Wayward: Part II

The Wayward Son

Part II: A New Leaf

As I’d predicted the company didn’t discipline me for my actions. If anything, they spun what I’d done as a new partnership between the Met and them for a safer metropolis that had been kept secret. It was a total lie, but people seemed to buy it. And giving away a few suits in the future was worth the PR.

The rest of the month passed by quickly and I managed to fix our modular system in time for the big demo. In front of hundreds of the world’s top military officers and private security magnate our pilot demonstrated the suit’s capability to change and and adapt to any situation, claiming to herald the end of the need for specialized units. It was pure bollocks, but they seemed impressed regardless. The demonstration over, I retreated to our prep area and began running a check up on the systems.

“Jay, my boy.” Mr. Samuel Wentworth said as he approached me, even though I’d told him a thousand time that my sisters only Sana and Vani could call me Jay. He wrapped an arm around me, trying to do the fatherly routine. I wasn’t fond of physical contact and I repressed the urge to shake him off. “Brilliant work on the Nandaka, you wowed the audience.”

“That’s good, because I quit.”

“What?” Was all he answered.

“I’m done. I checked, the suit fill all of the parameters my contract required it to. Consider this my two week notice.”

“Please Jay, I’m sure we can negotiate something. You know how much I value your help.”

I paused.

“I want a suit for my own personal use, freedom to use it as I please and my own lab in a location of my choosing.”

“I…”

“Think about it. It’s win-win. You get to keep me on board, I improve your weapons and you get valuable real-world data on its performance. Plus you can spin what I do however you please.”

“Is this because of what happened with your sister? I know, your father told me.”

“Doesn’t matter. You heard my terms, take them or leave them.”

“I’ll have to ask the board. I can’t make that kind of decision all by myself.”

“Call me when they say yes.”

I finished the diagnosis and went home in a cab. Home was a good hour and a half away so that left me plenty of time to think. Once I came in, I found Sana was waiting for me, babysitting little Vani by herself. My sisters and I were only half siblings in reality. Although we shared the same dad, I’d been the result of an adventure between my dad and one of his childhood friend whom had passed only a few months after my birth.

“How did it go?” She asked, keeping her eyes on our three years old sister as she ate. The moment she would look away, Vani would throw the plate away and make a mess.

“It went well… I’m thinking of quitting.”

“Wait, for real?” She turned my way and stopped paying attention for a second.

So Vani put her plate on as a hat, sending spaghetti everywhere. Vani thought it was the funniest thing ever and started giggling her lungs out. Sana on the other hand let out the most primordial howl of frustration ever heard in history.

I helped her clean it all up before setting Vani in the tub, which made her happy. She probably made messes all the time just so we’d have to give her a bath. Toddlers are devious like that, cute but devious.

“You’re seriously leaving? Like you’re not going to do what dad wants for once?”

“Yeah, I think it’s time for something new.”

“What are you going to do, go back to college?”

“I was thinking of something more physical.”

As I said that, my phone vibrated and I took it out; it was Mr. Wentworth.

> They said yes. Don’t fuck up.

I couldn’t help but smile. Only one was thing left to take care of.

***

The London office of the Legion wasn’t as impressive as its american counterpart but it was still impressive; A massive statue of it’s founding members stood in front of the buildings. Technically they shared it with the Parahuman Initiative of the Metropolis or the PIM, but nobody cared about that.

I walked into the large lobby, three floor in height of glass, steel and marble. People were walking about from one side to the other and there were even a few parahuman officers on duty; one of them easily recognizable by her glowing orange skin.

“Can I help you?” The receptionist asked.

“Uh, yeah.” I fumbled around my pocket and found the card the Captain had given me. “Captain Thunder told me to give you this.”

“You must be Sanjay.” She said picking up her phone.

“How do you know my name?”

“Captain Thunder has told us to you might come by some time ago.”

That didn’t really answer the question, I hadn’t told him my name. But then again the Legion wouldn’t have been as good as it was if it wasn’t able to find my name from SecuriTech’s employee database.

“Here’s your visitor badge. Please head to the waiting room ahead. The Captain is currently busy but should be available soon.”

I took the badge and she pointed me to the security gate. I let it scan my badge and it let me through.

The center of the lobby was like a miniature park with trees, bushes and flowers. Benches were scattered around and a few kiosk sold food to people. I got a falafel sandwich and sat down to wait for my rendezvous.

After about an hour, Captain Thunder came to meet me, although he was less spectacular this time, coming down the lift like anyone else would. Still, he had the stature of a Greek god and wore  his trademark costume; a black set of tights with a golden lightning emblem and a pristine white cape flowing over his shoulders. Capes didn’t look all that great, they’re big and awkward and really don’t look good on most people. But the Captain could pull it off.

“So you came.” He said, crossing his arms over his chest.

“I did.”

“I expected you earlier.”

“I had things to finish.”

“And have they been taken care of?”

“They have. You said when I had decided to do something better with my life, to come and see you here. What for?”

“We’re always on the lookout for people with the right spirit. You qualify. And from what you did, you have the talent to back that up.”

“What did you have in mind?”

He walked over to an information booth and picked a pamphlet, handing it to me.

I read it; Ravenhold Academy, 2016.

“The superhero school?”

“I’ve got a voucher I haven’t used. It’s yours. Any questions?”

“When do I begin?”

“Three weeks from now. We’ll arrange transportation. But I have to ask; what about your suit, isn’t that going to be a problem?”

“I got that taken care of already.”

“Efficient. I like that. I’ll call you when it’s time.”

He walked me to the exit and left the building before flying away. I walked further down the street before I took my phone out. It rang a few times before I got an answer from the secretary who redirected me.

“Mr. Wentworth?” I asked.

“Yes, Jay. What can I do for you?”

“I’ve decided where I want my lab.”

“And where is that?”

“Priest Island, Maine. Make it a portable one. I’ll need it by early September.”

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