“Boy or girl?”
Ian ran a hand through his messy dark hair and smirked. “Girl.”
“I’ll pass then,” Cameron said. Ian shrugged and moved to close the door, eager to return to the girl waiting in his bedroom. “Oh, and wrap it before you tap it.” He rolled his eyes and shut the door in her face. She smiled as she left. Some things never changed. Ian never had problem convincing someone to hop into his bed, male or female, and he used his skills often. Nothing wrong with that, as long as everyone involved was willing. It’d only be wrong if, somehow, he unknowingly seduced Gladwell and was having sex with her right now. She was a known shapeshifter. That would be funny in a messed up romantic comedy way.
It left her with nothing to do, though, unless she decided to change her mind about the threesome thing, which seemed kind of hard to do properly.
A walk sounded nice, help clear her head and get some exercise while she was at it. Being a superhero demanded you stay in shape and there were actually people who enforced it. It did come with its benefits, one of them was having someone to clean your costume for you. Getting blood out of her old uniform had been a pain the ass but now, the second she took it off, someone had come to collect and clean her costume for her. There hadn’t been much to clean, she only got a little of Gladwell’s blood on her costume after stabbing her with Matt’s sword.
Cameron stopped, pausing to take in her surroundings. She hadn’t been paying attention to where she was going, letting her feet lead her wherever they wanted to go. Very odd, that they’d take her here. It was the Italian restaurant they searched the other day, when she, Allison and Matt went looking for Gladwell. Maybe it wasn’t so odd. Everything that happened after had made her forget about the phone call she overheard. She couldn’t put the feeling to words now, but it had felt so important then.
She walked away.
She checked her phone, the screen displaying the latest status update. They hadn’t found Gladwell yet, unsurprisingly. Matt had also come down with a cold and would be unable to help if Agent Camelo decided to include them in the search. It was a little ominous he got sick so soon after their encounter with Gladwell. His armor had protected him though, not a single drop of his blood was spilled, no skin ripped off of him, and he was a superhuman, nothing less than her taking a sizable chunk out of him would create a strong enough connection to hurt him.
It occurred to her she never asked him what his powers were. She knew he had super strength and durability, his sword was incredibly deadly too. Matt wasn’t the first Knight either. Cameron read his Wikipedia page, there had been many Knights before him, each were distinguishable by the different colors of their armors but all of them had the same powers, the same weapon. Of course super strength and durability were far from being rare. It didn’t explain the super sharp sword, though. A hand-me-down?
“Hey, wait up!”
Cameron stopped and turned to look behind her. Running to catch up with her was someone familiar, though he had changed since she last saw him, his hair was cut shorter and his brown skin a touch lighter than she remembered. He was nineteen, three years older than her and was dressed casually in a red hoodie and jeans.
“Michael,” she said, when he caught up.
“What? No hug?” he said, smiling.
“When have I ever given you a hug?”
“Call me optimistic but I still hope you might reconsider your no hug policy,” Michael said.
“If I do, it definitely won’t be for you. What are you even doing here?”
He stuffed his hands into his pockets. “Business, having a chat with a restaurant owner, no big deal yet. I’d say more but I wouldn’t want to get arrested.” He winked. Michael thought he was charming and funny. She didn’t share his opinion.
“So you heard about my new gig,” Cameron said. Unsurprising, really. Michael was Michael, the next generation of True God leaders. Testament, the leader and founder of the True Gods, handpicked anyone with a leadership position in his organization and the people he picked tended to be the ones he personally found and recruited. Creed told her Testament got him when he was still a kid, raised him to become the man he was today. Creed resented him for being controlling and manipulating him, very ironic considering Creed’s superpower.
Michael and her met when he came to Avocet for a year to learn from Creed. Testament was seemingly unaware of Creed’s real feelings and thought of him as a son and one of his best and brightest. If anything were to happen to Testament, Creed would no doubt be chosen as his successor.
Of course, Testament had proven himself to be hard to get rid of. She hoped Creed knew what he was doing with his take over plan.
“Shouldn’t you be out looking for you know who? Unless that’s what you’re doing now.”
