Lim hung up, leaving Haley and me standing there together next to one of the cubicles in the command area of the main room, all of our friends and some family in cots on the other side of the room.
We didn’t have anywhere else to send them—nowhere convenient anyway. Daniel’s family had relocated to the Midwest Defenders’ base in Chicago after the fight. I’d been thinking about asking Guardian about that yesterday, but not until after we’d talked last night.
An attack on HQ wasn’t out of the question. The simulations I’d seen this morning included a few different attacks and that was one of them.
“I’m going to text Guardian and get our parents out of here,” I told Haley.
“Good idea,” Haley glanced over at the sea of cots, “I’ll get people up.”
She took a step and then jumped a quarter of the way there. I grinned. That was one way to get there sooner. Then I started texting Guardian, receiving what amounted to an automated response telling me that he’d text me back as soon as he could.
It was better than no response at all. I made a mental note to try again in a couple hours. He could easily be sleeping or halfway across the galaxy. His teleportation powers made the interstellar capabilities of my jet’s drives look weak by comparison.
Then I used my implant to text Hal that we were about to lose access to the government databases Lim mentioned. Hal texted back.
[We already have. It’s not a problem. I arranged my own access years ago. My friends had already set up their own back door. They gave me an account. I have more access than you do.]
By friends, he meant the Earth’s loose affiliation of AIs that occupied themselves with their own personal projects. The fact that they’d hacked into the government’s databases regarding supers probably wasn’t a good thing.
On the other hand, getting access to more information through their efforts wasn’t a bad thing, “Hey, Hal… What do they have on military super teams, specifically the ones composed of former criminals?”
The reply appeared in my HUD.
[Access to military superhero data is restricted and not given to supers affiliated with the government, but I have access. There are four special forces teams staffed by civilian superpowered criminals. Most of these criminals never had any kind of public identity or codename. Team Four has recently been activated and Major Justice has been given command for a short duration mission.]
“Can you tell me about the people on Team Four? Maybe their powers and other important information?”
In the background as I talked, Haley had clapped her hands, and said, “Wake up! We need to suit up,” continuing to talk and prod when people didn’t instantly pull themselves out of bed.
[Different members of the team are used based on the mission. The current most common configuration of the team involves a telepath, a man who transforms into a beast, and a magical swordsman. There may be others. The database notes incomplete cooperation with the military on keeping the information updated.]
“I guess I couldn’t expect the database to have everything,” I said. “Are any of these people known supers?”
[The magical swordsman, Yellow Mask, appears to be related to the Masks. The telepath was the mayor of Grand Lake. The man that transforms into a beast transformed at your high school dance. The telepath and beast man have had their powers fully activated.]
That was a bombshell. I found myself staring into space, remembering when Logan had transformed into a monster during prom and how he’d disappeared afterward. Plus, of course, Mayor Bouman had been the one who’d brought our attention to the Cabal in the first place. He’d been one of them.
The fact that the military had seen fit to run them through some version of the power impregnator wasn’t good at all.
I felt my connection with Daniel grow more solid as he thought back, It isn’t good.
I hoped they weren’t too much more powerful. The impression I’d gotten was that people on the original power juice formula were only at 70% of their potential. How much of a practical change would that be? It would have to be noticeable.
On the bright side, I could look up Yellow Mask. As one of the Masks, his powers would be documented. In a worst case scenario, I could call Mateo and see what he knew.
As I turned to the computer in the cubicle and began to type Yellow Mask, a call came in. This one was an official Arizona Defenders communication.
Crap. He was going with the ultimatum and attack scenario from Hal’s simulation.
“Hey everybody,” I shouted across the room, “I think we’re about to be attacked.”
I delayed accepting the call as long as I could, hoping it would buy us a little time, but watched the message status change from normal to important and then urgent within seconds.
Major Justice didn’t have any patience left. I took the call.