Tuesday, 31 March 2015

1.9 Mad Beasts Part 3

We’re sat around the table, all of the League plus Alex. The others are all in costume while Narszara and I are wearing our respective armours. Alex is wearing a white shirt and jeans and we all got food and drink. Mainly cola and margarita pizza.

“So what’s happening?” asks Sky, “I’m assuming there is a reason behind this meeting.”

“Let’s cover some simple things first,” says Sam, “For starters, nobody has a problem with the Rileys and Alex moving into the base?”

A smattering of agreement come from around the table. It seems some less of a problem than others.

“I sure everybody heard about out Oakley figured Sentinel’s identity out?” continues Sam.

“No,” says Stefan with a look at me while Vance shakes his head.

“Okay,” says Sam, “Let’s recap. Inspector Oakley and Constable Melville when to Daniel’s granddad’s house to get this statement about the fight on Sunday. Once there, Oakley figured Daniel’s identity using a variety of information, not just putting two and two together so we don’t need to worry about someone else figuring our identities in the same manner. Both agreed to keep our identities secret and it might be useful have a high ranking field member of the police on our side.”

“I’m not sure about it,” says Stefan nervously, “I had enough trouble with the police knowing I’m the grandson of Black Storm without them knowing I’m also Storm King.”

“We don’t need to worry about Oakley,” I reassure him, “He’s trustable and one of the good guys. While it may not be a good thing he’s figured out my identity, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. And we got more important matters to deal with.”

“Vengeance is being transported to secure locations tomorrow night following information about a breakout attempt,” says Sam, “Our MI9 liaison, Agent Lewis, has asked for our helped in escorting them as most of the Defenders are busy. That’s why we asked you to clear your Friday nights.”

“Who’s with who?” asks Lucy.

“Spectre, Powerbeam and Controller will be escorting Mad Cat,” says Sam, “Kevin, Werebeast and I will be with Avenger. Sky, James, Vance and Lucy, you’ll be guarding Forsworn. Charlie, Stefan, Helen and Narszara, you guys will be escorting Nightmare. Daniel and Carrie, you two will guard Mad Dog along with Robyn Hood. Any questions?”

“How long will it be?” asks Carrie, “I don’t want to be up too late.”

“It’ll start at seven, but we will have to be there in costume before then,” answers Sam, “It should last roughly an hour if everything goes according to plan.”

“So who’s trying to break them out?” inquires James.

“No clue,” answers Sam, “MI9 isn’t convinced it isn’t a trick to get Vengeance into the open, but can’t afford not to beef up Vengeance’s security.”

“I’ll look into it,” offers Alex, “And I can act as mission control.”

After that it, the topic turns to small talk.


“It’s cold,” says Robyn Hood as we watch Mad Dog get loaded up into an armoured police truck.

Robyn’s real name is Linda Pierce and is the only non-powered superhero in the Albion Defenders if you count owning power armour as a superpower. Her hair is short and brown while her eyes are covered by a large domino mask. The rest of her costume is a green cos-mat version of Robin’s hood, complete with a silly green hat that usually gets lost in the opening moments of battle. A leather quiver containing a dozen assorted arrows is strapped to her back.

I look at Mad Dog. In her untransformed state, she has muscular body, a feral look, a messy mane of tattered black hair. Her eyes have a crazed look to them. How on Earth could people have mistaken his madwoman for a hero? Especially when she maimed people in such a brutal manner.

“That’s why I’m morphed,” replies Carrie in a deep growl, “My fur is pretty thick.”

“My armour has internal air conditioning,” I say, “That scum looks as crazy as she is.”

“How the hell can she enjoy losing control of her beast side?” asks Carrie, a sicken look on her furry face, “I know at first it can be hard to tame, but it gets easier with time. A lot easier. The only way you lose it like she and her sister do if you’re forced into it or you choose to.”

“I wouldn’t know,” mutters Robyn.

“Is something wrong?” asks Carrie.

“No, I just don’t like powers that much, especially the ones people lose control of,” replies Robyn with a wave of her hand, “It’s hard being the only superhero in the nation without any superpowers and at times, it just gets to me. Especially when most of your friends and co-workers have hit the jackpot when it comes to powers.”

