Cannon’s voice was a little distorted as it came through the speakers. “Give me a second. I think I’m passing some rock.”
He paused. “Are you all still there?”
Almost everyone said, “Yes.”
“It shouldn’t be hard now that you’re here,” Cannon said.
Kayla guessed he meant C.
Breathing a little harder, Cannon continued, “I figure we find them, and you run into the middle of them. Then Control presses the button, and it’s all cleanup from there.”
C shook his head. “Can’t. Wish I could.”
Cannon snorted. “I heard you were going blind, but I figured you had to have figured a way around it by now. Otherwise you wouldn’t be in HQ. If you’re worried about blowing the secret, I’d say that now’s the time.”
C sighed. “Wish I could. There’s more going on here than I can tell you about now. Later, we can talk, but for now, the kids will have to do it.”
Cannon didn’t say anything for a moment, but followed it up with, “I imagine this has something to do with the League’s other surviving member.”
When C didn’t respond, he said, “Yep, thought so. Seeing the future never seemed worth it to me–”
C interrupted. “We shouldn’t talk about it. Let’s talk about a plan. Forty of the Abominator’s ground troops verses three kids directly, two senior citizens, one support staff, and a nearly sixty year old doomsday device. Have I got everything?”
Haley said, “The AI says ‘Ahem.'”
C laughed. “I barely remember the Rocket inserting it into the jet. We barely used it except on the last few missions after we retired, but I should have remembered it. Tell it I’m sorry. We might need it tonight.”
From Haley’s tone, Kayla could imagine her smiling a little as she said, “The AI says, ‘Forgiven.'”
Kayla wondered what else it had said.
Cannon barely waited an instant before talking. “What I’ve got isn’t much of a doomsday weapon. I’ve toned it down, and I always thought of it as as specifically targeted.”
“Yeah,” C said. “It was targeted at the Heroes League, and I’d say it still counts as a doomsday weapon if anyone who controls radiation is inside.”
Chris’ voice came over the comm, “What kind of weapon is this?
Marcus spoke up. “That’s what I was about to say.”
“It specifically targets the Heroes League?” Haley asked. “Isn’t that a problem since we’re all on the same side now?”
Kayla watched the camera windows on the big screen, hoping that they decided what to do before the aliens attacked.
“Whoa,” C said. “I’ll give everyone an overview. Man-machine jump in if I get it wrong.”
“Can do,” Cannon said.
“The way I remember it,” C said, ” it was a two pronged attack. Temporarily, no electronic devices worked, and everybody’s powers acted strangely. I was just as strong and fast, but got tired easily. Captain Commando and Night Wolf were in the same position, and they couldn’t heal much better than a normal person. The Mentalist, Ghostwoman, and Red Lightning mostly couldn’t use their powers at all.”
“Technically,” Cannon said, “they could still use them. They couldn’t control them very well.”
“Mmm-hmmn,” C said, “Ghostwoman had to be willing to float away into alternate universes to use hers. Red Lightning couldn’t control where the lightning hit. If we’d been visited by Sgt. Atom, the whole city could have died from radiation poisoning.”
On the other end comm connection, Cannon’s voice sounded a more frustrated when he replied. “Sgt. Atom didn’t show up. I was careful. I trapped the Rocket and all the rest of you. None of his suits worked, and the rest of you overexerted yourselves before you knew what was happening. It should have worked.”
“Except I got out of the hospital, took the stairs up to the roof, and smashed it with a baseball bat.” Nodding, C continued. “I never understood how you learned how to do it. The electricity I could see, but affecting our powers? You never did anything with them before then or after.”
In a matter of fact tone, Cannon said, “You’re right. That wasn’t an interest. I got that information from Red Lightning.”
C grunted. “I should have guessed. I forget, was that before or after his power jump?”
“Don’t know,” Cannon said. “I told the Rocket later, but he didn’t believe me until after the Mentalist confirmed that Red Lightning was behind the superpowered gangs. Stupid.”
“Not stupid,” C said. “Red Lightning was his best friend since the age of six, and they’d fought in a war together. The Rocket wasn’t going to accuse him on your say so. So what’s the new plan?”
Cannon replied, “Nearly the same as what they did at the beach. Get their attention, and set the bomb off. Their camouflage and armor won’t work. They’ll barely be able to move, and we’ll be able to do whatever we need to. The only problems I see is that the device is fairly fragile and easy to break. Someone will have to sneak it close and set it off, preferably from a distance. If you stand behind the ship, and let it shield you from the blast, your equipment should work.”
Cannon added, “I volunteer.”