their own fans, they would be a little more excited about it.

Furthermore, as Carl had spelled out (with many typos along the way), the chats moved so fast that the only people who likely would have seen her selfie were people online and active at the time she’d posted it.

So, they’d wracked their brains and trawled through the channel to identify who had been active. And, after the hours of work, they had a list of about twenty people. About half the mods had been on at the same time, so they disqualified themselves, which left them with about 16 likely suspects.

Imari shook her head, looking at the list with careful eyes. This wasn’t going to be easy, but she was going to find out who Chargebolt was if it killed her.


#sad-boi-hours

Sparkplug296 ∙ 11:47PM
why must life literally suck

LookAtDais(y)Nuts ∙ 11:47PM
aww
what’s up

Sparkplug296 ∙ 11:47PM
just didn’t have a good day, really
being a failure as per usual

Nerdy ∙ 11:48PM
Nooo don’t say that! You’re not a failure Sparky

Sparkplug296 ∙ 11:48PM
[doubt.jpeg]

Nerdy ∙ 11:48PM
Sparky no
I mean did you wanna talk about it?

Sparkplug296 ∙ 11:48PM
thanks, but it’s a bit hard to explain ya know?
my boyfriend says I have nothing to feel bad about but he’s my boyfriend and therefore a biased piece of shit

Nerdy ∙ 11:49PM
Awww no!! Listen to your boyfriend!!
If you don’t feel up to talking about it, do you want me to slap you with good-feels stuff instead? I have plenty of Chargebolt stuff ready to go at a moment’s notice

Sparkplug296 ∙ 11:49PM
you do?

Nerdy ∙ 11:49PM
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Bald Tiger ∙ 11:49PM
oh no
this is gonna be like when nerdy got access to FMAB memes isn’t it

Nerdy ∙ 11:50PM
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Bald Tiger ∙ 11:50PM
oh no

Nerdy ∙ 11:50PM
ok well I think im gonna start by cheering you up with news from today
chargebolt saved a whole-ass trains worth of people from going over a collapsed bridge by controlling the electricity in the controls and like the finesse?? The style??? The audacity??? I stan one king
and there’s also that news about how those mass anonymous donations that went to that anti-domestic violence charity were from him and Creati and Polarity
also HE GOT A NEW DOG AND ITS SO CUTE LOOK AT IT
[preciousbaby1.jpeg]
[preciousbaby2.jpeg]
[preciousbaby3.jpeg]

Bald Tiger ∙ 11:54PM
ARE YOU CHEERED UP YET SPARKY

Sparkplug296 ∙ 11:55PM
…yes

Nerdy ∙ 11:55PM
😄

Sparkplug296 ∙ 11:56PM

😊


It had been about two weeks since Imari’s revelation, and to say the mission thus far had not been a success was putting it kindly.

As it turned out, grilling people for information about themselves came off as creepy and a little strange. More than one of the actual moderators had declined to partake in the questioning – Sparky and Nerdy both had concluded that it was a little wrong – and even Imari was feeling bad about it by this point.

Every single person that they’d questioned had ready answers to their questions, and besides, none of them felt like they could be the hero. None of them had the same kind of persona that the hero exuded. Imari had reiterated that she didn’t think they were close to finding out who it was, but some of the others were deep in the ‘locate Chargebolt’ hole (or as Bald Tiger had dubbed it, the ‘find Daddy’ hole) and she doubted they would dig themselves out anytime soon.

Which was why, when one of the more reasonable people in the chat – the server owner – had proposed a meetup in Tokyo, Imari had jumped to go. She’d had to convince Kimie to stay home, citing the schoolwork she knew her sister had yet to do and promising to tell her everything. The place they’d agreed to meet was very public, so she didn’t feel like it would be too dangerous.

She’d seen a photo of Topbitch before, which was how she recognised the smiling girl beckoning her over to a small table, where she and a young man with neon green hair were sitting.

“Hey Jet!” she greeted warmly. “Nice to finally meet you!”

