Amy bounded into the hanger in her Bloodmaiden form—all black armor and glowing gems. Cassie, Samita, and Rod followed her in, all of them in costume. Between Cassie’s flag against a navy blue background, Samita’s hooded red robe, and Rod’s black, leather duster, they had an interesting look.
Amy stopped once she saw that Travis and Lucas were within the wards and that the wards had been activated.
The transparent, red walls were a fairly obvious clue.
“I should talk to her.” Still half expecting the walls to stop me, I stepped through.
It didn’t feel different at all, but I no longer had to look through the wards, so that was an improvement.
“Oh. Good,” Amy said, glancing between Travis, Lucas and me. “For a second I thought you’d been bitten too.”
“I’ve got a ward,” I said. “I’m fine.”
Keeping her voice level, she said, “Gems shatter. Don’t take its protection for granted.” Then glancing back at Travis and Lucas, she said, “What happened?”
I ran through the entire attack, ending with, “So effectively we lost four people against one of them. Lucas hit Sean and Jody with lightning, bit Travis, and broke Haley’s arm. That’s not a great ratio.”
She turned her head to watch Travis and Lucas inside the wards, and then met my eyes again. “I saw on the news that it’s taken the gang that was robbing banks here.”
“More or less,” I said, thinking back to my conversation in the prison. “He’s got everyone but Morgan, the person in eagle themed armor.”
“And they’re all powered,” Haley’s voice. “It could be like this all over again.” She walked to the side of Amy. Haley didn’t limp, but her arm hung next to her side, unmoving.
Travis crossed over to the edge of the warded area. “I heard it happen. You’re using Grampa’s healing trick, right?”
Haley gave a snort as she said, “Yes,” but froze as she saw Travis. “Are you okay?”
Travis straightened. “I’m fine. The whispers stopped when Control activated the wards.”
Amy blinked and looked over at Kayla. “You activated the wards? I was worried it wouldn’t work.”
Kayla stared at her. “Seriously? If it didn’t work, I might have died.”
Looking over at me again, Amy said, “I thought you were going to do it.”
I ran through possibilities in my head. “Wait, did it need one of our personal wards to work?”
Samita glanced at me and then at Kayla. “Did you feel anything when you said the words?”
Kayla glanced at the growing crowd as everyone exited the jet and the Wolfmobile while the shadows that obscured the back of the hangar dissolved. To Samita she said, “It hurt a little.”
Amy and Samita looked at each other as Cassie said, “Wait. Are you thinking she’s a wizard?”
Vaughn moved his head back and looked Kayla up and down. “Whoa. That’s pretty random.”
Samita raised her voice above the gathering noise. “If she had any substantial talent, the North American Council would have noticed by now, but,” she took a step closer to Kayla, “even if you only have a small talent, it might be worth training you.”
As Kayla sputtered, obviously not sure how to respond, Haley said, “What about Night Wolf and Red Legacy?”
Amy looked over at the red dome that held them. “We can’t do anything until we find the first one. Then I’ve got a technique that should allow me to drain its essence without taking it in. If I try it on them, I’ll probably just kill them.”
Haley’s eyes widened, and she said, “Oh. Well, we should figure out how we’re going to find it then.”
“Yeah,” I said, “and maybe create more gems.”
Amy shook her head. “I can’t do it quickly. It takes hours to make the gems. Attuning them is faster, but I’ll be surprised if I have time.”
I nodded. “Ok. Then the group is just those of us with gems—minus Night Cat unless we’re lucky.”
She shook her head. “I can heal the bones if I shift slowly enough, but everything around it still needs to heal. I’m stuck here.”
I was opening my mouth to ask another question, but I didn’t get to. I got a phone call. My HUD indicated that someone had called the League and opted to specifically ring my extension.
I took the call, immediately recognizing Andronicus’ voice. I tapped my palm to record the conversation. Immediately, I heard Andronicus’ accented voice. “Hello Rocket, it is now the beginning of the end. Unless you are willing to act, it will devour and infect as many as it can within the hour.”