Vasic was the Tk who teleported in—not surprising, given the distance—and as a result, she was in Geneva seconds later.
“Thank God,” the man in charge of the field hospital said when she told him what she could do.
Slapping the symbol of the Rosetta Stone on her shoulder, he pointed her in the direction of a boy on a stretcher about ten feet away. “Obscure mother tongue. He must have something of one of the major world languages, but he’s lost it in the shock.”
It took Sahara half a minute to comprehend what the boy was saying. “It’s okay,” she reassured him when he began to cry at the realization that she understood him. “You’re not alone anymore. Now, you need to tell the doctor some things so she can help you.”
That was the first of many similar conversations she had over the hours that followed, as Geneva went from light to dark, the stars bright overhead. Someone brought her a meal when she began to fade, and that kept her going until the early morning hours. Deciding to crash for an hour to head off a collapse, she curled up on one of the cots set up for rescue personnel. Have you eaten? she asked the cardinal Tk who, she knew, would not sleep.
I’ve had nutrition bars delivered to me throughout the day.
No one, she thought, wanted to lose any of the already depleted telekinetics—but Kaleb was in a league of his own. Take care with the structural damage. Some of the areas are really unstable.
Though he had to know that far better than her, he didn’t reject her concern. I’ll be careful.
Will you wake me in an hour?
Yes. Rest now.
* * *
Turning at the voice, Kaleb found an older woman holding a bottle of the energy drink he’d been downing twice an hour to fuel his body. “Thank you.”
“I can take the bottle once you’re done.” A polite enough offer, but her eyes didn’t move off the bottle in his hand.
Kaleb’s instincts went on immediate and high alert. Pinning the woman’s body in place using telekinesis and compressing her jaw to keep her silent, he unscrewed the bottle to take a sniff.
Nothing smelled off. Vasic, a second.
The Arrow walked around the corner soon afterward. I’m near flameout. I’ll need to rest for three hours at least before I can continue.
Kaleb nodded. “Can you quickly test this?”
Holding up his left arm, Vasic slid back a small screen on the computronic gauntlet fused to his body. “One drop.”
Kaleb placed the sample on the test surface.
“IT’S A COMPLEX poison,” Vasic said in less than a minute, “would’ve incapacitated you almost immediately.” His eyes shifted to the would-be assassin. “At which point, she would’ve killed you with the garrote in her bracelet.” Removing the bracelet, he snapped out the thin metal wire designed to cut off a target’s air supply with silent efficiency.
“Who sent you?” Kaleb asked, releasing the woman’s jaw so she could reply.
“Do what you will, Councilor Krychek,” was the icy response. “My mind is set to implode at any attempt at an intrusion.”
“Interesting.” Having already told the DarkMind to entrap her so she couldn’t connect to anyone on the psychic plane, he pinched a nerve that made her slump to the ground, then ordered another of his men on the scene to blindfold and tie her up. “Put her somewhere out of the way. I’ll deal with her later.”
He ’ported the poisonous drink into a biohazard container on-site, just as Vasic said, “The explosives used at this site have been traced back to a Council depot in Europe under Ming’s control.”
Kaleb had always believed Ming to be the martial mastermind behind Henry Scott during the time the now-dead Councilor headed Pure Psy, but this type of indiscriminate violence didn’t fit Ming’s modus operandi. Neither did Pure Psy’s racial agenda. It was far too irrational and Ming was nothing if not rational; that was part of what made him so dangerous.
However, Ming was also fully capable of playing a deep game, Pure Psy likely nothing but a pawn to help further an agenda of which the fanatical group knew nothing. “I’ll have one of my men tug that thread,” he said to Vasic, “see what comes of it. I want the squad to remain on Pure Psy.”
It wasn’t until six hours later, having done everything he could to assist in the search for survivors, that Kaleb had time to deal with the woman who had attempted to poison him. But first he wanted to see Sahara. Locking on her image, he found her alone in the tent that had functioned as a canteen for survivors and those working in the field hospital. She was tidying up the detritus, the area quiet and calm.
From his telepathic conversations with her during the past hours, he knew the majority of the survivors were now in hospitals in Geneva and nearby cities. Each also had the support of at least one individual from his or her own country, the multilingual representatives having been flown in from around the world on high-speed jets courtesy of an airline controlled by Nikita Duncan.
The ex-Councilor wasn’t famous for being a humanitarian, but she was smart enough to know the action would paint her in a positive light when the dust settled. It was an intelligent, calculated move worthy of the woman who had lasted more than a decade on the Council. Nikita, he thought, would always find a way to come out alive on the other side.
Anthony Kyriakus, too, had made his mark. An unidentified NightStar foreseer had seen a vision of further bombings in Luxembourg and Paris with enough specificity for both to be averted. “It is unfortunate that we could not do the same for other recent tragedies,” had been the statement of the NightStar press officer when questioned by media in the aftermath. “Nonbusiness foresight is a new area for NightStar, and we are learning that not all events can be foreseen or averted.”