The Power: Part 15

Sean blinked, “Whoa. I didn’t see that coming.”

Dayton averted his eyes, but then looked up, “I know, but I’ve been thinking about this lately. I love the guy like a brother because he pretty much is, you know, but sometimes you love your brother even though you don’t always like him. Jody’s touchy and he bullies people—still.”

Stopping, Dayton frowned, “We all did that in school, but we grew out of it—even Jody. He doesn’t do it as much, but he’s still doing it. I’m hoping he does better in the future, but if he doesn’t, he’s going to be the guy giving the group a bad reputation. If our group takes off, that means he’s going to be the founder that everybody hates. And by that point, if we don’t take care of it, no one working for us will have the power to complain.”

Stomach sinking inside him, Sean knew Dayton had a point, “Yeah. I want to give him a chance, but I get it. If we start thinking about this as an organization, he’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.”

Turning his head toward the window, Dayton said, “That’s right, and worse, if he gets pissed at us mid-battle and runs off, maybe someone dies. I’m not saying that we have to kick him off the team right now, but I think we’re going to have to think through our rules for it when we set up the Justice Fist charter.”

Sean nodded, “Which we’ll do as part of Future-men’s package. This is going to feel weird. We’re going to be talking about how to throw him out right there and he’s going to be throwing out ideas for how to handle it.”

Shrugging Dayton said, “Or he’ll decide it’s all stupid and watch a video on his phone. It won’t just be for him. We really do need it in case we make a mistake as we expand or if one of us wants to leave on good terms too. A good policy helps everyone.”

Not even aware he was doing it until his hand slapped the table, Sean muttered, “Shit. I always imagined the three of us starting our own thing after graduation and having it be like being on the basketball team together, you know?”

Dayton smiled, “There’s no reason it can’t be like that. We can keep it small at first. I think we can handle him if it’s just us.”

Sean found himself staring at the black lacquer of the dining room table, remembering playing with Jody and Dayton as kids, roaming the playground of their elementary school, playing other teams on the basketball court… “This sucks.”

He looked up to find Dayton nodding, “I don’t like it either, but I can’t think of any other way to handle it. Keep him around as long as we can and hope he gets better over time. After that… Well, at least we can make it clean.”

“Ok,” Sean tapped out a message on his comm, “I’m telling Jody that we’re going to sign. He probably won’t come back right away, but he’ll know.”

“That’s good enough for me,” Dayton shook his head. “But it’s not the way I’d hoped this would go.”

“Me neither,” Sean checked the window, half-expecting to see Jody standing outside or to hear a knock on the door. “I feel worse that we’re even talking about kicking Jody out than I do that we might be facing Magnus somehow. It’s crazy.”

Dayton pushed his chair back and stood up, “No, it’s not. Facing supervillains is part of the job. Fighting with your friends isn’t. For all that I’ve heard about the Dominators, we might be able to win that one. If it gets to the point that we have to kick Jody out, we’re going to feel like we lost even if it’s good for the group.”

Sean stood up, walking with him toward the window and looking out over the city. Jody was running somewhere out there and Future-men’s lawyers were getting ready for the signing. Magnus might still be out there too if he didn’t have someone to teleport him out.

In the distance, the sun sparkled on the water of Grand Lake. Sean had spent most of his summer in the desert. He should go to the beach. Maybe Dayton and Jody would be up for it after the signing. He wondered if he’d be able to find his swimsuit in all the boxes in his room.

As they stood, Jody ran up the side of the building, coming over the edge in a blur and walking across the roof to knock on the condo’s side door.

When Sean let him in, Jody smirked at the both of them, “Thought you guys would make the right decision in the end.”

Dayton grinned, “We’re slower than you are. I’m glad you’re back.”

With a shrug, Jody joined Dayton at the window, “There’s nothing to do out there. I mean, sure, I could run around, but it’s not like I’m going to go get coffee dressed like this.”

He waved his hand across his costume. “I could have changed into normal clothes, but since you came to your senses, I’d rather wait in here. What changed?”

Dayton threw up his hands, “Nothing much. I just needed a little time to realize that we don’t have a plan b. We didn’t talk to any other investors.”

Jody nodded, “We should have. Maybe we could have gotten more cash out of them.”

