Haley: Part 5

I fired a grappling gun while I was still falling, and I didn’t do it right away. I waited, and I shot at the next building over—another big, brick building—and let the rope turn me until I was above the semi-truck. Then I let out the line until I was just a few feet above it, set the gun to release it’s hold, holstered it, and dropped.

It was almost perfect.

I landed on the trailer, but I was moving a little slower than the truck, and I started sliding toward the back. You know how cute and funny cats can be when they’re chasing each other across a slippery floor, and lose control? It was exactly like that, except the worst thing that could happen to the cat was sliding into a wall. Meanwhile, my claws were screeching down the top of the trailer to stop me from falling directly in front of a moving car.

And cats don’t shout, “Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!” while they’re sliding. I might have. Maybe.

I stopped halfway down the trailer, but it felt like forever. The whole time I was sure I was going to slide off. When I came to a full stop, I ran up to the front of the trailer to see where Laser Guy was. I couldn’t pick out his van from the rumble of all the other cars and trucks by sound.

I dropped low when I reached the front—no reason to tip him off.

The white van moved down the street only three cars ahead of the truck. Then it turned left under the highway that goes through Grand Lake, and up the ramp. For a second, I tensed my legs to jump. I thought I could make it to the van’s roof, but then the truck turned too, so I didn’t even try.

Laser Guy didn’t drive the van all crazy, so he didn’t pull away from the semi on the highway. We weren’t far behind him, and so I could almost take a break. It sounds silly, but riding on the top of a semi-truck in the middle of the summer is almost fun. The highway runs through downtown, so it’s near the lake. You can see the marinas, and the campground on the north side of the lake. If you let your eyes follow the piers to the end of the channel, you can see the lights glowing red and green.

Once I got used to the smell of exhaust, I could smell Grand Lake, restaurants, bars, cigarettes, and faintly hear the sound of an electric guitarist playing the blues. Grand Lake had an outdoor concert series.

But it’s not like I could sit there. I called HQ. I thought about sending a yellow over the communicators, but I didn’t want everyone to show up.

Kayla answered, and I thought she sounded nervous. “League HQ.”

“Oh,” I said. “I didn’t know you were in.”

“I’m in every night. Are you on call? The schedule says Night Wolf.”

“I’m not on call. I’m chasing some guy with laser arms, and I need help.”

“What did you say? I can barely hear you.”

So I tried to shout over the wind. “I’m chasing a BAD GUY. I’m ON a TRUCK. I need HELP.”

“Oh my god! Are you hurt? Do you need me to send a red? Do you need an ambulance?”

“I’m not hurt. NO reds, and NO yellows. I need ONE person.”

“I’ll call Night Wolf.”

“NO Night Wolf.” Because he’d be my over-protective older brother, and take control of everything, and I hate that.

“But he’s on the schedule.”

“Who ELSE?” We had to have more than than one back up on the list.

“Almost everyone’s gone.”

I thought about it, and I felt a little bit bad about saying no to calling Travis. Nick and Rachel were at their grandparents. Marcus was working at one of the family restaurants, and I didn’t want to get him in trouble. Jaclyn had gotten offered another scholarship out of nowhere, and even though she’d already decided to go to U of M, she was still checking out the school.

That left Daniel, Cassie, and Vaughn. Daniel sounded like the best choice.

“The Mystic?” I asked.

“He’s doing something with his dad. He said emergency only.”

“Captain Commando?”

“Remember her checkup? She’s supposed to be back tonight, but I don’t know when.”

Cassie was with her mom in Washington D.C., visiting the people who’d activated her powers.

“Call her.”

“I’ll try. I already called Storm King. I don’t think he’s got his League phone on.”

That figured, but it might not be all his fault. I’d met his mom, and if I were him, I wouldn’t be in her face about the League either.

“Did you try his normal phone?”

“I’m not supposed to unless it’s a life and death situation. It isn’t, right?”

“I guess not.” I couldn’t blame Kayla for following the rules, but this was getting annoying. Half of me wanted to hang up and call Sydney, except if I called Sydney, I might get Sean too. Worse, if Sydney were busy, she might ask Sean to help, and not come herself. That would be worse than doing it alone. A lot worse.

