Well, the gun shouldn’t become a problem, I told myself, not if Cassie’s around to control it.
On the other hand, I thought, you could argue that it might be even less of a problem if Cassie and every one of us completely ignored it forever. In fact, thinking about it abstractly, you could argue that Cassie’s very existence was a problem. If (as government scientists suspected) spliced in DNA caused the Abominator citizen’s mark to be written as a structure in her brain, reverse engineering it would open up the possibility of humans using truly horrible technologies.
Plus, what if aliens wanted it too for some reason? If anybody, they ought to have access to Abominator technology and the ability to remake it, right? On the other hand, Grandpa had implied that outside of their appearance on Earth, the Abominators had been gone for a while.
Then I remembered that Bullet said that the Nine had been infiltrated by aliens.
That put everything in a new light, and one I didn’t have time to examine. I wasn’t sure I wanted to either because if everything I’d just connected in my head connected for real, we were on the edges of something really big.
And I had no idea what.
“Nick?” Haley spoke quietly.
I turned toward her, wondering if she felt like I was ignoring everyone, or if she wanted an answer to a question.
I didn’t get to ask her though. Daniel sent me a message telepathically.
I turned my attention to the instrument panel, turned off the shield near the door, and let it open.
Daniel and Izzy floated in, and the door shut behind them.
Flick gave them a smile. “How are things looking out there?”
Daniel said, “Don’t ask me. They had psi-blockers of all kinds—telepathy, clairvoyance, and judging from the static I sensed, that’s not all. Mentally, the whole place wasn’t much more than a blur, but fortunately Izzy got a lot more than that.”
Flick nodded. “Could you tell if they were blocking teleportation?”
“No idea. I can’t do that, so I couldn’t test it.”
Next to Jaclyn, Rachel muttered, “What do you want to bet they’re blocking me too?”
“We’re going to want to knock that out if we can,” I said.
“All it’d take is one EMP,” Sean said.
I turned toward Sean. I didn’t want to go through all that again, but, “Look, I don’t mind EMP’s. I’m planning on using a few small ones myself, but if you use it on the whole base, it might not work out. Lots of security systems are triggered when something gets cut off. So what if your EMP takes out the sensor that detects a laser, but not the device that goes boom if the laser’s shut off? What if it’s nuclear?”
Sean didn’t back down. He looked me in the eyes (to the degree he could through my helmet). “No one is stupid enough to rig up a nuclear bomb underneath their base.”
Flick’s grin seemed a little tired. “Rook’s done it before.”
Sean’s jaw dropped a little. “Are you kidding?”
“Sorry hon, no.”
Daniel took advantage of the silence that fell after that to say, “Izzy used sonar to build a decent picture of the base. It’s not perfect. I’m sure we’re missing a lot, but it’s better than nothing. We ought to be able to plan based on this.”
I felt mental contact with Daniel, and a more distant contact with the rest of the the group. Interesting. He was shielding our thoughts from each other. I didn’t remember him doing that before.
I’ve been practicing. Plus, I’m growing stronger.
Izzy’s presence became more noticeable in the link.
“I’ll show you what I saw when we looped around the dome. It might seem a little strange to you, but I’ll do what I can to explain it.”
At first, it looked like any other dark spot in the wilderness—stars and clouds above, but near complete blackness near the ground.
Then I could see Rook’s base—except “see” wasn’t the right word. Izzy could see with sonar. Theoretically, I ought to have been used to that, but while some versions of the Rocket suit could do the same thing, the computer processed it instead of my brain.
Here, I saw a dome, but the edges of whatever spot I was directly looking at were fuzzy. Weirder, when I looked at any spot, I saw more than the outside. I could tell the shape and size of the rooms behind it.
It was a lot to take in.
I could go into detail, but this was the gist of it: It was a dome. The heaviest objects clustered around the middle. The power, the labs, the psi-blockers, and probably Cassie’s cell were all there.
I’d assumed they’d have a collection of buildings, and that we’d be able to distract with one group, and get Cassie out with the other. Maybe we still could, but all the most important targets were in the middle.