Next to me, Haley kept her voice low, asking, “Is he still recording?”
I checked the dashboard. Now entirely a digital display, it included more than your average van. I checked the corner where it listed all the users of its local LAN. Kid Biohack wasn’t on the list even though he was listed in grey with a question mark next to his name.
“No,” I said. “To discourage bugs, I set up the van so that signals can’t get out unless they’re connected to the local LAN. His system is set up with standard cape protocols. It’s asking for permission, but I’m not giving it access.”
In the main area of the van, Kid Biohack looked at Travis and smiled. “I tracked him down. He’s connected to your string of armored car robberies.”
Letting the van go on autopilot, I watched the main compartment through one of the cameras. I could have turned around, but I felt better paying, at least, partial attention to the road.
Haley frowned, and said, “I think he’s lying. Maybe not about everything, but at least partially lying.”
Kid Biohack’s upper lip quivered. “I’m not lying!”
Travis met Haley’s eyes and nodded. “Thanks, Night Cat. I wasn’t sure at first, but he’s definitely lying now.”
“Hey,” Kid Biohack began, but as he did Vaughn and Camille both started laughing.
“Don’t even try,” Vaughn said. “It’s not worth it. Night Wolf and Night Cat always know.”
Camille stopped laughing first. “Don’t worry. It’s not your fault. It’ s just their thing.”
Kid Biohack’s mouth tightened. Then he looked at me. “Did you cut off my internet access?”
Shaking my head, I said, “No. I just never okayed it.”
“When did it stop?” He was staring at me by the time I turned to face him.
“When the door shut. It’s protection against surveillance.”
He let out a breath.
Travis cleared his throat and leaned toward Kid Biohack. “Which part were you lying about? The part where you said you tracked him down, or the part where you said he had something to do with our problem?”
Kid Biohack didn’t say anything.
Travis smiled, showing his fangs. Between his teeth, the largely grey costume, and the upright ears on the top of his mask, he made me think of either a wolf or a kind of monster Batman. Of course, Travis didn’t have a cape.
Nodding, Travis said, “I think he’s lying about tracking the guy down. Night Cat?”
Haley said, “That’s it,” and turned toward the front where she could watch it on the screen.
After looking down checking his wrist, he met Travis’ eyes. “Since we’re not recording, I’ll say it. I didn’t track him down so much as bribe a bunch of people who work for Syndicate L. ”
Travis’ eyes narrowed. “Syndicate L’s behind this?”
Kid Biohack shook his head. “No. They don’t have anything to do with it. They do transportation, procure equipment, anything your local supervillain might need. This kid works with Syndicate L. He’s not high up or anything. He’s a courier. They use him when they can’t trust anything electronic, and they can’t here.”
I shook my head. That was complete overkill. It wasn’t as if I were monitoring all email or phone conversations in Grand Lake. Technomage might be able to do that, but he was in Los Angeles.
Then I thought of something else. The alien AI in the League jet/spaceship might well be able to do exactly that. I’d never ordered him to, but Grandpa might have. I made a mental note to ask about that.
“Fine,” Travis said, “it’s not Syndicate L. Who is it?”
Kid Biohack shrugged. “I don’t know. Syndicate L doesn’t know either. They send this guy to deliver messages or whatever. If anybody knows anything, it’ll be him.”
Travis looked down at the body on the floor. “Damn,” he muttered.
Taking the opening, Kid Biohack said, “Once I took him down, I planned to ask him some questions. Some of my friends cooked up a drug that weakens people’s will. He’ll talk.”
Haley turned around. “Somehow I didn’t imagine you as someone who shoots people up and then interrogates them.”
Kid Biohack sighed. “Not clean enough for you? Some of us can’t hear when people lie.”
Haley frowned. “I didn’t say that.”
He eyed her. “You’re not better than me.”
Camille barely let him finish before saying, “She didn’t say that.”
Haley said, “Don’t worry about it,” and turned around to face the front, saying something under her breath that sounded suspiciously like, “asshole.” I knew she didn’t mean Camille.
Travis glanced toward Haley, and then back toward Kid Biohack. “It sounds like we’ll have to talk to this guy.”
He put the slightest emphasis on the word “talk.”
I don’t know if Kid Biohack was about to say something, but before he could, we rolled up in front of the Grand Lake Heroes’ League’s new offices.
The old offices resembled an early twentieth-century fire department, probably because the building had been converted from one. The new offices filled the same space and more closely resembled a modern office. They were all metal and mirrored glass with a lit up sign saying “Grand Lake Heroes’ League” in large letters.
One thing it did have in common with the old firehouse, though, was the door that opened in the front.
We drove straight inside.