A few days later, Sun Boy entered the office of Dean Olinger, where he was startled to see the smiling faces of his father Derek Morgna, his ex-stepmother Flavia Morgna, and several of his Legion pals. “What’s all this?” he said. “I just came to pick up my degree!”
Derek Morgna hugged his son fiercely and said, “We came to be here with you. A private ceremony may be necessary to keep the fans away, but your friends and I had to be here to see it!”
Flavia kissed him and said, “Dirk, we’re all so proud of you!”
Arn Digby came forward and said, “I hope you don’t mind my coming here. Salu and Flavia insisted! Flavia and I are dating now!”
Sun Boy glanced over to where Shrinking Violet stood. She gave him a slight smile as if to say she was accepting her father’s new romance.
Element Lad, Shvaughn Erin, Star Boy, Dream Girl, Colossal Boy, and Chameleon Boy and his wife Elwinda stood around the desk. After Dean Olinger presented Dirk with his doctoral papers, they all cheered.
Dream Girl slipped up behind Dirk and turned him around to plant a kiss on his lips. She released him and smiled confidently. Dirk caught Star Boy’s eye, and the bearded hero nodded. Sun Boy grinned and then pulled the platinum-haired beauty closer. He swept her off her feet into a passionate kiss before dropping her to the floor.
The others laughed as Star Boy helped the slightly dazed Dream Girl back up. “You got what you deserved!” said Thom Kallor. “Nura, you’ve pulled that kind of ambush kiss on the Legion men too often! I’m glad Dirk had the nerve to give you your own medicine!”
Dream Girl, alias Nura Nal, said nothing but flounced away in mock annoyance.
Colossal Boy slapped Sun Boy on the back and said, “Dirk, Yera would have been here, too, but with the baby due any time, she wanted to play it safe.”
Sun Boy nodded and said, “Give your wife my regards!”
“Dirk, we’re all happy for you!” said Element Lad.
Before Sun Boy could reply, the door opened, and three Science Police Officers entered, along with a pretty blonde woman and a young man with dark hair. “Tenzil Kem? Don’t tell me Bismollian politics could spare the former Matter-Eater Lad long enough for you to come visit your old Legion buddies!” said Sun Boy as he shook hands with the solemn-looking senator.
Tenzil shook his head. “Dirk, I’m sorry,” he said. “This is not the way I would have wanted a reunion with you all to go. My duty as a senator on Bismoll forced me to come here. I had to handle it personally in order to avoid hints of being partial to you all.”
The blonde woman with Tenzil stepped forward and handled a document to Derek Morgna. “I’m Tenzil’s partner, Deena Coe. Maybe it will be less painful if I explain. We’re here to take Mr. Derek Morgna in for questioning regarding crimes committed on Bismoll.”
“What in the blazes?” roared the elder Morgna. “I’ve never even been to your world! The place is an ecological nightmare!”
“Be that as it may, sir, it doesn’t prevent ruthless industrialists like you from plundering what resources we have,” said Deena.
“Young lady, I’ll have my lawyer do my talking!” said Morgna. Turning to Sun Boy, he said, “I thought this Matter-Eater Lad was one of your team! What kind of hero makes these crazy accusations?”
“Mr. Morgna, I am deeply proud of my association with Sun Boy and the other Legionnaires,” said Tenzil. “It pains me to have to put you through this. We have evidence that certain recent raids on Bismoll’s mineral resources were accomplished with equipment from your company. We secured one of the mining devices used. Your company made it. It is not even on the market yet. The design patent shows Morgna Industries holds the only one.”
“Tenzil, perhaps during his time here, Dr. Regulus created it or his robotic servant Auric,” said Element Lad. “Mr. Morgna would not even have known about it!”
“Good thinking, lad!” said Morgna. “Exactly! I admit that I don’t know for certain that some of my company resources were not used without my awareness while that rogue Zaxton was hiding here with his robotic lapdog.” He looked at the design sheet Officer Roon Dvron handed him and said, “I’ve never seen anything like this thing. It is a real improvement on the Carsons we use to mine ore.”
Shrinking Violet stepped forward and said, “I’m afraid there’s more to it. I can tell from Tenzil’s expression. You’re still one of us. This doesn’t change that. You can trust us with the details, Tenzil!”
Tenzil nodded and looked into the eyes of the girl he had once dated. “Salu, I came personally, because tests on the device used prove Mr. Morgna had direct physical contact with it.”
Science Police Officer Dvron said, “Sir, you need to come with us. You may contact your lawyer.”
As Derek Morgna was led out of the dean’s office, Sun Boy exchanged worried glances with his friends and hurried after his father.