Huitzil’s mother(s) are missing; Eden is free (been free about two days); Gilly is missing (been missing about a day). Note at Gilly’s gives address of Hightecker warehouse, which is same warehouse they got from Rapture last week.
When she awakes and while the team is on the way to the warehouse, Lacey sends Ninety-Nine a telepathic message that says she did it because the Commander planned on blowing the lid off the whole retirement business and 99%’s involvement OR depowering the team. (That was why she wanted to kidnap the whole group, and why Lacey violated the whole shit-where-you-live philosophy.) Lacey suspects the Commander might be satisfied by a simple non-interference agreement.
Ninety-Nine Percent tells the group she has been mentally contacted by Rapture Jr. who claims that Commander blackmailed Rapture & the Boys into making the attack. Rapture Jr. wouldn’t tell her what dirt Commander held on her, but she told her that Commander has been accumulating a ton of blackmail info on many many people, including secret identities and the like. Rapture believes that Commander knows Ninety-Nine Percent’s own secret identity and possibly the IDs of other Sentinels. Rapture thinks that Commander would be willing to agree to a mutual non-interference pact with the Sentinels, in exchange for not dishing the dirt.
Warehouse big, proof against remote senses and X-ray vision, and it might take Izzy two shots to get in. Email from Hightower indicates that lots of prototypes are stored there, including a set of power suits that they made for SAT but didn’t get the contract. The security system isn’t responding any more. Huitzil asks Hightower to appoint them as an agent and representative.
Calling Future Foundation gets Washout, who turns out to be the highest seniority person there, and they don’t know him. He says, gosh, a lot of people are out sick tonight; Sonia’s supposed to be on dispatch but isn’t. Izzy asks to be called and Washout asks the secret way or the phone. Secret way? says Izzy. Yeah, I see the post-it note—you want to be sent messages by the secret text way, an IM thing. He doesn’t know how it works. Izzy repeats that she wants the phone; she doesn’t know anything about the “secret way.”
Turns out that between the Commander, 99%’s mom, and Thornbird, everyone has put secret ways to their information.
Izzy and Huitzil go to the back of the warehouse, about a block away. Dragoneye goes in astrally, and sees that the inside is all overgrown and floor broken up; both of Huitzil’s mothers are there, in thorn cages. Then the birdperson attacks the astral self, and Dragoneye gets out. They figure that inside are:
- some birdperson, a woman, looks of Indian subcontinent descent and mien
- Eden the tree, and the pile of sand over in the corner is probably Jet (the blackness is a giveaway)
- Six power suits, three in the front and three in the back. Izzy’s X-Ray vision eventually reveals that one of each triplet contains an unconscious hostage—they memorize the numbers (3 and 6, for convenience) and take care with those suits.
Timing it so that they’ll attack at the same time, Dragoneye, 99%, and Volt attack the “front” and Izzy and Huitzil begin attacking the back. The three get in almost instantly, and engage some of the enemy: Volt goes desolid, and the birdwoman (who can attack desolid things) engages with him. Dragoneye and 99% deal with the power suits that happen to be there and working (there are five total, but two are in the back, with Izzy and Huitzil).