“I haven’t got any powers myself, but I can’t complain with all the other stuff I got,” I reply, “But do understand what’s like going up against supers with no powers and only training.”

“I believe you,” says Robyn, “I’ve worked with Narszara before you. She’s strange and scary to watch in battle, but seems nice and has a good heart.”

I’m about to reply that’s not what I meant when we receive the all clear. They’re ready to move out.

Friday, 27 March 2015

1.9 Mad Beasts Part 2

I look around granddad’s house. Despite telling people this was where I was spending most of my time when I was at the base, I haven’t actually been here for quite a while now.

I notice a police car roll up outside and it occurs to me that, as Daniel Griffin, I haven’t given a police statement about my fight with Nightblade yet due to my attempts to avoid the press.

I look out the window to see who’s in the car and I blink in surprise when I spot Inspector Oakley get out. I consider him a helpful associate when dealing with the police as Sentinel and we get on fairly well.

Of course I have to pretend I don’t know him thanks to my secret identity.

I look at the second officer to get out on the passenger side, wondering if it is also someone the Sentinel knows.

The answer turns out to be yes as I spot Constable Melville, one of the three supers on the Hampshire police force.  I guess the reason both of them are here is due to this involving a superhuman and them both being part of the superhuman department.

I walk towards the door and open it before the officers can knock.

“Hello?” I greet to them.

Let me tell you something, it is weird meeting two people who you know, but they don’t know you and don’t know you know them and you have to pretend not to know them.

But something must click into place as Oakley blinks at me and stares for a moment. Melville gives him a look.

“Daniel Griffin?” asks Oakley as he focuses again.

“Yes Inspector,” I reply and I flinch internally at my mistake.

Not many people know how about different police ranks, particularly the higher up ones, here in the UK due to the lack of them on TV, especially how to recognise one. That must have tipped him off about something.

“We’ve here to collect your statement about your fight with the supervillain assassin Nightblade last Thursday at St James Park,” says Oakley as he looks at me, “May we come inside?”

“Sure,” I tell him.

Normally I wouldn’t invite the police inside, but I know Oakley well enough to trust even if he doesn’t know it.

I step aside and let Oakley and Melville inside.

“I saw your face after Narszara arrive,” says Oakley in a causal manner.

Yup, he’s figured it out. Next time, I need to be more careful.

“So you pieced it together,” I reply as Melville looks at the two of us, confusion on her face.

“What’s going on?” asks Melville.

“Meet Daniel Griffin, Eleanor, also known as the Sentinel,” answers Oakley.

“Him?” blurts out Melville.

“Me,” I reply, “By the way, my identity is secret so keep it secret. You weren’t supposed to find out and you don’t want to find out the consequences if you reveal it.”

“After all the trouble that it’s caused Britannia, I’m not revealing any super’s secret identity,” says Oakley, “But you sure do make a lot more sense now.”


“We were looking over your background over the last few days, especially since you held your own against Nightblade,” says Oakley, “And kid, you are not normal. You’re a millionaire that lives like middle-class. Not only that, but you got your grandfather’s money, company and house over the rest of your family. And people you hang out with just don’t fit. I’m going to guess they make up the rest of the League? Anyway, you and your friends are very mysterious. You seem to go off the grid while hanging out with each other, but it’s not only when the League shows up. Not to mention how well you have avoided the media, it’s almost unreal. You also took on Nightblade and almost beat him. Yet you don’t have any powers like he does. But you do have training from an old family friend who we can’t trace at all. Plus you’re associated with the Sentinel and the League like your grandfather was. None of it made any sense.”

“So you’re the Sentinel?” says Melville as she looks at in mild surprised, “You’re not what I expected, but then again, I’m not sure what I expected. I never really fought about what the Sentinel was beneath the armour. Apart from he was male. But even that, along with your age, we only had your word for.”

“That was sort of granddad’s idea,” I reply, “He felt that he should keep his normal identity separate from the Sentinel’s.”

“Except for when he was the Sentinel’s number one business partner it seems,” points Oakley.

“People just figured he worked with Sentinel, not that he actually him,” I reply with a shrug, “But aren’t you here to get my statement regarding Sunday’s events?”

“Good point,” concedes Oakley, “We best get onto that.”


