Older Enemies: Part 7

“Sure,” I told him. “Where is it?”

Lim grinned, “The Pocono Mountains. It’s an old supervillain lair that we use to store things we don’t want to lose. It’s hidden under an abandoned resort. We’ll get you exact coordinates once you’re in the air.”

“An old supervillain lair? Whose?”

Giving a sigh, Lim told me, “We don’t have time for that. Anyway, there were too many to list. They tend to change hands a lot. Sometimes they turn into a supervillain team’s headquarters. Sometimes they’re abandoned and then another one sets up shop. Anyway, hurry.”

“I will,” I said, and we closed the connection.

Over the comm channel Kayla had set up as a shared channel for the incident, I said, “Heroes’ League, I just got a call from Agent Lim. Remember the stuff that he said he was going to look for? He found it. Apparently, the FBI found it. It’s in a government storage facility that used to be a supervillain base. I think the Defenders and the Probationers can handle what little is left.”

Mindstryke broke in turning in my direction from his position watching the FBI load Ana and the Amethyst Archer into the last box, “Go. We can handle what’s left.”

Above us, the jet decloaked, appearing in the blue sky above us, a long, silver cylinder that with its short wings could have fallen out of the cover of a 1950s science fiction pulp magazine.

Even as I heard gasps and even a small cheer from a few of the remaining employees, Cassie shot upward, but not before tapping my suit with her hand and saying, “Hurry up!”

I activated my rockets, hearing someone ask, “Was that there the whole time?”

Shooting upward, I made it to the jet before Jaclyn, but just in time to see Daniel and Izzy stepping inside through the hatch. I stepped in after them. Jaclyn stepped in behind me.

As I stepped around toward the pilot seat, Jaclyn asked, “Where are we going?”

“The Poconos,” I said, watching as Daniel shook his head.

“I should ask my Dad if the League ever fought any supervillains there. He might know. I could ask my grandfather, but that might get complicated.”

He sat down and started strapping himself in. Izzy and Jaclyn were doing the same in the row next to him. Cassie, meanwhile, had already taken the weapons console. As the final click of her seatbelt ended, she looked over at me. “So Yoselin’s just gone now?”

I nodded, “Guardian told me that someone released the fact that she was from Cuba and hanging out with us. He wanted to get her out of here before it became a big deal. I think that’s also why Lim wants us over there right now. He wants us in before someone tells him not to.”

From behind us, Jaclyn said, “Wow. I wonder who did that?”

“Guardian didn’t tell me, but I doubt he has any idea beyond that it’s ultimately the Nine,” I reached out through my implant, telling the jet to float upward, and then reaching out to grab the controls. Controlling the jet through my implant was cool, but I did like the feel of pulling back on the jet’s steering wheel and turning around.

I did that, taking the jet away from the buildings, the warehouse with the holes in the wall, and the office building, half of which had fallen in. From the brief look I gave, I couldn’t see into the basement. Piles of shattered concrete and office furniture blocked my view of it.

I made a quick turn, aiming the jet eastward toward Pennsylvania, receiving the coordinates through the comm and using my implant to send them to the jet. Suspecting that I shouldn’t give anyone warning of where we were going, I turned the cloak back on and set the jet to watch for planes we might have to avoid.

It didn’t take long to get there. I didn’t go at the jet’s absolute fastest speed, but it was closer to that than its slowest. There weren’t many jets up where we were either, so we didn’t have to avoid any collisions.

We had enough time for Jaclyn and Izzy to get their suits brought back to fighting shape before we got there—not enough for mine, but mine wasn’t as damaged.

In less than 30 minutes, we descended toward the Poconos. By comparison to the Rocky Mountains, they were small. The Rockies were tall enough that trees stopped growing after a certain height and much of the mountains seemed to be rock, grass, and shrubs. The Poconos, by contrast, appeared to be covered with trees, all of them green with leaves, and while there must have been evergreens somewhere down there, most of what I saw were leafy trees.

Using the coordinates provided, I aimed for a long, tree-covered mountain that stood next to a river across from a larger, similar mountain.

After flying over an island in the middle of the river’s dark water, I made a quick trip around the mountain, noticing a line of tennis courts next to a long wooden building that must have been the abandoned resort that Lim had mentioned.

It had no challenge selling the “abandoned” aspect of its identity. The roof had fallen in along with parts of the walls. I didn’t have long to look, but I thought I saw greenery inside the abandoned building.

It didn’t matter, though. Lim’s directions told us to aim for the tennis courts. If it had just been one tennis court, the jet wouldn’t have been able to land, but there were four in a row–which worked.

The second the jet’s legs extended and touched the tennis court’s green painted surface, the courts began to sink into the ground. More than that, something slid into place above the jet as we continued our way downward.

I’d have tried to blast upward if I hadn’t already known what was going on, but even though I did feel tempted after the fight we’d just survived, I didn’t.

The jet and tennis court surface came to rest in the middle of a long room with concrete walls that rose all the way up above ground. Glancing toward the door, I saw Agent Lim in his suit waving us in.

13 thoughts on “Older Enemies: Part 7”

  1. “It didn’t matter, though. Lim directions told us to aim”

    Should Lim’s name have an apostrophe with an “s” after it in this line?

  2. So, unless I misunderstand, both Izzy’s and Jaclyn’s suits were basically toast. Both are Rocket’s creations, meaning they are made from the same self-repairing nanotech that Rocket’s suit is made from.

    What I felt was missing here was at least a brief mention of getting those suits repaired in the Jet. I think’s that probably just a re-loading of nanobots from the Jet’s stores, plus running a quick diagnostic to ensure they’re working properly.

    But otherwise, great arc, Jim!


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