Spin: Part 7

Then Travis turned his attention back to Daniel’s dad. “OK, you said that your dad, the Mentalist saw this coming. What did he see?”

Quickly shaking his head, Mindstryke said, “It’s not exactly like that. For my dad, Daniel, and I, precognition comes without a lot of control at first. Seconds in the future are easiest. Everything else comes unasked for, but over time you become better at directing it. The problem is that there isn’t just one future, there’s an infinite number. Some of the differences aren’t much, but they’re there.

“My dad got to the point that he could see futures as collections of connected events, and even look for specific outcomes. He gave us patterns of events we should look for and a few spots where we can intervene. Mostly though, we can’t. We guess it’s because you’ll become too reliant on us, and unprepared when you need to handle things yourselves.

“And that leads us to today. We were going to wait on handing over direct control to you, but we can’t. You’ve just gotten too much attention. As of now, the League’s business issues need you to have the power to make decisions. We won’t have time to handle it. The staff doesn’t have the authority.”

“The staff?” Travis sounded confused. “The only staff I know about is Kayla.”

Mindstryke nodded. “We’ve deliberately kept you out of it. The League’s got a fairly typical structure–a for profit corporation that manages the League’s business interests like merchandising
and the Rocket’s patents. It’s also got a non-profit foundation that pays for keeping up the base and your salaries if you decide to do this for a living.”

Travis listened, keeping his eyes on the board. Then he said, “I’m majoring in business, and I don’t think I’m qualified to run something like that. I bet most of us don’t even care. I’m sure you’ve got a reason you want us to do this, but the business might be better off without us.”

Mindstryke laughed. “You’ve got a point, but it’s not exactly like that. We’ve got an experienced team handling the day to day. You’re not going to have to learn about toy sales and patent law unless you want to. Especially in the beginning,the staff’s going to make it easy for you. Their job is to make money for the League. You need to keep them informed of anything that will make that harder.”

Travis’ eyes narrowed. “Seriously? That sounds too easy.”

“He’s right,” Haley whispered to me. “The business never leaves Dad alone.”

“I don’t know,” Vaughn said, “it sounds a little like my family’s trust fund–except that’s less work.”

“Believe me,” Flick said, her southern accent obvious, “it won’t stay easy. I think you’ll hear more than you want to about the business all too soon. Be grateful we’re pretending it will be easy.”

“Ok,” Travis said, “I can live with that. So what’s next?”

“Next,” Mindstryke said, pulling out papers from a briefcase I hadn’t noticed he’d brought, “we sign contracts about rights to use your image to make money for the League. The League’s product line is based on nostalgia for the old League. With this, the business can start promoting products based on the current membership.”

Izzy had sat next to Cassie and Jaclyn. “Excuse me, but I’m not sure why I’m here then. I’m not part of the League. My grandfather…”

Her voice trailed off.

We all waited for her to continue, but when she didn’t, Camille said, “Sydney and I don’t belong here either, and for the same reason, but a different grandfather.”

Not giving anyone time to argue, Mindstryke said, “You do belong here. You’re friends with the League already or you wouldn’t have been invited to St. Louis, but there’s more to it than that. The League needs to grow. It can’t stay League descendants only. Even if you’re descended from a super villain, it only matters what you decide to do.”

Izzy didn’t stand up and leave, and that counted for something.

Camille and Sydney stayed too.

From then out, it turned into a long session in which Mindstryke described the legal meaning of a piece of paper, and then we signed it.

It left me wondering how a morning that had been so terrifying had turned so boring. By the end of the next hour, we’d officially become members of a newly revived Heroes League, and given the League’s corporation the ability do what it needed to promote and sell our images.

After we’d signed the last piece of paper, Mindstryke said, “Before you go, I need to tell you this. You should spend a little time thinking about people you know who have powers, and asking if you trust them. If you do, you might consider inviting them to join. Your best chances to survive come in larger groups. I can’t say why yet.”

With that, it was over. I’d expected to spend the rest of the morning dropping people off, but that’s not what happened.

Cassie’s mom started talking to her–except talking included hugging her and crying a little because Cassie had survived St. Louis. Travis started asking Mindstryke more about the League’s business arm. The rest of the League started talking among themselves or with board members…

It wasn’t chaos, but it was noisy.

In the middle of that, I heard my mom say, “Nick? Rachel? Could we talk somewhere quiet?”

18 thoughts on “Spin: Part 7”

  1. Sydney and I don’t belong her either

    here

    You’re friends with the League already or you wouldn’t have been invited to St. Louis. There’s more to it than that.

    I think “St. Louis, but there’s” would work better.

  2. Ah yes…contracts…legalese…to quote Shakespeare “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

    Of course, all those words do mean something and it’s for the best he was actually explaining what’s going on. The person issuing the contract is always considered legally to have a better understanding of the contract, so the person signing it had better read up. Don’t worry, there are some things in place informally to keep ambiguous language from being used to screw the person who signed. The courts tend to interpret ambiguity or vagueness tot he benefit of the less-informed party.

