Decisions: Part 2

I decided to check in on where Ray and the others were in the trial system.

We hadn’t been involved after we’d handed him over. From what I’d heard, the FBI had done what they could to discourage either the prosecution or the defense from using us. We’d been interviewed by police, but none of us had said anything that adults hadn’t.

According to government records, they were all still in maximum security federal prisons, the judge having decided they were far too dangerous to be let out on bail.

So far, they were only charging them with the murder of the FBI agents (a felony), and unlawful imprisonment (spraying the room with paralysis rays). More charges would likely be added. Agents were working to get Gina to testify against Ray, but she hadn’t. Unfortunately, that meant that the government didn’t have enough evidence to connect them to murders in other states. If they’d left records in the cottage they’d lived in (and burned down), no one had found them. They apparently used different guns for different jobs so while the ballistics sometimes matched up with the deaths of one hero’s friends and relatives, they couldn’t link different jobs together.

The pattern of killing relatives and friends first, followed by the death of the super connected to them did stay constant, but that wasn’t enough to charge anybody.

I spent an hour running down information on the trial preparations before reading up on Ray. Ray (short for Raymond) was actually his real name. His real last name (Malone) wasn’t the same as the one on the driver’s license he was using, but they’d found it soon enough. He’d been a Green Beret before leaving the service, and worked for the mob afterward thanks to connections his father had. Agents’ reports indicated that he’d moved to Syndicate L before reappearing as part of “Team Executioner.”

I looked up his father.

Freddie Malone had worked as an enforcer for the Chicago mob before dying at the age of 44. He’d been killed in a fight with Chicago Hawk, a hero who’d briefly appeared during the 1980’s. Before he’d worked for the mob, he’d been in the Streetlords, one of the gangs Red Lightning had supplied with his own addictive version of power juice.

I stared at the monitor and thought about that. His father’s death might explain the grudge against heroes, but his father’s membership in the Streetlords rang all kinds of warning bells.

I couldn’t find any mention of powers, but they might not have been observed.

I couldn’t think of anything else I could research from there, so I put the relevant links into an email, and sent it to everybody’s Heroes League email accounts.

That would give people something to think about.

Then I checked my regular email, and some web comics.

While I sat there, I heard the sound of the elevator. Turning to find out who was coming in, I saw Daniel step out. He was generally more available on Saturday evening than during the day, or when his family went to synagogue on Friday night.

“Your mom said she didn’t know where you were, so I guessed you were here. What’s up?”

“I’ve been reading up on some things.”

I told him about the Executioner, about the original Power’s death, and mentioned that Travis wanted to coordinate some kind of anti-gang crusade.

“I was there when Travis was talking about the gang. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did go after us. Back when Red Lightning was in charge, his gangs gave the original League a hard time, and from what my grandfather said, it sounded like their version of the juice was less powerful than the government’s stuff.”

I nodded. “I got that impression too. And that’s not a good thing. Our grandfathers worked together for years before they went up against Red Lightning’s people.”

“We’ve been training for years. This time there’s only one gang. Plus none of us are secretly running the gang. I think it evens out.”

“Good point. But still, are we supposed to just go after those guys out of the blue?”

“The cops can’t. Somebody ought to. Honestly, it sounds fun.”


“A powered gang sounds like a challenge, but the right kind. I tagged along after my dad for years, you know, and this is why. He’s going to be busy with Guardian and the Midwest Defenders, but we’re all here. We’re protecting the city, and we’re ready for this.”

“I wish I felt that confident.”

“I’m confident about them. The rest? Not as much. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think that you guys got lucky with the Executioner. I don’t think you’d have ever caught him if he were here to do a job on us. They had a hideout here and got careless, but careless for them means they still had it rigged to blow up, had devices to prevent telepathic detection, and were armed with automatic weapons. They were probably prepared for Solar Flare somehow, but underestimated us. If they get out, they won’t do that again.”

“Yeah. That’s why I’d put them higher on my priority list than the gang.”

“Except they are still in prison.”

“Not whoever killed the Power.”

“I’d say call Isaac with that one. If the FBI can handle it, that’s better for everybody.”

“Yeah. I agree. I don’t think they know who any of us are for sure, but it’s likely that they’ll connect Haley’s family with us somehow.”

Daniel nodded. “There’s no doubt of it. The question is how much more they’ll pick up if they get out, and start working on it. For normal people, killing supers takes preparation and planning. Ray and his team killed a lot of supers.”

I sighed. I didn’t have a lot to add.

Daniel did, though.

“There’s one more thing we should be thinking about. A lot of teams have some kind of leadership. We’ve just been falling together with whoever’s been around at the time. I think we should at least come up with people to lead small groups while we’re fighting. Someone’s got to make decisions and there’s no time for a committee.”

