“As if we’d surrender,” Storm King said, “we can take these guys.”
Next to him, Gravity Star stared at the screen. “But who’s the man next to him?”
“Soon,” the dinosaur said, looking deeply into the camera, “we will give you an example of the price of refusal.”
The feed cut off, going back to CNN.
Storm King blinked. “You know how we were wondering how we were part of the first wave, and how the first League humiliated them twice? I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Railgun glanced over at him, blonde hair swinging as she said, “I don’t know, but at least we’re getting help. I just let in the Power, Blur, Fourpoint, Voice, Shadow, Red Legacy, and um… a few doctors?”
Gravity Star peered at Railgun’s screen. “He went with Fourpoint? He’s nice but—” She looked over at me. “Well, he’s nice, but I don’t think he’s getting a four point.”
Storm King nodded. “Yeah. He was trying to find something that worked with his powers and Mimic was taken. Copycat didn’t feel right. Plus, a villain had it. So then he tried a bunch of names that meant ‘quick learner’ and he went with Fourpoint. Me, I’m a little more worried about Blur. That was the name of an evil, alternate universe Accelerando. It’s a good name, but tainted, you know?”
I caught his eye. “Evil alternate universe Accelerando? When did that happen?”
Storm King blinked and looked around at the others. None of them said anything.
He grinned. “That never made the news, did it? Well, it was a couple years ago, and anyway, she’s dead. So nothing to worry about.”
I leaned forward. “Can you say more about that?”
He frowned. “Look, we didn’t kill her. She was—”
Blue held up her hand and said, “Storm King, stop.”
She gave me a quick smile. “I don’t want to mess up your interview, but the Mystic told me about it. It needs to stay private.”
Storm King nodded. “Yeah, I almost screwed up big time there. Sorry.”
Railgun turned away from the conversation, waving her hand to silence the group. After a few moments of listening, she said, “Got it.”
She turned around, grinning. “Night Cat and Shift picked up Ghost, Captain Commando, Bloodmaiden, Red Hex and Troll. She said we should see them in ten minutes.”
I didn’t know where Night Cat and Shift had flown the jet, but Red Hex and Troll were active in D.C. Bloodmaiden had first been sighted in Florida. They couldn’t have left more than thirty minutes ago.
I could only guess its maximum speed. The League jet was faster than anything our military had.
The hanger door opened. However quickly the jet moved, it wasn’t them. No, it was the teenager in the League suit who’d refused to be interviewed earlier.
He looked over the group. “Where’s Control?”
Railgun pointed back to the lab. “With the Rocket and C. For right now, I’m Control.”
He shrugged. “Well, particle accelerator rifles are prepped and ready. Suits and vehicles are ready too. Also, um… you know how we’re calling me Two? Let’s just say that ‘One’ can’t be here today for obvious reasons, but he’s going to help remotely.”
Railgun’s eyes widened. “Okay… We better tell C.”
He nodded. “And that’s not all. He’s going to send me a new suit special delivery to the topside entrance. It’ll look like a semi-truck. I’ll stick around to identify it.”
Railgun bit her lip. “I’m going to call C and tell them.”
She turned back to her screen. A quick conversation later, she said, “They’re coming here.”
Even as C and Accelerando stepped out of the doorway to the lab, the round metal door across from the hangar opened again. This time three white men in black costumes stepped out. One was tall, muscular and brown haired. The second was tall and lanky, but with curly, blond hair. The third man was short and brown haired.
Whoever they were, someone was investing in them. Their costumes were demo CostumeWerks designs—easily more than fifty thousand dollars each.
Two women followed them, each wearing gray and black Stapledon uniforms. Behind them came a man in a red costume with lightning bolts, but two men and a woman in scrubs walked with him, all of them openly staring at the inside of the base.
Red Legacy (that’s who it had to be) pointed them toward the hangar. “There’s a room you can use as an ER over here. They’ve got medical equipment that’s fifty or a hundred years ahead of us, but they don’t know how to use it. You’re not going to believe it’s possible…”
The men in black costumes and the women joined the group of us next to the table. Even as the tall blond man in black said, “That the reporter?” to Railgun, C, Accelerando, the Rocket, Night Wolf, Control, and the Mystic stepped up to the circle as well.
It had begun to feel less like a superhero team and more like an army.
As the kids talked among themselves, C stepped up to me. In a low voice he said, “I imagine you saw the dinosaurs’ video. We don’t have long before they try something else. So, I’m wondering if you might want to help us out. I know it’s not journalism, but your nation and even your world needs you today. You can write it down after it’s over. <Codename> needs to ride again today.”
Except where he’d said “Codename,” he’d said the codename I used in the army.
I looked him in the eye in case he could read my expression. “Where did you hear that?”
“Many avenues are open to a man with friends and a high security clearance.”