I watch the police car pulls out before I call Sam.

“Hello,” answers Sam.

“Hey Sam,” I reply, “I called to called to tell that the police just collected my statement about Sunday at granddad’s house.”

“Anyone we know?”

“Just Inspector Oakley and Constable Melville. That’s part of the reason I called. Oakley put two and two together about our secret identity.”

“Is that bad or good?” asks Sam.

“Neither, just unexpected,” I reply, “Oakley and Melville can be trusted.”

“Anything else?”

“Yeah,” I say, “Can you remind the others about the meeting this evening?” 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

1.9 Mad Beasts Part 1

I look over my back as I enter the base. I can’t help that after the last few days since my fight with Nightblade at the park. I’ve refused any interviews after the fight so the media has been effectively stalking me.

Despite their best efforts, the reporters haven’t been about to get to me at school thanks to the work of Principal Jenson and with the help of the others, I’ve been able to sneak out of school undetected. At home, my parents are keeping them away while I’ve been spending most of my time at Sam’s, James’ or the base.

Narszara is waiting for me at the computer.

“Hello milord,” greets Narszara without looking at me, “Something interesting has just come up.”

“What’s that?” I inquire.

“A troublesome customer at a Sentinel Technologies shop in Christchurch,” answers Narszara, “It would not be wrong to put on your armour and intervene there.”

“It might as well,” I reply, “It is my shop after all.”

“That was my thinking as well,” agrees Narszara, “And I am assuming that you would prefer if I did not deal with it myself.”

“Definitely,” I tell her.

I hate to think what Narszara might do if it was left up to her to deal with the situation.

I toss my bag and blazer aside as I walk towards the lab.

“How are the Rileys?” I ask her.

“Settling well,” says Narszara, “MI9 is currently sorting out a new home for them and education for the children.”

“What about the kids’ education at the moment?”

“Alex is teaching them. She is a great help to both them and I.”

“I’m glad that you two are getting along.”

I step into the lab and walk towards the Sentinel armour. That sorts out my latest worries of how well the base’s new occupants will get along with each other.

The process of suiting up goes smoothing and within three minutes I’m already in flight out in the sky.

The journey only takes somewhere between four and five minutes and I quietly land outside my store.

A quick glance inside quickly tells me what’s going on. A chavish and overweight man is causing a scene inside, sweary tirade included. A beleaguered cashier, two shop workers and a manager are trying to deal with him to no avail.

Only the cashier notices me as I quickly enter the shop.

“Just give the damn &*£$ing thing for free!” screams the troublesome customer, “I deserve it after all the trouble you caused me! I’m going to complain to the CEO and you’ll be fired.”

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to tell you that won’t be happening,” I say quietly behind him.

“And just #@£*ing who do you think-” the man starts before freezing as he realises who exactly he is talking to.

“I’m the CEO of the company that owns this store,” I reply coldly, “And you are the idiot who has annoyed me.”

“You can’t call me!” exclaims the man, “I’m the customer and the customer is always right!”

“Yes I can and no, they are not,” I say before turning to the employees, my employees, “What has happened here?”

“This man wanted to attain several products and tried to claim fake discounts to-,” starts the manager before the customer interrupts.

“That is not true!” shouts the customer, “That piece of £%-”

I don’t give the fool a chance to finish insulting the manager any further as I casually swing my fist into his gut. The man staggers backwards, shocked and winded.

“Shut it before I electrocute you,” I warn him before facing the manager, “I take it that he then caused a fuss and started demanding the products for free?”

“Yes, um, sir,” answers the manager.

“When did the rudeness and profanity start?” I ask.

“Since the beginning,” says the manager as a police car arrives outside.

“I will report you to the company,” mutters the customer, his face red, “You’ll all be fired.”

“Incorrect,” I reply without even looking at him, “As the owner of the company, I can safely say no one will be fired over this event.”

“I will never buy from you again!” screams the customer, “Just lost a customer!”

“I don’t care,” I reply dismissively, “Get that into your thick skull.”

“Of course you do!” complains the man, “You just lost my money! That’s what you care about!”

“I care about helping people,” I reply, fixing him with a stare, “The money is just a means to an end. In case you didn’t notice, I am a superhero foremost, not a corporate executive.”