“Ahh, you too!” Imari smiled. “Just Imari is fine.”

“Nice. I’m Miyo.” She said warmly, before gesturing to the man next to her. “And this is Takeru, aka Quasi.” Takeru waved shyly, and Imari waved back.

“Ok, so, let’s get down to business then,” Imari said, smiling at them. “I really don’t think that any of the people we’ve been asking questions to are our target.”

Miyo and Takeru nodded.

“I agree with you there.”

They devolved into theorising, writing down the names of prominent server members and scrutinising them all.

They only broke from their reverie when someone nearby coughed, giving them a pointed look.

“Maybe don’t speculate about pro heroes so loud.” The guy drawled, adjusting the heavy bag he had flung over one shoulder. “People will think you’re villains or something.”

“There’s nothing wrong with speculating,” Takeru said, hunching his shoulders in and looking a little defensive. Imari squinted at the guy. He was oddly familiar, but the effect was done when he just shrugged and moved away like he didn’t actually care much for their conversation. The three of them turned back to speculating, but as fun as it was to meet two of her long-time online friends in real life, they still didn’t have any good ideas on who the culprit was. Feeling a little defeated but optimistic nonetheless, they waved goodbye, having already made plans to meet up again, and parted ways.

It took Imari an embarrassingly long time to figure out why she recognised the guy; he’d been the underground hero sitting next to Chargebolt at the very panel which had started this whole mess. Someone who, judging by how they’d been sharing jokes under their breath throughout the whole thing, were good friends at least.

Fuck.


#news-and-other-noteworthy-things

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:28AM
No clue how reliable this info is but??? Those dating rumours have actually started to name people?? So dayum???

Witchety ∙ 12:28AM
holy shit really? Who do ppl think is dating our baby boi?

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:28AM
lots of people have been pointing at this underground hero guy? Apparently they shared a panel at the Shizuoka Con and they seem close

Guy Fieri Ain’t Got Shit On Me ∙ 12:29AM
oh my god??? Do you mean Mindjack???? Because im a huge underground hero stan and I can confirm that those two go patrolling together a lot and close a lot of cases together

Witchety ∙ 12:29AM
I haven’t seen a ton of speculation about Mindjack specifically yet but damn I found some photos of them and they cuuuuute!
[baes.jpeg]
look at these cuties!

Guy Fieri Ain’t Got Shit On Me ∙ 12:29AM
damn son that’s love if I’ve ever seen it
their eyes??? Holy fuck the body language im actually gonna cri
like we already know CB is a bi king I wish him all the best in getting that dick

Jetstone ∙ 12:29AM
SRDTFYDGHJDGFHGJYHKFDGHJK

Funkychicken ∙ 12:29AM
ho shit one of the mods is losing it

Guy Fieri Ain’t Got Shit On Me ∙ 12:30AM
I think I either triggered a fight or flight reflex or jetty is homophobic
don’t be a homophobe jet

Jetstone ∙ 12:30AM
im gonna scream
also im literally pansexual sgwdehfjrgty
ive met that guy tho
@Topbitch @Quasi look at this

Quasi ∙ 12:30AM
oh wow
oh my god

Guy Fieri Ain’t Got Shit On Me ∙ 12:30AM
im sorry yall met MINDJACK IRL AND FORGOT TO MENTION THIS
YALL FUCKED I LITERALLY L O V E  HIM
LIKE CHARGEBOLT OWNS MY UWUS BUT MINDJACK OWNS EVERYTHING ELSE

Witchety ∙ 12:31AM
awwww no! I guess it’s luck of the draw when it comes to meeting underground heroes though 😢

Guy Fieri Ain’t Got Shit On Me ∙ 12:31AM
u right u right
tho getting back to topic, if they are together that’s great! Those two are super cute

Witchety ∙ 12:31AM
petition to get Chargebolt and Mindjack together just for the cuteness of it all
 💖 303 | 🙏 94 | 👨❤️👨 17


“I’m surprised they haven’t figured it out yet,” Katsuki commented, snorting with laughter as he handed Denki’s phone back. “I would have thought that they’d have noticed you’re always the one somehow providing reliable news days before its even news.”

