I felt a flash of uncertainty that turned into an uncomfortable feeling.
Daniel’s words floated into my head. I don’t like our options. We can either trust her, or I can blur her memories a little.
I think you’d have to do more than blur her memories a little. She was in the van when Rook attacked, and she changed into a spare League suit. Plus she went with Vaughn and Travis to Haley’s cousin. You remember the doctor? You’d have to edit her whole night.
My memories of the night—starting with when Courtney and I went to the house—flashed through my head. I knew I wasn’t doing it.
That’s worse than I thought. His frustration washed over me. I’d have to wipe the whole night after you started walking away from the house.
I thought about that. Would she notice the blank spot?
Maybe. She might fill it up even without me doing anything. You’d be surprised how many false memories people create normally. You’re right though, if I wanted her to have a memory that didn’t make her suspicious, it would take some work. I won’t know how much work without examining her first.
I’m not looking forward to that, I thought at him.
Me neither, and I can’t see any way around doing more to her brain than I want to if she says no.
I might have complained about that. Protecting our normal lives, our real families, and the friends we had who weren’t capable of protecting themselves wasn’t something we could skip.
On the other hand, a telepath who won’t mess with your head for his personal convenience is the only kind I’d want to have around.
We happened to finish showering at about the same time, and got into our street clothes (except I wore an undamaged stealth suit under mine). We all kept clothes at HQ in case of emergencies. Then we walked out to the main table.
Haley sat in front of one of the computers. Cassie sat next to her monitor. Izzy stood next to Cassie, looking even taller because she was the only one standing. They were talking and laughing together.
It felt a little strange to see it. I wasn’t sure why.
Daniel and I explained about Courtney, and that we’d have to take care of it now. It turned out that everybody was coming.
“Really?” I’m pretty sure my mouth hung open, probably in disbelief. “We don’t need everybody. It’s overkill, you know?”
Cassie shrugged. “I”m going back to the dorm anyway.”
Izzy looked from Daniel to me nervously, “I’d stay here if only the two of you were going…”
Haley looked up at me. “I want to find out what happens. She knows who we are.”
Did you ever notice that the small stuff turns out to be the biggest pain? Once we did decide to go, we realized that no one had a car here. The van still ran, but with the door off, and all the other damage, we weren’t going to drive around town in that. Daniel’s car was still in Chicago, so it wasn’t an option. Cassie had ridden her regular motorcycle back to HQ to pick up the Commandocycle, and obviously we weren’t all going to fit on that.
Equally obviously, Daniel wasn’t going to float us over to campus—not in street clothes.
In the end, we walked to my parents’ house, and borrowed my mom’s car. I reasoned that she wasn’t likely to need it at four thirty in the morning, and anyway, she worked at home.
Plus, I did leave a note, mostly at Daniel’s insistence.
“Think about it, Nick. What if she wakes up to go to the bathroom, and notices her car is gone?”
“I don’t see why she would, though. It’s not like she goes to the bathroom in the garage.”
Lack of sleep may have been making me a little cranky.
I left the note anyway, taping it inside the side door where she’d see it if she did decide to visit the garage.
Fifteen minutes later we’d parked the car on the street next to DePuit Hall.
Dark except for the entrances, the dorm didn’t look overly welcoming. On the other hand, my bed was inside. I wished I could go to sleep.
We walked up to the front door. I pulled out my key card, held it in front of the pad, typed in my passcode, opened the door.
All five of us walked in.
You know what was crazy? People were up. The dorm’s TV room lay directly in front of the lobby, just past the halls leading to the rest of the dorm.
We could see the big screen TV as we walked in. It wasn’t as large as the one in HQ, but it was big. I guessed that twenty people were watching—not a huge crowd, but huge for 4:45 in the morning.
They were watching SuperTV.
Worse, SuperTV was covering us. Not us as we were at that moment, but everything we’d done that night.
Images of Rook in air above the marine supply store, the cell phone store, and the fight at the gas station flipped between the burning remains of Rook’s base near Hudson Bay.
Weren’t they afraid of radiation?
The journalist said, “We’re going now to the Midwest Defenders’ base in downtown Chicago. Flick, the team’s second in command, has agreed to a short interview.”
I couldn’t tell where they were in the base. Flick and the reporter stood in front of beige wall with the Defenders’ logo—a “D” in the shape of a shield.
“And believe me,” she said, “it will be a short interview. I haven’t slept all night, so you’ve got five minutes starting now—”
I didn’t hear the rest. One of the guys on the long couch turned around, and I recognized Jeremy, my roommate.
“Hey Nick, where have you been all night?”