Daniel arrived before the police, checked out the unconscious men’s minds, and then concentrated on the van.
“They were all blocked,” Daniel said. “I wasn’t awed by the work. Whoever did it, didn’t have as much power or fine control as I do, but given those limitations, it was sophisticated. It would take me hours of work to get anywhere, and I couldn’t be sure I got everything.
“Fortunately for us,” he continued, “they didn’t do any thing to block impressions from building up in the van. So I’ve got the address.”
“Great,” Cassie said. “Let’s go.”
“What?” Vaughn grinned at her. “We’re just going to go over there and take them on?”
“They might be expecting us,” I said. “Or expecting to be chased at any rate.”
“No,” Cassie said. “They got away. No pursuit. I’m sure they’ll be watching, but they don’t have a reason to be.”
“Right,” Jaclyn said. “We were doing okay with just the two of us. Now we’ve got five –”
“Seven,” Lucas said.
“Oh, no,” Jaclyn said. “We are not bringing you along.”
“Lu — Red Legacy,” Shannon began. “They don’t want us. I’d be fine with going home.”
“No,” Lucas said. “I want to see this through.”
Cassie put her hand on Daniel’s shoulder, “Hey Mystic, where are they?”
“The north side. It’s in an older neighborhood, not far from all the factories and warehouses. They’ve rented an older house. A big one.”
“Are there a lot of people in the house?”
“I don’t know. I couldn’t get that.”
“Do a lot of different people use the van? Or is it the same people all the time.”
Daniel stepped back, and thought about it. “Yeah. A lot of different people.”
Cassie smiled at Lucas and Shannon. “Consider yourself in. Let’s go.”
Jaclyn looked over at them and then at Cassie. “Are you serious?”
“We might need them.”
“What about the rest of the League? They ought to be showing up soon.”
“I doubt it. I canceled the yellow once Storm King and Rocket showed up. Everyone else has to cross town to HQ to suit up before they get here, not to mention leaving whatever they’re doing… I bet they didn’t even get to HQ before the alert changed.”
Daniel nodded. “It turned to green on my way. I only showed up because I was closer to here than home.”
Vaughn said, “We could call everybody, and have them meet us there.”
Cassie shook her head. “We’d still have to wait, and I want to hit them while they’re off-balance. Let’s go.”
“What about those guys?” I pointed toward the bodies.
“We’ll leave them for the cops. Accelerando, you could tell them what happened, and then catch up with us. Mystic, can you give her the address?”
As Daniel said, “Sure,” Lucas turned to me and asked, “She’s team leader?”
“For the day. We switch off.”
The police showed up as we flew away, Cassie’s motorcycle running down the road below us.
The north side of downtown held mostly factories, old houses, and Grand Lake University. The house stood less than half a mile from the two smashed buildings where we’d run into the Gray Giant, and the abandoned building where Lee sometimes held practices.
Jaclyn had caught up with us before we arrived, running next to Cassie.
We stopped a couple blocks away from the house, gathering in the parking lot of an old brick factory. The factory went for half a block by itself, obscuring most of the parking lot from the view of Lake Street, the main road through this section of town.
The factory used to make furniture. White bricks spelled the name “Wilson Furniture Co.” on the side. I didn’t know what it made now.
Whatever it made, it closed before eight. We were the only ones in the parking lot. With the sun still setting, we had light to work with, and we’d made a point of standing with the factory between us and the road.
We circled next to Cassie and her motorcycle.
Shannon stood next to Lucas, shifting her weight from one foot to another, and sometimes looking down the street.
Vaughn moved between Jaclyn and Cassie, asking Jaclyn, “How’d it go with the cops?”
“I barely talked to them. I told them who the guys on the ground were, and how the hole got there, and left.”
Shannon said, “I don’t want to be a pest, but who were they? I don’t know either.”
We all looked at each other.
“I don’t know, for sure,” I said, “but I’ve been assuming that they were what’s left of the Cabal’s gang. We know they’re in the area, and since they went after members of the Southside gang, it fits. Kind of, anyhow. They’ve got better equipment than normal gangs.”
“It makes sense,” Vaughn said. “I always heard that you could buy drugs from the Lake Street gang at Harbor Place apartments. Maybe they’re taking over or something?”
“I told the police they were with the guy who murdered those people last Sunday,” Jaclyn said. “That’s where I stopped.”
“Well,” Cassie said, “we’ll know more when we take them in. Right now, we should make a plan, and I came up with one I like on the way here.
“Here it is… The Mystic, Storm King and Red Legacy fly up above the house. I’ll use the motorcycle to shoot in smoke and tear gas grenades. The Mystic can tell us where they’re leaving the house, and you two,” she pointed at Lucas and Vaughn, “can zap everybody coming out from above. The rest of us will take anyone you missed.”
“I don’t really know anything about fighting,” Shannon said. “What should I –”
Cassie interrupted her. “Don’t worry about it. If you can put a thin layer of darkness around the sides and back, they’ll come out the front. Can you do that?”
“I think so.”
“Anyone else?” Cassie asked.
The last time Cassie had been in charge, we’d fought the Gray Giant. That hadn’t gone very well, mostly because we had no idea what we were really facing.
This plan sounded pretty good.