We were back in Grand Lake late Sunday night. I planned to drive about half the Grand Lake University group back to campus. Jody’s parents lived only a few blocks away, so Dayton, Jody and Sean walked over there and to pick up Jody’s car. Julie and Shannon took their own way too.
That left Haley, Travis, Camille, Courtney, and Vaughn riding back to campus in the van with me. It filled all the seats once you included everyone’s luggage. I probably could have adjusted the van to compensate, but I couldn’t show up to the university’s car garage driving any other version of my van than my own.
Arriving in the Cat Mecha would have been funny, though.
Haley rode next to me in the front. She had her shoes and socks off and her feet up on the dashboard. “It was weird seeing Chancy Harris again. Last time we saw him he’d been helping the Hrrnna hide. He helped us find them too, but still, they did try to destroy the planet.”
“No shit,” Vaughn said from behind us. “Did you see the look he gave Sean when we came in, though? I don’t think he likes him.”
I shook my head. “Wasn’t Sean telling everyone that Chancy was doing it wrong?”
As I talked, I merged into one of the roads that ran alongside the highway that ran through the middle of the city. There weren’t many cars on the road on Sunday night. It looked like there might be more coming from the north, but those were probably people coming home from a weekend at the family cottage.
Vaughn, Camille, Travis, and Haley all laughed. Courtney talked through them. “He did that? Why did he do that?”
Vaughn said, “It’s classic Sean. Talk out of your ass first. Then find out you pissed off half a dozen people.”
In my rearview mirror, I could see Courtney glance at Vaughn. “I missed out on ‘classic Sean.’ I had barely any classes with him in high school, and as an overweight geek, I didn’t rate his notice.”
Haley frowned. “I did. You didn’t miss anything.”
Travis’ deep voice blew through everyone else’s. “What I don’t get is how Chancy isn’t in jail.”
“Give me second.” I turned the steering wheel left, merged onto the highway entrance ramp, and then on to the highway. “Daniel and I were talking about it last night. After everything that happened, Daniel’s dad, mom, and Guardian hunted Chancy down. His mom needs to have met someone before she can track them in their dreams, but she had. Working with Stapledon is kind of his penance. Even before that, he turned away criminal clients when he knew that that’s what they were, and he worked with the Heroes’ League at least as far back as the 60s, so they view him as safe. Of course, everyone’s still required to be in costume when they meet him, so obviously they don’t completely trust him.”
In the rearview mirror, Travis shook his head. “Worked with the Heroes’ League in the 60s? That explains why he can open up a portal directly inside HQ. Maybe we should use one of those teleportation blockers, and only turn it off when we need a way to Stapledon.”
“Not a bad idea,” I said.
I would have continued the conversation, but at that moment, my phone started beeping. Clicking on the dashboard, I opened up the van’s hidden dashboard mode and checked for Heroes’ League notifications. The dashboard rearranged itself, moving all the standard information over and turning on a screen of Heroes’ League notifications.
At the top of the list was a report from the spybots showing that the instructions I’d given to record high-speed movement in the city had been activated twice, one of them just now.
I obviously couldn’t go into it then, but Haley took her feet off the dash and clicked for pictures. First, it showed a map of the route. If I wanted to find the speedster, I needed to assign more spybots to the job. The trail started on the southeast side, ran up toward the north side, and disappeared.
The bots couldn’t show where the trail began or where it ultimately ended.
As Haley clicked through the pictures the bots had taken, one thing did become perfectly clear, however. There wasn’t one blur of a speedster. There were two. One was a dark blur, a silhouette that looked male. The other was obviously female and surrounded by a golden glow.
“There’s two of them,” Vaughn said as I drove the van into the school parking garage. It was nearly full. I had to drive up three levels before I saw any empty parking spaces.
“That explains a lot,” Haley. “They did a lot of damage before anyone could stop them in their last robbery.”
No one got out when I stopped, crowding around the front of the van, flipping through the images. The nature of the people being photographed meant there wasn’t any detail to speak of. That didn’t stop Haley from trying, though. With as many pictures as the spybots had taken, it was likely that one of them would be more than a blur.
We could hope that anyhow.