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.
DebbieLynn said, “You are so funny, Terry. Tell another joke.”
“Give me a second, I’m hungry. Hey Matt,” he gestured to someone offscreen. “You want to get me something from the vending machine? How about Funions? I like Funions.”
A man’s voice replied. I couldn’t understand it.
“No Funions? How about the donuts in the break room? Grab me the cherry, cheese danish. You got that? Great.”
“Terry,” DebbieLynn said.
“And get something for Debbie too, right?”
More gibberish came from off screen.
“You betcha Matt. While you’re gone for the donuts, I’ll recite some poetry.”
Terry, the Very Tanned Anchor, had never struck me as the kind of guy who memorized poetry, and he confirmed my impression the moment he resumed talking.
“There once was a man from Nantucket,” he began.
My dad had turned away from the counter and his cereal. “What in the world are you watching?”
“Career suicide, I think, but it’s supposed to be the news.”
Meanwhile, DebbieLynn, the Somewhat Botoxed Anchor, stopped laughing, knocking her chair over as she backed away from the desk, and said, “Terry, stop!”
From offscreen, female voice snarled, “Listen to her, Terry.”
The voice could have sounded more impressive if it had been deeper or older. High pitched and clear, it made me think more of the girls’ basketball team than anything else.
The camera twisted around to show two teenaged girls in blue and white costumes, carrying huge guns. The guns’ barrels were solid metal.
One girl’s costume was mostly white with jagged blue lines that suggested ice. The other costume was mostly blue with white lines. The way the bulges on their arms and legs didn’t quite move like muscles told me they were armor, and probably had at least as much power behind them as the stealth suit.
They’d need the strength to carry guns that big.
“We’re the Ice Twins. I’m White. She’s Blue, and we’re here with a message for the Heroes League.”
The camera zoomed out a little, and I noticed that they really had come with friends. A tall woman who could have easily passed as a bodybuilder stood behind them. She wore a red, white, and blue costume with a flag on her chest, but not the U.S. Flag, the Confederate flag.
Two figures stood next to her—a boy who didn’t look like he could be more than twelve, and a man in a silvery suit that shimmered, flickering between other colors. He held a bulbous gun that connected to his suit with a hose. It was hard to tell with the mask over his mouth, but I guessed he might be in his twenties.
Oh, and the twelve year old? He wore a black and red costume, and his hands and feet were on fire.
White continued to to talk.
“Wondering who we are? Our grandparents were the greatest supervillains the original League ever faced, and we’re here to burn this town!”
Blue, in a quiet voice asked, “We’re not actually here to burn the city, are we? I thought we were going to rob a bank.”
White continued as if she hadn’t heard anything. “Alone, each of our grandparents nearly destroyed the League. Together we’ll destroy you all, and rule with an iron fist! We’ve got Dixie Supergirl, who’s as powerful as Dixie Superman ever was. We’ve got Destruction Boy, who’s ready to revenge the death of Destruction Lord. Annnd… a new Dr. Madness, one that’s every bit as powerful and as insane as the old! Hide in your bunker if you want, but we will find you, and when we do—”
The man in the silvery suit cleared his throat. “I’m Mr. Madness,” he said. “I don’t have a Ph.d.”
“Do you seriously think someone’s going to check?”
“My grandfather had a Ph.d. I. DO. NOT.” Mr. Madness was practically shouting.
And then the screen went completely dark.
I stared at it, reflecting on how incredibly improbable it must be that they would appear the day after Evil Beatnik escaped from HQ.
“Nick,” Kayla said over the phone. “I just sent everybody on the system a red.”
“Yeah,” I said. “You do that.”