“You’d think so.” Denki sighed, pocketing it with a grin. He’d made his intention to join the discord server dedicated to him very clear, and as mildly baffled as some of his friends had been, they’d all gotten pulled into the hilarious drama of it all.

So far, though some people had caught onto the search for him, it was a mission largely constrained to the moderators, which was additionally hilarious given that Denki had endeared himself enough to the server to become one of said moderators. He had only joined as a joke, but over time, he’d actually found himself really enjoying the opportunity to speak openly with his fans, without any risk of them imploding, very pleasant. Plus, it was always nice to slide onto the forum after a bad day at work and see nothing but positivity aimed at him. He’d felt conceited, at first, but his friends had disagreed. They knew that Denki had some serious issues with self-esteem at times – something he and Eijirou sadly had in common, so they’d actually encouraged him to go look at what people thought of him.

“See, your fans don’t think you getting stabbed was a bad thing! They’re just glad you’re okay!” Mina would say, accompanied by a comforting smile. Denki really did love his friends, but there was something about the sheer number of people who seemed to like and look up to him so much that hit differently. It made him want to be better, for their sakes.

“I don’t think they’re all necessarily the brightest.” Hitoshi drawled, wrapping his arms around Denki’s waist and tugging him close so that his back was flush against the purple-haired man’s chest. “Nice, sure, but not the brightest.”

“Hey, don’t roast my fans.” Denki jabbed light-heartedly, sighing contentedly when Hitoshi kissed at his neck by way of apology. “There are a few smart cookies there. They’ll get it eventually. It’s not like my nickname is super subtle.”

Sparkplug was a nickname that Denki had been saddled with at 17, and the media was well aware of it by now. 296 was just a simple sign for anyone who really knew a lot about him. The 29th of June, aka Denki’s birthday.

“I honestly thought the minute they realised you were in the server that they’d turn to you.” Hitoshi murmured, fiddling with the hem of the shirt Denki was wearing – a shirt he’d stolen from Hitoshi, funnily enough. “It really is quite obvious.”

Denki hummed, leaning back against his boyfriend as Eijirou, lounging happily on their couch, hummed. “They might start to put it together if you two go public. You know, start saying things like ‘oh, how’d that one moderator totally know exactly who he was dating’? Or something.”

“Maybe.” Denki agreed. “They seem to have gotten very fond of Hitoshi, too.”

He sensed rather than saw the flush that spread over his boyfriend’s face, grinning when the insomniac pressed his face against the space between Denki’s shoulder blades. “Shut up.”

“I think it’s sweet,” Mina spoke up from where she and Hanta had been snacking on Denki’s entire store of melon-pan for the last hour. “You need more fans anyway, Toshi.”

“I’m supposed to be an underground hero.” Hitoshi pointed out as he lifted his head, resting his chin on Denki’s shoulder.

“Ehh,” Mina shrugged, shoving more of the sweet bread in her mouth. “Sucks to be you then.”

“So how do I subtly get across to the moderators that I’m, well, me?” Denki asked

“Well, you have a few options. One is to straight up tell them, obviously. Another is to continue to be subtle and then smack them in the face with an obvious sign that tells them that, or…”

“Or?”


#news-and-other-noteworthy-things

Witchety ∙ 11:52AM
@everyone HOLY FUCKING SHIT GUYS IT HAPPENED IT HAPPENED
WE GOT OURSELVES CONFIRMATION
CHARGEBOLT IS DATING MINDJACK HOLY FUCK

Guy Fieri Ain’t Got Shit On Me ∙ 11:52AM
IM GONNA CRY YES YES YES
MY BOIS ARE SO BEAUTIFUL AND GAY AND HAPPY AND GAY

Bald Tiger ∙ 11:52AM
Chargebolt said gay rights and promptly snagged the dick of a hot as shit underground hero and you know what?? We stan. We stan fucking hard. Get that dick for all of us, Mindjack. Do it.
😩 193 | 🥵 66 | 🤤 12

