Melanie shook her head, “You all heard about that prom, right?”
“I was there,” Courtney said, sounding annoyed.
Michelle, confused, said, “I’m not from here. I’m from Traverse City, so if something special happened, I don’t know about it.”
“You heard about it,” I said. “It’s the one where a guy turned into a monster and attacked people in the gym, and the Heroes League took him out?”
“Oh,” she said, sounding shocked, “that prom. They were talking about it on the news for weeks. That was when people started using that… power juice stuff?”
Right there I guessed that Courtney hadn’t told Michelle that Keith had been the guy who got famous for demonstrating power juice, breaking his arm in the process. I felt sure she wouldn’t thank me for explaining it either.
“Logan, the guy who turned into a monster? He was Melanie’s date,” I said.
Michelle’s jaw dropped. “No…”
Melanie nodded. “Oh yeah. I took the stuff too. He turned into this thing, and I could read minds or something. I’d already drunk a lot of Jack Daniels, and it felt weird. Just strange. It was like I was in this crowd of people who just wouldn’t stop talking.
“It’s a great story for parties,” she said. “Everyone’s got bad date stories, but I’ve got the worst date.”
She looked down toward where I sat on the couch. “What happened to you? We were talking, and then Logan turned into a thing. Where did you go?”
“I got caught up in the fog.” That’s what I’d been telling people anyhow.
She nodded. “Me too.”
“Keith and I were on the other side of it.” Courtney sounded tired.
I wondered if I should do something, but what was there to do? Anyway, I did have a question. “Whatever happened to Logan? I didn’t see him at all after prom.”
Melanie shrugged. “I saw him a little during the summer. I guess he’s in some college program, but it’s got something to do with the government. Maybe he’s in the army?”
“Huh.” I didn’t think the army would take someone with his drug use problems, and I knew he wasn’t in the Stapledon program. I would have noticed that. I really would have noticed that.
It didn’t seem likely that they had special program for people with bad reactions to power juice. I could see someone wanting to study him though.
“I should get to class,” Courtney said. She grabbed a notebook and a couple textbooks, and put them in a backpack.
I got up, and walked out the door with her. When the door shut, I said, “If your class is at eleven, it doesn’t start for at least half an hour.”
She sighed. “I know. I didn’t want to be there anymore. Michelle’s nice, but I don’t want to talk about prom.”
We stood there in the hallway. We weren’t the only ones. Halfway down the hall, someone said, “Hurry, they’re only serving breakfast for ten more minutes.” Plus, a bunch of the doors were open.
“Do you want to go outside?” Courtney looked down the hall.
I said, “Sure.” We walked down the stairs to the ground floor, and out of the building.
Not all that many people were around. Most of them were on the sidewalks, and we walked on to the lawn. No one stood near us.
“I’m sorry I dragged you over here.” She frowned. “I needed to talk to someone, and you’re the only one who knows anything about it.”
She looked around us, probably checking how close people were. “I’m also sorry if you feel uncomfortable. You’re Keith’s friend, and it’s really unfair of me to complain about him to you.”
“It’s okay,” I said. It was. Keith hadn’t been as much a friend as an acquaintance that I knew pretty well. Anyway, if I felt uncomfortable, it wasn’t because of him.
* * *
After my last class of the day (organic chemistry lab), I walked to the parking garage. Outside of driving to the League’s headquarters, it was the only place I knew I could get some privacy.
I walked up to the third floor of the garage, giving a look over the ledge in front of the van. Half of campus lay in front of me—residence halls, lecture halls, GLU’s recreation center, railroad tracks, and past them old factories, and old houses, most of them rented by students.
I got into the van, pulled the curtain, and sat in the back with most of the stealth suit, the guitar, our utility belts and our costumes. When I bought the van, I’d put in hooks to hang things on, and put in shelves, but it was still messy.
I sat in a bucket seat, trying not to step on anybody’s costume, hoping I wouldn’t discover anybody’s underwear.
I pulled out my League phone, and called Isaac Lim.
He answered, and his picture appeared on my screen. Black haired, with light brown skin, he wore a black suit, and stood in front of a gray wall. It appeared to be painted metal as opposed to rock or a normal wall. Could he be on a ship?
“Nick,” he said. “ What’s up?”
“I’ve got some questions. A bunch, actually. I’m wondering if you know anything about that guy we fought last night, if someone I know could get into the Stapledon program, and if you know anything about Logan, the guy who attacked people at prom last year? Plus, what’s up with the power juice ban? Can anyone use it legally?”