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?”