“Redirecting?” I turned toward her and raised an eyebrow—which was completely hidden by my helmet.
“Pushing on the escape pod’s controls at exactly the right moment to keep him from going where he wanted to, and getting a message out to Lim. Lim called in one of the New York teams that didn’t get sent into space, and what do you know? One more captive alien.”
Rachel grinned below her white mask.
“Wow,” I said. “None of the aliens are supposed to be contacting us in the first place. The moment this gets out, the Hrrnna are in major trouble.”
Rachel shook her head. “Doubt it. My bet is they play the ‘we don’t know anything about that’ card, and pretend the Hrrnna here were acting on their own.”
Travis nodded. “That’s how it works.”
He put down his arm, blanked his comm screen, and sighed. “I still can’t get anyone in Grand Lake.”
Rachel stopped grinning, and glanced from Travis to me. “What happened?”
Jaclyn answered. “The Hrrnna sent a ship there. Night Cat and the ‘Under 18’ team fought them.” She looked over at me. “Man-machine helped. That still throws me for a loop.”
“Maybe not just them,” I said. “They might have had the Rhino, and we’ve got a few other powered people in Grand Lake.”
We’d gathered into a group as we’d been talking. Only a couple feet away from me, Sean said, “This is stupid. We don’t have time to wait for this. We should fly back to the hangar, or fly home.”
He stared out at the river. Pieces of the spaceship were still visible. Not very visible, I had to admit. They were dark shapes sticking out of the water.
“We were on our way home anyway,” I said. “I doubt Lim’s going to keep us here unless we’re hurt.”
Sean turned toward me, possibly with the intention of shouting me down, but Vaughn said, “We’ve got to wait for Lim. I don’t know about you, but I’m not much faster than a car.”
Not saying anything, Sean turned back to the water.
We stayed like that for a little while, standing in the cold, listening to the sound of gulls, and waiting. Somewhere in the distance, sirens blared, but from here they were low level background noise.
Across the river, the last glow of the day gave a reddish background to the skyscrapers. Tired as I felt, it seemed like the sort of thing cowboys would ride off into even if it was technically past sunset.
I doubted that any cowboy movies ended with the heroes riding off into New Jersey though.
While I thought about that, and tried to avoid thinking about the worst reasons we might not be able to connect with Grand Lake, I heard Izzy gasp, and then a cracking noise. It happened too quickly for me to see it, but from the noise and utterly shattered bench, I guessed that she’d woken up disoriented except that she remembered being in the ship.
That was only a guess though, and however it worked, Jaclyn had caught her. Even as I realized what had happened, she was already saying, “Relax, we got out,” and holding Izzy up.
Izzy didn’t quite seem steady on her feet, but I realized that that was because she was partially floating. She settled fully onto the ground as I watched, and took a breath.
Looking around, she asked, “Where are we?”
“New York,” Jaclyn said. “All of us got out. The ship’s in the river.” She pointed toward it.
Izzy shook her head, and then she spied the bench. “I thought I was over that.”
Vaughn laughed. “Don’t worry about it. After today, what’s one bench? Some of the fights that took place today took down city blocks.”
“Seriously?” I asked.
Vaughn shrugged. “I heard it on the comm.”
Sean nodded. “Some guy… Brickhouse, I think? He used himself as a missile, took out one of the ships, but it rolled, and there was a gas leak or something. Everything went boom.”
As Sean had been talking, the sound of sirens became louder until they threatened to block out the sound of his voice. We all turned to find a police car and a box shaped truck with the word “NYPD” written on it in big, blue capital letters.
“A Box?” Izzy curled her lip in disgust. “I’m on their side.”
“It’s probably the best they’ve got for supers,” Jaclyn said.
Still watching, Izzy said, “I don’t feel that bad. I feel tired, but I don’t need to go to the hospital.”
Thinking about the bench, I hoped she’d consider getting looked at at least. Jaclyn was likely right about the Box too. It was pretty much the only vehicle required to have medical equipment that could handle supers.
Jaclyn took a step toward the truck. “I’ll walk with you.”
Izzy seemed to consider it for a moment, and then she walked toward the Box with Jaclyn. The cars had parked by the side of the street next to the park’s entrance.
They barely stepped away before my comm gave me an alert. It listed the caller as the Grand Lake Heroes League.