Lightning hit the leader again, and while his body shook, the paralysis gun dropped out of his hand, falling to the roof with a clunk.
Part of me hoped it still worked by the the time I could move. I planned to grab it. A more practical side of my mind hoped it had been destroyed in the first lightning strike.
Near me, Cassie stood up, entering the edges of the helmet’s peripheral vision. She didn’t waste any time. Once she was on her feet, she ran straight at the leader as he bent over to grab the gun.
She hit him in the back of the head with her fist—not always a good move. Do it softly enough, and you can knock someone out with minimal work, but do it hard enough, and you can give them permanent brain damage. If you’re Cassie, and they’re normal, you also stand a good chance of punching through the skull.
I strongly doubted that he was normal.
Either way, he hit the roof, and lay there.
Cassie pulled out handcuffs from her utility belt, and cuffed his hands behind his back. Then she pulled out another set for his legs.
I’d made them based on one of Grandpa’s designs. Jaclyn and Cassie could both break them—Jaclyn almost instantly. Cassie needed time.
From what I’d seen, this guy’s strength was closer to Cassie’s than Jaclyn’s. Hopefully we had enough time for the police to bring a Box.
“Whoa,” Marcus said, “that was great. What do you think we ought to do with these other guys?”
Cassie glanced over at Vaughn and me, “Storm King fried most of them, but if they do wake up, the cuffs’ll never get around the exoskeletons. We’ll have to get them out first.”
“Hope we don’t rip their skin off. A few of those guys are looking extra-crispy.”
I moved my left arm, and tried my left leg. They moved. I rolled myself over to my front, and pushed myself up.
I could stand even if I felt a little wobbly.
Next to me, Vaughn pulled himself up. “Hey guys, we won anyway.Doesn’t that kick ass?”
I turned to look at him, and nearly fell over.
Cassie grabbed my arm, stopping me.
“Are you okay?”
“I think so. My legs are still coming back.”
Vaughn put his hand on my shoulder. “Me too. I wasn’t along when you guys fought Ray the first time. That’s a nasty weapon.”
“Yeah. I know.” I concentrated on standing.
Marcus nodded. He’d changed back to almost normal—human shape, but all gray skin and his green costume. “Ray caught me when I was completely pre-change. I couldn’t do a thing. This time was pretty cool.”
“Except that he was going to kill us,” Vaughn said, grinning. His mask didn’t cover his mouth and chin.
Marcus sighed, and looked over the unconscious bodies on the roof. “That does bug me. Does anyone know why?”
Cassie let go of my arm. I didn’t fall over. My legs were feeling closer to normal.
“I’m thinking it’s the Nine. They were talking about what happened in D.C. when I was there.” Cassie sounded tired. “I fought people who worked for the Nine, and discovered they were kidnapping girls who looked like me.”
“Wow,” Marcus cocked his head. “Did someone make clones of you too?”
“No,” Cassie said, “but it’d be easier if they had. They wouldn’t have any reason to send people after me. I think they’re interested in Abominator technology.”
“Oh,” Marcus said, and didn’t say what we were all thinking. Some Abominator technology worked for Cassie that, so far as we knew, worked for no one else on the planet.
“We’d better call the cops and get these guys out of here,” I said. “They mentioned something about a helicopter coming.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Marcus said, “the police have been following me since those guys robbed the bank.”
He had a point. I’d been hearing sirens in the background during the entire fight, and they were growing closer now. Police cars rounded the corner and roared down the street, blue and red lights flashing.
Something scraped the roof. We all looked.
The leader was awake. More than that, he was obviously trying to move himself toward the edge. Given the half-foot high ledge, it would be a challenge to get over with his feet and hands cuffed.
Once we turned to stare at him though, he tried to break the cuffs on his arms, muscles straining. Cassie dropped down to push his arms straight.
I picked up his paralysis gun, and pointed it at him. Cassie looked at me, and let go.
When I fired, his head slumped, his arms and legs relaxed.
“I wonder how long that will work?” She stood next to the body, pulling a flashlight off her belt, and looking him over. Covered in black (mask, jacket, pants), the guy’s muscles were obvious through his clothes. Vaughn’s lightning and the man’s fall to the ground had ripped his shirt in a few different spots.
Blood stained spots around the rips, but his skin was unbroken. Even without my helmet’s help, Cassie’s flashlight made it obvious.
“There’s something up with this guy,” Cassie said.
As I began to say, “Yeah, I recognized his voice from somewhere,” she reached down and pulled his mask off.
Blond haired, and square jawed, he looked like a younger version of her father.