Glory: Part 2

“Blue strained herself,” Jaclyn said, using the codename we’d used for her last time we’d gotten desperate for a codename.

Her current costume was actually a costume, and it did have some blue and yellow on it, but more black. It reminded me of Native American designs—which fit. She was at least partially Mexican, and a lot of them descended from native tribes.

“Whoa,” Vaughn said. “Her powers, you mean? She doesn’t look hurt.”

He landed near us. I felt the pull of the wind that kept him in the air stop.

Sean landed near him, and the Rocket suit didn’t miss a beat—no static, errors or anything. Either he was getting better at controlling himself, or the suit’s shielding worked like it was supposed to.

His eyes fell on Travis, who was still tapping on his communicator.

“What’s up? Something going on?”

Travis glanced over at him, and frowned for a brief moment. “I’m trying to find out what happened in Grand Lake.”

Sean’s puzzled expression showed that he had no idea what happened in Grand Lake.

Travis didn’t even look up from the screen as Jaclyn said, “Local capes, including your sister, fought a ship full of aliens.”

He blinked. “No kidding. Are they okay?”

Jaclyn shook her head. “No one knows. They were shouting about pressing a button, and after that, radio silence.”

“Fuck,” Sean announced to no one in particular, “I told Sydney not to get involved in whatever thing she was doing with Haley and Camille. I mean, how could they think they could handle something like that?”

“They had help,” I said. I’d stopped trying to contact them. “Man-machine was there, I guess, and probably the Shift, and—“

Sean turned to stare at me. “Didn’t you put him in prison or something?”

Jaclyn broke in before I could reply. “It sounds like he’s out, but that’s not all. Could you please stop saying people’s names in public? Someone could be listening.”

Sean rolled his eyes. “Come on, Accelerando,” he emphasized her codename, “they evacuated the city. Who’s going to hear us?”

A voice from above us said, “She’s got a good point.”

I jerked my head toward the sound of the voice. I think most of us did because the voice said, “Relax everybody, I’m here to ask questions, not fight.”

“Get on with it,” Travis said. “I noticed you a couple minutes ago.” He didn’t look up from his comm.

A short man hung in the air above us, camera balancing on his shoulder. The crazy thing was, I recognized the guy. He’d flown into Grand Lake with Justice Fiend last year.

“I wasn’t recording,” the man said, landing on the pier. “But Accelerando’s right. You don’t know who could be listening in. Some tabloids would pay thousands of dollars for a hero’s first name even if they didn’t know which hero it was. Somebody would figure it out, more so with you than most. You don’t even have a secret identity, right?”

Sean eyed the guy, giving him a suspicious look. “What are you doing here?”

Smiling, the man said, “Glad you asked. I’m Shane Perez. I specialize in shooting video of supers, especially when they’re fighting. Right now I’m shooting video for local TV stations, but I work on movies too.”

As if he were making some kind of point, Sean commented, “You don’t have a secret identity either.”

Camera aimed casually toward the ground, Shane said, “Not in the least, but I’m not a superhero or a criminal. People pay me to get footage, and that’s all. Sometimes they pay me to ask questions too. That’s why I’m here today. I just got some amazing footage of that ship uncloaking, having its power fail, start to fall, get held up, and then completely fall apart as a group of heroes escape. I’d like all of you to talk about that. It won’t take long—five or ten minutes tops.”

Sean gave us a sidelong glance, then turned back toward Shane. “I could answer some questions.”

Vaughn shrugged. “Whatever. It’s over now. I don’t think we’ve got a schedule, but what about Blue? Shouldn’t we be getting her somewhere?”

This didn’t seem like the right time for an interview, but I didn’t have a good reason to say no, beyond being irritated. “I can’t even promise five minutes. People are already on their way for Blue now, and when she goes, we all ought to go.”

Shane raised the camera as Jaclyn shook her head and knelt down to check Izzy’s pulse.

