“I’ll pass that on,” Daniel said, his voice flat.
“Then that covers it. Get the Rocket over–” He stopped. “What?”
A woman’s voice said something unintelligible.
“I’d never have thought they had it in them.” Ray’s voice sounded distant, as if he wasn’t talking into the receiver.
“Congratulations. You’ve put the fear of God into my allies, but it won’t change anything. Be at Fulton and Sykes.You’ve got less than an hour now.”
He hung up the phone.
Jaclyn eyed Daniel. “What was that last part about? Did I miss something?”
“No idea,” Daniel said.
My League communicator rang, and I clicked it on. Ghost, Rachel’s code name stood out against a blinking yellow background.
How had I failed to notice that she wasn’t with us? I had, kind of, but when someone who turns invisible disappears you take it less seriously than normal.
“Rocket.” She sounded tired. “I stayed behind to make sure they didn’t dig after us.”
“Wow. Are they?” I looked toward the hangar where the tunnel to the office opened.
“Not now. I stopped them.”
“That’s great.” Thinking about the tone of her voice, I said, “Right?”
“No. Remember when Justice Fiend had you, and I moved the barrel of the gun inside his head? I had to pull the trigger this time.”
“You shot someone in the head?”
Next to me, Haley put her hand over her mouth.
“Don’t make this worse than it is. I shot him in the arm, but the gun was loaded with the explosive bullets. They got caught in the middle of it, but they woke up, and one of them noticed where the tunnel caved in. I told him to leave it alone or I’d phase the gun through his skin and shoot him. They all laughed, and I pulled the trigger. His skin bulged like a balloon, and his hand blew up. I could see pieces–”
She took a breath. “I’m not going to say more about that. He stopped moving, and the rest of them took him away. I might have killed him.”
“Could be,” I said. “An explosive bullet inside a body… That could make quite a blast.”
“I know. You’re not making me feel better about it.”
“Sorry. It’s just… Wow.”
“How are things in HQ?”
“Well, we’ve got Night Wolf, Night Cat, and the Mystic plus everyone from the office, but we’re waiting on everyone else. And Ray called.”
“I have to go meet him or he’ll kill Justice Fist’s parents, plus some of the League’s parents. Including ours.”
She didn’t say anything for a little while. Then, “I didn’t know this could get worse. Give me a minute. I’m going to hurry.”
The communicator flashed “Connection Closed,” and the light winked out.
“She’s got a way to kill them?” Sean asked. “Kick ass. I thought those guys were unstoppable.”
He’d walked up behind Haley and my chairs while I was talking with Rachel. Haley barely moved, but her foot trembled.
I guessed she might be instants from monstering out.
“I say we follow the Rocket here, and then when Ray doesn’t expect it, we take him out.”
I meanwhile was trying to figure out why he wasn’t saying anything at all about Haley or I. Ray had pretty much blown our secret identities, and given our history, it seemed impossible that he’d handle it that calmly.
Daniel: He doesn’t know.
Me: You erased it from his memory?
Daniel: No. I made him miss the connection. Him and everyone else.
Me: That’s really cool.
Daniel: It’s not going to last. If they stick around long enough, it’ll be impossible for me to keep it up without some major mental surgery, and I’m not going to do that. Sydney and Sean will know Haley’s voice instantly, and Sean also recognizes Travis’s voice. We can’t plan anything with them here. Plus what happens with Lucas when Vaughn arrives? Lucas inherited Red Lightning’s resistance to telepathy too.
Me: Rachel’s right. This just gets worse.
Daniel: I know. I think we’re going to have to lay all our cards on the table, tell them who we are and get it over with. Maybe do what we did with Kayla.
Me: Do we have time for that? I know I don’t. Not if I want to get there before Ray starts executing people.
Daniel: We don’t, but having Sean figure something like that out in the middle of dealing with Ray could be just as bad.
Me: Maybe you could wait till after I leave then?
Daniel: Are you planning to hand yourself over to Ray?
Me: I don’t see that I’ve got much of a choice.
Daniel: Nick, no one hires a guy called the Executioner to talk with people. Ray’s going to kill you.
Me: Lee’s coming soon, and my death is one of those things he’s supposed to prevent. If Rachel comes with me, we’ll at least stop them from killing Haley’s parents, and we might even find out where they are.
Daniel: If you’re lucky.
Me: I don’t think we’ve got another option.