The rest of the week went by in a blur, and we spent most of it in the hotel. We did take a couple field trips—probably to make it seem like we were a normal bunch of students visiting Chicago. During one field trip we went to the Field Museum.
For the other, we toured the Midwest Defenders’ Chicago headquarters.
We got a more thorough tour than most groups, but the Defenders were all out on an emergency. That was okay. As much as I missed seeing Daniel’s dad as Mindstryke, and liked most of the other members of the team, Guardian still made me feel incompetent.
Aside from the field trips, we spent the rest of the week taking tests both physical and mental, some of them based on our abilities, some of them common to everybody.
I spent most of Tuesday, Wednesday, and part of Thursday taking tests, some on general problem solving ability, others on science and engineering, and one on strategy and tactics. They also threw in some psychological and personality tests.
Oh, and near the beginning of the week, everyone took the power juice test—the one where they dropped small amounts of liquid on your arm, and the colors indicated your potential power areas.
Just like the last time I took it, I came up with nothing worth mentioning.
Around 11am on Thursday morning, I found myself sitting in the hall with around twenty other people, all of us waiting to see our advisers.
I didn’t know anybody. Well, that wasn’t quite true. I knew Brooke, Guardian’s daughter, but her name got called about the same time we noticed each other. We waved as she stepped into a conference room.
It sucked. With as many people as I knew through Grandpa, it seemed like one of them would be around.
On the other hand, I could handle being alone. I pulled out my League phone, and began to check email. As I opened one from Haley, my phone beeped.
A yellow dot appeared on the screen. I clicked on it.
The next screen showed that Marcus and Haley had already responded. They were the only members of the Heroes League that were still in high school, not in college, and not in the program. The screen showed no details on the threat. I called HQ.
Kayla answered. “Rocket, don’t worry about it. It’s covered.”
“There’s a guy with scales robbing a jewelry store downtown.”
“Who are they fighting?”
“A guy with scales. I don’t know his name.”
My heart beat faster. “There are a lot of guys with scales out there. Some are no big deal. Some are really bad news.”
“I don’t know which one it is, but I’m sure it’ll be okay. It’s not just Night Cat and the Shift. They’ve also got a couple Justice Fist people along.”
“Uh…” I thought about that. Most of the former Justice Fist group were here too. It only left—
Kayla interrupted my thought, “The girl who covers herself in metal, and the one with gravity powers.
“Wow. Ok.” So… Sean’s sister, and his half-sister who he refused to acknowledge because acknowledging her would mean he’d have to admit his dad cheated on his mom.
“I’m sure it’ll be okay,” Kayla said.
“OK. Gotta go,” I said, and hung up, still wondering if I should fly home.
Meanwhile, a woman was saying, “Nick Klein? Nick Klein to conference room five?”
I pulled myself up, and said, “That’s me.”
She pointed down the hall.
I followed her arm, walking down to conference room five, opened the door, and walked in.
It could have been the same conference room Izzy dragged me into earlier in the week. They all looked alike—wood grain table, beige carpet, white walls, and potted plant in the corner.
The only thing different was that this time Izzy wasn’t here.
A mustached man stood up, pushing his chair away from the table. A couple inches taller than I was, he wore a black t-shirt that showed his chest muscles.
He held out his hand, “Freddie Nation. Nick, I’m sure you don’t remember me, but it’s great to see you again.”
I didn’t remember him, but the name told me I was in the right place. Of course, my papers said that “Dr. Fredrick Nation” was my adviser, and somehow this guy didn’t look like an engineering prof to me.
“I don’t remember you, but it’s… good to see you too.”