I set the red alert on my communicator–not the one for the complex. That would have shut down all the entrances, and the rest of the League would need them.
From outside came the sound of screeching brakes. One of the older streets in the city, State Street ran straight into downtown from the suburbs.
Cars filled all four lanes, and between standing in the middle of the road and (in one case) getting hit by a pickup truck, the Cabal’s men had blocked three of the four.
The pickup’s front had been smashed in. The Cabal soldier bounced into the backdoor of a yellow mini-van, but stood up in time to pull himself on top of the truck’s cab and jump for the sidewalk.
The three cars behind the truck rear ended each other while a gray Ford Focus slid right, into oncoming traffic, creating another crash.
I decided not to think about the drivers.
Anyway, I barely had a time to think at all.
One of the Cabal’s people jumped, flying toward the windows at the front of the conference room. His aim wasn’t quite perfect, or maybe his shoulders were wider than the the window (which was made of transparent aluminum). Either way, he shattered it, but didn’t sail through.
He managed to get his arm over the sill and began to pull himself in, giving us a good look at his head.
His clawed hands, and too wide, fanged mouth reminded me slightly of Travis and Haley, but his expression seemed stiffer, and less–I don’t know–human.
I didn’t get to look at him for long. I began to pull up the guitar, but Rachel and Lucas both beat me to it.
Rachel pulled out her pistol, and fired, the booming noise hinting that the bullet had exploded on impact, meaning that one of my designs had probably worked. It wasn’t easy to tell for sure because Lucas had hit him with a lightning bolt at almost the same time.
The room shook with the noise.
As the man fell out of the windowsill, and I ran to the laptop in the corner of the room. I switched away from the cameras’ view of the outside to the building’s controls.
Clicking, I sent commands through HQ’s network. All over the building, motors hummed, covering the windows and doors with an extra layer of armor.
I wondered how long that would stop them.
Switching back to the security cameras, I saw that the Cabal’s people were all out of the street, and appeared to be talking together on the sidewalk.
That wasn’t a good thing. I activated the building’s sonics.
Inside, we didn’t hear much more than a distant whining, but outside, they were experiencing noise that had to be far above the threshold of pain.
Against that background, Jaclyn stepped through door to the conference room, followed by Sean, Sydney, Camille, and Julie.
Jaclyn wore her purple costume. Like Lucas, the rest of them wore street clothes. Julie, in particular wore jean shorts, and a white halter top which, while distractingly low cut, didn’t strike me as the best choice for a fight.
“How are we doing,” Jaclyn asked.
“Not sure,” I said. “They’re just standing there right now. No. Wait. They’re jumping.”
Five thumps came from the roof above us, followed by a solid crashing noise.
The lights in the ceiling shook. One broke.
“I take that back. I think we’ve got to go. Right now.”
Jaclyn turned around, “You heard him. Get out. We don’t want to be here when they come through the roof.”
Sean didn’t move, stopping everyone. “That’s nuts. There’s seven of us. Even if we can’t fight them. Julie can tell them all to freeze.”
“I’m sure Ray’s got a way around that by now–” I began, only to be interrupted by Lucas.
“Listen Sean, you idiot. I’ve put up with you for months now. We don’t have time to discuss this. When they say go, you go.”
Julie’s eyes narrowed. “Shut up.”
For an instant, her voice felt overwhelming. What I’d thought of as a “queer tone” to her voice before felt more like a river of sound, but… only for an instant.
I felt a thimble sized object on my utility belt hum, matching and distorting what she said.
Jaclyn’s and Rachel’s went off too.
Very calmly, but very deliberately, Jaclyn said, “Get. Moving. Now.”
A metallic, tearing noise came from above us. They weren’t through the ceiling, but they were through one layer.
I clicked a few buttons on the laptop.
“Thirty seconds,” I said.
Lucas raised an eyebrow. “Before what?”
“Building goes boom.”