The Legion of Nothing–Chapter Four: Fast Metabolism

I don’t know whether anyone else cares, but I’m at least happy that I’m getting to a part of the story in which I get to imagine the larger community’s response to Nick’s actions.


Lunch tray in my hands, I walked toward the table where Cassie sat. It was on the other side of the cafeteria from where I usually sat and just a few tables away from Kayla and the girls Cassie generally ate with. Kayla glanced in our direction as I sat down.

“You got my note,” Cassie said brightly.

I had. It came in the form of a paper airplane to the back of my head during our only shared class—government.

“You’ve got good aim,” I said.

“Looks like you made national news last night.” She put a printout on the table. Headlined “The Rocket Returns?” an Associated Press article gave a brief description of the incident and went on to speculate about whether it was the 1940’s era Rocket or a new one, including a quote from a “superhero historian” that said, “but if he is the same person, he has to be in his eighties or nineties…”

“Where’d you find that?”

“Yahoo’s got an RSS feed for superhero news, and besides, it’s been on the local news all morning. Don’t you listen to the radio?”

“Not this morning.”

I eyed my lunch. In honor of the year’s first football game, the hamburger had been renamed “The Central High Burger,” dyed blue, and placed on a yellow bun.

I suppose I should be thankful our school colors aren’t orange and green.

I took a bite. It tasted normal.

“So,” I said, “how did things go for you?”

She grinned. “Boring at first, but remember Syndicate L? We found them. They’re here in Grand Lake.”

“Where and… How do you know?”

“Daniel,” she said. “They’ve got an old warehouse downtown. He happened to pick up something from the mind of a truck driver making a delivery.”

“Did you tell his dad?”

She rolled her eyes.

“Of course not. We’re going to do this ourselves. And by we,” she said, “I’d like to include you.”

I nearly spat out my burger. It’s not that I was surprised. I could hardly be surprised since she’d be going on about this for a while now, but at our level of skill, I thought we shouldn’t be taking on organized crime, we should be taking down muggers and working our way up.

She didn’t wait for me to reply. “I know you’ve got mixed feelings about this and I know we’re not experienced, but we’re not going in without a plan. Daniel found out that something big is coming in tonight and it’s not legal. Fortunately they’re not guarding it with much. Ten people, maybe. Normal people. We can take them. Then we call the police.”

“And if you can’t handle them…” I said.

“Then we call Daniel’s dad or maybe even Larry.”

Larry is better known as “The Rhino.” He’s a nationally recognized hero–though that’s less because of his powers and more because of his nationally branded beer. It’s not that he’s not tough, he is. He’s just better known for his portrait on the bottle and an over the top Superbowl ad than he is for any villain he’s ever fought.

“I don’t know,” I said.

“You don’t know?” She put her hands on the table as if she were just about to stand up and leave, but didn’t.

“I wasn’t going do this,“ she said, “but Daniel tells me that whatever’s going on with you is because you feel like I’m making you do this. I’m not making you. You started training with sensei five years ago. You’ve been working with your grandfather longer than that. Whether or not you intended to, you’ve been preparing longer than anyone but Daniel and he’s had powers since birth.”

I opened my mouth to interrupt.

“No,” she said, “Don’t say anything. Just think about it. You could have done anything last night after we left, but instead,“ she lowered her voice, “you went out for a run in costume. What does that tell you?

“You want to do it too. That’s what. You—“ She looked up at the clock in the middle of the lunchroom wall. “I’ve got five minutes to eat all this stuff.” She indicated the tray in front of her. It held at least three trays worth of food.

“I’ve got a fast metabolism,” she said.

17 thoughts on “The Legion of Nothing–Chapter Four: Fast Metabolism”

  1. It seems like every high school in America has the same exact colors(blue and yellow) as those are the colors of the high school I graduated from. *amused*

    I’m really enjoying this. The timing is utterly beautiful. The characters are accessible. This is looking wonderful and if you stop writing this any time in the near future, I’m going to cry for a little while. XD

  2. Oddly enough, the school colors of my high school were maroon and white. Disturbingly, the school had an item on the hot lunch menu called the “maroon burger.”

    As for stopping… No reason to worry. I plan to do this for a while.

    That being said, I’ll probably stick in other stuff between chapters. For me at least, the main point of this blog is to give myself some variety in writing.

  3. @Tia
    Sorry to shoot down your theory about school colors, but…

    My high school’s colors are green/gold/white…
    and the other two high schools in my county had burgundy/gold and red/white.
    My college’s colors are blue/white…

    Looks like he’s got a mission… I am loving this story.

  4. Now this is interesting; a sort of Justice League meets Saved By the Bell.

    Nice. And I love the wit in your writing. Very Douglas Adams….

  5. Superb, it’s all perfect. Only problem: When are superheroes going to learn not to talk about being superheroes *in public*. I cringe every time they do it on Smallville.

  6. Thanks. With regards to talking about it public though, I tend to figure that it’s something that teenagers probably think they could get away with — which isn’t to say that it’s a good idea. It definitely isn’t.

  7. On the other hand, Smallville depicts a young Clark Kent who has yet to perfect the art of a secret identity.

  8. I’ve told you this before, but I really do hope to be like you when I grow up! You are my hero! I wasn’t going to write a comment but when I read about “The Rhino”, which just happens to be my favorite animal, I felt compelled. Thank you for your inspiration. I will keep reading and hope to catch up soon.

  9. Typos:

    “I wasn’t going do this,“ she said, “but Daniel tells me that whatever’s going on with you is because you feel like I’m making you do this. I’m not making you. You started training with sensei five years ago. You’ve been working with your grandfather longer than that. Whether or not you intended to, you’ve been preparing longer than anyone but Daniel and he’s had powers since birth.”

    I opened my mouth to interrupt.

    “No,” she said, “Don’t say anything. Just think about it. You could have done anything last night after we left, but instead, “ she lowered her voice, “you went out for a run in costume. What does that tell you?
    ___________________

    The second quotation mark, behind ‘she’ is an open instead of a close.
    The eighth one is as well.
    Also, the last sentence doesn’t have an end quote at all.

    This is pretty good, I’ve found this being recommended by various other authors and decided to check it out.

    1. Thanks for checking Legion out. I’ve fixed the quotes except for one. Skipping the end quote of a paragraph is required if the same speaker is starting the next paragraph–assuming you don’t have description or something in between.

  10. Jim, he’s referring to the slant alignment of the quotes, not their presence.

    He’s right that some are angled the wrong way, but I’m not sure if it’s possible to do anything about it. I know that sometimes it’s literally impossible to get the quote direction right in Word.

  11. Damnit, I’ve been reading Worm before this, so I keep thinking of the MC as female. That could get problematic if it keeps up…

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