Sydney frowned, “You’ve checked them out, right? I mean, we spent our whole childhood with Dad telling us about people who wanted us for our powers. You checked and made sure it’s not connected to the Cabal.”
Camille pursed her lips, glancing over at Sydney, and then back to Sean, not saying anything.
She never seemed to stop talking normally, but Sean knew why. Even if she hadn’t grown up with them, her mother had been part of the same group as his dad. She’d known that she could be snatched away and murdered or brainwashed from childhood.
“Of course,” he said. “I couldn’t check everything, but I checked with the school and that means with Lim and a bunch of supers. Future-men Capital has a good name in the community and no one’s found any links with the Cabal or the Nine. I mean, seriously, I remember what that was like. I remember Julie’s mom. She was on a mission to find out about the Cabal and the Cabal killed her. I wasn’t going to take that risk.
“Not that there’s that much risk from the Cabal. I know a few of their troops survived, but these days I’m more worried about the Nine or Syndicate L. Think if those guys owned a piece of a superhero group. You know they’d do their best to twist us.”
Nodding, Sydney crossed her arms over her chest, “That’s one of the things I’m worried about. I really think you’d do better talking to Nick about being part of the Heroes’ League.”
Sean rolled his eyes, “You’ve got to be kidding me. Nick and I kind of get along now, but I don’t want to push it. Yeah, I’ve fought on their side a few times, but being on the same team with Haley would be weird and a bunch of them didn’t like me even before power juice and everything. Travis, Jaclyn, Chris, I mean seriously—Man-Machine’s grandson, and Cassie have all told me that they were going to kick my ass at least once. I don’t need that. Even Vaughn and I have our moments.”
Sydney sighed, “You could get along with them if you wanted to. I bet Nick would even support you if you asked to join and if he supported you, they’d probably take you.”
Thinking about it, Sean had to admit that it might work out that way. If Haley was okay with it, Nick might be okay with letting him in, but he knew he couldn’t do it, “Look, Nick might let me in, but what about Jody? I know Dayton wouldn’t be a problem, but none of them would take Jody.”
Shaking her head, Sydney said, “That’s because Jody’s an asshole. No one likes Jody. I don’t know why you like Jody. There some childhood friends that you grow out of. He’d be a great place to start.”
Looking her in the eye, Sean said, “He’s one of my oldest friends and his parents were part of the group just like ours were. I know you don’t like him, but he’s gone through hell with all of us. His parents were just as close to being killed by Ray as ours were. He deserves to get the good stuff as well as the bad.”
Camille frowned, “Dayton deserves good things. Jody makes everyone around him miserable for fun. Didn’t you tell Sydney that he only barely made it past the Stapledon psych screening?”
Sean wasn’t sure Jody had made through the psych screening. He’d seen Jody’s score. Someone had taken pity on him or maybe they’d thought that throwing him out of the program made it more likely he’d turn supervillain than keeping him in? Sean had no idea, but he wasn’t going to tell anybody that.
He said, “Right, but he made it. That’s the important thing.”
Sydney let out a breath, muttering, “I’m sure his future victims will appreciate it.”
“Hey,” Sean’s voice rose, “he’s not that bad.”
Camille looked up at him, “He really is. I don’t hate him, but he’s… not nice to be around.”
Sean’s phone rang. Pulling it out, he saw the red dot that meant it was using the superhero comm network. That was fine. He was done with this conversation anyway, “Dude, you’re back too?”
Dayton’s deep voice came through the speaker, “We got back before you did. You know how Jody and I ended up with the same internship? They wouldn’t let us use our regular comms except we didn’t know that until we got there. They confiscated them and someone delivered them to our houses a few minutes ago.”
Sydney’s lips curled, “I hope that’s Dayton.”
Sean ignored them, “Where did you go? You guys didn’t know when I left.”
Dayton chuckled, “I know. It was pretty crazy. We went to space—kind of. We were on the Jay and Kay, which meant that we mostly orbited Earth. We did visit the Xiniti base near the jump gate. That was pretty cool, but I bet you did more fighting than we did. We did train on how to use our powers up there. You know what was crazy? The Xiniti knew who we were. Oh, and you know Gunther, Lee, whatever he’s called? The Jay picked him up from the Xiniti base. I asked him what he was doing out there and all he said was, ‘I don’t want to kill you, kid, and I don’t feel like lying. Ask a different question’.”
Sean thought back to their fighting classes, “There’s something wrong with that guy.”