A Day in The Life: Part 10

Railgun turned away from the screen to look at me. “I don’t know if should say this, but all of Justice Fist was descended from Red Lightning’s followers. We’re not them and we don’t have to make their choices.”

“Um-hmm,” I said. “I’m impressed that the Heroes’ League knew that and took you in. Not every team would have done that, and especially not teenagers. Do you know why?”

She frowned, thinking. “Some of us knew each other and liked each other before we knew we had powers, but I think it must have been fighting the Cabal. They joined up with Syndicate L and the Executioners to attack all of us. We worked together with the League to fight them. After that they invited us over when they’d get together to watch a movie or play video games, so we all got to know each other. That was it.”

I looked up at the giant wall screen. At the moment, it displayed windows of all the local news stations plus the major cable news networks. “You watch movies on the big screen?”

Storm King grinned. “And play video games. It’s like having your own movie theater.”

Blue glanced over at it and back to me. “Everyone’s invited. I try to make it when I can. I don’t know who decided to do it or why, but it’s a good idea. We all know each other now, and we see each other for who we are, not who our parents or grandparents were. I’m descended from Dixie Superman. He was a racist. You know that. Everyone knows that. Here, I get to be myself, and we’re stronger for it.”

“Exactly,” Storm King said. “I spent so much time thinking about Red Lightning and worrying about if people would see me as just another version of him, but it didn’t happen. The League sees me as me. The haters can go f—k themselves, right?”

Gravity Star laughed. Railgun turned to peer at Storm King. “Wasn’t that the kind of thing we weren’t supposed to say in front of the reporter?”

“Don’t worry about it,” I told her. “Our readers have seen worse. You should have read my interview with Officer EXXXtreme. That man has a mouth. Besides, the magazine won’t print the word. They’ll leave enough that people will know what he said, but they won’t print it.”

Railgun frowned and her nose crinkled. “I don’t think that makes us look good.”

Blue glanced over at Railgun. “It’s not a big deal,” and then at me. “I’ve got another question. We were told that you had powers and the Mystic told me you were in the army. How is it you became a reporter instead of joining up with a Defenders unit?”

I raised an eyebrow. “Why? Are you looking for a job?”

She shook her head. “Not now, but everyone knows about the Stapledon program since the Hrrnna attacked. I’m in college and I know I’ll be serving after college, but I’ll need to get a normal job someday.”

I remembered being that young. I’d seen less than she had at the same age, but I remembered the endless, yawning possibility of what lay ahead. “I don’t know if my story will help you, but here it is. I was normal until college, but I got mugged one night, and it changed my life. I don’t know why it happened then, but my body must have been waiting for the right combination of fear and anger, and when I fought back I nearly killed the man.”

I could still see his eyes widen as I threw him into a brick wall and hear the crack of his bones breaking. The surgeons only barely saved him.

Talking over the memory, I told them, “The military recruited me straight out of school. I graduated, but I didn’t even think about a civilian job then. I was too busy learning how not to break everything around me. When I got out, I started a journalism masters because I didn’t know what to do next as much as because I was interested. I got lucky though. One of my friends got hired by Superhumans Today. He told them about me and I left school to work there.”

I shrugged. “That’s all.”

Blue nodded. “Why journalism instead of the Defenders? I’m sure there are teams who would take you?”

I shook my head. “You don’t want me for police work. I could hire myself out to demolish buildings or sink ships, but not if you care about anything nearby. I’m safe in normal life, but once I start using my powers, stay away.”

Before she could ask another question, I added, “I can do more as a powered journalist than one more superhero. Supers need people to understand their struggles, and they’ll make time for a powered journalist.”

Blue eyed me, probably thinking of more questions. If she went into journalism, she should try investigative even if she didn’t stay there.

She didn’t get to ask me more questions—at least not then. Railgun turned away from the screen to talk to us. “They’re on TV. Look at this!”

All the stations on the giant screen showed a grayish-brown feathered dinosaur seated in a busy room. Screens and consoles hung on the walls and other dinosaurs stood in front of them or bustled around the room.

