Gathering: Part 4

It was finished last night around 1 am, but I thought I’d wait until this morning to post it. I didn’t particularly trust my judgment at that point.

This morning came and I had a business meeting, issues related to three or four different clients, research to do on a programming problem, and before I knew it it was 8 pm… And I still hadn’t eaten supper.

There you have it, that’s how updates get posted almost 24 hours after they get finished. 

“So,” I said, “we might as well get started. I think we’ve got chairs for everyone.”

I sat down at the table and pulled up a few things on the monitor in front of me—the photos, the contact list I’d retrieved from the SIM card.

By the time I looked up, everyone had taken a seat around the table. Daniel sat on the end and then Cassie to the left of me. Travis and Haley were across the table. Marcus sat at the far end and Jaclyn to my right.  We still had room for Vaughn if by some miracle he actually showed.

For a moment I felt a little thrill to see the seats filled and wondered what it had been like for the original League. Less cluttered by piles of cardboard boxes, trophies, and momentos of course, but it was still a group of people around a table. It felt good to imagine that we might be like them.

I stood up and began to describe the how Vaughn and I had been almost kidnapped by the guys in the sports car and then attacked by the men in the Escalade. I started a slideshow of  the scanned copies of the photos Vaughn had found. They cycled through on the big screen on the wall, giving each picture a long enough appearance that each person could be recognized.

Then I showed people the contact list.

“I’m still going through this,” I said. “Right now all I know is that there are a few more numbers with Chicago area codes than anywhere else.  I’m sure I could have found out more, but I also had homework to finish. I’m hoping to learn a little more this weekend. And if you want to help, I’m open.”

Travis raised his hand, “Didn’t the League used to have connections with the FBI’s Superhuman Affairs Department? That list sounds like the kind of thing they’d handle.”

“It does,” I agreed, “but I’ve got no idea how to contact them or anything.”

“I’d try the phone book,” Travis said. Haley and Marcus laughed a little.

“Good point,” I said, “though Daniel and I were talking about passing it to his father if I couldn’t find anything useful.”

Travis nodded. “That’s right. He’s a lawyer.”

“He’s a prosecutor,” Daniel said.

“Anyway,” I said, “that’s longer term. Shorter term I’m more worried about us. They’ve got our pictures and they might know our names.”

I pulled a box out from under the table. It contained rings, necklaces and watches.

“Take one you like,” I said, passing the box to Jaclyn. “They’re homing signals my grandfather made. They probably belong in a museum, but they work.”

Jaclyn sorted through the box. “I’m sure your grandfather was a great inventor, but his taste in jewelry—oh God. Look at this…” She pulled out a big silver medallion shaped like a peace symbol. “What were they doing? Infiltrating a group of hippies?”

Eventually she picked a gold ring and passed the box to Marcus.

When everyone had pulled out something, I closed the box and put it back under the table.

Cassie took over from there, talking about how important it was for us to practice fighting together just in case we had to operate as a group.

I didn’t listen. I pretended I was listening, but I had other things on my mind. I didn’t know if Travis had thought it all the way through, but if he had, he was right. We shouldn’t be handling this ourselves. We should have been storming Daniel’s dad’s office and asking for advice.

Or honestly, just finding someone who actually knew what they were doing and handing it all over to them. Like Guardian over in Chicago if we had to… Or Larry. He’s not much of a detective, but he has at least been living this life for twenty years.

What got me as I sat there was how few options we had. Telling the police would mean revealing our grandparents’ secret identities and Daniel’s dad’s along the way. Not to mention opening up our families to revenge by who knows how many people.

Handing it over to a group of experienced heroes wouldn’t take us out of danger either—even if I could persuade Daniel and Cassie that it was a good idea.

They had some kind of drive to revive the League, a drive that I somehow didn’t receive as part of my inheritance.

However much Daniel might want this to feel real, I still felt like I was just pretending.

One thought on “Gathering: Part 4”

  1. I really feel for these kids, and for Nick especially. Caught between the glory, the thrill, and the burden, and the danger of superhero work.

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