Marcus put his hand up to his chin, thought for a second, and then said, “It doesn’t sound that big brotherish. You’re only planning to watch for speedsters, right? It’s not like you’re going to watch everyone in town and monitor whatever they’re doing.”
I nodded. “That’s the plan. The idea is that the spybots would detect someone moving faster than normal humans can and watch them, and only them.”
Marcus sat up a little straighter. “I just thought of something. What about friendly speedsters like Jaclyn, for example? It’s not like she’s here all the time anymore, but if we need help, she’ll come. Plus, what about her older brothers or Grandpa?”
I thought about it, “Jaclyn should be okay because she’s got a League communicator. Her brothers should be okay because they’re on teams that use standard protocols–like we do. As for C… You gave him a new communicator, right? Your grandfather should be fine, but since he’s blind, he shouldn’t be running fast enough to trigger anything.”
Marcus, Haley, Sydney, and Camille all looked at each other. Camille gave an uncomfortable sounding half-giggle.
I gave everyone a quick once over. “Okay. What else don’t I know?”
Haley took my hand and gave it a squeeze. “C isn’t as blind as he lets on. Kayla told me that your grandfather made him glasses that work around his macular degeneration somehow.”
My mind went back to a set of plans I’d seen in Grandpa’s files. “Those worked? I saw a design that Grandpa created that might work, but there weren’t any notes that said that it did.”
Haley gave a lopsided half-smile. “I don’t think Kayla was supposed to tell us, but she did. Plus, even before she said anything, I saw the glasses on him. They glowed on the inside, and I could hear them hum so I knew they were more than just sunglasses.”
I shook my head. “That puts a whole new spin on things. C was considerably more powerful than he ever made public, and he’s part of the League’s board. If they were an official team, they’d be one of the more powerful ones out there.”
Given that the board knew future predictions that Daniel’s grandfather made, I wondered if there was a purpose behind that.
After a moment of thought, I added, “But anyway, so long as people are using communicators with standard protocols, they’re safe. If someone’s not part of a team or drinks power juice for the first time and takes a run fast enough to trigger it, well, then they could get caught.”
I paused. “But, I could make it so that it fired only on command. That might be the wisest thing. For all we know, the person’s running through the city constantly, and we don’t know it because they don’t always rob anything.”
Marcus grinned. “I like that idea. It could be that they live in Grand Lake or they work here, and if they show up at the same place again and again, we’ve got them.”
Haley turned toward me, saying, “I think it can work. Would everybody be able to okay taking a shot or just you?”
“However you want me to arrange it. It’s not a big deal, but it might be better if we split the authority.” Holding Haley’s hand in mine, I was reminded that her reflexes were good enough that she could probably make the decision in real time.
Haley, meanwhile had apparently decided we weren’t getting enough input from Camille and Sydney. She turned to them. “What do you think?”
Sydney looked up at us. She’d been looking down at her hand, or maybe her lap. “Honestly, I’m a little more worried about the Cabal. The last time we saw them around here, my dad died.”
Technically Ray hadn’t been part of the Cabal when he killed Camille and Sydney’s father, but he was working with them later. It wasn’t impossible that he always had been. Plus, the Cabal had been hunting their families for years, so I could see her point.
Sydney looked over at Camille. “I’m going to call my mom and let everyone know that he’s around. That way we’re watching.”
Camille was more serious than she generally seemed to be, and didn’t chatter away in response, saying only, “I was planning to tell my mom too.”
They looked at each other, their faces mirroring each other’s anxiety–or that’s how I interpreted their expressions.
“You probably shouldn’t blow him off,” I said, “but he seemed to be focussed on his contract. He wasn’t asking about you at all.”
Sydney nodded. “That’s good. You know, if you found a way to have your bots detect the Cabal, I wouldn’t care about how much privacy we lose. I’ve had to look over my shoulder for them for almost my entire life except for the year after you beat them.”