The sole good point about Sean calling to gloat was that I could at least be sure that he didn’t expect me to call back. Lucas, I felt fairly sure, did.
Clicking on the icon that distorted my voice to match how the Rocket sounded in person, I set the voice mail program to dial. I felt sure Lucas would catch that this was an official call—which was good considering he’d probably inherited his grandfather’s resistance to mental tampering.
Daniel had put in our version of the Block on each Justice Fist member back when we all fought Prime and the Cabal’s private army. He’d told me to assume Lucas didn’t have one.
My computer screen showed the words, “Call Accepted.”
“Rocket,” Lucas said. “Is the League in or out?”
“I don’t know. I’m sure we’ll be talking to our own lawyers before we say anything.”
“Lawyers. Of course, you’ve got them. Let me know what they say, okay? Second opinions never hurt.”
“So, I’ve been listening to the news. Looks like you’re having trouble with the Ice Twins’ crew.”
“I don’t know if I’d call it trouble. It takes a little while to figure out the best way to handle people, and besides, they’re not the biggest problem we have to deal with.”
“Yeah? What’s the other problem?”
“I’m not going to talk about it over a cell phone.”
At any rate, I wasn’t going to talk about Evil Beatnik over an unencrypted link to his cell phone.
Lucas said, “I’ll ask you in person then, but there’s something you should know. Sean’s after them, probably because he thinks he’s going to show you up.”
“How do you know that?”
“Typical high school bullshit. That’s what you get when you hang out with high schoolers. Sean, Jody, and Dayton came up with a plan. Dayton told Julie. Julie told Shannon. I stopped by Solid Grounds to get coffee, and Shannon told me.”
“Tell me about it. After all the craziness back in June, I thought Justice Fist was over, but it turns out it’s like Hotel California. ‘You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave’.”
“Believe me, you’re not the only one who’s sick of it.”
“I’m sure. Well, don’t forget, if you need help, I’m here.”
“You’re welcome. I’ll talk to you later.”
As I hung up, took off my earphones, and put away the mic, Rachel asked, “Who were you talking to?”
She’d stopped watching the news, and stood next to the table, placing her right hand on a monitor.
She folded her arms together, and looked down at me. “About what?”
“Not about uh… you know. He called because his dad’s going to sue the company that made that film about us—”
“Seriously?” Jaclyn frowned. “I looked into it a little yesterday, and it didn’t seem like we’d be able to do anything.”
“—and that’s not all,” I continued. “He said Sean’s planning to go after the Ice Twins, Mr. Madness and all those guys.”
“Oh,” Marcus said, “this could get really crazy. We’ll be going after those guys, and then Sean’s going after them, and… Did he say if the rest of Justice Fist was with Sean?”
“He only mentioned Jody and Dayton.”
“Well, still, we’re talking battle royale here. Even crazier if more Justice Fist people show up out of nowhere, and no one knows whose side they’re on? And maybe they’ve been taken over by Evil Beatnik? That would be quite the twist.”
“In a comic, yes,” I said. “In my life, I’m not too wild about it.”
“I’m not saying it would be good, just crazy, and unexpected.”
Jaclyn’s face tightened for a moment. “Maybe we should call them, and try to coordinate this.”
Rachel said, “With the guys who held Nick down, and kicked his ribs?”
“I didn’t just lie there and get kicked,” I said. “I actually won that fight.”
They ignored me.
“With the guys who owe us,” Jaclyn said. “Ray’s people held their parents hostage. We got them out.”
Marcus nodded. “That would be better than having those guys pop up out of nowhere. You should call them, Jackie. You practically saved them all yourself.”
Jaclyn frowned as he said “Jackie,” but didn’t correct him about that. “It wasn’t just me. Cassie and Julie did their share.”
“But still,” Marcus said, “they don’t owe just anybody, they owe you.”
Rachel nodded. “Marcus is right. They might listen to you. They barely know who the rest of us are—except for Nick, and we know Sean won’t listen to Nick.”
Jaclyn took a slow breath. “OK. I’ll do it.”
Marcus said, “Great. Just to be clear though, we’re going to call the rest of Justice Fist too, right?”
“I think we’ll have to,” Rachel said, “but any of us can do that.”
Jaclyn nodded. “Rachel and I will handle it. You and Nick have to find Evil Beatnik. The sooner we catch him, the sooner this all goes away.”