Blink’s earlier adventures:
Blink’s First Adventure | 2 | 3 | 4
Superhero Summer Camp (this one): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
“Oh yeah,” said Nixi. “Cap messed up his ankle last night. I guess it’s just us this morning.”
“I don’t want to go alone,” Sarika huffed, taking Blink’s hand.
“We can go together,” Blink suggested. “All three of us. We know the route by now.”
Sarika scowled, looking between Blink and Nixi. Nixi just smirked, while Blink racked his brains.
“Seriously,” he said at last. “We should go together. That way, your mom can’t say we were out there alone. I don’t want to get on her bad side. She saved my life and all, you know.”
“I guess,” Sarika huffed.
“Let’s take this golf cart,” said Nixi. “The keys are in it.” The look she gave Blink said high-maintenance.
“So what have you been doing this summer?” Blink asked Sarika, as Nixi jogged behind them.
“I’ve been working in the Advanced Research department,” she replied. “We’re gonna take the pieces of the battle-bots you guys destroyed and make new ones. Security can use them.”
“There was something left?”
“Well, you and that villain wrecked the bottom halves, and Mama and the other Devis destroyed top halves. There was enough left to make seven whole ones, and a bunch of spare parts. So we’re dropping everything to get that done this week. We’ll need to reprogram them all, too.”
“You should get Nixi to do that.”
“It’s a different set of skills,” Nixi said from behind. “They’re doing embedded software, and I’m doing web development. I could learn what needs to be done, sure, but by the time I could help, it would be time to go back to school. And the intranet wouldn’t get done.” She chuckled. “That’s why Uncle Zero didn’t have them fix the intranet. I already knew what to do.”
“Yeah.” Blink turned back to Sarika. “That’s this week. What have you been doing the rest of the summer?”
“Captain Heroic has been helping with some gadget designs. I’ve been interning, mostly helping him out.”
“Yeah. Well, Captain Heroic isn’t here to escort me back to that side of the facility, so I guess I can eat breakfast with you.” Sarika gave him a dazzling smile.
“Yeah… uh, that’s great,” he said. “Do you eat meat, though? They serve a lot of bacon and eggs.”
“No, but what about pancakes? I can eat pancakes.”
“Yeah,” Nixi said from behind, between breaths. “We get pancakes.”
“Good,” Sarika replied. “So I’ll eat with you, then I’ll go back to my stuff.”
After breakfast, Captain Heroic and Professor Zero took Blink to a conference room in the public-facing building. “This is a standard debriefing,” Professor Zero told him. “You and Cap both need to describe what happened last night, in your own words. And don’t correct the other one. Each one of you will have a chance to tell your side, okay?”
“Yeah,” said Blink. Captain Heroic nodded; Blink figured he’d been through a thousand of these. The oldest and youngest superheroes described their roles, and both found the other’s stories to have only the smallest discrepancies.
“Okay,” said Professor Zero, “now I need Blink to tell me about his encounter with Warmonger. What was said. Don’t worry about details. I want them all. Start with when you reached the highway.”
“Yeah,” Blink replied, reliving the moment. “There were two eighteen-wheelers parked out at the road—”
“They probably brought the ABAs,” said Zero. “Do you remember any markings?”
“They didn’t have any. I don’t think. So I started walking, and Warmonger stopped and offered me a ride.”
Zero leaned forward, pen poised. “Then what?”
“Well, he said something to get me mad, and he had to stop and pick up the back of his Jeep a few times. Then, he told me—I need to ask you guys something.”
Zero and Captain Heroic looked at each other. “What did he say?” Zero asked, sounding wary.
“Why do you—we—provide free security for the mega-rich people?” Blink asked, trying to keep his outrage in check. “Why is it up to the villains to keep them from eating everyone else?”
“Blink, it’s a lot more complicated than that,” Zero replied. “It’s… well, it’s hard to explain.”
“You’re the genius,” said Blink. “You need to figure out how to explain it. Because I’m not sure I want to be a hero like that. Grimes Financial about threw us out of our house, and—and—” he trailed off, sputtering.
“I understand,” said Captain Heroic. “You don’t want to defend them. You won’t have to, though. When you’re active, you can find your own niche. But as a hero, okay? We made a deal.”
“What bothers me,” said Professor Zero,” is that Type I superheroes are genetic. That means you have an ancestor with superpowers, and I don’t mean a distant ancestor. Grandparents at most.”
“Huh.” Blink thought a moment. “My grandparents are pretty normal.”
“That’s the point of a secret identity,” said Captain Heroic. “Can you think of anything about them that seems… oh, I don’t know. A little off?”
“Nuh-uh. Maybe if I knew what to look for. Some of the stuff Mom did to keep our house was pretty amazing, though.”
“Mothers are natural superheroes,” said Professor Zero. “But if you think of anything, use the Secure Message app to contact me.”