A Legion of Lawndale Heroes ‘Mini’, by Brother Grimace
Legion of Lawndale Heroes created by James Bowman
No one really understood why Tom came back so suddenly – granted, I was glad that he showed up when he did – but, still… the only person that he talked to about it was the Colonel – and a couple of days after Tom returned, the Colonel dropped by my room. He brought me a huge brisket (I love those-!), and politely asked me to never bother Tom about why he came back so quickly.
I did what he asked – I mean, the Colonel saved my life, and gave me a new one, right? I owe him, so I did what he said. Oh, and just between you and me - if he ever wanted to collect on that, I’d be so happy to pay up, if you know what I mean? I’m not saying that to be a little tramp - that’s not just me acting out because of the animal stuff, I always liked him, he’s so direct, but so nice, and he’s so smart – he’s like Charles, but, I guess, manly, you know? I’d better make sure that I NEVER say anything about how much I like the Colonel, either – Daddy’s still steaming about my being here after getting hurt, and the insurance money we got didn’t calm him down. He was so scared that I might die, and I don’t think that he’s ever going to forgive the Colonel all the way – I’m almost afraid of what he’s going to do when he finds out that I have powers. I’ll just wait until I turn eighteen and then tell him. I’ll be an adult, so he can’t do anything about it, like try to make me quit. Oh, he’ll yell and stuff, and when he’s all alone, he’ll cry; I could hear him he first night I came home after I got out of the hospital, he’s so scared for me…
Oooooooh-! God, I can’t wait until I turn eighteen and the Colonel goes to work somewhere else. I am so going to crawl through his window and try my best to do the scene in Breaking Dawn with him, where Edward and Bella go to bed the first time after she becomes a vampire and they nearly tear up the house-! I have the biggest crush on him – no, I just want him - I think that’s why I jumped on Jeffrey (Brace) the first time he came to visit by himself… and the next time – okay, every time he came over his last year in school! Marines are such a turn-on… they just don’t quit. They really just don’t quit… Oh, I need to stop smiling like this when I think of Jeffrey – or Maryann (Lyter), ‘cause I like the way she looks in her uniform, too… especially her cute little beret. I just love people in uniform!
Jane let it slip that the Colonel told people around the tower to not ‘let things happen’ with me – but that was Sergeant Nemec’s idea. She did that after we started that Academy Human Sexuality course; I guess I didn’t react the way they expect people to, and it shook her up. It really shook her up – I could smell the way her emotions changed – that’s weird, right? That I can spell stuff like when people are afraid, calm, frustrated… I can understand being able to smell when they’re, you know, ‘excited’ – okay, ‘horny’. That’s why I think she did it, and she’s been watching me, No, not like that. I mean, I know that she is, but she’d never ever try anything like that with any of us. She’s even more ‘semper fi’ than the Colonel is – and that’s a whole lot of ‘semper fi’. It really is.
I think that I can talk to her about, you know – stuff.
That reminds me! I have to tell Daria and Jane and Julia and the Colonel about the scents that I caught the other night – that it wasn’t Julia in there with Tom! I know that sounds weird, and there was some of Julia’s scent in there, but it wasn’t really her! It was off a bit, and there was that weird smell – the same smell that I ran into when I went off at the Academy and we went over to the Old Campus, where the kids with the magic stay! It smelled like that ghost-goop the really, really, really hot Greek girl could make!
Oh, yeah. What was her name again? Aristo – not her first name, that’s her last name – she’s so hot; I wonder if anyone would mind if I took a few days and, I don’t know, go out to see Quinn blow things up out west. I could stop at the Academy and say ‘hi’ to Jeffrey, and Tiffany, and Maryann, and see if Julia’s guy is doing okay, he cares about her so much – and what is her first name?
I can go see her because of the ghost goop and the way it smells! The Colonel will probably let me go right away to talk to her – to find out about the smell, and that sort of thing. I should go ask him right now!
Oh. I did it again. Tom. When he came back, he smelled like it, too. He stank of it. You know – that smell of ‘magic’ – but it was bitter, and strong, like he was walking around at the top of a volcano… I mean, a volcano’s worth of magic. Weird, huh? I can 'smell' magic...