A mustached man in combat fatigues and a red beret stood next to the dinosaur.

Railgun tapped one of the stations with her mouse pointer and it expanded to fill the screen. As it did, the sound filled the room, amplifying a deep, croaking voice in the middle of a speech.

“—of Earth, you can’t defend yourselves against us. Your governments are joining us as I speak. Your powered fighters fall when they face the might of our soldiers. Our empire spans multiple universes, an infinite army bounded only by our ambition, and our ambition is vast. Even now, our soldiers fight in your capitals. Your leaders will soon be in our power.”

“Surrender.”

Railgun stared at her screen. “Agent Lim sent us a message. The president is in no danger and the only places under the dino’s control are the capitols of some smaller countries. ‘Don’t even think of surrendering’.”

8 thoughts on “A Day in The Life: Part 10”

  1. …Okay, their empire spans multiple versions of earth(or Sol systems at best because I highly doubt they have whole realities at their beck and call)which means they should be a force to be reckoned with, however I am a bit surprised if they have more than one earth that their forces lack powered people or snetients that are not dinosaurs, true they might be speciescist and only induct their own in their military but that would be stupid…then again they do not seem very bright and the earths they might have conquered might just have ben bereft of civilisation or have been third world versions of it.

    If they actually HAVE more than one earth which is not certain given the source of the information. Heh them putting that message out there shows that they are on the losing side and ope to spook the normals and world leaders into getting the powereds to surrender as it is their only chance to prevail, boy these guys are bloody amateurs.

    Speaking of interdimensional stuff, I know there is a treaty with the Xiniti about how humans have to create their own tech and do not get to use outside tech or even copy it, does that only apply to alien tech or is stuff from other realities covered by this too ?

    Nice insight into Nadia’s story I like it, I wonder is her power only strength and the toughness that goes with it or does she have other stuff too ? I mean given how destructive she makes her power out to be I have to wonder, I know high super strength(or superspeed without physics fuckery for that matter, hell that one is even more destructive)can cause great levels of destruction but still.

    Eh, the bit with Blue asking about journalism is a nice touch here and fits her character really well on the top of the reference. On a completly unrelated note(well not completly but still unrelated in some ways) does Doctor Nations training regime do something for Izzy’s power ? I mean it seems to have worked a bit for Vaughn…

    1. The “only self-created tech” thing is less a treaty than a rule that the Xiniti enforce (on behalf of a larger body) regardless of whether the world on the other end likes it.

      As for Nadia’s powers, I’m not saying, but you’re likely to find out soon.

      Dr. Nation’s training regime is designed to strengthen weak gifts. Given her level of power, Izzy’s abilities are probably all fully active. That said, one never knows.

      1. First off thanks for the answers and second well:

        Well yeah, but I am pretty sure that every single politicans on the planet call it a treaty not only because of their ego but also to be able to sleep at night. But that still doesn’t answer if it also cover tech from other realities or not.

        I have seen it, I’ll comment on that on the appropriate chapter.

        Ho? I thought it was make to improve physical powers in general as well as reveal some in people that didn’t have them before starting the regiment like Vaughn, I mean I am pretty sure Jaclyn impoved thanks to Doc Nation’s protocol(might be wrong but right now I could swear she did).Now Blue’s power might not really be physical(with her shield and all)but then I also seem to recall him that even people without physical powers should also benefit, now this could be taken as them getting a huge fitness bonus but I read it as the regiment also affecting and strengening other types of powers as IIRC Doc Nation mentioned powers in general in his speech and Nick even mentally commented it fit what he learned on powers looking at the power Impregnator.

  2. The dinossaurs still have most of their army at the other side of the portals = narrow spaces where the soldiers have to pass a few at a time.
    In places with large amount of supers or even conventional troops these guys will loose. If they can get a beachhead tough, they may have a chance.
    Also, someone must go there and guarantee that they loose their ability to make new portals.

Leave a Reply