Picking Up Pieces: Part 2

As much as I might want to assume Sean was wrong on the grounds that he was talking, I wished we could fly away.

Whatever I might think, Haley’s console had the flight controls for the moment, and unless I felt I should say something, she could make the decision without me.

My console only showed the weapons and shields at the moment.

Haley began to turn her head around. It was obvious she was going to ask someone for advice.

Keeping her voice low, Flick said, “I’ve got to make some calls. Cooperate, but stall.”

That didn’t sound good. The way I remembered it, the Defenders and the Feds had cleared this with the Canadian government. Except… They’d had to be careful about it because the Nine had people all over, and they didn’t want anyone to warn Rook.

That meant either that the Feds had been too careful, and missed these guys, or one of the heroes we were talking to had been compromised.

I thought back to the speedster I’d seen in Rook’s lair. I didn’t even know if he’d gotten out.

I wondered whether he was one of Rook’s people or if he was being blackmailed.

I hoped he hadn’t died.

Haley bit her lip, and said, “Okay,” but it was more of an “I’ll do it if I have to” than a “Yes, ma’am.”

She clicked on the comm. Sounding a little more cheerful, she said, “I’m sorry, but I’m American. What’s the RCMP?”

Red Hawk’s voice, high pitched, but still calm, came over the comm. She said, “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, ma’am. We’re similar to your FBI. Now could you please explain who you are and what you’re doing here?”

“Sure,” Haley said. “I’m Night Cat of the Heroes League. Rook kidnapped Captain Commando on orders from the Nine, and we came here to rescue her. We got her back, but Rook blew up his base, and nearly killed all of us. I can give you coordinates if you want to check.”

A man gave a deep laugh, but it had an edge. I recognized the voice. He’d spoken earlier. “I’m Jack-in-the-Green, and I can assure you, little girl, that there’ s no need to give us coordinates. Every geological researcher on the planet knows the coordinates, and so do the world’s nuclear regulatory agencies.”

Haley’s lips curled at “little girl,” but when she said, “Oh,” she managed to sound politely surprised.

She sounded a little less polite when she muted her microphone and asked, “Could I have some help here?”

I suspected she meant me.

“Sure,” I began, but I didn’t get to say anything more.

Red Hawk said, “You’d go a long way toward making us comfortable if you lowered your shields or whatever’s making it so hard to see you on the radar.”

Decision time. If anyone there were on the Nine’s payroll, they’d have it a lot easier with the shields down.

I looked over at Haley to find she was already looking at me. She’d thought it through too.

“Well? If you’re running this one, you get to decide.”

“Shields down, I guess.”

I was pretty sure Captain Kirk had never said “I guess” after making a decision.

Breaking another Star Trek precedent, since control of weapons and defense were in front of me, I had to turn them off myself.

Taking the shields down did make the stars visible through the windows. We could all see the small lake below us, and the Defenders podjet floating off to our right.

The dark, triangular object that was ahead of (and slightly above) us had to be the Canadian team’s jet. I’d heard of Red Hawk, and Jack-in-the-Green, but I didn’t know their team.

From behind us Jaclyn said, “Good call.”

“If you’re supposed to be cooperating, I don’t see what the big deal was.” Sean said.

Sydney whispered, “Not now, Sean.”

Red Hawk said, “Thanks for turning off your shields. We can see that you’re flying something that looks a lot like the Heroes League jet.”

I pressed a button on the comm. “It is the Heroes League jet. Isn’t that good enough for an ID? No one else uses it.”

Jack-in-the-Green spoke. “I’m sorry kid, but no. What we need is for both of your ships to land and turn off their engines. We know it’s a Defenders podjet just like we know that’s the Heroes League’s jet, but we don’t know who’s in them, and we can’t assume that Rook didn’t let the Dominators at you. We can’t take chances.”

Cassie had taken a seat in the back next to Jaclyn, Rachel, and Flick. “I heard them say something about the Dominators. That’s why I tried to break out.”

I turned around to look at Flick. She was talking into her communicator. This would be a great time to let Red Hawk and Jack know she was on board.

She shook her head.

I turned on the comm. “Call Agent Isaac Lim of the FBI. He’ll know what’s going on.”

Haley began to lower the plane.

19 thoughts on “Picking Up Pieces: Part 2”

  1. Now comes the real question… Is the chapter title literal, in that this is a recovery chapter and they get to regroup… or is it ironic and they are about to MAKE some pieces that need to be picked up.

  2. “As much as I might want to assume Sean was wrong on the grounds that he was talking” Now that is a truly great line. It put a smile on my face very early on a Monday morning. It shows how little respect Sean has earned through his actions and words. Now if only Sean could figure that out for himself there might be some hope for him.