A couple of police officers have entered the shop and are going to arrest the troublesome man.

“I’ll be going now,” I say as I turn.

“Can I have your autograph?” asks one of the employees meekly.

I shrug and say, “Why not?”

By the end of it, I’ve given autographs to all of the shop’s employees, both of the police officers and even the unruly customer. With a crowed forming outside, I swiftly fly into the air.

Friday, 20 March 2015

1950 - Sentinel Technologies

“Glad you could make it,” says Iron Defender as Sentinel sits down next to her.
He’s one of the few people to know that she is actually a she. Still a little too much bias against women for Iron Defender’s taste and since her armour allows her to pass a man in the eyes of the public, she doesn’t correct their assumptions on the matter.
“Glad I could come,” replies Sentinel, “Are you still with the Patriots?”
“Yeah,” answers Iron Defender, “They still have to get around to disbanding us. I doubt they will now. Not with the Russians and Adalbern in Europe. Plus I think the government is worried about the Knights.”
“Also worried about the new batch of supers appearing all over the States?” inquires Sentinel.
“I would bet so,” says Iron Defender, “We’re heroes, famous heroes who served in the war and whom the public love given our actions and the propaganda. With more supers rapidly appearing, the government needs us as examples and doesn’t want to let us go.”
“Ours disbanded Lion Squad after the war,” says Sentinel, “We weren’t like you, our unit was a collection of people with powers drawn from across the military. Don’t get me wrong, we would still die for each other and have decided to live near each other once everything was over, but we weren’t meant to be as close as the Patriots in the eyes of the bureaucracy.”
Sentinel pauses before deciding to get on with the point.
“What’s the situation with ownership of your armour?” inquires Sentinel.
“Government owns it, but I get to use as long as I work for them,” shrugs Iron Defender, “What about you?”
“The government took the one I used in the war,” replies Sentinel, “It was theirs after all, but I had the patent and the prototype. I kept it in my basement until I had to deal with the mob. Since then I built an improved version that I’m wearing now.”
“I assuming that is a reason behind this questioning,” says Iron Defender.
“As you know,” says Sentinel, “We, Lion Squad that is, decided to form the League of Heroes, a group of organised powered vigilantes to fight crime.”
“We all heard about that,” replies Iron Defender, “Our government decided to tighten their hold on us after that so we’re not particularly sure how to feel about it.”
“While we do have some equipment and resources at our disposal,” says Sentinel, “We still need a source of income and I still need a new job so I decided to start my own businesses, one for each of my identities. I will use them to support each other and the League of Heroes. My secret identity one will be the minor one which will have connection with the Sentinel from ties in the war. The other one will be the main one where I use the money gained to support the League of Heroes. For that I plan to use to sell gadgets to other hero groups, governments and whoever else I decide. But that means acquiring patents and those patents will hinder people like you from starting your own businesses. I checked with other folk like us. Steel Warrior doesn’t mind. He’s content to work for Adalbern given he’s the only adult German super left after the war. And you heard about Steel Worker. Everybody else is either dead or I don’t know about.”
“I’m going say go for it,” answers Iron Defender, “I wouldn’t be able to make money off my stuff anyway given the strings that come with it. And since Black Cape left, I don’t think any of us are going to be leaving the Patriots anytime soon.”
“Good,” replies Sentinel, “Because I wasn’t sure what I’d do if you weren’t.”
Iron Defender chuckles and Sentinel smiles beneath his helmet.
“So idea what you’re going to call it?” inquires Iron Defender.

“Probably something simple and to the point,” answers Sentinel, “I’m the first so I don’t have to stand out from the crowd. And while I am trying to make money, that isn’t my first priority either so I doesn’t have to be fancy. Since I’m selling technology invented by the Sentinel persona, I think I’ll call it Sentinel Technologies.”

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

1.8 Assassins Part 8

I turn to face the person behind me. I blink in surprise when I realise who it is.

“Hey Daniel,” says Alexandra Aquiline as she strolls towards me.

Just from looking at her, who wouldn’t recognise the daughter of the planet’s most dangerous person. In fact, she looks like simple teenage girl with a tomboyish streak to her.