“So why don’t you start with why you were on the spaceship to begin with. What was the plan?”

We talked him through it despite a background feeling that I should have told him to go away. We talked through everything he’d filmed through to in the end including Izzy’s contribution.

Vaughn laughed, and punched Sean’s shoulder, “No way, I told you it was too light. I mean seriously, I did my best, but I don’t exactly have a precise power. If I’d gone all out I’d have taken out buildings on both sides of the river with tornadoes. We’d have done more damage than if we’d let the ship fall.”

Sean meanwhile looked like he’d discovered a particularly bad smell. “It’s not like we didn’t do anything. I put my all into keeping that thing up. When they came out and we could finally let go, I pushed the falling pieces away from them.”

He had? I hadn’t felt like I was getting any help at all, but I couldn’t be sure. For all I knew, his help might have made all the difference.

“We didn’t get hit,” I said. “I hate to think what would have happened if we had. Normally, Blue’s pretty close to invulnerable, but I don’t know what she is right now.”

I wondered if I should go further than that, but didn’t. I didn’t want to diminish what Izzy had done. She’d made all the difference in keeping the ship up. At the same time, Sean had done his best. You can’t ask for more than that.

Shane stopped filming, aiming his camera down. “Thanks everybody. Maybe you’ll see yourselves on TV.”

Then he flew away.

Rachel appeared a few minutes later, fading into view next to Izzy’s bench.

Travis looked up from his comm. “Where have you been?”

Rachel grinned. “The Hrrnna leader left in an escape pod. I’ve been redirecting him.”

21 thoughts on “Glory: Part 2”

  1. And we have the reappearance of a character that I suspect very few of you remember, and even less of you were curious about–the flying cameraman from the Rivalry arc…

  2. Really hope they didn’t go too deep into reasons beyond “aliens attacking.” The entire point was to hush things up, not make them public…

  3. “Relax everybody, I’m hear to ask questions, not fight.”

    Other than the possibility that the guy might have the super power to turn homophones into ironic text puns through the 4th wall, I think you meant here, not hear.

    *whistles innocently*

  4. Hey Jim, something that you might consider mentioning every now and then, which I don’t think many people realize, is that it is possible to vote for at least seven different titles over at topwebfiction.

    A lot of people only vote for one title. I thought you could only vote once for several months, until I noticed that the voting hyperlinks changed colors when they were active, then tried to vote several times. It worked.

    I don’t know what the limit of number of votes is though. (I currently have seven titles I vote for.)

  5. It would be good to have a link to vote on Top Web Fiction just between the story and the comments. I always forget to vote but would probably if I saw the link after reading.

    1. Smart of the cameraman. The goodwill of the HL will almost certainly be worth more long term than the reward of outinhg Haley; it might be worth giving up the opertunity to just avoid antagonizing the league.

  6. Giom,

    Since he hasn’t done it yet, I’d bet Jim is uncomfortable putting in a link like that in so obvious a place. I know I certainly was, and I’ve only done it once. The only reason why I did do it was I noticed that shortly after Pact hit TopWebFiction, my votes tanked to about half of what they were before.

    *shakes fist at Wildbow in mock-anger*

    That led me to think that my own one-time belief that one could only vote once might be shared by others, so I put in a single link at the bottom of my most recent chapter saying that one might vote for at least seven entries (that’s what I’m currently voting for)

    In four days, my votes have restored to pre-Pact levels, and a bit beyond.

    I’m pretty darn certain now that most people at least start out believing that one can only vote once at TopWebFiction.

  7. I didn’t want diminish what Izzy had done. – is missing a ‘to’ (Didn’t notice the first time.)

  8. Yeah, I totally didn’t remember the cameraman, but I like the continuity nods. Good job with that; in any story, I’m sure there’s some stuff only a writer and 2 or 3 other people might ever catch on to. Also, good job keeping Rachel awesome even if it’s not shown directly – in fact, it’s almost better that way, given how the imagination can take over!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *