21
Apr

I felt Travis grab my arm as I stepped toward the door, and said, “Hang on!”

Jaclyn and Travis jumped with me as I gave the rockets fuel, and that was all for the best. The Rocket suit wasn’t meant to carry people. Sure, you could carry people. You could carry several people, but let’s put it this way—if a car were falling off a bridge, and I was the only chance for the people inside to survive… well… those people were likely to have a very short life.

This was bad for a whole lot of reasons, but mostly because it wasn’t at it’s best maneuvering while carrying three people, two from my right arm, one with my left. The right rockets had to compensate by putting out more force on that side just to keep us from listing to one side or the other.

This made all turns a little sluggish. If you hypothetically happened to be flying above the Hudson River while pieces of a spaceship fell from above, this was more than a little inconvenient.

The HUD said, [COLLISION ALERT].

I weaved as a particularly big chunk of the ship fell. It looked like the entire back end of the ship.

It landed in the river, making a big splash. I aimed upward, checking both Travis and Jaclyn to see how comfortable they were, and if they were having any trouble hanging on.

They seemed fine—as fine you can be while hanging by one hand from the Rocket suit and traveling across the Hudson at twilight.

Travis appeared to be watching the ship more than me. At least his eyes seemed to be pointed in that direction. With his gray mask covering most of his face it was hard to tell.

Jaclyn hung on to me, but watched Izzy, holding her close and keeping Izzy’s head from flopping around while we flew.

I wondered if her powers still worked when she was unconscious. She’d dug deep to keep the ship from sinking while we were still in it. It would be wrong if a piece of debris fell on her and killed her.

With that in mind, I decided to land as soon as I could.

Two of the piers on the New York side had grass and even trees growing on them. They appeared to have been deliberately landscaped, complete with park benches.

I aimed for there. The trees didn’t have leaves, and the grass was brown, but the HUD labeled it “Hudson River Park.” At least we wouldn’t get in trouble for landing there.

I suspected the same wouldn’t be true if we landed on the Statue of Liberty’s torch, and we could have. It wasn’t that far away. It wasn’t all that close either, but still we could have made it.

We touched down, and Jaclyn laid her out on the nearest park bench. Not as long as Izzy was tall, the bench didn’t look that comfortable to me. Izzy’s legs fell on both sides. It didn’t have a back.

I opened a comm connection to Issac Lim, and he took it immediately. “Great to hear from you. How’s Izzy doing?”

“How did you know that?” I checked the HUD. He was miles away, and none of us had time to tell him.

“Ghost,” he said. “She called in as soon as you got out. We’ll get Izzy to a hospital or to Paladin, but honestly, Paladin’s wiped out. How badly is Izzy hurt?”

Even though he couldn’t possibly see it, I shook my head. “I don’t know. I’m not even sure she is hurt. She might just be tired. If anything, I’d say that she strained her powers if that makes any sense. She kept the ship in the air, and then she collapsed.”

Lim took his time responding, long enough that I began to wonder if he’d put me on hold. Then he said, “It can happen. I’ve seen people lose their powers for a time. They usually come back, but if you’re lucky, she’s tired. We’ve got a fix on you and we’re sending someone to pick you up.”

Glancing at Jaclyn’s burned costume, the reddish spots on her face and arm where she’d been hit, I asked, “Is it over? Is anyone still fighting?”

“Give me a second,” Lim said, and asked something I couldn’t catch. “No,” he said. “No one’s fighting. All the ships are accounted for as well as the asteroids.”

I felt a surge of fear as I thought about my next question, but asked it anyway. “What about Grand Lake? Have you talked to anyone there?”

“We haven’t talked to anyone, but we know that your people took down the ship. Rocket, I’m sure they’re all fine. Man-machine came out of retirement for this one. I’d never have thought letting that guy out would be useful. Biggest collar of my career and he served less than a year. Still, he played a role in saving all of us. Anyway, I’ve got to go. I’ll talk later.”

I’d barely closed the connection when Travis turned to me and asked, “What happened in Grand Lake?”

Jaclyn looked over at me too.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I checked the League’s channel in the middle of everything, and they were shouting about needing to press a button, and then there wasn’t anything. I haven’t been able to make a connection since.”

Travis started to tap at his wrist mounted comm. After a little while, he stopped, looking up at me. “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

“We were in the middle of fighting, and we couldn’t do anything about it.”

He grunted something and started tapping again.

I wanted to help, but it was clear that we weren’t going to get anywhere by calling Haley or any of them directly. I tried to think of other options. Who could I contact that likely wasn’t affected by the electromagnetic pulse, but was near enough to know what happened.

As I thought, two figures landed on the pier with us—Sean and Vaughn. “Hey,” Vaughn shouted. “Are you all okay?”

25 Responses to “Glory: Part 1”

  1. Jim Zoetewey Says:

    Nearing the end of this major section. Hopefully, you’ll find what’s been going on in other places while we’ve been paying attention to Nick interesting.

    Anyway, feel free to vote LoN up at Top Web Fcition, and in other news, I hope to get the Kickstarter going by the end of the week.

  2. Psycho Gecko Says:

    It’s really a win-win situation, if you think about it. They saved the world from aliens AND they crashed an alien ship into some water possibly holding a bunch of deep ones.

  3. Roger Willcocks Says:

    Wha??