Her body is slender and really lean and only somewhat muscular. Her clothes fit her, a white shirt, brown leather jacket and black cargo trousers. Her hair is sleek black and goes all the way down to her shoulders. Alex shares the same blue eyes as her mother.

She smiles at me and pulls out a torch and turns it one.

“Thank you for letting stay at the base,” says Alex.

“You’re welcome,” I reply with a shrug as we walk down the tunnel as it slopes down, “I’m just concerned how the others will react. Some of them were annoyed when I invited Britannia’s to stay there for the time being.”

“I’m sure they won’t mind,” says Alex, “They know me after all.”

“So what are you planning to do?” I ask her.

“Well, I don’t want to be a fighter,” replies Alex, “So I’ll probably help out around the base. Maybe act as mission control.”

“Narszara and I could use the help,” I agree, “I was fine on my own while the League wasn’t active, but now it is, I have to manage our resources, coordinate our efforts and repair the Sentinel armour when it’s damaged. Plus I’ll helpful knowing that if someone does get into the base, they’ll have to face a master fighter.”

“I’m not going to fight unless I have to you know,” says Alex, “That’s why I’m here with you lot.”

“I know, but if the worse comes to the worse, it’s nice to know we got really good back up to save our butts,” I insist.

“Suit yourself,” shrugs Alex, “You did well against Nightblade. How are you going to explain that?”

“I got a good self-defence teacher and caught Nightblade by surprise twice,” I answer, “As I’m a normal, he underestimated me and I only fought him because I thought he was going to kill me regardless of whether I fought back. Once the League of Heroes showed up, I ran because I had a chance to get away. I hid away afterwards because once the adrenaline went away, I realised exactly what I did.”

“Good cover,” notes Alex, “I approve. It covers how you were able to beat him and why you ran. I noticed that the Britannia’s family has moved into the base.”

“Only until the government can sort out something safe for them,” I reply.

“What are you going when you find out who ratted her identity out?” inquires Alex.

“Depends if we can physically go after them,” I answer.

“What it’s just a foreign civilian?” asks Alex.

“We got Narszara,” I reply, “I might just sic her on them.”

“That might be bad,” points out Alex.

“What happened to Britannia and her family is worse,” I counter.

“I don’t disagree,” says Alex with a wave her hand, “I’m just surprised by your opinion on the matter. Many superheroes would be more wary about starting an international incident.”


“They already knew about Britannia, the Albion Defenders and the League of Heroes,” says Narszara to us at the base, “And they most definitely know not to reveal your identities.”

“I have no doubts about that last part,” I say dryly, “Especially after what happened to them.”

“I concur milord,” agrees Narszara, “But we shall discuss Nightblade now.”

“What about him?” I inquire.

“You were foolish to engage him without the Verigar Derl,” says Narszara disapprovingly.

“The Verigar Derl?” I inquire again.

“The Sentinel armour,” answers Narszara, “But you could have been killed or severely injured by Nightblade. And I was not there to defend you.”

“Are you really that concerned about my safety?” I ask her.

“Aye milord,” says Narszara, “You are my Thariloth, of course I am deeply concerned about your safety. I value your life over my own.”

“I guess that’s good,” I mutter.

Narszara is really different from most humans. While she counts as human, she has come from an Earth and her people have taken a very different route, both evolutionary and culturally. And while you can ignore it or forget about most of the time, it really stands out when Narszara speaks and acts all hammy while remaining deadly serious.

“Are you going to hunt him down?” Alex asks her.

“If Verigar permits me to,” replies Narszara.

Both look my way for my answer.

“If you the spare time, you can,” I tell her, “Just try to bring him to justice instead of just killing him.”

“As you will milord,” states Narszara matter-of-factly, “Recommend we begin working on a spare set of armour for you.”

“Since I’m moving in, I ought to help you two,” says Alex.

“I’ll call Charlie,” I say as I pull out my communicator, “He’s an engineer and mechanic like me, he won’t want to be left out. Oh that reminds me, we need to put some heavier firepower into the Sentinel and Bulk armours.”

Friday, 13 March 2015

1.8 Assassins Part 7

Nightblade is crouched over us on the cafe roof. He has gotten one of his swords fixed, but the other isn’t there.

The reporters turn and start speaking as they realise it is Nightblade.

