“Metahumans,” I said, “but not metahumans that you’ve seen yet.”
“Or that anybody has,” Marcus said. “Whether they’re metahuman or plain, vanilla human, human, they’re good. I’m thinking that they’ve got to be training all the time. Well, I’m mostly thinking that because Gerald Cannon—Man-machine himself—said they had to be.”
I nodded. “Cannon ought to know. I’m sure he ran a few heists. I got the impression though that he was more about showing my grandfather up than actually stealing things.”
“But he still stole.” Marcus grinned. “You know what this is like?”
I waited, guessing he was about to tell me.
I wasn’t disappointed. Marcus didn’t pause for more than a couple seconds. “These guys sound a lot like something that would be on Arrow. They’re always having mysterious groups of guys show up and steal stuff with military precision.”
“I haven’t watched it,” I said.
Marcus cocked his head. “Seriously? Have you at least watched Flash?”
I shook my head. “I’ve been busy. Between training, redesigning the Rocket suit, and last spring’s alien invasion, I’ve barely had time to think.”
Staring, Marcus said, “We live in an age where you can watch Gorilla Grodd on TV. Seriously. You can watch an evil, telepathic gorilla on a network TV show.”
I thought about that. “You know, I bet you could meet a real telepathic gorilla in real life.”
Marcus frowned. “That’s not the point. The point is that we’re finally seeing real versions of great comic book characters on TV. That and—“
My phone rang. I’d worked out a way to get a good signal in League headquarters last year. I checked who was calling, and immediately took the call.
Haley’s voice came over the phone. “Nick. Did you see that email Marcus sent?”
Thinking that she sounded more alarmed than I’d have expected, I said, “Sure. Why?”
“It links to videos of everything that happened at the compound.” The words came out of her mouth all at once.
She paused for breath. I said, “Right.”
“Look on the YouTube video he linked to. Do you see the videos along the side? Scroll down to the one with a picture of a super who’s not in the program. If he’s speaking to a crowd, that’s the right one.”
“The one with… Kid Biohack?” I stared at the screen. The guy in the picture wore a bluish-purple costume spiderwebbed with thin silvery veins that sparkled. His mask covered his face except for his mouth and the top of his head, leaving his blond hair to spill over the top.
“Him,” Haley said. “He’s going to cause a lot of trouble.”
“Really? Why? Is he in the program? Wait, is he part of the Coffeeshop Illuminati? Because that would connect him to Adam, and that would be trouble.”
Adam had been the guy who brought in the dragon after all.
Haley sighed. “No. You don’t know who he is, do you?”
“Should I know who he is?”
“Well,” Haley began, “I thought you might because you recognize a lot of superheroes, but he’s more famous for his Youtube channel.”
Marcus had been looking from me to the screen as I talked with Haley. Then he fixed me with a look and said, “Are you talking about Kid Biohack? That guy… Too many girls I know think he’s amazing. I don’t know why. He’s not that funny and his costume looks like a Transformer threw up on it.”
That didn’t stop Marcus from clicking on Kid Biohack’s name, getting to his page. He had more than seven million subscribers.
“Oh,” I said. “That’s a lot of fans.”
Haley said, “Listen to the video with the crowd.”
I told Marcus, and he clicked on the video. We were treated (if that was the right word) to a minute of blurry security camera footage showing Kid Biohack taking down three men who were trying to rob a bank.
Despite the picture being black and white, it was obvious that Kid Biohack could fight better than the bank’s would be robbers. He dodged under guns, kicked out knees, and kept up a running commentary.
The tapes didn’t have an audio track, but it was obvious that his mouth was moving. I decided to assume that he was trying to be disrespectfully funny.
When the last robber fell, the picture changed to a reporter interviewing Kid Biohack in front of a crowd of cheering people. More of them appeared to be teens and twenty-somethings than I thought was normal, and a couple people were wearing Kid Biohack—t-shirts.
Near the end of the video, as the reporter began to pull the microphone away, Kid Biohack said, “I have an announcement! Please give me just one second. Citizens of Los Angeles, my time among you has come to an end. I’ve loved every minute of being here, but it’s time to take the next step. I’ve decided to go to Grand Lake, Michigan and join the Heroes’ League. The next time you’ll hear from me, I’ll be in the same city as the Rocket, the Mystic, Night Girl, Captain Commando, and the rest.
“Thank you again, everyone. I love you all!”
Then he raised his hands in the air and the crowd cheered.
“Huh,” I said. “I wonder if there’s some way we can let him down easily?” Then another thought occurred to me. “Is this going to become a thing?”
Marcus laughed. “Night Girl?”
Over the phone, Haley said, “I hope we’re not planning to let him in. Seriously, how hard can it be to get my name right?”