Amy nodded, and then closed her eyes for a moment, making a small motion with her right hand. “We can talk privately–at least for a little while. I’ll warn you when it’s over.”
“Sure,” I said, noticing Samita glance in our direction and frown. “Uh… It looks like Samita noticed your spell.”
Amy’s helmet didn’t make it easy to see, but she appeared to roll her eyes at that. “She would. Look, she’s supposed to be mentoring me in traditional magic, but she’s also watching to make sure I don’t go batshit insane and drain the school’s blood in an act of ritual horror.”
“Um. Okay. Is it too late to include her?”
“Way too late, and we’re running out of time. Adam’s the traitor, or he’s one of them,” she said, facing forward, keeping her lips out of view of the stands behind us.
I took a breath. “Do you think there are more?”
She shrugged. “I’m not ruling it out. I was always told that traitors come in bunches–like grapes. What we need to decide is this. Do we take him down now or later?”
I stared at her. “Later. Definitely later. The place is full of security for a bunch of politicians, at least one of whom hasn’t decided if I’m a threat or a menace, plus there are a bunch of powered security who’d protect first and ask questions later. Why would we ever take him down now?”
Her lips tightened. “Because he might know he outed himself, and then he’ll either escape or put his end game into play. Either way, potential disaster.”
I froze for a moment, and then said, “Point taken, but I don’t think he realized it.” I rechecked my helmet’s display. The new suit’s helmet gave me a 360 degree view, or near enough to it. “Adam’s sitting down in his seat.”
“Then you’re willing to risk waiting?”
I checked where I’d last seen Adam, but he was still sitting. “I… Yeah. I think I’ll have to risk that.”
She gave the barest of nods. “Then as soon as this is over, we get people we can trust into your lab, and I’ll enspell them so that they can see magic. After that, we take him down. His powers are magic based, right?”
“I assume. He can hide himself. That seems like a fairy power. I can still see him with sonics.”
She raised an eyebrow, her mouth hinting at a grin. “I love the fae. They’re such complete bastards. If he asked for the ability hide from human sight, sonics don’t count.”
I smiled back (a little)–not that she could see it. The Rocket suit’s helmet covered my face. “What bugs me though is that there’s no motive–”
She held up a gauntlet covered finger to her lips.
The spell was over.
Samita reached behind Tara to tap Amy’s shoulder. Her armor made a dulled, metallic thump, and Amy turned.
Frowning, Samita asked, “Is there anything the rest of us should know?”
Amy shook her head, frowning. I said, “Nothing to do with the tournament. Drop by my lab afterward and it might come up. That goes for everyone.”
Rod nodded, and opened his mouth to ask a question, but stopped as Lee’s whistle interrupted him. Team one and team four went back to their respective flags while an announcer who wasn’t Lee gave their codenames and powers, adding that the codenames they used today might not be the ones they used as a hero.
I ignored the announcer, half wondering what strategy each team would use, and half thinking about what Adam’s motive could be. The first time I’d met him he’d been angry about Agent Lim sidelining him. He’d been working with the Feds, but after the mob killed his girlfriend, and he went on some kind of murderous anti-mob rampage, Lim took him out of the field and got him into therapy.
I could see where he might have a grudge against Lim, but so far nothing had been pointed against Lim directly. Fairies had tripped Amy’s wards and tricked Vaughn out of information which they’d handed to Stephanie, probably knowing it would go to the Coffeeshop Illuminati.
Suspecting that paying attention to the incidents so far might be the best route to understanding, I nearly missed the beginning of the fight.
At the announcer’s “Go,” Patriot Jr and Izzy flew across the field. Akesha, the woman in powered armor ran along with them, keeping up, which was impressive enough. Patriot Jr’s power, as I understood it was to generate a force shield in front of himself while flying.The force shield was, or at least could be, considerably larger than he was. It wasn’t a versatile power, but in battles, he shone.
Leading the way, he flew low, destroying the rock squares that dotted the field like tombstones, throwing up dirt and grass into the air.
I half expected that would be the end of it, but rather than staying in the air the dust blew off to the side, and Stephanie’s mesh helmet which suddenly reminded me of nothing more than a fencer’s helmet, blazed.
I wasn’t caught directly, but the symbol on it demanded to be looked at. Viewing it from an angle, I resisted, but Patriot Jr and Akesha caught her gaze full on.
She turned her head and they struggled to keep her face in sight, plowing into the foothill to their right.