On Saturday morning Jaclyn and I stepped out of the elevator into the main room of the headquarters of the Grand Lake Heroes League. It smelled just as musty as you might expect the HQ of a super organization that’s been defunct for twenty years.

Jaclyn had just been saying, “If I’d known what ‘DVD Night’ was really all about, I’d have been there last week.”

I’d been just about to reply, “Keeping it secret and then springing it on people was Cassie’s idea so you probably ought to take that up with her,” but then the door opened.

Cassie sat directly in front of us in the main room. Two empty mailbags lay on the floor. Two piles of mail covered half of the table.

“Will you look at this?” Cassie waved her hand toward the piles. “This is just since the fight.”

“Wow,” I said. “What’s in them?”

“Fan mail, mostly. Did you know that the Heroes League even had a fan club? It looks like they’re still going and most of them are ecstatic that we’re back. And when I say ecstatic, I mean pages and pages worth of gushing praise from old people—you know, baby boomers.”

I looked over the piles. There were a lot of letters. ”So that’s all fan mail?”

“Well, no. There are a few people who complain about the new Captain Commando being a ‘little girl.’ There’s some perv out there who wants naked pictures of me. And back on the fannish end of things, there are a bunch of girls who think Daniel is super cute and want his autograph.”

“Anything for me?”

“Do you like bills?”

Jaclyn laughed. I groaned, thinking of all the things we might be charged for. Still, last week’s power outage wasn’t entirely our fault.

“I’m joking,” Cassie said. “Sure. There are a bunch of people who wrote to say how the first Rocket inspired them to go into engineering or something like that. And then there are another bunch of people who want hints on how they can make a suit of powered armor of their very own.”

“Oh great.”

“Well anyway,” Cassie said, ”would you mind helping me look through this stuff?”

So that’s how we spent most of the next two hours. Daniel was attending a cousin’s Bar Mitzvah, but we ended up discussing what Cassie called “team business” anyway. What sort of team business given that we didn’t officially have a team? You’d just have to ask Cassie--which I did.

“How about a team name? The press will want to call us something and if we don’t give them a name, they’ll just call us ‘the New Heroes League’ or something worse.”

“Or how about this,” she continued. “How do we decide who can join up? I’ve been talking to Vaughn and he’s interested, but it’s not like he’s got any powers or anything. But, you know, I bet he could get powers.”

I paused in the middle of opening a letter and glanced at Jaclyn whose jaw had dropped a little. “That could work out well,” she said, “if he turns out to be a little less completely insane than his grandfather.”

“He’s not like that at all,” Cassie said. “You remember him from the picnics, right? Nick, you know him a little. Tell her.”

Well, I did know him. We were on the Cross Country team together, but he’s not one of the people I hung out with on the team. For that matter, he didn’t attend very many picnics either. I don’t know the reason, but I suspect that it’s because Vaughn’s grandmother might have felt a little uncomfortable hanging out with a bunch of people who would have killed her husband if he hadn’t managed to die first.

I didn’t say that though. All I said was, “Do you suppose he ever wants revenge for his grandfather’s death?”

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About the author


Bio: Jim Zoetewey grew up in Holland, Michigan, near where L Frank Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz and other books in that series. Admittedly, Baum moved away more than sixty years before Jim was even born, but it's still kind of cool. Jim didn't attain his goal of never leaving school, but did prolong his stay as long as possible. He majored in religion and sociology at Hope College, gaining enough credits to obtain minors in ancient civilizations and creative writing—had he thought to submit applications to the relevant departments. He attended Western Theological Seminary for two years. He followed that up by getting a masters degree in sociology at Western Michigan University. Once out of school, he took up the most logical occupation for someone with his educational background: web developer and technical support. Simultaneously, he finished all but three credits of a masters in Information Systems, a degree that's actually relevant to his field. He's still not done. In the meantime, he's been writing stories about superheroes and posting them online at He's still not sure whether that was a good idea, but continues to do it anyway. He's also not sure why he's writing this in the third person, but he's never seen an author bio written in first person and doesn't want to rock the boat.

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