Rematch: Part 22

Yoselin nodded, “I do. This is bigger than Cuba and the United States. The Dominators and the Nine represent a threat to all nations and I don’t want to be at home wasting my time while you fight. I’ve known about them all of my life and this is the closest thing I’ve ever had to a lead on them. I want to follow it.”

Daniel and I looked at each other, making an instant telepathic connection. She means it, Daniel told me. I don’t know if she’s been modified by them in the past, but since I don’t see any hints of it, I’d be willing to take a chance on her.

Me too, I thought back. We should probably ask Cassie what she thinks.

Daniel grinned, The last thing we need is for everyone to feel like we’re making decisions for the team and leaving everyone else out. I’ll bring her in and give her the short version of what we’ve said.

He did. Cassie’s response was, If she’s clean as far as you can tell, I’m fine with it. She was good back on the island. Let’s call it done.

And Kid Biohack? Daniel asked us.

I looked over to Kid Biohack’s seat. He was still sleeping, but a bloody scrape on his face was half as big as I remembered.

I felt Cassie’s amusement even before she spoke. Look, he’s not a bad guy. Every time he’s shown up to help us so far, he’s taken a bullet for the group. He got taken by The Thing That Eats last time and this time the Grey Giant punched him. I can’t do anything but respect him for that. Still, he’s not my first choice for anything that needs to be quiet and this is going to need all the quiet we can manage. So, no.

Daniel and I agreed and so he ended the connection. I told Yoselin the good news.

“Congratulations,” I said, “we’ve agreed that you can stick around and risk your life, sanity, and identity along with the rest of us.”

She laughed, clapping her hands, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

With a look at Daniel first, I said, “It shouldn’t be too hard to allow you to stay officially. They make it really easy for Cuban citizens to immigrate and I know you aren’t planning to, but it’s not like you have to stay forever if they allow you to stay. ”

From the front, Cassie said, “My mom’s parents are from Cuba. It shouldn’t be too hard. Besides, it’s not like you’ll have to go through normal channels. We know people.”

Before anyone else could speak, Cassie added, “We’re nearing Florida. That’s where we’re supposed to drop Armory off. Now that we know what we know, do we? I know they’ll be pissed, but if the guy’s a victim of the Dominators and the Nine, we might be handing him right back to them.”

“Oh,” Yoselin blinked and looked from Cassie back to us, “you can do that?”

“If we want to really piss people off, yes,” I said, “but I don’t think we’ll get away with it. I’m pretty sure they’ll talk to other heroes who will then show up to talk us into it.”

Daniel nodded, “True, but Cassie brought up a good point. We know the Nine has people in government. We should get everything we can out of him before we hand him over in case the Nine find some way to… um… erase the evidence.”

“That, exactly,” Cassie glanced back at us and then out into the night ahead of us. We were high enough to see light along the darkness of the coast, but not close enough to see details. “If you want me to stall, it won’t be hard. It’s not as if we show up on radar.”

Daniel bit his lip, “I’m trying to work out the best way to do it. I can’t just copy everything into my brain. The last thing I need is to have him as a kind of psychic ghost in my head. Not to mention that if the brain modification he got somehow transferred, I might find myself selling my services to the highest bidder.”

I turned away from the window to look at him, “Is that possible? Viral commands?”

He frowned, “It depends on how closely I copy him. What I’m thinking is that I’ll go through relevant memories as we did with Mayor Bouman when we caught him. Then those of you with implants can store the memories. There won’t be enough of him around to cause problems—just his memories interpreted by you.”

He set up a connection with the three of us and threw images and scenes at us, one at a time, but too quickly for my mind to absorb but the implant got it. It classified and organized them one after another. How do you summarize a life?

Armory was born Len Jones in a small town near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Inspired by the Rocket he’d started experimenting with powered armor, becoming a superhero, and fighting on different teams throughout the 70s and early 80s. Dissatisfied with it, he’d started to sell his designs even before ending his career as a hero. After that, he’d moved around, selling to anyone who would buy.

When the stream of memories ended, Daniel leaned back in his seat, “I hope you’ve got all of that because I don’t have any of it. I did my best to copy the most important memories, but you don’t have all of it—probably not even a tenth.”

He grinned, “I hope it’s good enough because I’m too wiped to do any more before we turn him in.”

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