Damon looked away from us and toward the dismembered bodies of True and Cabal soldiers, “Good luck,” he said. “And I mean that. He clearly wants you for something and from what Accelerando tells us, I don’t think you’ll want to help him—which means that you might be on the receiving end of what we just saw.”
Cedric nodded, “She told us that you’ve got a wizard on the team. You’re going to want her help on this.”
“I know,” I said, telling the implant to remind me to call Amy when we got back.
Next to me, Haley said, “Even if the Rocket doesn’t, I will. We don’t want to end up like that.”
Damon grinned, “We know you will. Are you still doing movie nights?”
They’d come for one during the summer before everything started. Damon had just gotten a job teaching, following his older brother to Atlanta.
“Not as often,” Daniel glanced at Master Martian and back to Cedric and Damon. “We’ve been busy, but we still do sometimes. Do the two of you have names yet?”
Cedric shook his head and Damon laughed. Rolling his eyes, Cedric replied, “Officially? No. The original idea was that we’d operate in the shadows and all anyone would know about us was our work. That didn’t stop the press. They’re calling us Red Blur and Blue Blur.”
Damon smiled at Izzy, “Not to cause any confusion with you.”
A smile tugged at the corner of Izzy’s mouth, “Don’t worry about it. I only registered Blue because I’d done so much work under the name that it seemed silly not to.”
Cedric and Damon looked at each other. Cedric frowned, “Damn. Maybe we should register them just in case.”
Even through his blue mask, I could see Damon’s eyes widen, “Then we’d be stuck with them forever. Do you want that?”
“No,” Cedric said, “but if we don’t choose a name, that’s what everyone will use for us, and if we don’t register it, anyone can take it. If we register it, we’ll at least prevent anyone else from using it and claiming it was them all along.”
Damon froze, “Point. Hey everybody, we’re going to have to talk about this ourselves somewhere else, but it’s been good to see you even if it means that we’re now going to have to talk about branding and business—the parts of superheroing that we both hate.”
Shaking his head, Cedric said, “I don’t hate it. I just wanted to avoid it. Blue just reminded me that we can’t.”
“If you were in the Heroes’ League,” I said, “you could talk about it even more often.”
Cedric smiled, “No thanks. I’m glad you all are bringing the League back, but I like doing my own thing. Don’t get me wrong—if you need help, we’ll be there, but I can do without the kind of scrutiny you get.”
Damon nodded, “That goes for me too. We won’t let Accelerando or any of you die, but we want to stay out of the limelight.”
As he spoke, the hum of the Jet’s anti-gravity units changed from nothing to noticeable and the Jet itself faded into view above us. We said our goodbyes and floated upward as group—one that now included Izzy.
It didn’t take long to get in our seats, put on our seatbelts, and fly away. We even put Master Martian in a chair, but in his case, we didn’t stop with a seatbelt. We used special hand and leg cuffs that I’d developed. They used a variation of the same goo my goobots used. In this case, it was stronger and lasted longer. With Marcus and Courtney’s help, I’d even designed it to adjust to shapeshifters.
Master Martian slumped in the chair, sleeping thanks to Daniel, but even when he woke up, he wouldn’t be able to go anywhere.
Daniel looked around the Jet and said, “I think we need to talk to him in the air. We don’t have a good way to hold him back at the base and we might need to act on whatever he tells us immediately. If we do, I think we’ll need to block telepathy and telekinesis—which means I won’t be able to do things either. I’ll still be able to use prescience to help direct the conversation, so I think we’ll be okay.”
From the weapons console in the cockpit, Tara turned around to say, “He’s right. I don’t have enough data to be sure, but I think we’ll have to act quickly.”
I looked over at Master Martian. He’d been operating long enough that we probably knew everything he could do, but if we didn’t this could go horribly wrong. All the same, it would be eight on one. I decided I was willing to take those odds.
Plus, Master Martian was drooling a little and still had the pee stain on his pants from the fight. Irrational as it might be, I had a hard time believing he’d have allowed himself to end up in that position if he had a secret power.
Sitting in the row behind us, Vaughn said, “Let’s do it.”
Daniel gave a nod, “Okay. I’ll wake him up.”
“Got it,” Cassie said from the front, “I just turned on the telekinesis and teleportation blockers. I’ll turn on telepathy when you say so.”
Looking at Master Martian, Daniel’s brow furrowed, and then Master Martian shuddered and began to open his eyes. Through our connection, I felt Daniel think, Now at Cassie and then I couldn’t feel his thoughts anymore.
Master Martian’s tendrils rose straight up from his head and he struggled to pull his arms and legs apart, but the cuffs held. His face tightened and he glared at Daniel, asking, “What have you done to me?”