“Uh… Yeah. I can see how you’d feel that way and, honestly, you’re right,” I stood up, feeling the beginning of a headache and some pain as I stood, the spots where I hurt corresponding to where the creature bit me.
Unlike almost everyone else, I’d been too busy to throw on my costume, making me tempted to pull up my shirt or pull down my pants to check for physical marks.
This wasn’t the moment for checking. I could do that before I put on the Rocket suit, but I did want to know.
Looking up from my pants to meet Adam’s gaze, I said, “I’m trying to think of a way to tell you as safely as possible.”
He looked around at the whole group around us, “Does everybody know except for me? Because if that’s true, I don’t see why you’re worried.”
“None of them have made deals with dragons that nearly burned my arm off,” I said.
Vaughn bent over laughing.
After giving Vaughn some side eye, Adam turned his attention to me, “Okay. I get it, but I need to know what’s going on here.”
“Right,” I nodded, “I know. Let’s try this. There’s a weapon hidden on Earth that people from a certain ancestry can use. Lee can use it no question. Magnus and I might be able to use it. Magnus is looking for it and I might have seen him when I extended my awareness just now. It might also have been someone or something else, but he’s the only person I know would go after it other than Lee.”
Haley pursed her lips as she listened, probably mentally critiquing what I’d told Adam. I’d ask her what she thought later.
Adam looked around the group and then at me, “I hope you’re not leaving out anything I’ll need to know, but it’s something. Look, I can help you. We can help you and to encourage you to keep up sharing, I’ll tell you something I don’t have to tell you—I can use a kind of magic sight because I’m a champion of Faerie. In that sight, you don’t look like other people. I’m not sure exactly how to say it, but you look a little blurry around the edges. It’s hard to notice. Not everybody will, but it’s obvious if you know what to look for.
“This is true of everybody that spends a lot of time with Lee, but more true for you than anybody else I’ve seen. I’ll watch to see if anyone else looks the same.”
As he finished, most of the League looked anywhere but at him and some eyes widened.
“Tell Nick if that happens. Don’t get their attention,” Kals’ eyes widened. She didn’t use her power, but the forcefulness of her voice said that she expected to be obeyed.
Adam looked over at her and his face tightened, “Okay, you’re afraid. I’m not sure I know enough yet, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. I’ll leave them alone until Nick tells me otherwise.”
“Thanks,” I said. “It’s a bigger deal than we can explain for now. I’ll tell you more when I feel like I can.”
Adam’s mouth twitched in what might have hinted at a smile or frustration, “Please, do.”
Unsure of what to say next, I was almost relieved when I got a text from Stephanie.
She wrote, “We’re here. Couldn’t call. Watched. They know I know you. Asked for advice on your personality. Tactics. Favorite exit from HQ. They knew your grandfather plus exits from his time. All watched now.”
She added, “Here with special forces supers, C-shop Illuminati, Major Justice and friends. More.”
As I wondered if the “more” meant more text or more people than what she’d already said, she kept on writing, obscuring my unwritten response.
“They’ll use me to hurt or distract you. Pretend or ignore. Don’t trust me. I’ll do what I can. Out.”
For lack of a better response, I liked her final statement, leaving a thumb’s up next to her announcement of involuntary betrayal. It felt inadequate somehow.
“Are you back there again?” Haley asked as I paid attention to the world around me.
“What? No,” I said, realizing that everyone was watching me with concern except Daniel—who gave me a thumb’s up.
I addressed everyone, “I just got a text from Stephanie. Major Justice and his people are here with everyone we expected plus a military team. They’re also going to use Stephanie to betray us if they can. Don’t trust her, but don’t kill her, obviously. She’ll do what she can. Um… I have to get my armor on.”
I pushed through people and ran for my lab as Haley began talking through the plan that we’d discussed with everyone. I felt a small twinge of pain with each step, manageable, but there. When I walked through the door to the lab, moving out of everyone’s sight, I pulled up my shirt.
I found multiple black and blue marks that could have been from bites even though none of them broke the skin. It didn’t make a lot of sense, but what was I going to do, complain?
I set my clothes to morph into a flight suit and walked over to the nearest bucket of Rocket suit bits, activating them and watching as the blocks enveloped me, changing into my suit.