Quasi ∙ 11:55AM
That’s great to hear! Also dayum @sparkplug296 seems your intuition was right

Sparkplug296 ∙ 11:55AM
Seems so! 😉

Jetstone ∙ 11:56AM
WAIT A FUCKING MINUTE


Denki was already laughing his ass off when he got a private message from Jetstone, punctuated by a great deal of caps lock, question marks and swearing. He’d been expecting this, but it made it no less entertaining now that the day was finally here. He swiped open his messages, trying not to burst out laughing on the spot.

This is the start of your private messaging history with @Jetstone

Jetstone ∙ 11:57AM
IM FUCKING SCREAMING
SPARKY ANSWER ME HOLY FUCK WAIT
AM I LOSING MY MIND OR WHAT
YOU’VE SEEN MY OBSESSIVE MESSAGES ON THE MOD CHAT DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE DENY THAT YOU KNOW WHATS GOING ON
IM GONNA CRY
ARE YOU ACTUALLY FOR FUCKING REAL HAVE I HAD A PRO HEROS DISCORD ACCOUNT FOR FIVE MONTHS AND NOT FUCKING KNOWN IT
SPARKY
SPARKY YOU MOTHERFUCKER

Sparkplug296 ∙ 11:59AM
oh wow that’s a lot of messages

Jetstone ∙ 12:00PM
BITCH I SWEAR TO GOD
ANSWER THE QUESTION

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:01PM
sorry im trying to type but im laughing too hard and keeepe misisng the keys s

Jetstone ∙ 12:01PM
im gonna cry actual tears soon oh my god

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:01PM
afsgdhfegrthyhj no don’t cry!!
ok ok serious talk mode

Jetstone ∙ 12:02PM
just
are you chargebolt or not

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:02PM
sgdhfjghfghj kinda
ok fuck uh yes
surprise???

Jetstone ∙ 12:03PM
brb im gonna mcfucking kill myself

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:03PM
ok mood but also nooooo
oop did I make you mad
bc if so that’s valid but also sorryyyyyyy

Jetstone ∙ 12:04PM
I’M NOT MAD THESE ARE HAPPY TEARS AND HAPPY SUICIDAL IDEATION

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:04PM
THAT’S AN OXYMORON BUT ILL TAKE YOUR WORD FOR IT

Jetstone ∙ 12:05PM
oh my fucking god I ranted about your hair to you

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:05PM
I mean I once went on about how hot Polarity’s abs were while drunk and Polarity was two metres away from me so mood
Tbh I take stuff like that as a compliment so thanks actually
Also to answer that question on whether or not my hair is fluffy I asked my boyfriend and he said it is so there ya go

Jetstone ∙ 12:06PM
oh shit yeah congrats on that
tbh I think im in shock hdwfjgfgtfyhg
but also dang youre really nice

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:06PM
fsgdhfdfgh thanks
sorry for making you go all gestapo-style on the regular server users
but also not sorry because that was fucking hilarious

Jetstone ∙ 12:06PM
fsghdfdghj
I mean you’re not wrong
also wait don’t you patrol in the morning

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:07PM
…maybe

Jetstone ∙ 12:07PM
SFGDSHFSDGFHJKHJKL GO BACK TO YOUR PATROL

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:07PM
BUT ITS BORING
[ugh.jpeg] look at how bored its making me

Jetstone ∙ 12:08PM
ADSFGDHFDJGFHGHJ HOLY FUCKINGNGN SHIT IT RLY IS YOU
LIKE 1% OF ME STILL WASN’T CONVINCED BUT LIKE SGDHDJFGH OH MY GODDD
im gonna cry
my sister is gonna cry too
theres gonna be a lot of tears real soon

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:08PM
rip
but also one request
could you wait until like, 9pm tonight to out me to the rest of the server
my patrol goes until like 8 ugh and I kinda wanna be there to watch the world burn

Jetstone ∙ 12:08PM
yeah sure no problem
god im shaking a little
this is so wild
I was gonna go meet some of the other mods and now it looks like im gonna die instead

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:09PM
sfgdhfjdfgh dayum
wait
idea
is this one of those meetups discussed on the actual mod chat?

