“Oh,” I said, looking over the instrument panel in preparation for take off, “by the way, we’re thinking that they’ve got psi-blocking devices all over.”
Alex said, “Well, that screws us over big time.”
“Yeah, we’re hoping to take them out, but if we’re lucky we won’t need to. Our first group’s got a good chance of getting Captain Commando out by themselves.”
“Good, because without teleporting, we’re not going to be much help. No one here can fly.”
So if we got in trouble, and couldn’t take out the psi-blockers, anyone coming to help us would have to do it the hard way.
“Well, if it comes to that, Flick will be running things over here. Um… I’m assuming you’re basically here to pull us out if anything goes wrong, right?”
“That’s the plan. And we’ve got all the adult supervision needed to make sure we don’t do anything else.”
“Just wondering. Then, we should probably go and do this.”
Alex’s comment about adult supervision didn’t come out of nowhere. Last spring we’d pranked Syndicate L, a criminal organization that apparently lacked a sense of humor when it involved millions of dollars worth of damage.
The adults flying along with him kept him from coming up with something crazy like that, and it was probably all for the best.
If Flick kept Sean in line, we might be able to handle our end of the job too.
I turned on the anti-gravity, and the jet began to float upward. In a moment, I’d turn on the main engines, and—
Haley’s voice broke into my thoughts. “Nick, I should be the pilot. The less time it takes you to get out of the jet, the better.”
“Oh, right…” I clicked, and set her controls to primary for both weapons and flight.
A lot more lights appeared in front of her, and my instrument panel dimmed slightly.
“See who wears the pants…” Sean muttered.
Behind me, Sydney said, “Sean!” Her tone of voice said, “Don’t be a jerk.”
Haley made the jet float forward, slowly at first, but gaining speed.
Thanks to the shields, the windows showed a transparent, computer generated outline of the topography, but only darkness behind it. The screen on the dashboard showed a topographical map with our position. It might feel different on the ground, but the view made the land look flat with some trees.
Haley sped up more quickly than I would have, and flew lower. Even though the terrain was relatively flat, it wasn’t completely flat. Haley used the terrain for cover, and used it in a way that would have made me fly the jet into a hill (which to be fair, the shields might have allowed us to blast right through).
With the jet’s inertial dampers, we didn’t feel it much, but the view screens in the back let people switch between a view of where we were on the map, a view of what was in front of the jet, and a computer desktop.
From the gasps coming every time Haley turned, I guessed that the front view was pretty popular.
I stuck with the map. I’d been in enough cars with Haley that I knew better.
“Almost there.” Haley said it quickly and quietly enough that I almost missed it.
I stood up, leaving Cassie’s gun belt clipped to my chair. I’d managed to attach the gun’s holster to the Rocket suit’s belt on the way. I’d also told the gun to relay anything it had to say through the jet’s AI. When the jet was out of range, we’d have to communicate through sparkles.
Jaclyn and Izzy made it to the hatch before I did.
Stepping past Sean without looking at him, I joined the two of them as the inertial dampers began to hum loudly, taking us from whatever speed we’d been at to nothing.
Haley turned her head around, and caught my eye. “Good luck.”
She tried to sound casual, but to me at least, she sounded worried. I felt like I ought to say something, but I couldn’t think of anything, besides, “You too.”
As Flick wished everyone good luck, Haley turned back to the dashboard. The hatch door opened. The shield outside thinned, and disappeared, giving us a view of the night outside.
We couldn’t linger. Every second delay meant another second where the people below could detect the jet with the shields partly off.
Jaclyn and Izzy jumped out of the jet. I followed them.
I fell toward the dome, thinking that as much as she might worry about me, the jet wouldn’t necessarily be safer. It wasn’t really invisible—just close. Rook had flying powered armor. The Nine probably had better technology than I knew about, and after we hit the dome anything could happen.
I turned on the rockets to slow my fall, and looked up toward the jet. Only the area around the hatch door was visible. Then the door shut, and the area around it faded into darkness.
I slowed myself to a near complete stop, and touched down quietly on the dome next to Izzy and Jaclyn.
The building’s best candidates for cells were below us.
I tapped the gun. “Is she nearby?”
The end of the barrel sparkled.
Looking back at Jaclyn, I said, “I guess.”
She pulled her arm back, and bent over to punch the dome.