Graduation: Part 16

“So what do you want to do?” Cassie asked. “Track them down and attack?”

“Nah,” Travis shook his head. “Lee said to feed Prime to the Feds if we could. Once we’ve figured out where they are, we hand it over, and that’s one thing off our plate.”

Which wasn’t a bad idea. If we could arrange it so that we were only dealing with one threat, that would be a massive improvement.

“You know what we really ought to hand over?” Marcus asked. “We’ve got footage of Hardwick with Ray.”

“Whoa,” Vaughn looked over at Marcus. “That’s serious. Putting people through the Impregnator is a grey area, but taking in an assassin, that’s way outside the law. You think he broke Ray out?”

From the other end of the table, Jaclyn said, “Does your uncle have connections with Syndicate L? They’re the ones with the mechs.”

“No idea, but if he did, he wouldn’t tell me. I’m the druggie, remember?”

Vaughn’s uncle had called him that in one of the recordings.

“Before we get too far into this,” I said, “we ought to watch the footage. You know how Ray’s dad was with Red Lightning? Ray’s probably got powers.”

We watched it.

“Oh, that’s nice,” Rachel said. “A military trained assassin isn’t bad enough. We’ve got to be fighting a military trained assassin with powers.”

Travis nodded. “Yeah. I wonder where Hardwick’s got him hidden? If we knew, we could pass that on to the Feds, and maybe end the whole thing. Where did the video come from?”

“Hardwick’s house,” I said.

“They probably won’t be keeping him there.” Travis turned to look up at the screen with its fuzzy picture of Ray standing in Hardwick’s office.

“Ray was complaining about where he was staying,” Cassie said. “I was in Hardwick’s house with  Vaughn once. It’s nothing to complain about.”

“It’s bigger than ours,” Vaughn said.

“OK,” Jaclyn said. “We need to start doing something. We can’t keep watching videos of things getting worse.”

“Come on, Jaclyn,” Marcus smiled at her. “Lee had us make a pile of plans. We’ll just start using them.”

“He had us make contingency plans. You don’t win with contingency plans. You survive. Right now we need to be doing something that will stop Ray from using the Impregnator. We need to be making sure that whatever Prime’s doing doesn’t work out.  Did you hear that there were a three more gang-related deaths this weekend? I think he’s trying to take over the city’s gangs.”

Cassie looked across the table toward her. “They don’t seem like they’d be very easy to organize.”

“I don’t know,” Jaclyn said, “but they’ve been recruiting people into their fake version of the Bloods and they’ve been killing off the leaders of other gangs. They’re doing something, and whatever it is, I’d bet the local gangs are more frightened of Prime than they are of us.”

It wasn’t as if the local gangs were normally a big worry. They weren’t powered. Still, if Prime offered them power like Hardwick had Ray, who knew what kind of recruits he’d get? And bearing in mind that they’d apparently been in the area for years who knew what kind of recruits they’d already gotten?

With regards to finding Ray though, we had an option we hadn’t been using. “Maybe we could have people tail Hardwick? He’s got to meet Ray again.”

“Not a bad idea, Nick.” Travis tapped the table a couple times. “Lee said we shouldn’t trust the bugs. With Haley, Rachel, Marcus and I, we can cover a few hours. Daniel too if they haven’t put up the anti-TP stuff.”

“Which they probably have,” Daniel said.

Jaclyn stood up from her chair, and walked over to my end of the table. “I’m not saying that watching Hardwick is a bad idea, but we still need an overall plan. Hardwick’s not necessarily out to get us, but Prime and Ray definitely are. What are we going to do after we find them? Who’s first? What’s our strategy?”

Cassie turned her chair toward Jaclyn. “If we’re handing Prime to the Feds, it sounds like it doesn’t matter.”

Jaclyn shook her head. “Unless the FBI’s got more going on than they did at Christmas, they’re not going to catch him.”

“Good point,” Travis said. “But they might hassle them enough to make it worth it.”

“You know what worries me?” Daniel asked. “The second we go after Ray, Prime’s going to show up blasting at us, and vice versa.”

“Wow,” Vaughn said. “You think they’re really that good?”

“I don’t know. That’s what I’d do.”

“That’s probably why Lee had us arrange for backup already,” Travis said. “We’re going to need it.”

Daniel closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them. “Here’s what we ought to do. You know how some of us talked to Lucas about coordinating the teams? You ought to tell him who Ray is. If they act at the right moment, they could take him out.”

Haley stopped leaning against me, and sat up. “But they could get hurt. They could all die.”

“We could all die,” Travis said. “Besides, I don’t see why you should care.”

“They’re not all Sean. They ran his sister Sydney through the Impregnator and maybe more people. She hasn’t done anything. And Lucas, Dayton, and Shannon don’t deserve to die. Not just to save us.”

“I don’t like it either,” Daniel said, “and I think we’ll have to tell them what they’re getting into, but they don’t need to attack Ray. All they need to do is distract him at the right time. Annoying could be just as effective as violent if they did it right.”

8 thoughts on “Graduation: Part 16”

  1. I’m pretty sure one thing they’re missing here is the fact that they don’t get to decide what the Fisters do. They can tell them about Ray, which is only right, whether or not the information is believed or not and what gets done about it is out of their hands.

  2. As smart as Ray is, I think he’ll use his time training Justice Fist to figure out how best to take them out. Still, I gotta wonder just what Syndicate L is getting out of this. An Impregnator of their own? The knowledge that Ray will be in a position to take out the League, and specifically that troublesome Rocket? A Klondike Bar?

  3. quote/

    “They probably won’t be keeping him there.” Travis turned to look up at the screen with its fuzzy picture of Ray standing in Hardwick’s office.”


    You’ve got an extra quotation mark on the end of that paragraph.

    Also, it seems kind of odd that Haley is opposed to telling another team of young superfolk about Ray. I mean, isn’t fighting crime kind of the super shtick?

  4. Wanderhome: Thanks for noticing the extra quote.

    As for Haley’s reaction… Mostly it’s due to Ray and his team’s habit of killing not only supers that cross him, but also their whole families. And Haley knows and likes members of their families.

    To all: Just a reminder that due to a variety of circumstances, I’m changing update days to Monday and Thursday (which are, oddly enough, the days I had when I started this serial).

  5. Typo. “hear that there were a three more gang-related deaths” : no ‘a’.

    Incidentally, I’ve assumed these ‘Graduation Open House’ things that keep popping up are a US custom. Not being a really social person, I’m glad I didn’t have to go through them.

    1. I assume it’s a US custom, but for all I know it might be regional to the Midwest.

      I’m not a very social person either, but it wasn’t so bad. I only had a few friends whose open houses I wanted to go to, and at mine, I mostly hung out with my friends in the basement.

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