Nodding, I said, “Then I guess we’d better go do something that’s obviously stupid.”
“It’ll be fine,” Cassie said, “Mr. Sparkles is looking forward to it. I don’t think he quite understands that we’re not going out there to slaughter them.”
I eyed the alien gun in it’s holster on her belt. Using it to its full potential would get us in more trouble than I wanted to imagine.
Haley’s mouth twisted as she glanced down at it, but she said, “I think we need to get out there. Is everyone ready?”
Everyone looked at each other as Jaclyn said, “Yes. We’re ready.”
Izzy looked around the group, “I think we’ll all do fine as long as we remember that they’re people too and most of them wouldn’t be fighting us unless people meddled with their heads.”
“Which,” Adam said, “shouldn’t stop us from taking them down if we have to. I think we all know that some of their victims never come back to themselves.”
Haley looked up at him, “Don’t kill anybody. All of these people are either innocent or misled. You’ve got magic. You can do things we don’t even know about.”
He shook his head, “My people can do a lot, sure, but you’re still working with fairies here. I’ll tell them what I want and I’m sure they’ll listen, but they’ll still act according to their natures. Maybe they won’t kill, but if they can’t, people may still need therapy and lots of it.”
“As long as they’re alive and they aren’t lost in a fairy dream forever, I can live with that,” Haley said. “Let’s go.”
Adam blinked, “Okay. I do want to point out though, that if those guys have one of the Masks, they’ll have one guy who can handle magic.”
Amy tapped the Bloodspear’s butt end against the floor, making a dull clanking noise, “He’ll be too busy worrying about me.”
With a look at the spear, Adam said, “Yeah. I’m sure.”
As we began to go to our respective tunnels, I looked over at Team Hidden—which included both Daniel and Tara—asking, “What do you think?”
Turning toward me, Daniel said, “This plan is as good as any we came up with in terms of our chances.”
Tara smiled at me, “There are too many people with too many powers involved for me to predict everything. Sometimes you have to roll the dice.”
Haley and I locked eyes for a moment, but she was too far away by then for anything more than a glance. That would have to be enough.
I wanted to run it all by Hal. I wished again that I could contact Mateo to ask what he knew about Yellow Mask. I could at least ask Hal, so I did, “What did you think of our plan?”
[Send out an obvious group to draw their focus and keep a hidden group to take out the hidden assets from the other side? I told them it was good enough and suggested tweaks. I also told them the likely sequence of events. The other side will engage you in some way, attempt to capture you, and then attempt to bring any hidden assets of yours into the light by threatening your lives. Also, of course, any discovery of your hidden assets by their hidden assets will turn the whole thing into straight out battle. Past that, it’s impossible to predict due to the personalities and powers involved.]
“Okay, I guess that’s it then,” I said, following the rest of Team Obvious to the tunnel door, and commanding my helmet to form around my head.
Vaughn, Cassie, Jaclyn, Amy and I stopped in front of the heavy, round tunnel door. Years ago, I’d assumed that it was metal, but now I knew that it was a heavy duty alien ceramic made for combat applications. Despite that, it looked like something made for a World War 2 submarine when you combined the metal look with the round wheel on the outside of the door.
Jaclyn put her hands on the wheel and began to turn. Watching her, you had no idea how much resistance it gave anyone who couldn’t lift a few hundred pounds.
She turned back to the rest of us, “I feel like I should be making a speech, but this isn’t the time. Let’s get this done, Team Bait.”
We laughed, but as we stepped into the tunnel, I remembered something. I hadn’t contacted Sean to tell him we were going in. I said I would, but it had slipped my mind.
I considered skipping it, but I didn’t feel right about that. I composed a message in my head and had my implant send it as a text to Sean.
It said, “We’re about to go meet with Major Justice and his crew. It’ll be in the woods around League HQ. There will be lots of people. Don’t get too close until fighting starts. You don’t want the Nine to rearrange your head.”
As I sent it, I felt a twinge of worry, but I’d said I’d do it. Besides, we needed the help.