“Is you know who the reason you’re in Avocet?” she asked, avoiding his question. There was a pretty significant chance she and him would end up on opposing sides, when Creed finally made his move.
“I shouldn’t say. You understand,” Michael said, still smiling.
“I do. Tell C I said hi when you see him.”
“Sure. I better get going, see you around, Cameron.” He turned and walked away, back in the direction of the Italian restaurant she passed earlier.
Testament preferred to pick them young because it was easier for him to get their trust, to make them loyal to him. He gave them what their parents didn’t, gave them what they needed, attention and affection.
In a lot of ways, Creed really was suited to be Testament’s successor. He already had that technique mastered. Michael and her weren’t much different, two kids screwed by their parents, taken in and given purpose by someone with dubious intentions. Loyal, too loyal. It might take nothing short of death for him to accept and work for Testament’s killer.
It would really suck if and when she had to kill him.
Allison found her immediately when Cameron returned to HQ, the timing of it was a little too good just like it had been when Allison sent her that text the other day, asking her to come to Allison’s workshop. There were cameras stationed all over the SAA building except on the superhero floor, for obvious reasons. Some inventors knew nothing about computers or science despite doing things that looked suspiciously like science while others were very knowledgeable. Cameron had no clue why and didn’t really care but maybe Allison fell under the latter category, the knowledgeable inventors, and she used her special skills to gain access to the SAA’s cameras.
Cameron sat on a stool as Allison worked on the forcefield generator, taking it apart piece by piece, sometimes asking Cameron to use her perception power on one of the pieces and explain what she saw as best she could.
She couldn’t think of a subtle way to ask Allison about the camera thing. Fuck it. “Did you hack the SAA so you can spy on people with the cameras?”
“People aren’t as careful with their passwords as they should be,” Allison said, not looking away from her work.
“So, you didn’t use your master computer skills to crack it?”
“I saw no point in doing that when it’s easier to get access a different way.”
“Is that legal?”
“Let’s just say I prefer it if you keep it to yourself and I’ll continue to ignore your late night excursions.”
Cameron whistled, impressed. Allison was, surprisingly, shaping up to not be the by the books type. That made her life easier. This camera thing, it was leverage and it made Allison suspicious. Creed had asked her to observe her teammates closely, watch for sketchy behavior. Testament had spies within the SAA and even if he didn’t know a thing about Creed’s plans, having a spy in Avocet to help out his favorite in case anything happened was a plausible idea. If he did know, he could use the same spy to make trouble for Creed.
“Here, look at this.” Allison held up a rusty cog the size of her palm. The forcefield generator Allison was dismantling looked like a car engine. Did engines normally have cogs in them?
She was getting distracted. She turned super-vision on. At first, there was no difference except the cog looked sharper, clearer. That was only the surface level of her power, with that invisibility and illusions were nothing. She ventured a little deeper, slow and steady, any faster and it might go out of control. It was always a pain to deal with when that happened. She kept going, deeper and deeper, until she saw it, the images. The images overlapped the cog yet she was able to see both clearly. There were so many different images, many of them animated, packed together in such a small object, it was hard to make sense of it all. All inventor made devices were like that, most things didn’t have as many images.
She looked through the images. There was one that was pure black for two seconds before it flared a brilliant white, constantly repeating. Another was a medieval knight’s shield, motionless. Some of these images had to have originated from the generator, as a whole, and not just the cog. She tried to look harder, find the images that clung tighter to the cog in Allison’s hand. The flashing one definitely belonged to the cog and there was another, one with motion and sound. In that one, something slammed into something else, causing a sickening crunch.
“Okay, there’s… one that’s just darkness until it turns white and the other one is supposed to represent collusion, I think,” Cameron said.
Allison nodded then lowered the cog, placing it on the table beside a bunch of other parts.
Cameron shut off her power quickly, to preserve her energy. She pulled out her phone and played a game while Allison continued to work.
An hour later, Cameron was nearly knocked off her chair. She looked up angrily from her phone. The culprit floated in the air, a round ball surrounded by a red tinted air, a forcefield.