I let the gun fall. It hit the pavement just as someone inside the van turned the ignition, threw it into gear and drove away. The van dragged the man I’d just kicked for a few feet, but he fell out when the back wheels hit the road outside the alley.
The van’s tires squealed, and the doors hung open, swinging as it drove away.
Maybe I could have jumped inside if I’d tried, but I hadn’t realized there was anybody in there.
I stepped back, breathed, tried to think of my next step. So okay, I’d taken two guys down, and I’d need to tie them up or something. The two kids I’d rescued were gone. They’d bolted down the street when the van left. They were running toward the club.
I could catch them if I wanted to, but I’d probably lose the guys on the ground if I didn’t find some handcuffs (and maybe medical attention).
I pulled out my League phone (the one that looks like my normal phone, but isn’t). I’d taken them down with my mask off, and I didn’t have Daniel around to fix their memories. If I were lucky maybe they didn’t have many.
Yeah, that’s right, hope for brain damage. Crap.
Who to call? My Mom? Isaac Lim, our team’s FBI handler? I went with Lim. It would get taken care of either way, but Lim wouldn’t be angry at me. With Mom, I’d be interrupting a dinner meeting of her team with, “Hey Mom, I beat up a couple guys, can you do damage control, and send an ambulance?”
Not like it would be the first time.
When Nick gave us the new phones, he put Lim’s office on speed dial for everybody. So I was about to call Lim when I heard footsteps—big footsteps. As in, the last time I heard footsteps that big it was the Grey Giant last year–the first time Daniel, Nick and I went out as a team.
We’d been totally overmatched. The only thing that let us hurt him was my dad’s sword, and that was back in Michigan.
I turned around, realizing that my staff was in my backpack, and that it wasn’t going to do much good against anything big.
The thing that stepped around the corner came straight out of the movie Shrek. About two-thirds as tall as the two story building next to it, it wore brown, leather pants, and one of those medieval shirts you always see those dorks wearing at Renaissance Fairs. Oh, but unlike Shrek, the creature wasn’t green.
Something about the face seemed familiar. Combined with its blond hair and beard, it reminded me of Rod, the guy in line. Except, if he was here, what about his friend?
A woman in a red and gold costume ran around the corner after him. She’d gone with a medieval theme too—her shirt went down to her knees, held to her waist with a belt, and worn over pants. She held a staff.
It figured. Magical types tended to run together.
She stopped, looked from one body to another, and then to me. “You did this?”
“Hell, yes. They were trying to kidnap people. You saw him out there, right?” I indicated the guy who’d fallen out of the van with my thumb.
She glanced at the guy again. He’d scraped his face in the fall, and was bleeding.
It would be just my luck if they decided to attack.
She turned back to me, holding the staff ahead of her, “OK, who or what are you really?”
“One of the good guys. Give me a second, I’ll prove it.” I pressed the button that called Lim and put the phone to my head. “I’m calling my handler at the FBI.”
I got the department secretary, and I explained what had happened.
By the time I’d finished, the woman had come closer, and held the staff by her side.
The creature had disappeared, leaving only Rod, still in his “Vincent Sucks!” t-shirt.
“Back up front, I thought you were normal,” the woman said.
“You’re Sam?” I asked. “So did I.”
She laughed, “That’s right.”
Forgetting the costume, the Sam in front had been white, and well… fatter. The Sam standing here might be a little heavier than average, but not much, and instead of being white, she was… I didn’t know. Indian, maybe?
More different than she would have been from a costume change. I wondered how, and then thought, “Duh, Cassie. Magic.”
My next thought was, “Why didn’t you come before they started shooting at me?”