Transitions: Part 6

Cassie tapped her comm, “Can you see if they’re Tara’s clone or do they look like me?”

Talking over the wind blowing in the background, Izzy said, “No. I’m only guessing it’s the True because of their height. That’s about all I can get.”

“Huh,” Cassie stared out the window toward the campus and shook her head. “They’ve got enough copies of Dad, male and female. It’s messed up.”

No one was saying it, but I couldn’t help thinking about what this meant. The Nine had a warehouse full of True and mechs. Was this the only one, or were there more? If there were more (and I’d bet there were), how many were there and where were they located? This one was close enough to Chicago that they could reach it without notifying anyone if they handled it right—by brainwashing local law enforcement, for example.

It also meant that Anastasia might be working for the Nine or worse, might have been modified until she became one of the Nine’s unwilling assets.

Daniel’s thought appeared among my own, I know it’s bad and I know you’re worried, but now that we know, we can do something.

He wasn’t wrong. I was worried. In a way, though, I wished I felt more. I didn’t know the kids on that side of the family very well, but of them, I knew her best. While I felt something, on a gut level I found myself thinking about the timing of when we’d grab her, where we’d do it, and if we’d need to take this place apart either before or after we got her away from this mess.

I felt like the sooner we did it, the better. Before this fight though, we’d have to notify Lim and the Midwest Defenders. That ran a risk of notifying the Nine, but after what happened in DC, we’d be better off if people with connections were prepared to smooth it over.

Over the comm, Izzy said, “I’m circling around the back now. From what I’m sensing, both the warehouse and the office buildings have thicker walls than most buildings. There are a lot of small hidden rooms in the office building. They’re larger than closets, but whatever’s inside fills the space.”

In a few seconds, she added, “I’m coming around the side now and heading toward the jet unless you want to go in to rescue your cousin now.”

“No,” I said, “come back to the jet. I’m thinking that if we go in we’re going to want to go in with overwhelming force and we need to have some cooperation from the Midwest Defenders. Plus, the government too.”

“Good idea,” she said and then I heard a knock at the door of the jet. I reached out through my implant to open the door and she stepped in, the blue of her costume becoming visible as the camouflage ended.

“Okay,” I turned around and looked around the cabin, taking in Cassie, Daniel, Izzy, and Yoselin. “What do you think we should do? We came in on an intelligence mission and we’ve successfully completed that part, but now that we know it’s the Nine and that the True are here, I don’t feel comfortable leaving my cousin there. I mean, I could make a good argument for watching this place and leaving everything alone. We might learn something if we watch who comes in and who leaves, and who knows? Maybe they don’t have a way to detect my bots.”

I stopped and let out a breath, “Here’s the thing though. My gut says that we’ll learn more, more quickly, if we just go in. Also, I think we already kicked off a response from the Nine with DC. So, I don’t think we have time for long-term surveillance.”

Next to me, Cassie grinned, “I’m all for it, but if you want my gut reaction? They’ve planned to be attacked. They’ve got True and mechs in the warehouse, mystery rooms in the office building, and Abominator tech powering everything. I’m betting they’ve got one of the Nine’s teleportation machines somewhere. We’ve seen a couple of those now. They’ll be able to retreat or pull in more troops or a nuke… You know Rook likes them. If we’re going in, we’ve got to pull in anyone in the League who can get here plus whoever else is interested. That’s basically only going to be Jaclyn unless we want to fly back to pick people up, but the Midwest Defenders are no joke.”

Sitting up in her chair, she looked over the room and finally over to me, “Don’t get me wrong. A fight sounds fun and the gun’s practically peeing itself in excitement, but I want to win. We’re going to need a lot of help to make that work.”

Daniel and Izzy turned to look at each other and back to the rest of us. Izzy spoke first, “I think we should go in. Getting help is important, but even if no one comes, I think we can do it. We just need to have the right plan.”

In her own chair, Yoselin swallowed and then said, “I almost don’t feel like this is my decision because I’m not truly one of you, but there is something I should say. My father contacted me. He thinks I should go home to Cuba. He’s found out about our fight in DC and the Senator’s comments. He doesn’t want to risk people finding out that I’m here and that I’m his daughter.”

She shook her head, “I think we should go in. I came here to fight the Nine and this will hurt them.”

Daniel’s voice filled the silence before anyone could respond to Yoselin, “We’re all in agreement that there are good reasons to go in. I think it’s time to make a plan and then some calls.”

3 thoughts on “Transitions: Part 6”

      1. There isn’t. One of these days I should put up a decent headshot somewhere. All the pictures I have online are in the neighborhood of 15 years old.

        That said, I have (twice in 14+ years of writing) run into people who have read my serial in real life. It usually results from someone mentioning that they read online serials and me volunteering that I write one.

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