He jumps down and points his sword at Oliver.

“You’ll do nicely kid,” growls Nightblade, “I’m sure with you along, I’ll persuade your father to come along nicely.”

Harry gives out a strangled cry of “Oliver” as my cousin freezes in terror.

This bad, like really bad. I’m in my secret identity without the Sentinel armour. None of the League will be able to show up in time.

I might not count as a Class 4 without the armour, but I still count as Class 1 with my fit body and training from Laura.

And I am not able to let Nightblade go after my family without a fight, even family I dislike and don’t agree with.

I grab Nightblade’s arm and twist the sword out of his hand. He doesn’t react, probably out of shock. He also doesn’t react when I swing the sword into his side, getting the blade stuck inside him.

“Run!” I yell at Oliver as Nightblade staggers back.

“What the £$@&?” mutters Nightblade before he pulls his sword out of his side.

Oliver and I run past the crowd. Both of us are good runners and while Nightblade might be better than us with his enhancements, he’s injured and we got a head start.

Meanwhile I set out a subtle distress signal with my communicator as I run. I doubt Nightblade will underestimate me next time and the best I can hope for without the Sentinel armour is to delay him until another member of the League shows up in costume.

I hear Nightblade cry out in anger as he rushes towards us. I halt as he catches up with us.

I duck as he swings at my head and grabs his arm. I twist it behind me and knee Nightblade in his cut side. He grunts and shakes me off.

I try to get to my feet, but Nightblade is already over me with his blade raised to cut me down.

That’s when Night Beast intervenes. Carrie has turned into a basically a bipedal wolf-cat hybrid that’s two metres all. Her grey and black fur can only be seen on her snout and mane as her black cos-mat suit covers the rest of her minus Carrie’s wolfish yellow eyes.

She grabs Nightblade and tosses him back, swiping at his armoured chest.

I spot Kevin behind her, stretching towards his twin his grey costume that leaves only the eyes visible.

It occurs to me this is the fight time I seen the Walter twins fight a supervillain. When they fought the Machine and Gaia’s Vengeance, I wasn’t there.

Nightblade kicks Night Beast off, but is then engulfed by Multiform. When he uses his powers, Kevin is basically a morphing grey mass that is near impossible to harm. Which Nightblade finds out when he tries to get rid of Multiform.

I decide that since Daniel Griffin is a civilian, he ought to get back and out of the way. I back off into the crowd as Carrie attacks Nightblade again. Oliver is nowhere to be seen.

I watch from the crowd as Kevin latches onto Nightblade’s arms and holds them behind his back while Carrie rips his helmet off.

I see a light in the air and spot Sam coming down from the sky. I better slink away before the fights over. I’m a non-super who just took on a supervillain and held my own and now I’m in a crowd of reporters.

Ever since the League restarted, I developed a dislike for the media and the press to the point of borderline hatred.

Fortunately for me, the reporters are all distracted by the fight as I slip away. Once out of sight of the crowd, I run for it.

I’m sure they’ll come after me later for interviews, but at home, I can refuse more easily than if I’m caught out in the streets.

Home’s not too far away, but do I really want to go home with how I fought Nightblade on the news. I don’t want to hear what Dad or Mum has to say.

I’m better off taking refuge in the base. An entrance isn’t too far away from my current location.
It is an old one behind an old building. The system recognises me as I approach and opens up, showing a hatch that two feet by two feet with a ladder going down. I look inside.

Definitely one of the older entrances. It seems to be the same as an old, worn sewer without actually being part of the sewer system.

I with a glance around, I climb now the ladder. Once I reach the bottom, the hatch closes behind me, leaving me in darkness with no lights.

“Darn it,” I mutter as look for an emergency light that I also carry around.

I eventually find it and pull it out. It’s nothing fancy, merely a three inch long stick with a decently bright light on the end.

I walk down the tunnel when I hear someone access the hatch behind me.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

1.8 Assassins Part 6

“So you don’t play any sports?” asks Oliver for what feels like the hundredth time as we walk to the park.

“No,” I say, rather annoyed.

Can’t he get through his head that I don’t like sports and most certainly don’t play them.

“Do any of your friends?” inquires Oliver.