I couldn’t have been twenty feet away without being able to smell him stinking like Tiffany did that day in eighth grade - your remember, when she mistook that deer musk spray my dad uses when he’s about to go hunting for sandalwood. Oooh, and I haven’t had any venison lately, either – and the Colonel did get me that ‘special’ hunting permit.
Okay. I need to talk to the Colonel about Tom and Julia now. Go get a deer later on. Get the Colonel MUCH later one! Later, diary – and don’t tell anyone!
- from The Collected Diaries of Anastasia Rowe, Legionnaire
“For some, discipline is a lesson. For others, it is a lifetime.”
- Fliry Vorru, (former) Grand Moff of Corellia.
NOTE: This ‘Mini’ takes place between LLH 14.3 and 14.4. Oh, and you'll probably recognize Tom's 'dinner guest' from the Visitations mini-series, and the Daylight fic The Appearance of the Morning Star.
Perhaps I should have brought Jane here, or somewhere just as appropriate – perhaps I should have made an effort to have someone cater a romantic lunch on the beach below the Tower.
If we’re being honest - it’s actually not my fault. Jane had to know that there wasn’t any real future for us. Even with the money, there’s still her family and the way she was raised… it would have always been an issue, despite everything else.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have made a move on Julia, either. I should have let Pins throw a punch or two, take the hit, and let him get in trouble with his superiors for doing it. She was a hell of a fuck, and Jesus, she sucks a mean cock - no. It still wasn’t worth it. Now I have people all over looking down their noses at me, pissed off because the Farringtons and the Clan Carlyle aren't happy, and they're running like rats to get out of any associations with my family and or associates.
The Colonel and his pet bull dyke Nemec were bad enough as it was. Elsie will hold a grudge about this for years, nearly having to get married off, I don’t want to think about the conversation I’ll have the next time I see Dad face-to-face – and Mom’s not talking to me. I heard how what she said when Elsie tried to give her the phone.
Maybe I shouldn't have done it. I have problems enough with the Legion as it is, and fucking the temp - even if she does have a pedigree - was a bit stupid. it was stupid, I guess, even if I got to see the look on his face after I back-doored that self-righteous prick, and she realized how badly she'd hurt him. Not my fault - you could say that I'm the one that got used, right?
“Still feeling sorry for yourself, Thomas? Still attempting to justify your bad behavior by placing the blame on others?”
Tom turned to see a well-dressed man sitting across from him – a man who, despite the evening hour and the rest of the diners in the restaurant enjoying their excellent choices from the dinner menu, seemed to thoroughly enjoy the bowl of cereal in hand.
“Oh, I just wanted to say something before your attractive dinner companion returned from the restroom. ‘Reagan’, isn’t it?”
“Do I know you?”
“I know you, Thomas. Even in a room where the thoughts of everyone are so loud that they may as well be shouting into bullhorns, you stand out like a golden tower of pity. Truly, I fail to understand the human need to feel utter failure even in the midst of plenty and triumph.”
Could you have found a young lady to dine with who’s any more acceptable for your social circle, and the expectations for everyone about you, than she is? You called her, made dinner plans and prepared an acceptable location to pleasure the both of you within an hour’s time. She accepted, knowing that your only reason was to bed her, even though she’s already engaged – his being called away for an overnight trip was entirely convenient, don’t you agree? – and yet, she finds dinner and bed with you an acceptable way to pass the time until John’s return.”
The man savored a spoonful of cereal. “Affluence does provide certain… ‘perks’, yes?”
“Enjoy your breakfast.”
The man actually smiled as Tom turned his back to him – a smile that Tom could actually feel, as a blade of pure cold seemed to slice at the surface of his skin, just above his backbone.
“It’s been some time that I’ve met someone who’s been bold enough to turn their back to me, ignorant enough to not realize what they were doing and important enough for me to stay my hand and not immediately punish for their impudence. You finally have reason to wear that cloak of pride.”
Tom turned back to the man, and shook his head as he saw an empty seat.
“Please refrain from concluding that it will shield you from all comers – particularly with the existence you’ve enjoyed.”
The man was seated in front of Tom – who managed not to flinch at his appearance.
“Good. You aren’t one to act surprised by my moving to a different seat. You’ve seen far too much for that to leave you unhinged.”
“Do I ask ‘who’ you are… or ‘what’ you are?”
