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.