What She Asked For: Part 6

“Huh,” I struggled to come up with some way to deny it. What exactly had we said? Haley had mentioned Storm King. That linked us directly to the Heroes League without question. Plus everyone knew Travis was Haley’s older brother, and she had to have heard him if she heard Haley.


Well, maybe I’d gotten lucky and she’d missed that part?

“You’re with the Heroes League?” She said slowly. She stopped walking, and so did I.

I checked around us—again, seeing only the porch lights of the houses around us, the streetlights, and campus directly ahead. If someone were around, I couldn’t see them.

Given the powers of people I knew, that meant nothing.

I needed to create see-in-the-dark glasses with 360 degree vision for when I wasn’t in costume one of these days. One more thing for my constantly growing list of “to-do’s.”

“Can’t talk about it,” I said.

If I told her anything, and there was a telepath around, I might as well be shouting our real names in the street.

I really wished Daniel were here, or at least that he could fly across Lake Michigan as easily as his father did.

“Let’s keep on walking,” I said, and tried to figure out what to do next.

What would Lee do? I thought about that for a second.

Kill her, probably.

OK, what would Grandpa do? Judging from what happened with Grandma, marry her.

That wasn’t an option, and anyway, unless you were a polygamist, that would only work once.

“We need to talk about this somewhere no one will hear us.”

Keeping her voice low, Courtney said, “Where?”

“I’m thinking about it.”

What would Lee do if someone he’d actually listen to (like Grandpa) told him not to kill her? I didn’t know, but I felt sure he wouldn’t leave her alone.

We walked two blocks without talking.

Turning my head as little as possible, I used my peripheral vision to keep as much of my surroundings in my view as I could. It was a technique Lee had taught me.

We still weren’t being followed. I probably walked a little more quickly than usual, but Courtney kept up without a problem.

She glanced at me when we neared the parking garage.

“The van,” I said.

A few minutes later we opened the van’s doors. The moment they shut, she said, “Are you the Rocket?”

“Yes,” I said. “Could you give me a second?”

I stepped into the back, and pulled the curtain across, and changed into the rest of the stealth suit. When I opened the curtain, I stepped out in the black jacket, and pants of the stealth suit, and carrying my helmet and guitar.

“This is so weird, I had no idea.” She stared at the uniform. “Well,” she said, “not until a few minutes ago.”

I sat down, and turned the key.

The van turned on, and I clicked on the buttons that logged us into the League’s communications system.

A screen on the dashboard showed everyone’s positions. Haley, Travis, and Vaughn were stopped somewhere on Jefferson Street. Cassie and Marcus were moving separately in that direction.

I was going be last. I knew I had to tell people, but I didn’t look forward to explaining why.

I backed out of the space, and started driving.

I was about to say something to Courtney when Haley’s voice came over the communicator. “Rocket, are you driving here?”

“Yes. Things got complicated. I’ll explain when I arrive.”

She didn’t say anything for a second, making me wonder if she’d hung up. Then, “Davis went into the back of a store. It’s right next to that night club in the strip mall… Lakeside Lounge? We’re trying not to get too close.”

“Got it,” I said, and then she did hang up.

Lakeside Lounge wasn’t more than twenty minutes away. I drove south, passing through downtown, blocks of old factories turning to blocks of old houses as I drove.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Courtney looking at the van’s dashboard, and glancing downward at my guitar.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” I told her. “Our original plan called for following him, but it looks like he’s gone somewhere interesting. Anything could happen now.”

“This still doesn’t seem real to me,” she said.

“Yeah. Well, ‘anything’ includes a big fight. I’m not going to park nearby. You shouldn’t even be close enough to see it, but I need you to stay in here if there is one. I’m hoping there won’t be.”

She took a breath. “You don’t have anything to worry about. I don’t know anything about fighting.”

The car ahead of us slowed for a red light. I pushed down the brakes, and they responded a little more slowly than I expected. Still, I didn’t hit the car.

I felt a little like screaming. Between the Nine, trying to figure out how to bring up the block with Courtney, and how I’d explain her presence to everyone else, I had too much going on in my head.

