Intrusion: Part 2

A breeze blew across the roof, and I thought about what he’d said. “I’m not making the decisions, but I can bring it up. One thing we’d probably want is that you’d train with us at least a couple times a week. That way we can coordinate.”

Haley added, “We’ll probably have to bring it to a vote, but we know you. I don’t think anyone would be against it.”

She pursed her lips. “Don’t take this wrong, but why now? I know we’re dealing with that gang, but we’ve fought other people over the past year.”

Lucas shrugged. “I’ve been doing my residency, and I don’t know if you know how that works, but it’s crazy. I worked sixty hours a week most weeks, sometimes more. Now my residency’s over and I’m working at the hospital downtown. For the first time in years, I’ve got predictable hours again. Well, mostly predictable.”

Camille nodded as he finished. “Sixty hour weeks? That sounds awful. How were you even in Justice Fist?”

“Not easily,” he said. “I probably would have been easier on Sean if I hadn’t been so tired.”

He met my eyes. “Is he getting better? It seems like I’ve seen the two of you on TV fighting beside each other lately. Before I knew who you were, all I knew was that he really hated some kid named Nick.”

I nodded. “Yeah. I think he’s getting better. I pulled some strings and Preserver healed his sister. She was hurt fighting aliens last spring.”

“The same way you got Paladin over here when the Cabal’s soldier shot me,” he said. “They’re good friends to have.”

“I knew them long before I got involved in this stuff. Preserver knew my grandfather, and I played with Alex when he visited. They’re family friends.” There wasn’t more to say than that. Even if Alex and I weren’t much like each other, we had each other’s back. Somehow hours of play had set the stage for trust. Had my grandfather intended that?

“Family,” Lucas said, shaking his head. “I get that. My dad’s been grooming me to run the family businesses practically since I was born. I thought becoming a doctor might bother him, but it doesn’t at all. We’re big into medical equipment and pharmaceuticals these days. He thinks being a doctor will give me extra credibility.”

He grinned. “Credibility was the last thing I had in mind.”

Haley had been looking off the side of the roof. She turned her head towards us, eying Lucas with an intensity that made me wonder if she was going to change form. “Do you want to run the family business?”

He cocked his head. “More yes than no, but I’m not completely sold on it. My dad’s never away from the job. Sure, it’s made the whole family rich, but we can’t get away from it. He’s handled work crises on family vacations. Even going on vacation in Europe you wouldn’t believe how close his office feels.” He gave a lopsided grin. “Of course, we’ve got offices in Europe…”

Haley glanced at me. She probably wanted to tell me something, but I had no idea what.

Lucas looked at her and then at me, and came to a decision. “If you need my help, don’t hesitate to call me. You’ve got my number.”

“We will,” I said.

He floated upward, stopping about six feet off the ground. “And say, ‘hi’ to Vaughn. You’ll see him before I will. Oh, and tell him congratulations for being accepted into the pre-med program.”

Then he flew away, disappearing into the darkness.

Camille watched him go, but then she said, “Vaughn’s pre-med? I didn’t know that. He doesn’t seem the type.”

I glanced over at her. “What type is that?”

She frowned. “I don’t know. He’s smart, but he doesn’t seem that ambitious. And everybody knows what he was like in high school.”

“He stopped doing drugs,” I said. “Maybe he’s more ambitious than we know about. I don’t know.”

Camille grinned. “I don’t know either, but it’s late, and I still want to go to bed.”

She walked over to the access panel and opened it. Then she gave us a wave and floated downward.

That left Haley and me together on the roof. It was almost romantic. The view at least was great. Depending on the direction we looked, we could see the lights of the university’s dorm, parking garage, lecture halls, and paths on campus. Further in the distance, we could see the lights of cars and trucks on the elevated highway.

Alongside the highway, downtown’s skyscrapers glowed as did the smaller buildings near the water—restaurants, marinas and harbor buildings.

Past that, of course, we could see the darkness of Grand Lake, the lights of the few boats out on it as well as the lights that illuminated the channel between Grand Lake and the immensely larger Lake Michigan, ending in the now ornamental lighthouse.

The gravel on the flat roof in combination with blocky, metal HVAC equipment and huge fans made it feel less romantic.

“I can’t believe we’ve gotten used to this,” Haley said, staring in the direction of Grand Lake. The gravel crunched beneath her shoes.

“Got used to what?” I walked with her, hoping that she wouldn’t go too close to the edge.

“Night time meetings on the roof and being in the middle of cape fights. Gabriel, Caleb, Jeremy, and Jillian were all scared. I was too, but not much.”

“We’ve been in worse,” I said.

“I know, but it separates us. It’s not normal.” She stopped walking a good ten feet from the end. She could have balanced on the edge. She’d stopped for me.

In my pocket, my phone buzzed. I pulled it out to find that I had a message from Amy. It didn’t show the message on the face. That meant it came from the super end of my life.

Haley pulled out her phone too.

We signed into our phones to find the same message. “We go into Turkmenistan two weeks from today.”

19 thoughts on “Intrusion: Part 2”

  1. “I’ve been doing my residency…”
    In my understand a residency IS the burocratic act of going to city xxx mayor’s office and state that one live in that place at that address.
    So why tat cause hectic work hours?
    What I’m missing?

        1. At any given moment, about a third of Legion’s readers are outside the United States, so I often wonder what new idea, bit of history or strange word that I’m introducing with no warning or explanation.

          1. Well, I *can be* very pedantic and start to point all the little things that jump to me as weird/unknow but usually don’t take away my story’s enjoyment so I don’t bother wasting a comment to point.

    1. It’s also a program for beginning physicians. A “resident” at a teaching hospital is someone who’s graduated from medical school but who doesn’t yet see patients unsupervised. Residencies start in July, which is why some people advise never going to the hospital in July if it can possibly be avoided. The ones with which I’m familiar last four years, during which residents rotate throughout the various units at the hospital. This is followed by a year-long fellowship, in which new physicians focus on their chosen specialty. Only after that can they practice independently.

      And, yes, residents are expected to work grueling hours, and then are often on call after that.

  2. I’ve occasionally wondered if sneaky supervillains would find it useful to bug all the rooftops in towns…

    Meta: Yes, I’ve voted. [grin]

    Typo(s):

    “It seems like I’ve seen the two of you on TV fighting beside either lately.” – ‘either’ should be ‘each other’?

    “The gravel on the flat roof in combination blocky, metal HVAC equipment” – is the word ‘with’ missing?

    1. Thanks for noticing the typos. I think they’re fixed now.

      It would be funny if a supervillain bugged all the roofs in town. With as many superhero conversations taking place on roofs, it would blow open everybody’s secret plans and identities. On the other hand, in a city of one million people or even a few hundred thousand or more, there are so many roofs…

        1. Supervillains don’t care about your privacy. They put cameras in public restrooms. If you wear that suit under your civilian clothes, you might have to start walking funny until you can get home.

          1. “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world poop.”

  3. “was going change form”
    Needs a “to” after “going” I think. I mentioned to my wife that I hadn’t known about leaving off the trailing quote mentioned on Monday’s post, she just said “Well, yeah!”

    1. I didn’t know about it until I took a creative writing class in college (and not because this was part of a lecture). I learned it because I did it wrong and the prof told me that I had. Bearing in mind that I often read 10-15 books a month in middle school and high school, I had plenty of time to notice that before then, but somehow never did.

  4. I was the same. I suspect a majority of your readers have read so many books that we’ve internalized most of the rules for the English language without even knowing that we’re applying them. Then the occasional one slips past us like that quote mark, or an Oxford comma.

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