After Vaughn and Jaclyn sat down, we started to make a plan.
“At least we know how it’s been done before,” Jaclyn said. “Once we stop his followers and reveal who he’s possessing, he disappears. Hey, do you think we might be able to take the ring if we’re wearing gloves?”
“I don’t know,” I said, “it’s magic. Who knows what the rules are? When one of the Hangmen lassoed me with his noose, it didn’t paralyze me like it was supposed to, but with Evil Beatnik, it might go the other way. The original League surrounded the ring with concrete and bulletproof glass for a reason.” Continue reading Under 30: Part 10
Vaughn leaned back from the table and thought about it. “I can’t think of a single way I’ve been influenced.”
“Not noticing is the whole point of influencing somebody,” Rachel began.
I interrupted her.
“My theory goes like this. Evil Beatnik can influence people that might be vulnerable to possession. We’re all under thirty, but those of us who are anti-authority, and who are, or at least try to be cool, are most vulnerable. Continue reading Under 30: Part 9
In the face of mounting embarrassment, what was left of the League arranged to meet in HQ on Saturday evening. Rachel and I arrived before everyone else. She’d gone to an open mike night on Friday, so this was the first chance we’d had to talk in two days.
We sat down at the table in the main room, and waited.
“I completely forgot to tell you about the Ice Twins yesterday morning,” I said. “Sorry.”
“Don’t apologise. I needed the sleep. I stayed at Lucas’ house until four in the morning.”
“Whoa.” Continue reading Under 30: Part 8
Jaclyn and Marcus had arrived first. I arrived second—but only because I grabbed the stealth suit instead of the full Rocket armor.
So instead of appearing almost knight-like in shining gold armor, I appeared in armor that looked like a black leather jacket with matching pants, and gray helmet. Plus, I’d worked out a way to hang my guitar next to the rocketpack on my back in a way that felt comfortable. Granted, it still looked like a guitar hero controller, but it was useful.
Ambulances, police cars, and a Metahuman Containment Cage (generally called “boxes” because of their shape) pulled into the parking lot as I landed. Continue reading Under 30: Part 7
Taking the phone, I ran down to the family room, and turned on the television. Dad frowned at me from the counter where he was eating cereal. “It’s a little early for television—”
“No, Dad, this is different.” I still had the phone in my hand. “You said News 10?”
“That’s it,” Kayla replied.
I didn’t watch TV in the morning, mostly because I wasn’t up, but I knew that normally News 10 gave a little local news and weather before cutting over to “The Today Show” for most of each hour.
It wasn’t cutting over. Terry Smith, the Very Square-Jawed male anchor sat at the desk with DebbieLynn Vonk, the Very Beautiful, Blonde, female anchor.
They were laughing as I turned on the TV, and they kept on laughing for a long time. Too long. As in, “How much longer are they going to show these people laughing,” long.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 6
“Yeah. That was in one of their last reports.” Vaughn said. “The one where they finally caught him. So what does ‘spirit of chaos’ mean exactly? Chaos powers? I can cause chaos without powers. Just ask my mom.”
“I don’t know,” Jaclyn said. “Grandpa told me he could make things happen, like just about anything happen, but the more it violated reality, the harder it was.”
“OK,” I said,”so what does he want?” Continue reading Under 30: Part 5
In my head, I tried to reconstruct the crime. Lucas was strong, invulnerable, and shot lightning. He had the exact same powers as his and Vaughn’s grandfather, the original Red Lightning. I couldn’t think of a way for him to steal the ring quietly, and without shattering the glass.
Shannon controlled darkness. Unless her ability to control darkness also allowed her to control light, I couldn’t think of a way for her to get at the ring. If it did, she could have melted the metal, but I doubted she could get past the glass either.
Besides, both Shannon and Lucas were nice. I’d never seen any reason they’d want to steal a magic ring. They’d seemed happy enough to be out of the hero business.
Julie? Even before she’d gotten powers, she’d shared a picture of Haley and I with a lot of people in both of our schools along with snarky commentary. That just made her a jerk, however. On the other hand, her power was to use her voice to command people. In theory, she could have commanded Lucas to pick up the bulletproof glass, and commanded Shannon to melt the metal circle by making a laser.
I wasn’t convinced she could have done it without anyone noticing, but who could know that for sure?
Continue reading Under 30: Part 4
“Oh yuck.” Sydney crinkled her nose. “I didn’t think that movie could have been worse, but that’s worse.”
Camille smiled a little as Sydney talked, but addressed me, “You made it sound like this was embarrassing for you. Was it? Come on, you can tell us.”
“OK. My grandpa told me what it did when I was twelve, and I tried it on my family’s cat. I mean, who was going to notice? We’d already had him neutered. Except there were a few things I didn’t know. One thing was that the genes that make a cat’s fur a particular color show themselves differently in each gender, so his fur started to change color. He’s normally orange, but female cats aren’t generally orange—”
Haley asked, “What color did he turn into?” She used the same, slightly disbelieving voice she used when asking things like how many days in a row I’d worn a pair of jeans.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 3
When we got back, we set the pizzas on the table, and people spread out around HQ’s main room, eating, and talking, sitting on the floor in little groups.
I sat with Haley, Sydney, and Camille which was weird for a whole lot of reasons. To start, Sydney was the sister of Haley’s ex-boyfriend Sean, who neither Haley nor I got along with. Camille was Sydney and Sean’s half-sister due to their late father having some kind of wandering penis problem.
Eating pizza with them, I found it funny that I hadn’t noticed till we bugged Sean’s house last year. Sydney and Camille looked like sisters—within limits, anyway. Like Sean, Sydney had blond hair, pale skin and blue eyes. Her face reminded me of Sean’s—as much as a girl’s could. As a freshman (freshperson?), she’d always looked a little young to me, but very “in-style.” If her personality were anything like Sean’s, I could imagine her growing into the sort of popular girl who regarded me as a lower form of life. Continue reading Under 30: Part 2
The screen darkened, and the credits rolled. Travis brought up the lights, and people stood up to grab more pop. We’d put the cups and 2 liters on the main table next to the computer screens and keyboards. That may not have been the best idea, but nobody had spilled anything yet—except on the carpet, and that was no big deal. The original League had last renovated in the 1970’s, so the carpet was olive green shag.
Heroes League headquarters felt full, and it was, relatively speaking. We had all of the League’s grandchildren (nine of us), most of the former Justice Fist team (except for Sean, Jody, and Dayton), plus my friend Chris, and Cassie’s friend Kayla.
In short with the sixteen of us, we had more people with powers in the complex than some small countries had in their armed forces. Continue reading Under 30: Part 1