Star Boy had little time to rest or even smooth things over with the temperamental Dream Girl before he was summoned to a meeting with Alyssa Malverne and Shvaughn Erin. The strikingly pretty Alyssa worked as an aide to Earthgov President Stewart, while Shvaughn was Science Police liaison officer to the Legion.
Thom Kallor greeted the two women and frowned as he noticed Infectious Lass of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, along with her teammates Stone Boy, Fire Lad, Color Kid, Chlorophyll Kid, Porcupine Pete, and Night Girl. The final figure in the room was one of the Legion’s founders, Cosmic Boy.
“Rokk, what’s the meaning of this?” asked Thom.
“I’m sorry to tell you this, Thom, but while you were on Manna-5, we were contacted by the S.P. and by Alyssa here,” explained Rokk Krinn. “While Earthgov and Somahtur’s government plan to work out a better system for possible participation in medical research by the natives of Somahtur, right now, after what happened on Hayna, new policies have been formulated. In short, Drura, here, is to leave Earth in twenty-four hours.”
Infectious Lass gingerly held Porcupine Pete’s hand and said, “I am happy here! I don’t want to leave the Legion or my friends!”
“Our hands are tied in this one,” said Shvaughn. “If she doesn’t leave by the deadline, the Science Police will have to take her into custody.”
“Nobody is touching her, you hear me?” said Pete.
“Settle down, Pete,” said Rokk. “I was called in by Lydda, here. We’ve come up with a plan that may please everyone.” He gestured to a lovely, dark-haired woman who sat to his right. She was Night Girl, alias Lydda Jath. She was a member of the Subs and Cosmic Boy’s lover.
“Rokk called in Alyssa,” said Lydda. “As you know, President Stewart has made no secret of his desire to help the Legion whenever possible. He agreed through Alyssa that a compromise could be worked out if the Subs agree. Rather than be forced to return home, Drura may stay with the team if the Subs agree to be based on Multivac. The hospital needs extra security. The whole Dark Circle case has proven that. The Subs can be based there, and Drura can remain with the team under those conditions.”
“I see the logic in it, but what do you think?” said Thom. “I assume Drura will not be a prisoner there, nor will she be forced to participate in research against her will.”
Alyssa leaned forward and said, “You have my word!”
Drura Sehpt turned to her friends and said, “I can’t ask you to relocate, but I hate to leave you all!”
“We’re a team!” said Stone Boy. “Where one of us goes, so go the rest!”
Fire Lad nodded readily. “Sure! We can still be here to help the Legion when needed. Mercury’s orbit is close enough.”
“Sure,” said Color Kid. “I think we all agree!”
The others chimed in their agreement, and Drura wept happily. “You guys are the best!” she said.
“There is one thing Rokk and I want to tell you,” announced Lydda. “I’m leaving the team to be with him and to help him run the Legion Academy while Chuck and Luornu are on leave. Wildfire loved the idea when we ran it by him.”
“I guess it sounds like a plan,” said Thom. “As leader, I certainly agree to it. The pupils could use the experience of the Legion’s first leader!”
Night Girl turned to the Subs and said, “I’ll keep in touch!”
“I’d give you a hug, but… you know!” said Porcupine Pete.
“I think the chief will be glad to hear we worked out such an arrangement,” said Shvaughn.
Cosmic Boy grinned and said, “Going from senior advisor to teacher will be fun, actually!”
“And the academy will be in great hands with you two running it!” said Star Boy. “Wildfire was going stir crazy!”
Elsewhere, the remaining leaders of the Dark Circle met in shadow and secret and plotted revenge. “All of the clones vanished,” said Ontiir. “The Legion’s witch used the two Somahturians to make all the clones we created merge anew with their originals. She did the same thing with the captured Golgoth! Our numbers are severely depleted!”
“All the more reason for us to fade from memory and bide our time,” said Grullug Garkush. “We will regroup, and in time we will be strong enough to strike once more! Such has always been the way of the Dark Circle!”