Jetstone ∙ 12:09PM
I feel like I know where this is going

Sparkplug296 ∙ 12:09PM
😉


Imari still felt a little unsteady on her feet when she slid into a booth alongside Takeru and Miyo again. The three of them had begun fast friends after their first meeting, and had Imari not just experienced one of the most profound shocks of her life, she would have been very happy and relaxed to see them.

“You alright, Imari?” Takeru asked with a frown, combing his neon green hair back from his forehead. “You look a little…pale?”

“I just had a very interesting morning.” Imari sighed, smiling at him. “And I think you two would love to hear about it.”

“Oh? Something juicy?” Miyo asked with a waggle of her eyebrow, sipping her frappe.

“Yeah, I found out who Chargebolt is on the server.” She said, with no preamble. Takeru’s eyes bulged out of his head, and Miyo choked on coffee, milk and ice.

“WHAT?” they both exclaimed when the information had sunk in, staring at her like she’d just declared that she’d found the holy grail. Imari nodded.

“Yeah, it was, uhh, quite the conversation.” She said, hoping her expression conveyed how very true that was. “Gimme a minute.” She swept to her feet, going over to order another drink. She knew the hero would probably try to decline it, but it felt like a nice gesture. Besides, it was practically boiling today, and she knew lugging around a full body worth of hero gear was hardly going to be a light, leisurely activity.

She arrived back at the table with a very strong mocha frappe (filled with ice-cream, because Chargebolt was a self-professed sweet tooth) and grinned at the stunned expressions of her friends. “So, I’m guessing you want details.”

Please,” Miyo said, eyes wide. “So, I’ve for real had a pro hero in my pro hero discord server for the last five months?”

Imari nodded. “You have. And I know exactly why we couldn’t find him, before.” She jabbed a finger at both of them to make her point. “The mission to find him was led by the mods. That motherfucker is a mod.”

Miyo looked like she was about to set herself on fire. “I’ve dm-ed all my mods a ton, though.” Her face slacked. “Oh my god. I’ve dm-ed my favourite hero.”

“Who even…?” Takeru murmured, looking a little awestruck.

“Sparky.” Imari laughed. “Which we probably should have seen coming.”

Miyo slumped back against the back of the booth, looking shellshocked. “Oh my god.”

“That was my reaction, with a bit more yelling,” Imari said sheepishly, tugging her phone out. “He sent me a picture, and I reverse image searched it. Didn’t come up anyway, so it sure as shit didn’t come from the internet.”

She showed them. The astonishment on their faces was slowly making way for delight, and Imari couldn’t help but share in their joy. Her phone buzzed with another message, and when she read it, she grinned, getting up from her seat. “Oh, and thanks for grabbing a window table, too, Miyo.”

“I mean you did ask- oh my fucking god.” Miyo’s sentence trailed off into an awed whisper as Imari shoved the window open, waved at the predictably sweaty hero outside, and shoved the frappe into his hands.

“Drink it or pay the price.” She threatened. Chargebolt just raised an eyebrow, but obediently took a sip.

“You got it.” he looked over at Miyo and Takeru, waving his fingers. “Heyo.”

“I think I’m dead,” Takeru said weakly.


#announcements

Jetstone ∙ 9:00PM
@everyone listen up! We got an important announcement to make in 5 minutes!