“Sam, Sky, James, Vance, Lucy and Stefan,” I reply

“But you don’t play with them?” says Oliver.


“Do any of them play football?”

“Only Stefan.”

“What do the others play then?”

“James does cricket. Lucy plays tennis.  Sky does hockey like Emily does. Vance plays rugby. Sam does boxing and golf. We all do self-defence training with Laura. She’s an old family friend of all our families. You see, our grandfathers all fought in the same unit during the war. One of those special ones they’re not supposed to talk about.”

“You respect your granddad a lot don’t you?”

I halt. That is a much more of a question than the rest of his.

“Yeah, I do,” I answer, “Even through he’s dead.”

“I can tell,” replies Oliver, “You and your mother kept his family name and you got his company. Not to mention that you also keep going on about him. He’s done a lot for you.”

“More than you can ever know,” I say, “The reason I know all my friends is because of our granddads. They stayed together after the war up until their deaths. Even the last few are sticking together. The reason I know all my friends is because of our granddads. It’s funny how all of our families stuck together even a couple of generations later.”

“So what are your friends like?”

“A miss-match of people who would have never come together without our grandparents. Charlie and I are smart guys, both into tech. Sam is sort of loner sportsman. James is one of the popular, smart, cool kids who don’t get in trouble. Stefan is a trouble maker who an ex-druggie. Helen, my cousin, is a part time manger at my company and the oldest of our group. The Walters are respectable. Skyler is a tomboy and military brat. Lucy is head girl and a hard worker. Vance is sort of a nerd. A buff, cultured, rugby playing nerd who has a lot of rugged charm.”

“Blimey,” exclaims Oliver, “I can’t believe a bunch of people like that would come together as friends.”

“We didn’t,” I reply, “Our grandparents brought us together as I said. Even Stefan’s and Charlie’s, who weren’t in the granddad’s army unit.”

“My friends are all like me,” answers Oliver, “Footballers. Jocks even. Nothing like your little band. Mind you, my girlfriend is a contrast to me. Harriet is into politics like my dad, not sports.”

“You know we don’t have jocks in the UK, not like even America,” I muse, “Our school cultures are too different for that.”

“You know what I mean,” says Oliver, “Do you still have a girlfriend?”

“You mean Judy?” I reply, “Yeah, we’ve been together for a few months now. We don’t exactly go on many dates, but we do hang out every now and again.”

“When was the last time you went on a date then?”

I’m silent for a moment as I think. When did Judy and I last go on a date?  Not since I put on the Sentinel armour and probably a while before that. I do the math in my head for replying.

“About two months ago,” I answer, “I been busy since.”

“I’m surprised she hasn’t dumped you,” notes Oliver.

“She’s understanding,” I reply with a shrug, “Besides, when I have tried to ask her out, Judy has turned me down. From what I can tell, she’s been keeping secrets from me from me and I haven’t been prying.”

Especially when I keeping secrets of my own from her. But if we’re going to keep our relationship up, I’m going to have let her in on the fact I’m Sentinel.

“Are sure she’s not cheating on you cuz?” asks Oliver.

“Definitely,” I answer firmly, “Judy is not the cheating type. If she wanted to go out with someone else, she would break up with me face-to-face first and tell me the reasons. We’re just hitting a slight bump on both of our parts. Mainly since granddad died.”

Oliver is silent as we reach the park. A media event is at the park. You can tell by the stands and all of the reporters and cameramen.

“Did dad tell you about what he was doing here?” asks Oliver.

I shake my head.

“He’s giving a speech at this park,” continues Oliver, “I think he’s hoping to provoke one of the League into picking a fight with him. To prove his point.”

Oliver strolls down the tarmac slope and I follow him.

“Personally don’t like his ideas,” says Oliver, “It’s cool having the League of Heroes operate on their own. Imagine what would happen if they had to do as the government said. And secret identities are for the better. I mean maybe it might better for the public if superheroes didn’t have secret identities, but it’s better for the heroes and their families and that’s want counts right?”

“I agree with that completely,” I tell him, “Those are the main reasons I disagree with your dad’s politics.”

We continue small chat as we walk towards the stand what Harry is going to give his speech. We’ve just walked past the cafe when I spot the shadow. I look up and I go pale.

Oh crap.