  3. And who knows if Cassie isnt being dominated and this is just an elaborate scheme to get her back in with the league. Daniel or his dad ought to make sure.

  4. ““I’m Jack-in-the-Green, and I can assure you, little girl, that there’ s no need to give us coordinates.” There is an extra space after there’ and before s.

    You know, I don’t like these guys anymore. I mean, I get that they’re cautious about Rook somehow having a way to put the mind wammy on heroes like that one speedster back in the base, but the attitude of the RCMP better soften up a bit or they’ll get shown up. Some more, actually, considering that the teen heroes just took out a base of Rook’s that they hadn’t.

    Being shown up like that is probably why they’re not going to be too friendly towards the heroes.

    Take that, British folklorish fellow who only wears foliage/is a green guy with a plant theme. And please, I hope your name isn’t a description of you taking the term “nature lover” far too literally.

    Nick, good nerdiness, but everyone knows that the superior captain was Jean-Luc Picard. You have a girlfriend in the plane, you can’t be thinking like Kirk at a moment like this. It…wouldn’tdoto…get laid…withherright..on…board. You have to do the ballsy but diplomatic thing like (insert British accent here) “If you’re so sure we only look like the Heros League jet, why don’t you take a shot at us and find out. Otherwise, we can all sit tight up here in the air and you can tell us why we should trust you aren’t a member of Rook’s menagerie, Red Hawk.”

  5. Nice one, PG, but I’d have gone with ‘aviary’ instead of ‘menagerie’. Got to stick with the bird theme, after all. And I have a serious desire to make a terrible ‘stick them with the bill’ pun, but nowhere to put it. /sigh

  6. Nobody has started shooting yet. That’s generally a good sign…

    So, do you think the RCMP will try and confiscate Cassie’s gun? [grin]

  7. on star trek captains why not be like Janeway and just delegate? Or she usually ignores problems until it’s too late to solve them and then has her vulcan assist her.

  8. Hmmm. Well, with regards to others’ comments about Red and Green’s attitude, remember that these Canadian ‘heroes’ are actually cops. They are following exactly the right protocol that you would expect cops to follow. I can’t blame them for that at all. Just doing their jobs the right way.

    And seriously, what kind of a stupid name is Jack-In-The-Green? I’m totally with PG on the ‘nature lover’ implications of that name, and besides, it’s just a stupid, sissy kind of name. Honestly, it embarrasses me to be Canadian, knowing there’s a guy out there in the LON-verse representing Canada with a name like that. I can only hope he’s a British import, but I don’t think there was any mention of an accent in his voice, so I’m stuck pinching the bridge of my nose and gently shaking my head. Someone needs to drop gloves with this guy and beat some sense into him.

    Hg

  9. Wait…. what about the stall part. I know, I know, hindsight is 20/20. I’m thinking of the old obedience joke, “When I say jump you jump. Ask how high on the way up.” So Haley is headed down to land…. where??? Couldn’t she have asked where before they headed down?

  10. The question is: what are these mind dominators and how do they work? Depending on the situation this can become a really, really paranoid game.

  11. Sometimes superheros have bad names. Like The Amazing Flatulator or something. Another example is Chubster from Worm, who at least got a good eulogy.

    My personal favorite name is from X-Men at some point in time. A teen girl who was just thinking up one for herself: Negasonic Teenage Warhead. That’s a name you can imagine flying in to throw some superpower around. Say it with a tune and you almost have the theme song already.

  12. I’d also like to comment on the whole Kirk vs. Picard thing. It’s silly. You can’t compare the two. Kirk would have been in martial court numerous times for his behavior in Picard’s time, Picard would have died of rigid thinking in Kirk’s time. Sisko was good but was stuck on the starbase for most of the series. As far as Janeway and Archer go… I try hard to forget them.

  13. Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought that Jack-in-the-green was supposed to be a reference to the green beret. My second thought was maybe the merry men from Robin Hood, but that’s probably a stretch.
    It’s obviously a wordplay of some sort on Jack-in-the-box, though, which probably means he expects to ambush his targets (thinking along those lines is what lead me to think of Robin Hood). Hopefully, it doesn’t mean that he’s a puppet that uses the power of music or something.

  14. Like I said, if he’s actually British, it’s not only excusable, but mostly understandable. (Yes, Brits are still quaint, even with their overreactions to soccer — pardon me, football — results.) But if he’s a born and bred Canuck, then there’s no excuse.

    Hg

  15. and now i must look up thsi british folklore reference to figure out if jack in the green is cool or not

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