Bald Tiger ∙ 9:00PM
owo what’s this

Jetstone ∙ 9:05PM
ok I think we have as many people online as we’re gonna get so let’s get to it
Now, a lot of you don’t know this, but the mod team has been aware for a while now that among our lovely Discord server members, we have a pretty special person here as well.
And by ‘pretty special person’ I mean the actual guy that this server was created for.
And yes, you read that right.
😨 892 | ⁉️ 505 | 😦 496 | 💀 303 | 👀 277 | 🤯 221 | 😳 160 | 🙃 98 | 🤡 54 | 🙌 32

Carl Sells Drugs ∙ 9:06PM
wait
W
H
A
T

LookAtDais(y)Nuts ∙ 9:06PM
If that means what I think it means then I gotta go move to Trinidad and Tobago

Witchety ∙ 9:07PM
are you saying that chargebolt himself is in this server

Jetstone ∙ 9:07PM
Yup, he is

[909 Unread Messages]

Jetstone ∙ 10:11PM
OK YALL CALM DOWN FFS
yes, Chargebolt is in this server and has been for a while. No, he has not been sitting around judging us all. I had a talk to him via DMs earlier and he actually said that this place has been really nice and made him feel better after rough days etc. Do NOT go trying to DM him bc you like him a ton. He’s still a hero with a very stressful job and limited free time that he probably, justifiably, does not want to spend talking to random peeps on the internet.
With that being said, you wanna come expose yourself bro?

Sparkplug296 ∙ 10:12PM
that is a truly terrifying amount of notifications that I am NOT going to read
but yes
hi
tis I
uhhh
I didn’t plan for this oop-

Jetstone ∙ 10:12PM
mood
but yeah, yall, stay calm pls
@sparkplug296 if there was anything you wanted to say, maybe say it now while they’re all in shock or whatever.

Sparkplug296 ∙ 10:13PM
ahh shit ok
I mean first of all, proof;
[me_bitch.jpeg]
Ignore the bruising pls I got punched in the face today and it was not Gucci at all
But yeah, uh, hi, I’m the hero y’all are fans of for some reason. Nice to actually properly meet you all! First off, I am sorry for not being honest upfront, but I wanted to have the chance to get to know at least some people without the bullshit about my identity in the way, if that makes sense.
afsghdf idk how to be heartfelt but I’ll try
You guys have really helped, a lot. It’s nice to come back here after a long day and see that people actually feel safer having me around as a hero. It’s really helped, especially when I haven’t thought the best of myself.
So yeah, thank you all
💕 3.5K | 💖 2.9K | 😍 1.7K | 😘 1.3K | 💯 1.1K | ✨ 909 | 💛 455

Topbitch ∙ 10:15PM
Catch me crying in the club that my fave hero found my thirst server for him and decided to STAY
Also we really, truly love you! You’re one of the kindest heroes that Japan has to offer and this country really is better and safer with you working in it!
🥰 1.1k

Sparkplug296 ∙ 10:16PM
Thank you
❤️ 8.9K


Topbitch updated the roles for Sparkplug296
added role ‘our lord and saviour’


#welcome-page

MEE6 ∙ 1:22AM
→ Everyone welcome @sleepisfortheweak!

Sparkplug296 ∙ 1:22AM
muahaahahahahaha

LookAtDais(y)Nuts ∙ 1:22AM
that’s not good

Sparkplug296 ∙ 1:22AM
@Guy Fieri Ain’t Got Shit On Me

Guy Fieri Ain’t Got Shit On Me ∙ 1:23AM
hmm??
wait A FUCKING MINUTE
IS THAT
IS THAT WHO I THINK IT FUCKING IS
SPARKY DID YOU LEGITIMATELY DRAG YOUR BOYFRIEND INTO THIS MESS
THE BETRAYAL
YOU KNOW WHAT MESSAGES I’VE SENT ABOUT THIS MAN

Sleepisfortheweak ∙ 1:23AM
ohhh so you’re the one who’s thirsty for me
sup

Sparkplug296 ∙ 1:24AM
he didn’t do the dishes and its his turn so this is his punishment
suffer mj

Sleepisfortheweak ∙ 1:24AM
I have so many regrets

Jetstone ∙ 1:25AM
…God I’m so glad I joined this server

Sparkplug296 ∙ 1:25AM
.
.
.
me too