“Go ahead,” I said. “We’re not saving space for anybody.”
Even if we had been, there were plenty of spaces on either side of us. Gordon sat down.
He’d loaded his tray down with breakfast food–french toast, eggs, sausages, bacon, hash browns, fruit salad and a chunk of beef.
Evidently he was one of those supers who needed more food than average.
“Great job, by the way,” he said. “I watched yesterday’s fight. After all of that running, you still took them down practically before the fight began. I want to say I could have done the same, but those Cabal students put an wrench into things. I’m an aerokinetic like my younger brother, and you’d think I could throw them into the air and keep them there, but if they ever touch and push off each other all bets are off.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I was a little worried you might be angry or something.”
“At you?” Gordon clapped me on the back. “Don’t worry about it. Gifford needs to learn some humility. He’s been talking and talking about this with his friends. I think he expected to be ruling the roost by now.”
I didn’t know what to say to that, so I didn’t say anything. Gordon didn’t need any encouragement to keep talking though.
“Besides, it’s better that Gifford learns he can lose here than during a fight. Even better that he learns that someone with no powers at all can take him out.”
I wasn’t sure I liked how he’d said that, but I couldn’t put my finger on why, and he’d already started talking again.
“I’m not saying you’re not tough, but you’re only really a threat when you’re in that armor. Gifford needs to learn that technology makes up for a lot–even regular technology, and you’re far ahead of that.”
“He’s got more going for him than technology,” Haley said. “He’s been training with Gunther for years.”
She could have added that I’d also been trained in tactics by an alien battle simulation AI, but I was grateful she hadn’t. It was probably best that people didn’t know about that.
“That counts for a lot, I’m sure,” he said. “And you are?”
“Haley,” she said. “And also Night Cat.”
“Oh,” he said, glancing at me, and probably remembering that Night Cat and the Rocket were together. “Interesting, I should have guessed you’d be here, but your class is enormous. With all the kids whose powers were activated by Nick’s grandfather’s machine, one more person–even if they’re a Heroes League member–gets lost in the shuffle.”
“I know,” Haley said. “I still haven’t even met your brother.”
Gordon nodded. “I believe you.” Looking across the table toward Camille, he said, “I know I haven’t seen you before.”
She grinned at him. “I’ve seen you. You were guiding groups upstairs when I came in. I’m Camille. When I work with the Heroes League, I use Gravitystar. I used to be in a group some friends started called Justice Fist.”
“Justice Fist?” Gordon shook his head. “It sounds familiar, but I don’t remember the group.”
Camille waved it past with one hand. “Don’t worry about it. We weren’t together very long.”
With that, we all settled into eating.
After a minute of that Camille asked, “Are you and Gifford descended from anyone we’ve heard of?”
Gordon finished chewing his sausage, and said, “That depends. Have you ever heard of Moonglider?”
“No kidding?” I stopped eating, thinking back to what I knew of that hero. “I didn’t know he had powers. I always assumed he used some kind of anti-gravity technology, or, I don’t know, really good glider technology. Knowing that he was an aerokinetic explains things. He was a lot weaker than either of you, right?”
Gordon nodded. “He could keep himself in the air, and direct his glider suit, but not much else. He used weapons to fight, not air. I’m surprised you’ve heard of him. He was only active for about ten years, and stopped when I was born.”
I shrugged. “It’s not too big a surprise. I saw plans with his name on them in Grandpa’s files. He must have designed some of your father’s devices. If he didn’t, Moonglider at least asked Grandpa for a quote.”
Gordon nodded slowly. “That explains it. Dad made his own suit, but he wasn’t really an inventor. I had no idea where his devices came from. It makes sense that some of them are Rocket tech. Do you want to see them sometime? A few of them need to be fixed.”
“Is that going to be okay with your dad? If he’s not doing this anymore, he might want to leave his stuff the way it was during his last fight or something.”
Gordon shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. My dad’s dead. He got hit by a car and died a few years ago.”
Camille said, “I’m sorry to hear that,” before I managed to get anything out. I did add, “Me too,” before he said, “Thanks. We all miss him. Gifford and I are hoping to do right by him in the program.”
He looked us over. “What do you think about Turkmenistan? With everything they’ve been doing against their own people lately, I think someone ought to go in and take out the regime.”