I decided to check in on where Ray and the others were in the trial system.
We hadn’t been involved after we’d handed him over. From what I’d heard, the FBI had done what they could to discourage either the prosecution or the defense from using us. We’d been interviewed by police, but none of us had said anything that adults hadn’t.
According to government records, they were all still in maximum security federal prisons, the judge having decided they were far too dangerous to be let out on bail.
So far, they were only charging them with the murder of the FBI agents (a felony), and unlawful imprisonment (spraying the room with paralysis rays). More charges would likely be added. Agents were working to get Gina to testify against Ray, but she hadn’t. Unfortunately, that meant that the government didn’t have enough evidence to connect them to murders in other states. If they’d left records in the cottage they’d lived in (and burned down), no one had found them. They apparently used different guns for different jobs so while the ballistics sometimes matched up with the deaths of one hero’s friends and relatives, they couldn’t link different jobs together.
The pattern of killing relatives and friends first, followed by the death of the super connected to them did stay constant, but that wasn’t enough to charge anybody.
I spent an hour running down information on the trial preparations before reading up on Ray. Ray (short for Raymond) was actually his real name. His real last name (Malone) wasn’t the same as the one on the driver’s license he was using, but they’d found it soon enough. He’d been a Green Beret before leaving the service, and worked for the mob afterward thanks to connections his father had. Agents’ reports indicated that he’d moved to Syndicate L before reappearing as part of “Team Executioner.”
I looked up his father.
Freddie Malone had worked as an enforcer for the Chicago mob before dying at the age of 44. He’d been killed in a fight with Chicago Hawk, a hero who’d briefly appeared during the 1980’s. Before he’d worked for the mob, he’d been in the Streetlords, one of the gangs Red Lightning had supplied with his own addictive version of power juice.
I stared at the monitor and thought about that. His father’s death might explain the grudge against heroes, but his father’s membership in the Streetlords rang all kinds of warning bells.
I couldn’t find any mention of powers, but they might not have been observed.
I couldn’t think of anything else I could research from there, so I put the relevant links into an email, and sent it to everybody’s Heroes League email accounts.
That would give people something to think about.
Then I checked my regular email, and some web comics.
While I sat there, I heard the sound of the elevator. Turning to find out who was coming in, I saw Daniel step out. He was generally more available on Saturday evening than during the day, or when his family went to synagogue on Friday night.
“Your mom said she didn’t know where you were, so I guessed you were here. What’s up?”
“I’ve been reading up on some things.”
I told him about the Executioner, about the original Power’s death, and mentioned that Travis wanted to coordinate some kind of anti-gang crusade.
“I was there when Travis was talking about the gang. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did go after us. Back when Red Lightning was in charge, his gangs gave the original League a hard time, and from what my grandfather said, it sounded like their version of the juice was less powerful than the government’s stuff.”
I nodded. “I got that impression too. And that’s not a good thing. Our grandfathers worked together for years before they went up against Red Lightning’s people.”
“We’ve been training for years. This time there’s only one gang. Plus none of us are secretly running the gang. I think it evens out.”
“Good point. But still, are we supposed to just go after those guys out of the blue?”
“The cops can’t. Somebody ought to. Honestly, it sounds fun.”
“A powered gang sounds like a challenge, but the right kind. I tagged along after my dad for years, you know, and this is why. He’s going to be busy with Guardian and the Midwest Defenders, but we’re all here. We’re protecting the city, and we’re ready for this.”
“I wish I felt that confident.”
“I’m confident about them. The rest? Not as much. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think that you guys got lucky with the Executioner. I don’t think you’d have ever caught him if he were here to do a job on us. They had a hideout here and got careless, but careless for them means they still had it rigged to blow up, had devices to prevent telepathic detection, and were armed with automatic weapons. They were probably prepared for Solar Flare somehow, but underestimated us. If they get out, they won’t do that again.”
“Yeah. That’s why I’d put them higher on my priority list than the gang.”
“Except they are still in prison.”
“Not whoever killed the Power.”
“I’d say call Isaac with that one. If the FBI can handle it, that’s better for everybody.”
“Yeah. I agree. I don’t think they know who any of us are for sure, but it’s likely that they’ll connect Haley’s family with us somehow.”
Daniel nodded. “There’s no doubt of it. The question is how much more they’ll pick up if they get out, and start working on it. For normal people, killing supers takes preparation and planning. Ray and his team killed a lot of supers.”
I sighed. I didn’t have a lot to add.
Daniel did, though.
“There’s one more thing we should be thinking about. A lot of teams have some kind of leadership. We’ve just been falling together with whoever’s been around at the time. I think we should at least come up with people to lead small groups while we’re fighting. Someone’s got to make decisions and there’s no time for a committee.”
“Was this Travis’ idea?”
“Yeah, but he’s right.”