“Very good, Thomas. I think that you need to abandon your plans for an energetic evening with the lovely Miss Clemente, as well as the temper tantrum that allowed you to so easily abandon your young friends in Maryland.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“You don’t want an answer, Thomas. You prize true ignorance far too much for that. That’s part of why you were never meant to be part of the world you inhabit now. It’s not that you can’t handle responsibility, or are incapable of doing so – but you do not want to be given true responsibility. You want to play at being a man; you want nothing more to have the benefits of adulthood with none of the burdens.”
“You’re with ‘our Family.”
The well-dressed man chuckled sadly. “I’m… a custodian of their affairs, when it benefits my interests.”
Tom relaxed, and took a sip of water. “I’m listening.”
“Your friends in the Legion. You should contact them immediately.”
“I don’t know why you feel that I could be of any help-”
The man sighed. “I should have seen that moment of clarity for what it was – a moment.”
The man set the bowl on the table before him; Tom watched as he dabbed at the corners of his mouth with a napkin, his serene expression unchanged as he spoke.
“Do not act as if I am not possessed of total and intimate detail as to your life, or all that you have been involved with since your association with the Legion. Go back to that hovel you’ve rented for your planned romp tonight. Collect your phone, contact your adviser, and do exactly what he says.”
“Tom – who is this?”
The man looked away from Tom to rest his eyes on the slim figure and ice-blue eyes of Reagan Clemente, who stood next to the table with a curious expression. “Is he someone from the Legion? I thought that you weren’t going to be around them anymore.”
“Thomas may have spoken with a bit of haste, Miss Clemente,” the man replied as he rose from his seat. “He has to dash off now. Business, you understand. I regret that he has to leave you without a dinner companion… unless you wouldn’t mind my standing in his stead?”
The willowy blonde examined him in a moment of silence, and returned the man’s mischievous half-smile as she stepped to one side and allowed Tom space to remove himself from the table.
“That would be – acceptable - to me.”
“Of course it would. He’s a child that would bore you. You should speak to me instead; I’m from another plane of existence.”
Reagan’s smile widened considerably. “Familiar. My roommate at Le Rosey decided that her experiences in living as one of the lower class would consist of reading – ‘the works’ - of Douglas Adams. She ended up becoming quite fond of his writing, and that… that was a line that I’ve seen her use to dismiss many a suitor…”
“You can tell me all about your experiences there,” the man said. “Tom has a spot of difficulty that he does need to deal with.”
Tom suddenly found himself on he other side of the room, dismissed and displaced with a casual wave of a hand as Reagan found herself seated in Tom’s place – and he found himself facing a member of the staff, who held a box in hand.
“Your meal, sir,” the young woman said, offering him the box. “The gentleman has taken care of everything.”
Tom turned back to the table – and blinked hard as he saw Reagan and the man laughing over coffee as their dinner dishes were being cleaned away, and the same young woman who gave him his dinner wheeling a dessert cart to the table.
A slight buzzing inside his jacket drew Tom’s attention away from the table – and he flinched as he drew his cell phone from his jacket… a phone, he was certain, he had left in his room.
The text on the screen made him flinch:
Alert Two – active contact. Contact Legion HQ AT ONCE.
Tom turned back to see Reagan and the man leaving by another door as their table was being cleared; he glanced down, and drew back as he saw a note on the box that he knew wasn’t there a moment ago.
The note was simple and to the point.
Go home, Thomas. Your friends need you – and you need them.
I trust that I need not trouble either of us with another visit.
Tom suddenly felt an uneasy need to use the bathroom.
He managed to control himself as he exited the eatery – and found himself in the parking lot, deserted as the morning sun was barely above the horizon.
Tom made his way to a secluded spot – and then rocked into the air, shifting direction and heading eastward, causing people below to look up (and see nothing) as he instantly accelerated to several times the speed of sound and disappeared from view.
I can use the bathroom back at the Tower…
_________________Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together.
-Jon Stewart "We have a right to fight for our country - the same as every other American. We will not go away." -Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard), Red Tails"If we can't protect the Earth - you can be damn well sure we'll avenge it."
-Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), The Avengers"Sometimes you have to spontaneously break into song - right?" - Mack, from Teen Beach 2The PSI Corps is your friend. Trust The Corps.