“Was this Travis’ idea?”

“Yeah, but he’s right.”

11 thoughts on “Decisions: Part 2”

  1. Whoa. First!
    I’ve wanted to do that for so long.

    Anyway, there’s so many mysteries happening in the moment, I just can’t wait to see what you pull out of the bag next, Jim.

  2. I know it won’t be much of a surprise, but I’m thinking Nick gets made leader.

    He’ll kick and scream about it, but they’ll give it to him anyway.

  3. I wouldn’t be so sure, Danial. We haven’t really gotten to know Travis or Marcus too well yet, maybe one of them actually wants the job? Drama is served in any case.

  4. “I think we should at least come up people to lead small groups while we’re fighting.” — I think you need a “with” in that sentence?

    Anyway, excellent chapter. I like how the issue of the disorganization of the team has come up — and Nick isn’t necessarily the obvious choice for leader. He’s got the headquarters and the gadgets, but that could make him Q, not Bond.

    That’s a bad analogy, because Bond wasn’t on a team… But Tony Stark gave a headquarters to the original Avengers, but Captain America took over as field leader for decades.

    Nick is a deep thinker, a planner — but he’s not really a people-person, or team-sports oriented. He could be the strategist, but someone else might call the shots in battle.

  5. Gavin: I think you must have noticed the missed “with” at about the same time I added it. I noticed your comment and found myself thinking, “Did miss another one?”

    As for the disorganization: They’ve been noting it on and off throughout, but now they’re likely to do something about it… Or at least begin doing something about it. They’ve never quite managed to get very far.

    Unwise Owl: Thanks. I’m hoping what comes next will be fun.

    Actually, I was a little worried about both this post and the last one as they were both “Nick discovers stuff and talks about it with people” scenes. On the other hand it was mostly new information (that raises the stakes), so that’s okay.

  6. Has anybody besides Nick actually formulated consistent plans for foiling the bad guys??

    Nick is the clear choice for Captain of the Legion, and he’s also consistently around when super-villains strike. Marcus and Travis talk a lot of trash but I don’t recall them actually being around a lot of the time.

    Additionally, Nick managed to show up in a situation that he wasn’t prepared for and still command of a super-team and kick all kinds of ass (Three).

    Nick needs to be in charge.

    Now, with that said, I see Daniel/Mystic as either an excellent Spock/Riker to Nick’s Kirk/Picard. Or….perhaps he can serve as a kind of on-site Mission-Control.

  7. Yeah, so, if we’re going with TNG comparisons, then Nick is Data, Daniel is Ms. Troy, Cassie is Riker, Travis is Worf, Haley is the Doctor, and Jaclyn is Jordie (and not because they’re both black, but because they’re both smart and competent, and fill similar roles in terms of their personalities). Oh yeah, and Marcus is Wesley. That leaves us with Picard and Vaughn without match-ups, but there’s no way anyone could reasonably suggest that those two are parallel. Picard has too much experience to have a match in the New Heroes League, and Vaughn has too much of a damaged past, and too many issues, to have ever have made it onto the bridge of the Enterprise D. 😛


  8. Hmmh, I’m going to have to disagree with you there, Hydrargentium. I’d say Vaughn is pretty much the Worf, with his attitude and supposed toughness. Nick I’d liken to Geordi, who in the series pretty much did all the Spock-stuff Data was supposed to do while Data was busy being a comedy relief but got no credit for it because he was black. Not that Nick is black.

    Umm, I lost track of what we were talking about… Ignore.

  9. I don’t know, I think Daniel would make a good leader. He has the ability to be instantly in communication with every member of the team. He also seems to not have too much ego that if someone else comes up with a good idea he dismisses it out of hand.

  10. An interesting thought I had around here… in a world where “vigilante justice” is kind of commonplace, does that mean there are less cases that get brought to court? Or can cases get through court faster, because certain “powers” allow for that? (I don’t mean strong-arming, I mean people who can discern the truth, like Daniel’s father – or the guy who did the “reading” on the Mayor – or someone with “x-ray vision” who can testify, which wouldn’t exist in our world.) Or is the opposite true, things get bogged down even more, legally?
    Anyway, it’s interesting how the serial addresses things in a way that make me wonder. Also problematic that Ray’s still inching through the system, but good that he doesn’t get bail, at least.

  11. A leader needs to be someone who can organize, plan tactics on the fly and in the field needs to lead from the front. When it comes to immediate fighting, a sergeant is better than a captain any day. Nick is the only one who displays the needed qualities so far. That’s probably because of the way his grandfather and Lee/Gunter trained him and his own analytical abilities. I think they need someone who can advise them and help them but not take over, someone like C/Hotfoot maybe, to help train Nick beyond what Lee/Gunter already does.

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