The white van slowed down. We were nearing the Michigan Street exit. He was going to get off the highway. I knew it. The red jeep to our left was slowing down too, and it had its top down. I jumped into the back seat as it followed the white van down the exit ramp.

The driver couldn’t have been more than a few years older than I was. His face was pimpled. He had three days’ growth of beard, and from the smell, he’d been wearing his jeans for at least four days in a row.

He turned his head around and stared. “Hey, you’re Night Cat!” And then the wheels on the jeep’s left side hit the rumble strip. The noise made him turn his head back around where it belonged, but startled him into jerking the wheel right, so we almost went into the grass on the opposite side of the exit ramp.

“Could you please follow the white van?”

“Sure. What’s in there, stolen stuff?”

My communicator beeped, and I ignored him. It was Cassie, and so I took the call. Kayla must have hung up.

“Hey Night Cat, whose ass are we going to kick?”

10 thoughts on “Haley: Part 5”

  1. We know that the black hat, a.k.a. Rosey Palms, was out specifically fishing for the League, and in that was working for someone. Now, I’m inclined to assume Mr. Palms either knows or at least suspects he’s being followed since he made contact and did not confirm a kill. This leads me to think he’s most likely attempting to lure his tail into a trap of some sort and assuming so, the advisable course of action would be to either intercept Mr. Palms post haste before he can reach his destination, or failing that to break off pursuit.
    Dealing with traps by knowingly walking right into them is of course a heroic tradition, but the driver of the red jeep might be getting shafted here, if my suspicions are correct…

  2. That’s me just finished another archive binge from the beginning of Targets up til now. I’ve been missing out on so much fun!
    It’s my own fault really. I find having to wait for each new episode annoying, so i wait a few weeks or month and play catch up.

    I’ve always wanted a story arc from another characters perspective and i’m glad it’s Haley. She’s my second favourite character (after Nick of course).
    And yay for more Kayla. A normal high school girl thrust into the world of superheroes as the League’s…what is her job?

    LON has a lot of characters. There’s the League themselves, the other active hero teams, the many villains, not to mention the original Heroes League in flashback. Sometimes when i’m playing catch up i’ve forgotten who most of these people are. I can’t be the only one.
    Would it be possible for some sort of character guide to be created to help clear up some confusion?

    Wow that’s a lot of writing there. I hope i haven’t bored you lol.
    I’m looking forward to the next update.

  3. That’s not a bad idea, Kyle.

    Hey Jim, how about a wiki? Wikia.com might be a good place to start.

    Or, you could install your own wiki on your server, since I know you’re good at that kind of stuff too….

    Hg

  4. Well, I’d recommend that anyone getting confused about a character hit the tags section to the right, below the Twitter and Latest Comment feeds.

    It would actually probably be more helpful if the character tags showed up at the end of a story post, or a link to their first appearance showed up on the first occurrence of a character’s name in the update.

    Actually, I’ve been surprised that the character tags don’t show up at the end of story updates – I thought that was the usual default on blogging software that used tags.

  5. Kyle: Thanks. There’s a lot of stuff between Targets and now. I understand how you might want to do that, though. A lot of stories are better in big chunks.

    I’m not sure there’s an official title of Kayla’s job. Coordinator, maybe? On Star Trek, I suppose it would be Communications Officer.

    Hg/tjhairball/Kyle: A wiki’s something worth considering, especially if I wouldn’t be the only person updating it.

    To be honest, I’ve been planning to do more extensive character lists with the page redesign, but since I’m not putting much work into the redesign at the moment, I probably ought to put up the information now.

    With regards to tags… Tags don’t automatically end up on the end of the post unless they’re in the template. I don’t feel a deep urge to mess with the template most of the time (I do that kind of thing for my job). I’d rather put effort into a site redesign, editing the ebook version of this, or writing new stuff.

    Still, I’d agree that that would be a good idea.

  6. Kayla would be “Ops” IMO, short for operations for those who are coffee deprived. ^_~

    The webcomic Grrl Power, a fantastic read if you’ve never had the pleasure I highly recommend it, has a mini-cast section next to the main comic. It lists the main characters that speak in that page with links to their cast page. A simple one sentence synopsis of each main character would probably do as well.

    i.e. Haley AKA Night Cat Feral Transformation ability, sister to Travis/Night Wolf and dating Nick/Rocket.

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