I turned, checking around the corner of our booth to see Yoselin stepping back from the buffet and walking down the aisle back to our booth.
She grinned at me, It’s funny how that story lives on. My dad never saw him again after that. The earth elemental disappeared after the island sank. The Dixieland Defenders might have destroyed it. Cuba didn’t allow supernatural heroes to be part of government teams back then so my dad didn’t have anyone to ask.
She sat down and bit into a croissant she’d spread strawberry jelly on.
I bit into scrambled eggs. Well, that might be a good thing. If no one’s seen Sloan or the elemental, maybe we only have to worry about Armory, the Nine, whatever security forces they’ve got, allies, and maybe the Dominators.
She stopped eating, meeting my eyes as her smile widened. What a relief that that’s all. How lucky we both are that we found each other.
I raised an eyebrow and took another bite of eggs, How did that happen exactly? I know I wasn’t expecting you, but it sounded like you might have been expecting me.
Taking a bite of her croissant, she thought, You know I can’t tell you much, but it’s true. We knew someone was coming, and when they sent me the list of Americans who landed on the island yesterday, I recognized your face even if I didn’t know who Charles Finley was.
I thought about that, recognizing the part that bugged me, How did anyone get my picture? We used the powder that’s supposed to make that impossible.
To cameras, she thought back, we had a person at the airport that could show us what they saw.
She hadn’t said exactly how, but from what she did say, a telepath would work and so would someone with an implant. I’d never thought putting powder on my face would be foolproof, but I’d thought it would be harder to get around.
We ate without talking either through our implants or out loud for a few minutes. It didn’t take that long for either of us to finish. As she finished the last of her danish, I said, “It’s been great to reconnect, I’ll talk with my friends and see if they’re okay with you coming along with us.”
She smiled at me, “That sounds great.”
Just a word of warning, I thought at her, I don’t know how you got your implant, but if it’s an Ascendancy implant, I’ve literally seen someone blow up their own head with one of those.
We both got out of the booth, holding our trays and their plates as we walked down the aisle past empty tables and booths and toward the racks where we slid our trays in.
Yoselin frowned as she thought back a reply, shaking her head, I wish I was surprised. My father knew it was a risk, but we had to–
She stopped, Maybe I’ll tell you later.
We walked out of the breakfast area, stopping at the elevator. She nodded toward the stairs, “I’m going to run an errand. I’ll be back here in a little bit.”
Then she pulled me into a hug—which was nice as it happened, but as she pulled away, I could see her nose wrinkle, making me think I should have showered before I came down here or if she might have caught a whiff of Cassie’s vomit that I’d missed.
Through my implant, I said, Sorry, I was late for breakfast and thought I’d be eating alone.
She waved at me as she walked down the stairs to the hotel lobby, I think you’re doing an excellent job of pretending to be a tourist.
You’re doing an excellent job of not telling me I should take a shower.
She didn’t reply, but I thought I heard her laugh in my head as I stepped into the elevator. The door shut behind me and the car carried me up to the top floor. When I got back to my room, I found Cassie watching a news show on television, one that made no sense to me because it was all in Spanish.
So far as I could tell, Cassie was fluent in the language or close to it.
Daniel, meanwhile, sat in an armchair and looked at his phone. His head turned to look at me as I walked through the door. This didn’t surprise me. We’d been able to sense a telepathic connection to each other within range since we were kids.
As Cassie turned away from the TV, he asked, “What happened?”
Looking at both of them, I said, “The short answer is that another person recognized me. You don’t know her, but if you remember Larry’s story, she’s the daughter of Alexis, the Cuban super who was also after Armory.”
Then I used my implant to replay the conversation in my head for Daniel and sent a copy to Cassie since she had a Xiniti implant of her own. It didn’t take her long to go through it. Her eyes glazed over and she turned off the TV. Even before Daniel finished watching my mental replay, she muttered, “This gets worse every time we turn around.”
“I know,” I said, “I’m beginning to feel like everybody on this island knows me. The bottom line is, do we bring her in and trust her only as far as we can trust her, or do we keep everyone out of it except for the three of us? On a gut level, I’m feeling like we’ll need her if she’s right about the Nine being involved. Worse, we might need Kid Biohack too.”