In the Public Eye: Part 47

Legion HQ felt full. Three of the four Elementals plus Future Knight, Red Bolt, and Tomahawk were sleeping on the floor. All of the new League (except Vaughn and Marcus) plus Jaclyn’s grandfather, Larry, and Mindstryke, Daniel’s dad.

Mindstryke had showed up just after we’d all sat down at the main table. He looked tired.

“I had to settle my dad down. He thought it was 1965 and the original League was still fighting Red Lightning. I didn’t know he still had one.” He held a ring in his hand. The gem flickered.

“How’s Grandpa?” Daniel asked.

“OK, for now. He’s with Mom.”

Daniel looked down at the table.

Jaclyn’s grandfather said, “I’m sorry.”

Mindstryke shrugged. “There’s nothing anyone can do about it. Let’s get on with this.”

Jaclyn’s grandfather nodded. “Alright. As I see it, we’ve got six people with their brains modified. Once we capture Mayor Bouman, any decent telepath should be able to clear the Rocket. Am I right, Mindstryke?”

Daniel’s dad nodded.

“Good. So what’s it like out there?”

“Chock full of tanks and troops,” Larry said.

“I didn’t go past the tanks,” Mindstryke said, “but the whole block around Bouman’s house is crawling with cops.”

“While you all were out,” Jaclyn’s grandfather said, “I was listening to the radio. From what I can tell, the mayor called in the police, the National Guard, and the Feds around the time he sent out these clowns.” He waved in the direction of the people sleeping on our carpet.

“He can’t do that, can he? I didn’t think mayors could just call the National Guard or the Feds in,” I said.

“They can’t,” Mindstryke said, “but he’s had every opportunity to touch the minds of people who can.”

“What I’m thinking,” Jaclyn’s grandfather said, “is that stealth would be best. Travis and Haley, you’ve both got Chuck’s abilities, correct?”

Travis said, “Yes, sir,” while Haley said, “Right,” in a chirpy voice that seemed somehow out of place.

“Good. Then I think the two of them should sneak in, knock him out, and leave.”

“Unless the mayor senses them and bores straight into their heads,” Daniel said.

“That’s the hole in the plan,” Jaclyn’s grandfather said, sounding amused.

That you could drive a truck through, Daniel sent to me.

In both of our minds, Daniel’s dad’s voice said: Listen.

“Since stealth isn’t an option,” Jaclyn’s grandfather said, straightening in his chair, “we’ll have to take the direct route. Larry, could you take the Rhinomobile straight up to the door?”

Larry laughed. “I could drive it into the living room.”

“That’s not what I want you to do. I want you to drive straight up to the house and distract the police and the Guard. Fight them if you have to. Everyone who can’t fly will be with you.

“Everyone who can fly will be going in through the second floor. Nick, you’ll want to hang back while Daniel and his dad subdue the mayor. Someone will need to be watching for attacks from the air.”

“Is that likely?” I asked.

“Anything’s possible,” he said. “The Hangmen are in town. They’ve already been beaten back from the mayor’s house once today. When the Rhinomobile breaks through, it’ll be a race between you and Vengeance’s people. Be first.”

He moved his head to face everyone at the table, regarding us with his nearly sightless eyes.

“One more thing, you may kill somebody today. We don’t want you to, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. We won’t think anything less of you for it.”

“No. It can always be avoided,” Daniel’s dad said. “Always. And it should be. Whatever we might think, in the public’s opinion you’ll have killed an innocent man.”

“Not,” Jaclyn’s grandfather said, “in my experience.”

Daniel’s dad stood up. “We need to talk through a few things privately. Nick, is the lab unlocked?”

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