Chancy Connections: Part 7

I shut the van’s back doors behind me, ran around the van, onto the sidewalk and up the stairs.

This was not good for the stairs. The worn, lightly stained wood cracked on my first step. I didn’t go all the way through, but only because I noticed.

I couldn’t say it surprised me. Four hundred pounds in combination between the suit and myself, plus the ability to create tons of force meant that I lived in a world made of cardboard.

I took the next few steps a little slower, hearing Daniel’s voice in my head. Don’t worry about it. He’s waiting for us.

That didn’t make me feel much better, but at least I could go up the stairs without worrying that I’d step through them.

When I arrived on the third floor I stepped into the hall, noticing a sign on the frosted glass door across the hall on my right. Unsurprisingly, it said, “Chancy Connections, Shipping Consultants.”

To judge from the style of the door’s metal frame, I guessed that this place had last been renovated sometime in the 60’s or 70’s.

It was a small office. It held no furniture except for one large, wooden desk and several chairs, four of them lined up against the wall.

A small, balding man stood behind the desk. I couldn’t place his age, but he looked older than fifty. He wore a brown suit, and watched us warily, only moving his eyes as I entered.

I stopped directly behind Haley, and next to Daniel. Izzy stood on Daniel’s other side.

The man nodded at me, and said, “I trust that’s all of you.”

“If it’s not,” Daniel said, “we’ll be as surprised as you.”

Giving a thin, and very brief smile, the man said, “As I’m sure you know, I’m Chancy Harris, the man you talk to if you want your possessions to disappear without a trace. What I’m wondering is where you heard about me. Did the first League tell you about me, or did you find me on your own?”

I felt Daniel touch my mind then, and distantly felt Izzy and Haley’s.

Don’t tell him. He’s fishing.

Not planning to, I thought back.

Haley spoke before anyone else had the chance to reply. “Did you help the first League against the Abominators?”

My heart beat faster, and I felt Daniel’s alarm, and less closely Izzy’s. Whatever Haley felt was washed away by everyone else.

Except she thought Relax fairly loudly as Chancy said, “Once, and it was a bitch. I had to teleport them onto a battleship from here. Compensating for differences in speed and direction is always a pain. With that much of a difference, I was down for a day. I could get them up there, but I couldn’t get them down.”

“Where was the jet?” I asked.

Haley turned her head back toward me. “Damaged in another battle on the same day.”

“That was it,” Chancy said. “So what are you here for? Is this about St. Louis?”

That was an amazing connection to make.

“Kinda,” Haley said. “Is there a connection to St. Louis?”

Outwardly he seemed calm as he said, “There’s no connection. I do some work for aliens. Some come here because they can guarantee that no one will bother them here.”

Haley’s thought passed over through Daniel’s connection. His heart rate just increased. He’s worried. Even if he doesn’t think there’s a connection, he knows something.

I thought, How did you know he’d helped the League?

I felt a sense of amusement, and maybe a little pride. I didn’t, but my Grandpa mentioned a teleporter near Chicago who helped them. When Chancy mentioned the first League, I guessed it might be him.

In a tone that I can only describe as calm and sympathetic, she said, “I can hear your heart beat faster. What do you know?”

Chancy glanced down toward his desk, and I tensed—that could have meant anything.

“I can’t talk about it,” he said. “That’s part of what I sell—privacy. I make my clients’ possessions disappear. I arrange that anything they order gets to them without leaving a trail that puts them in danger.”

“I understand that,” Daniel said, “but do you think it’s right to put your client’s need for privacy above our need to find out what’s going on? We think that the aliens responsible for what happened in St. Louis landed within the last year, and we’ve tracked down one of the groups that landed, and it’s connected to you somehow. If you’re helping the beings that decided to destroy St. Louis, you’re putting everyone at risk. If you’re not, well, then you’ll help us cross a name off our list, okay?”

Chancy held his hand to his chin, and said, “No. I can’t do it. I said I wouldn’t, and I’m sure they’re not responsible.”

Izzy spoke for the first time, her voice full of restrained emotion. “This is bigger than your reputation. They didn’t report it in the news, but the St. Louis explosion included weapons with ability to destroy life, but leave our possessions behind. It was a test run for human extinction. Genocide. Can you let that happen because you assume your clients aren’t guilty?”

That got him. He looked at each of our faces in turn, searching for confirmation, maybe?

“It’s true,” Daniel said. “They kept it out of the news so people wouldn’t freak out.”

Chancy picked his phone up, and made a call, muttering into the phone. After a moment, he said, “They’ll see you.”

10 thoughts on “Chancy Connections: Part 7”

  1. And now, to bed.

    If you feel the urge, please vote for Legion on Top Web Fiction…

    On different note, I was amused to notice that Legion got its highest ever page views last week for some reason. Thanks for whatever role you may have played in that.

    1. I’m very much aware of Worm. You’ll find comments of mine if you read the comments section–not under every post though. In fact, under very few, but I’m still reading.

  2. Perhaps the connection between number of readers and time is Worm. It points right to here and last week it passed 30 000 viewers.

    Anyway, of course now I am waiting to see where this cliffhanger of a sort leads.

  3. Warning! Wall of Text follows!

    I have been reading both Worm and Descendants recently, and they have made me appreciate all the more the gem that Legion of Nothing is. While neither of these two series are poorly-written by any means, they both reflect cup-half-empty worlds (maybe even completely empty in case of Worm; the disasters follow one after the other and the only hero that seems genuinely heroic is the Dragon, which is sort-of geased into it).

    LoN, on the other hand, has overarching plots that threaten the Earth and worldwide villain organizations, but there’s still plenty of cause for hope, and the protagonists do have emotional support, families, relationships, social lives; in short, even though they fight the good fight, they have believable reasons not to go postal while fighting the good fight. Also, the breather episodes with the old League (and more recently Larry’s misadventures) help to keep some of that Silver Age-y larger than life feel.

    TL;DR: Thanks for LoN, Jim, and keep up this perfect balance between plot and pulp.

  4. Worm helps somewhat for pointing readers, I know that much, but it’s not the sole thing to do so. Still, who knows what other fascinating and darkly/grossly humorous stories you may find linked to from Worm and/or Legion of Nothing.

    I know TV tropes helps direct people here, as that’s how I found this place way back when.

    As for this? Looks like some alien trader just pissed off the wrong space teamsters. Those aliens better not be from a high gravity world, because it’s time to build one of them half dozen cement shoes…one for each foot.

  5. Random Thought: IIRC, Ghostwoman was mentioned offhand as the one person the rest of the old League were scared shitless of, it that’s true, did the rest of the old League think that the Original Rocket had balls of adamantium and redemptive genitalia for getting her to switch sides in WW2?

  6. Someguy: If you reread “1953” you’ll find that Haley’s grandfather never quite trusted her while Giles (Red Lightning) did. I’m not going to say too much more since I may want to tell that story at some point.

    PG/Eduardo: Worm helps a lot. It alternates with Top Web Fiction as to which refers the most people. TV Tropes is also up there.

    Rain: I’m definitely of the opinion the more people, the better.

    Amaral: One of my guidelines for LoN is that no matter how crazy the superhero aspect of LoN, it should still feel like the time of life in late high school, college and early in a person’s first job where you’re going into the world on your own, but simultaneously also the period in which some of your first serious relationships happen, grandparents or even parents die, and friends are both there and disappearing.

    It makes for a different feel to things than Worm because Worm probably has a different focus in that area, and also because I suspect Wildbow enjoys horror stories more than I do, making Worm a bit darker than Legion.

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