    Still, I doubt that’s the kind of screwed-over they’re going to be in all this. Now they’re going to be in the public eye. There’s copyright issues and trademarks and toys. I think it’s time to revisit our old friends in the porno industry for a lawsuit over use of their image, though that is really not going to make them any friends on the internet.

  3. This is turning into Justice League Unlimited…
    First the original six (or however many there were) then they invite EVERYONE WITH POWERS!!! 🙂

  4. Of course, my mind is already racing with the possibilities of who would be in an expanded League. But first, some meta….

    Typo: “the ability do what it needed to to promote and sell our images” — misplaced ‘to’

    Authorial thought: Wow, Jim, you’re really setting yourself up for some fantastic writing opportunities, and also the potential for major writing headaches. The more characters with powers, the more options you have for storytelling, but you also have that many more characters to juggle for time and attention and balance and not alienating readers because their favourite character isn’t feature enough in this or that arc, or whatever. They’ve branched out to a half-dozen or more X-books to handle all the characters, and even manufactured a reality-shattering crisis to kill almost all the mutants, and despite some very solid attempts, the Legion of Superheroes up in the 31st century has always been bogged down by too many characters — with some great storytelling, but still suffering from the golly-gee-whiz effect. I’ll be very interested to see where you go with this.

    And now, on with the fanboy list! Who else do I want to see as part of the League?

    1. Chris Cannon!!!!!!! (And please, despite how stupid it would be, have him call himself Cannon, instead of Machine Man. Please? It’s too cool a name not to use.)

    2. Tara

    3. What’s-his-dude, the fanboy who goes all rocky on Juice.

    5. Red Lightning — dunno why, but I really like that guy. Just a stand-up kinda guy, I guess.

    4. The “Young Defenders” — Nick’s friends out in Calfornia, with the teleporter, and the healer, and Flame Legion.

    Those are the ones I can think of write now. Oh, and maybe Technomancer’s kid, (I think that’s what his name was). But he’s really too young.

    Hg

  5. Also given the League’s corporation the ability do what it needed to to promote and sell our images. Just one to is needed.

  6. So will the marketing dept get to pick Izzy’s name?

    Well, nick, what do you say? For the salvation of the group, are you willing to invite all of Justice Fist to join? including …..

    Oh and didn’t we just have some people under 18 sign without their parents present?

  7. The problem is that for each person from Justice First invited there is potential for trouble with the ones not invited.
    Ad money to this and a way of living in an interesting job with no fixed hours and we have more incentive for people to fight to be in.

  8. JN/Hg/Jeff: Thanks for noticing the typos. Due to thunderstorms, I ended up writing most of this one on my iPad mini (surge protectors don’t protect computers as well as yanking plugs out of the wall). This worked better than I expected it would, but still wasn’t as easy as it might have been. I need to buy a keyboard if I want to write that way more often.

    Roger/MadNinja: Near the end of the fight with the Executioner(s), Nick’s mother allowed her hands and legs to fade out of the ropes that held her to the chair. it was speculated that the block no longer affected her, but she hasn’t wanted to talk about it.

    PG: You know, the pornography people are making about them probably should appear again.

    Garth: Not anywhere near as big as Justice League Unlimited though.

    Hg: There are some people (on that list) who will definitely be part of it. I’m not saying who… That said, I don’t have a final list in my head. It’s fairly open for the moment.

    As for the potential size and character use issues… Yeah, that could be a challenge. The key point to my mind is to remember that this is Nick’s story at core. As long as I keep the focus there, I’m going to cover all the most important issues.

    Notto: Exactly which former members of Justice Fist get to join will be an object of discussion. As for the “under 18” issue. I didn’t want to deal with that in this post. It will probably appear in the near future, or alternately, when needed. But the basic answer, is no, they didn’t. Those under 18 will have to wait to be officially part of the League on an organizational level.

    Eduardo: Yeah. There will be no shortage of possible relationship oriented side effects.

  9. Well, they’re really organized now. This feels like a recognition that they’ve well and truely brought the League back. Now, they are the League.
    They just need to save the world from some sort of doom and they’ll have lived up to their grandparent’s legend. Don’t worry, a doom seems to be coming.

  10. Definitely would like to see Chris Cannon joining, if only to rekindle the Nick/Chris shipping…

    As to his superhero name, I feel compelled to suggest a compromise between sticking to tradition and Hg’s suggestion:
    Man-Cannon.
    Just think of the merchandising potential! Like Man-Cannon banana hammocks, and unspecific products sold in discreet boutiques to lonely ladies (and to a statistically speaking lesser extent, gentlemen)!

  11. Well, Sean’s going to get to join. It’s inevitable now.
    (He’ll cause more trouble if they don’t get him to join up.)

Leave a Reply