“Maybe,” Sean thought back to his father. “What do you guys want to do tonight? I was thinking maybe we go out to dinner. Maybe go to the beach?”

Looking up at him, Jody said, “Whatever you guys are doing. I don’t have any plans.”

Dayton nodded, “Both of those sound good. It’ll be nice to do something normal. A couple of days ago Jody and I were both in space, followed by riding a rocket home, moving back in, and all of this drama. Now I’m ready to walk in the sand.”

“Cool,” Sean couldn’t disagree. After this afternoon, it did sound good to hang out as a team, whatever the future might hold.

Jody’s comm rang. Jody tapped the screen on his wrist, taking the call. Sean heard only Jody’s end of the conversation, “Bad timing, man. Talk to you later, okay?”

With another tap, Jody ended the call. “Stupid. It was someone from Stapledon.”

Sean had a gut feeling that Jody wasn’t telling the truth, but he didn’t feel like pushing it. They were going to sign with Future-men Capital, the premier investor in superhero teams.

Sometimes you needed to let a good moment be good.

18 thoughts on “The Power: Part 15”

  1. As I’ve been writing this story, it’s been a little weird. While Sean and the others have been talking about whether or not to sign a contract, I’ve signed one licensing Legion of Nothing to a comic company. It will appear in an app that allows you to buy it chapter by chapter. I’ll keep you aware of the details as I can share them.

    Oddly enough, I’ve been planning to write this story for years now. Having it happen while I’m working out a deal with a large corporate entity and consulting with my own lawyer is one of those strange bits of synchronicity you can’t anticipate.

    In other news, the next story starts the first book in the trilogy that ends the series. So there’s that.

    Finally, Top Web Fiction:

    1. That’s great, can’t wait to read it.
      Guess life is just funny like that sometimes. Things just match up.

    2. Gosh, I never thought Legion of Nothing would ever end. Just last Friday, I started rereading it from the very beginning. And tonight I see this post. Wow. Look forward to reading the comic on the app. And though this isn’t the best place to comment on the relationship, I always felt Rocket and Blood Maiden had much better chemistry then Rocket and Night Cat. Thank you for the years of love and story.

      1. I agree that Nick and Any have a stronger on-screen chemistry. But I think that’s an important part of Nick’s characterization and the role his relationship with Haley plays in the story. In his romantic pursuits, he’s not primarily motivated by immediate personal chemistry.

        It also raises the question of what makes various alternate universe versions of Nick different from (or similar to) the one we know. The answer to this question might have a lot of import given what we know about how Lee interacts with alternate dimensions, and the fact that Nick has started accessing some of that kind of power.

    3. and then the next story takes place 14 years later as Nick and Night Cat’s daughter hits high school….

      1. When Nickie Cat (Nick and Night Cat’s daughter) meets the new transfer student Aimee Nick.

        1. Not trying to be gross here, but is it incest if you’ve got the same father but they’re from different dimensions dimensions?

          1. Technically, no, since it’s not the same person. On a practical level, yes, because if all that counts is genetic inheritance, they’re the same father in that sense. It’d be like the children of identical twins. Technically, they’re cousins, but half of their genetic material comes from the same DNA.

            Granted, it’s actually a bit more complicated than that (even identical twins can have genetic differences), but it’s close.

      2. I was only half kidding when i said this, btw. IT would sort of be the ‘closed loop’ thing to start the cycle of stories again with the next generation

  2. I’m kind of hoping the epilogue will be Nick in the far far far future reflecting upon his life and how it all started. You know perhaps a few Millennia in the future. Maybe Rachel will be there as well as a ghost. And ask for Amy, come on, there are an infinite number of Nicks she can get through Infinite City. Maybe he’s like potato chips you can’t just have one.

  3. One bit to note is that most of this is written literally from Nick’s point of view. So much like Burn Notice, this is him informing someone else of what happened. Maybe his children or grand-children?

    1. I’ve always liked Roger Zelazny’s Amber series where you learn that the main character (Corwin) is telling the whole thing to his son. Oddly enough, in the second Amber series, his son Merlin tells various people what’s going on multiple times throughout the series (including, I think, his father eventually), leading Merlin to wonder if going autobiographical to people in times of stress is a family trait.

    2. Nealithi, You have me so wanting Jim to put a Chuck Finley character it one of those chapters now.

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