“Doing about it?” Jaclyn said. “We were working on a plan to stop them, but we can go to the riot.”
The Marvelous X shook his head. “Please don’t. We’ve reason to believe a villain named Evil Beatnik is involved. You’ve likely never heard of him because he hasn’t been seen in years, but he can influence young people. We’ve organized a number of heroes that are too old for him to control. They’ll take care of him soon enough.”
“You’re sure about that?”
He frowned. “Do you know something we don’t?”
“Nothing, I’m sure. It seems like he’s got a lot of people working for him.”
“Yes, but he always does. Once our people immobilize his followers we’ll release his identity to the world, and he’ll disappear again.”
He seemed to be following the same plan the original League used. He’d probably been active back when they were using it, so no surprise.
He signed off, and I turned off the phone program’s display.
Minimizing the call transcript, I opened up a window to News 10’s website. They were covering the riot. From the pictures coming across the screen, riot seemed like an overstatement. Maybe to the Marvelous X it seemed like a riot, but he was old.
The picture showed Riverside Park, a park that ran alongside the Black River. The Ice Twins, Mr. Madness, and Dixie Supergirl stood on a hill, shouting toward the crowd. Filling the lawn between Grand Lake University buildings and the water, it reminded me more of a rock concert than anything else.
Destruction Boy lay on the ground halfway up the hill. Bongo Boy sat near him, playing his drums.
Two monkeys chased each other, jumping over Destruction Boy, and dancing in front of the bongos.
Evil Beatnik and Mr. Beacham’s girlfriend (whose name I was beginning to think might be Amy) stood at the bottom of the hill.
The crowd wasn’t burning anything, but were shouting on cue, many red-faced and shaking their fists.
So maybe it wasn’t really a riot, but it looked like it might become one soon.
I kept the sound off, but it didn’t matter. News 10 was reporting from the helicopter.
Vaughn watched the screen like the rest of us. “So, are we waiting for the MHA guys to arrive before going in? I’m sure they won’t be able to stop us once they get into the middle of things.”
“No, I was thinking we’d actually listen to him.” Jaclyn raised an eyebrow as she talked.
Kayla nodded. “It sounds like they can handle it without you.”
“Are you kidding?” Vaughn asked. “They’ll need people for crowd control at the very least, and that’s without considering Dixie Supergirl and the rest. Bet you twenty bucks, somebody’ll get thrown through a wall.”
“I’m not taking that bet,” Jaclyn said.
Meanwhile, Rachel stared at the screen. “Okay,” she said. “There are even more monkeys now. What’s going on with that?”
She pointed, and I noticed a few more riding on the shoulders of people in the crowd.
Vaughn laughed. “Oh man, that is weird. Beware the Monkeypocalypse!”
Marcus shook his head. “It’s in the reports.”
“I didn’t read all the reports,” Vaughn said.
“Neither did I, but this was in one of the last ones. Either Bongo Boy’s drums summon monkeys, or he’s the mortal son of a monkey god. The original League never knew for sure.”
“Great,” Rachel said. “Either way he’s got mystical monkey control powers. Jaclyn, we’re going to need to at least think about what we’ll do if we have to go in.”
“How are we going to do that without joining him?” Jaclyn asked.
I didn’t know, and I didn’t say anything, but we had to act.
What could we do from a distance, and still stay out of range? I knew he had a range (whatever it was). I suspected that it grew with the amount of chaos and disorder around him. If so, he’d gained power when Dixie Supergirl trashed the county jail.
And what was he planning to do with the crowd? He couldn’t have gathered that many people for fun.
Movement on the screen pulled me out of my thoughts. The News 10 Choppercam stopped pointing at the people, and pointed into the air. Floating toward them, I saw most of Justice Fist, all in street clothes.
I half expected them to attack, but they didn’t. They landed in the front, and started shouting with the rest of the crowd.
“The Michigan Heroes Alliance is screwed,” Rachel said, pointing at them. “There’s Julie. She’s not limited to controlling people under thirty.”