Samita pursed her lips. “In myths, mortals typically tricked the fae into leaving them alone. They also lost a lot.”
“Great.” I considered logging in to my computer for a moment before remembering that the compound was locked down. That meant no internet access. We’d have to rely on anything in Samita or Amy’s personal libraries, and whatever we remembered about the fae.
In my case that wasn’t much.
“Hey,” I said. “My grandfather told me about the ’60’s fae invasion. The way I remember it, there wasn’t as much trickery as straight ahead fighting and later negotiation.”
Samita shook her head. “My teacher was involved in that. He told me that there was a great deal of magic going on behind the scenes. Because of it, our side could see through the fae’s illusions, and simply fight them.”
“Huh.” I thought about that. “You already did that. Then I guess we should be thinking about what we specifically know about these fae.”
“Almost nothing,” Samita said. “Adam’s ex-girlfriend knew almost nothing when Jaclyn texted her, and if she knew any more she wouldn’t be able tell us.”
“Yeah. Then I guess we have to concentrate on Adam. Somehow he’s behind at least part of all this.” I thought back to him visiting me. “We also know he thinks he’s doing this to oppose the Nine somehow.”
“And that he lurrrvs you…” Vaughn added, laughing. At Sean’s confused look, he said, “That was a joke.”
I blinked. “Oh, right. Sean wasn’t here when I explained this to everybody.” I turned toward Sean. “Adam came through when I was stuck in the cell Earthmover dumped me in. He told me he’d had Earthmover do it to keep me out of the way, and implied that heroes were working with the Nine.”
Sean’s eyes widened. “Did they say who? That’s big. Like Civil War big. If that one’s true, cities are going to burn.”
I began to say, “No,” but didn’t get it out. Sean was right. If we ever did find out who was working with the Nine (assuming Adam wasn’t just screwing with my head), everyone was going to go gunning for them.
Worse, we probably wouldn’t figure out all of them at once, and chances were that we’d probably get a few wrong. If heroes chose sides, civil war and burning cities weren’t far outside the realm of possibility.
“No doubt,” Amy said. “But we’re losing track of what we’re here to do. The way I see it we’ve got two targets—Adam and Earthmover. If we get Adam, we get rid of the fae. What do they care about the Nine? If we get Earthmover, we take the compound off lockdown and we can call in help from the outside.”
Haley leaned forward in her chair. “I’m not sure we have to go after either of them. If Nick hacks the computer system and opens up the lockdown from here, maybe one of us can sneak out. Or maybe we find Rachel. She could float out and no one would know.”
She met my eyes. “Can you?”
“I don’t know. Dr. Nation set up the lab. I’m sure he’d set it up on a completely different network than whatever locked down the compound. I mean, you’ve got a bunch of techies. You know that somebody’s going to think about hacking the compound for the fun of it. I’d make it physically impossible, and probably even…”
I stopped, realizing the obvious. “It doesn’t matter if I can hack it from here. Somewhere in this compound there’s a router, and the internet connection plugs into it. Depending on how things work, I might be able to hack the router, or simply plug the cable into the back of a laptop. Of course, it’ll probably be more difficult than that, but it still sounds easier than fighting Earthmover head on.”
Haley’s hands moved with her words. “That’s what I was going to say. They have to be planning for a head on attack. They’ve got how many students plus faeries? Plus they have however many supers live in the compound—“
“Right,” I said, “You’re right. If we take over the compound’s internet connection, we might not have to fight anybody.”
Sean shrugged. “It’ll also make it more boring. Fights are the fun part of all this.”
Vaughn pointed to Sean’s leg. “Are you sure about that?”
Sean glanced at his leg, and then up at all of us. “It’s not my fault I didn’t have iron on hand.”
Amy started laughing. “No? Who’s fault is it?”
Sean didn’t get to reply. Haley stood up, holding her hands in the air.
Everyone became silent. Heavy footsteps echoed in the common room.