“We had to change,” Sam said. “You don’t want to risk exposing who you really are. And then I set up a ward that stopped people from noticing that we were here. That’s why no one else came down the alley.”
“It’s really cool,” Rod said. “Think of it as a Someone Else’s Problem field from Hitchhiker’s Guide.”
So right, another guy who would assume that I’d read that book—because Nick and Marcus weren’t enough.
“Sure,” I said. “Haven’t read it, but I get it. Give me a second, I want to be in costume when the Feds get here, and do either of you have handcuffs? Mine are at home.”
“I’ve taken care of it.” Sam pointed to the two men I’d taken out. Both had brown cords curled around their arms and legs. The cords seemed thin to me, but they were probably magic, and I hadn’t brought my own, so why argue?
I pulled off my shirt and shorts and put them in my backpack. I set the backpack to change color to the same blue as my uniform, and it changed shape, becoming smaller. I also hung my staff on the side of the suit.
The small costume didn’t have any arms or legs, but it did have a mask. The flag against a dark, blue background gave it the basic Captain Commando look. It didn’t cover much more than a one piece bathing suit, but it covered a lot more than the costumes of some of the women in the comics Marcus reads.
The bottom half of some of them is basically a thong. I’ve never understood how they expect to “strike fear in the hearts of evildoers” with their asses hanging out—never mind fighting in high heels.
The only real supers who dress like that are trying to use their powers to break into acting or modeling.
When I was done, Rod looked me over. “Who did you say you were?”
“I didn’t, but I’m Captain Commando.”
“Oh. Oh,” he said. “No kidding.”
Sam only raised an eyebrow, and said, “Where’s your sword?”
“I’m on vacation. I didn’t bring it.”
“Well,” Rod said, “if the Feds are coming, I guess I’d better turn troll again.”
The Feds came twenty minutes later—two ambulances, and three cars worth of agents.
Isaac Lim gave them their orders, “Check to see if anyone’s still watching. Check for cameras. We need to make sure no one can identify Captain Commando here. We also need to find out who those guys are.” He nodded toward the men on the ground.
A couple of the agents wore helmets—government telepathy helmets. I remembered seeing them when we captured Mayor Bouman last year. Daniel told me they were nowhere near as good as a real telepath.
Agent Lim waved the three of us over. We gathered around him with Rod (in troll form) towering over everybody.
“Nice to meet you in person, Captain Commando. Red Hex, and Troll, nice to see you again. They’re in their second year in the Stapledon program. You’ll probably see each other next year. How did you all happen to be here?”
“Mom’s here, and I wanted to get out for the night,” I said.
“Does she know?”
Sam (Red Hex) said, “We’d heard of a couple people disappearing at clubs, so we investigated.”
“And you happened to show up here?”
“I did a little spell to find the best spot to look before we left.”
Oh great, it sounded like she’d done the magic equivalent of Daniel’s “find the biggest threat” trick.
Lim said, “That’s a spell to find the least safe spot in D.C.?”
Rod laughed, and glob of spit as big as my fist dropped from his mouth, splashing on the concrete.
Gross. Just… yuck.
We didn’t even have time to respond before the sound of wind came from above, and a guy appeared floating in air next to us.
If I had to use one word to the describe him, I’d have to choose hot. Muscular, and dark haired, he looked like he’d stepped out of the cover of a Harlequin romance novel. Their superhero series–SuperHearts? I’m embarrassed to admit I know that.
Like mine, his costume had a red, white, and blue patriotic theme going.
Landing, he said, “Now what’s the problem here?”