    “and Jaclyn layer her out”

  4. Draven Says:

    he should at least attaboy both Sean and Vaugn for all they did or tried to do, but he seems to have difficulties doing so.

  5. Dreamer Says:

    “We touched down, and Jaclyn layer her out” – “lay her out”, “laid her out”?

    I think Rocket did pretty well in this – he may criticise his performance, he’s that sort of person, but, pretty good.

    Salvaging bits of alien tech – it’ll be interesting to see if they let him get involved in that.

  6. Someguy Says:

    Its called taking “trophies” standard part of superheroing & adventuring, just make sure you do it while everyone else is busy covering up every illegal operation they are running so no one can afford to point fingers and whistleblow.

  7. Algaean Says:

    If you get to do another interlude between stories, I personally would love to hear the “Man-Machine came out of retirement for this one” story – I bet it would be epic!

  8. farmerbob1 Says:

    I agree with Algaean on this. Would love to see some back story on the Grand Lakes events leading up to Man-Machine coming out of retirement.

    Does his own grandson really trust him?

    How much is Haley actually going to trust him?

    Does he even care if they trust him?

    Does he try to get his hands on any of Nick’s new tech and get caught red-handed?

  9. Jim Zoetewey Says:

    That is actually in the works. It is, in fact, literally, the interlude I was planning.

  10. Psycho Gecko Says:

    Taking trophies is fun! Reminds me of last time I started in New Vegas. I decapitated the corpse of anyone who gave me a good fight. I guess you can say I had some respect for people who agave as good as they got.

  11. farmerbob1 Says:

    Jim,

    Can’t wait for that. The old school crotchety inventor type dealing with the younger Hero’s League members and associates should be fun.

    Will they have sense enough to ask C for help? He might be nearly blind, but the rest of his senses seem good, and with his metabolism, he’s had a LOT of subjective years to figure out different ways to cope.

    It would be amusing to discover that he could still be an active hero using other enhanced senses, but he’s too jaded to care, until something like the alien invasion pops up.

  12. Jim Zoetewey Says:

    Mind you, I’m not promising it’s from Man-machine’s perspective, but it should be interesting. Honestly, I’m not sure if C will be involved. I’ve always intended to do an interlude where he’s important though.

    Interludes with Marcus and Jaclyn will be great candidates for that.

  13. farmerbob1 Says:

    C would definitely be a strong fit for any interlude with his bloodline in it, that’s for sure.

    I’d just like to see more of the older, retired heroes (and perhaps some villains) helping to support the youngest heroes (and perhaps vilains?). There’s a lot of room for conflict both humorous and serious in there.

    Wait a second. Other than Sean and crew, who seemed borderline for a while (and still seem a bit iffy) are there and villains of the same age range as our heroes that they’ve run up against? I can’t recall any off the top of my head, other than the mind controlled ones in the Evil Beatnik arc.

  14. Jim Zoetewey Says:

    Teenage villains haven’t appeared much in the story. I think they’re all in the Evil Beatnik arc.

    Come to think of it, there were teenagers in the group that the Cabal recruited, but they were mostly used as cannon fodder.

  15. farmerbob1 Says:

    OK, my seed planting is done then. :)

  16. The Evil Twin Says:

    Didn’t Storm King fight a kid? Weather Wizard or something like that

  17. Algaean Says:

    Very cool! One of the big reasons I’d enjoy reading about Man-Machine is fairly simple – to get old in the supervillain business, you’ve got to be very, very, good. :)

    That said, I always thought Chris Cannon and Nick played off each other well! (Sadly, I expect you’re probably planning for them to eventually end up on opposite sides in a dramatic twist, a la Red Lightning and original Rocket!)

  18. farmerbob1 Says:

    I don’t think that Storm King’s opponent was a villain, I think they were a grey morality hero that just objected to Storm King’s name, or something.

  19. Algaean Says:

    Farmerbob: you’re thinking of King of Storms. :) He thought Storm King was copyright infringement or some superhero equivalent.

  20. Club Says:

    Man Machine Inc.
    Will sell PowerArmor and SuperGuns to Feds and Law Enforcement.
    Please contact the FBI for your mandatory pre-sale background check.
    A subsidiary of Grand Lake Heroic League, Inc.

  21. MadNinja Says:

    Vaughn fight King of Storms a hero from Pittsburgh in a contest Lee suggested to decide who got to keep their name. The spirits in he’s cloak told him he might get the blame if Storm King pulled a Face-Heel Turn.

  22. Tom Says:

    Superfluous comma: “when Travis turned to me, and asked,” should be, “when Travis turned to me and asked,” since asked isn’t an independent clause.

    I’ve spent the past few days reading the Legion of Nothing, and I love it. I voted for it at topwebfiction, and I’ll kick in something once you get the Kickstarter page up. Looking forward to any future installments.

  23. Jim Zoetewey Says:

    Thanks a lot. I’ll take a look at the typo, and I’m hoping to get start the Kickstarter by the end of this week or at the latest, the end of the month. I’m still working out a budget for things.

  24. an avid reader Says:

    When I read ‘three people hung on each arm’ I thought, wait, who are the *other* three people he’s carrying? Is that a typo?

  25. Jim Zoetewey Says:

    It was, and one that I thought I’d remembered to fix.

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