19 thoughts on “What She Asked For: Part 6”

  1. Welcome to Action News 10, we’re here at the sight of a car crash where it appears that a superhero known as The Rocket rear ended another car with his van, which had a college-age girl in it. We don’t have any word yet on his blood alcohol level, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was quite intoxicated. After all, he regularly pilots a suit of armor around and now he’s crashed a car. We also can’t confirm whether the girl is in fact a prostitute, but we’re not leaving any assumptions off the table. While we can neither confirm nor deny that he was giving her power juice for her services, we are merely reporting that it is a possibility in this broadcast for everyone to hear. I can’t get a good look at the scene of the crash, but I would say that the car that was hit might have had a teenage mother and prematurely born baby just going home after a hard birth at the hospital, happy that she didn’t have the abortion and with a new outlook on life that will prompt her to dump her jock boyfriend and marry the shy nerd who has always had a crush on her, living happily ever after. Once again, we don’t know this is actually the case, this is just my speculation.

  2. site*

    Because I don’t get to go back and correct all my typos, but I am darn well correcting this one! *Misses any others*

  3. Asking “What Would Lee Do?” to work through your problems doesn’t seem to give ideal results. 🙂

    I’m not sure what “bring up the block with Courtney” means; some reference to getting Daniel to install a block to protect the secrets of the Heroes League in her mind from telepaths?

    I guess explaining how he could give her access to a power impregnator isn’t quite such a big issue, now…

  4. Gecko; ok, you bugger, almost getting me into trouble at work (yeah, yeah, you could argue my own fault for reading this here, but tis my lunch break!) making me laugh so loudly!

  5. Dreamer you are correct, but the block is more for protection versus normal blabbing about secrets. Telepaths are harder to keep out.

  6. I’m guessing this is all a set up by the 9. they guessed that if they set up a recruitment op in the same town as the Hero’s league that they would get fallowed back at some point. So it the words of General Ackbar “it’s a trap!”

  7. WWLD: “Verily, I say unto you, turn the other cheek, so I may more easily slide sword into it.”

  8. Jeff: it’s my hope that the cliffhangers coming up will be far worse than this.

    PG: And sadly, I didn’t notice the typo in your own comment until you pointed it out.

    Dreamer: As DWwolf wrote, you’re right about the reference to the block. More details on that later… With regards to Lee… He’s not really the best guy to take moral guidance from.

    Rain: Um… No comment?

  9. No need for the block, or explaining Courtney about it. Just drug her up, wipe her mind and dump her in some seedy motel with a couple of empty bottles and used condoms. She’ll just think she had a wild night.

  10. Yeah, that’s just what Courtney needs, something else to beat herself up about :p Nah, deputize her, effective immediately. You can get the block set up later.

  11. Let’s be fair that there’s probably lots she can do with that level of shapeshifting besides manning the controls. There’ll probably be a situation when it’ll come in handy to be owed a favor by someone who can look like Cassie during a tense standoff. The appearance cahnging suggesting by DWwolf is a good one too. She’d be a great undercover person, and can handle her own witness protection easily.

    Also, I think Haley’d want to have some words with Nick if he just left Courtney unconcious in a seedy motel with used condoms laying around.

  12. What I’m wondering is, if she has enough to control to quickly add/drop mass/flesh and adjust the functioning of internal organs, she should be able heal herself pretty darn quick too, so long as she doesn’t actually lose a body part.


  13. Reading through, and as soon as Nick started thinking “What would Lee/Grandad do?” I thought “Remember Nick – what would Batman do?” Yes, I remember that far back.
    He considered it early on in the story.
    As for WWBD… “Yes… I’m Batman.” *Jerden then vanishes in a cloud of smoke, running away shouting “Oh craaap!!!”*

  14. It is always cool when people read things through and comment. It’s also got the good point of allowing people to catch where I’m inconsistent (which hopefully doesn’t happen often).

  15. I haven’t seen it yet, but I can think of one extremely useful thing Courtney could do.

    A duplicate, to help heroes defend their secret identities, and it wouldn’t be an illusion, and it is permanent until she changes it.

    If she can actually duplicate scent then the only thing that would easily detect her would be magic or psi powers.

    This by itself should be enough to get her towards the top of the government sponsored list. All these new heroes mean lots of secret identity snafus.

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