“Um… Actually, kind of. Izzy and Daniel are good for scouting, and that’s what I’m using them for. You’re more like artillery. You never know where we might need you. I’d say let’s wait till we know, and then I’ll send you, if needed.”
“Well that… fucking sucks.” Vaughn stared at his chair’s monitor.
Camille looked over at Vaughn and then over at me. Despite what I normally expected out of her, she wasn’t flirting at all.
“So don’t you think we ought to leave the bombs to the Defenders? They’ve been doing it longer.
I thought about it. “I think that they might be less qualified than we are. They don’t have the jet to tell them what the bombs are. Plus I probably know more than most about the tech they’re using.
She glanced over at Haley and back to me. “It was just a suggestion.”
“And not a bad one. Vaughn’s suggestion was good too. I’m going to let the Defenders know what’s up so they can object, but I really think we should destroy the devices before anyone realizes we’re here.”
Then I turned back around and opened the hatch. Cool air flowed into the jet. I didn’t know what temperature it was outside. Warmer than Michigan for sure, but not warm.
Daniel and Izzy walked toward the opening.
Izzy wore the same blue and black exercise clothes I’d seen her in last time, but with a mask that covered the upper half of her face. She’d put her black hair in a ponytail.
Giving a quick look out the hatch, she said, “You can call me Blue again for this one. I haven’t come up with a good name yet.”
Then she stepped out of the door.
Daniel followed, but before he disappeared into the predawn darkness, he contacted me telepathically. You’re doing the right thing. The place we’re going becomes more dangerous if Vaughn’s there.
Some, Daniel thought at me, and then he was gone.
That made me feel a little better, but only a little.
I clicked on the comm, and called the Defenders, explaining what we were doing.
Ronin said, “Do you think you can destroy the devices without risking the city?”
“Yes, but not zero risk, a low risk.”
“Do it, and don’t forget we’re ready to assist if you need us. We’d never have found this without you, and we’re grateful you’re here.”
“Thanks,” I said, but I felt a little strange about his gratitude, knowing we could still screw this up horribly.
We ended the call.
“So, ” I said, “I guess we should come up with ideas for how to destroy them as quickly as possible, and maybe a backup plan in case it goes wrong.”
Vaughn frowned. “If it goes wrong, don’t we all just die? Someone’s going to blow them all remotely, right?”
Rachel let out a breath. “I hope not.”
I shook my head (indirectly the Rocket suit’s helmet), “I don’t think so. I think they’d avoid wasting all their work if they can, have all of them fly out, and only use one.”
They wouldn’t need more than that.
Anyway, we talked about the devices’ weak points and how to take advantage of them. Vaughn participated. He even seemed to be in a better mood afterward.
A little bit, anyhow.
I sank back into my seat. If this was what leadership felt like, I didn’t like it. I was angering friends while sending them into danger.
It wasn’t fun at all.
I lowered the jet onto the factory’s parking lot, and opened the hatch again–this time for everybody. Cassie, Camille, and Sydney went toward the storage building. Once there, Cassie reached out and crushed the padlock with her hand. Then she swung the door open.
Drawing her sword, she entered, and started cutting.
It wasn’t the quickest way, but none of us could destroy them all at once.
When Sydney and Camille followed her in, it left Vaughn, Haley, Rachel, and I standing on the crumbling asphalt next to the jet. From the building came the hum of Cassie’s sword, and the crunching noises that came from whatever Camille and Sydney were doing.
It seemed to be going well.
Then Daniel called me. I clicked the palm of my glove to answer.
“Rocket, we’ve found the other danger, and it’s as bad as I worried it might be. Do you remember True Humanity? The guys who hate all supers on principle? Well, they’re here. They’ve got a training camp in an old warehouse, and they’ve got people with power juice inside.”
“Isn’t that hypocritical?”
Daniel replied, “No doubt, but Blue says they’ve got a bomb that looks strangely familiar, so we’ve got something to worry about.”