Amy came through first, hitting the far side of the hallway with her back, or technically with her armor. Izzy came through along with her, readying another punch, her mouth curled in a snarl.
Her punch hit Amy in the jaw—she’d lost her helmet somewhere—and I heard her jaw break. Her head hit the wall hard enough that visible cracks spread out at least six feet, her red hair spreading out behind her.
The Cabal’s soldiers were tough, but I’d seen them die. If Izzy kept on hitting like that, Amy wouldn’t be able to stand up to it. Besides, however Amy siphoned off other people’s powers, she might not have gotten the total package.
Daniel, probably thinking the same thing that I was, shouted, or maybe screamed Izzy’s name telepathically. He didn’t even have the presence of mind to keep it private between the two of them.
It echoed in my brain, not activating the mental defenses Daniel put in only because I wasn’t the target.
I don’t know if that made her hesitate, or even if she heard him. All I know is even as Izzy’s next punch flew toward Amy’s forehead, Amy dodged it, and spat blood into Izzy’s face. A couple teeth fell out of her mouth along with it.
At least that’s what I guessed had happened from the blood on Amy’s chin and Izzy’s face, and fact that Izzy’s hand had punched into the rock wall where Amy’s head had been. Also, even if the blows had been little more than blurs, I saw the teeth drop.
They stood there motionless, and then Izzy said something to Amy that I missed because of the distance. It had to be friendly because she held out her hand, and pulled Amy to her feet.
Then they walked toward us. When they came into earshot, Amy put her arm on Izzy’s shoulder. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll be okay.”
She said it clearly and without mumbling—which I would not have expected from someone whose jaw had been cracked. Glancing at her mouth showed that The Cabal’s regeneration abilities were all there. Aside from the blood on her chin, there was no sign it had ever been broken. She even had teeth.
Izzy’s forehead furrowed as she turned her head toward Amy. “You’re sure?”
Amy grinned. “Not normally. Normally I’d be dead, but I’m borrowing powers from The Cabal right now, so I’m fine.”
Shaking her head, Izzy said, “I don’t know what came over me. After you attacked, I wanted to kill you. I didn’t hold back at all.”
“Like I said before,” Amy looked up at Izzy, “it’ll be okay. No permanent harm done. I wanted you to attack me. That was the plan, or my plan anyway. I had a spell that only needed a little of my blood to work. I thought you’d draw some, and I was right. I only wish it hadn’t taken so long.”
Izzy sighed, but then said, “I never want to lose control like that again.”
And then we were all together. I turned toward Samita, “When you were talking, it sounded like you thought the lesser fae cast easily breakable spells.”
Before I finished, Amy was saying, “The fae don’t actually cast spells. It’s more of—“ and Samita was saying, “I did not say that. The lesser fae seldom cast spells. Their abilities are usually inherent in their being.”
Haley nodded as Samita talked, but said, “You did say their illusions and misdirection were easy to break, but Izzy and Cassie both tried to kill people. Acting that out of character should have freed them, should it?”
Samita swallowed. “Yes, but even if we’re facing lesser fae, whoever’s leading them might not be. And I can think of a distinct possibility.”
Haley eyed her. “Who?”
With a quick look up and down the hall, Samita said, “Remember the faerie duke who led the incursion? One of his vassals was a dragon. The greater dragons are… famously persuasive.”
Amy stopped smiling, and asked, “Which dragon?”
Samita only said, “You know better. I’m not going say his name when it might get his attention, but he was on the final you took last year.”
“Are you kidding me?” Amy stared at her. “One of those dragons?”
Haley eyed me. “You should get your armor back on.”
She was right. I was already feeling naked. With all the noise Izzy and Amy had made, people outside must have realized that something was going on.
As my armor surrounded me, Sean said, “Wait, a dragon? Dragons are real?”
“As real as Evil Beatnik, remember? You were there for that,” Vaughn said.
Sean muttered, “I never got my head around that either.”
My HUD activated, giving me a list of all the League members with active communicators. There wasn’t anyone I couldn’t see in front of me. That meant Rachael, Jaclyn, and Travis were either deep in the compound or their communicators were off.
We’d have to continue with the plan we had, but if we were going to have to fight a dragon, I was going to need a bigger suit.
Fortunately I had one.