Chapter 31

The Brotherhood stood in stunned silence until Vis stepped forward, oblivious to his own nakedness. He was used to the exposure, since it was the only way he could be invisible.

"What the fuck is happening?!" he asked again, looking down at his hogtied teacher.

The others suddenly burst into life, surrounding Vis in a flurry of questions and explanations and activity; their immediate trauma momentarily forgotten.

Gyan immediately relaxed his muscles and felt the ropes loosen slightly. He released a quiet sigh and jiggled the knots with his fingers to make sure he could unfasten himself quickly when the time came. He'd learned the trick of tensing muscles many years ago but never thought he'd ever actually get to test the theory. He was relieved to find the trick worked. He was even more relieved to have remembered to tense his muscles as he was being tied up by his former pupils.

It wasn't long before Vis was brought up to speed on the current situation. He looked down on Gyan in dismay, his eyes glistening over the loss of Gill and the betrayal of Gyan. His voice trembled as he told the others his own tale of using his invisibility to follow the League back to their lair.

"I can take you there," he concluded. "I know where they are."

"I want to kill them!" Simmi spat.

"No!" Gyan ordered. "Don't let your anger rule you. You have to stay clear headed. Most of them aren't our enemy. We need to capture and release. No killing. That's not the way."

"There is no we!" Simmi yelled, "And they killed Gill. An eye for an eye!"

"No!" Gyan repeated.

Simmi kicked him. "While they're under Seduction's control, they are the enemy," he said, "and they deserve what's coming to them."

"Gyan is right," Vis interrupted. "If we go now, we'll have the element of surprise on our side. Even if we can just capture one or two of the League, we can bring them back here and break Seduction's hold. We'll be stronger with each one we release. Then we can attack in force and bring Seduction down. But we don't kill - not unless we have to. It's our cardinal rule."

"Fuck the rules!" Simmi snapped.

"You're angry," Brains piped up. "I'd feel the same way if I were you. But the longer we stand here debating what to do, the less chance we'll have at rescuing Jackhammer before he's converted. I trust you, Simmi. I know you'll do the right thing when it comes to the crunch."

"We have to debate it," Hawk said. "We have to work out what to do before we get there or it'll be a disaster. It has to be a coordinated effort, or…" His voice trailed off as his eyes fell on Gill's motionless body.

"Surely we can work it out on the way there?" O'Shay chimed in. "We have to save Jackhammer!"

Brains smiled weakly, impressed by O'Shay's sudden bravery. "Are you sure you want to come with us?" he asked.

"To be sure I do!" O'Shay answered. "Jackhammer was there for me. I have to be there for him."

"Then let's do this," Brains ordered. "Brotherhood - prepare for action!"

"I can help you," Gyan said. "Let me come with you."

"And turn on us in battle?" Simmi snarled. "We'll deal with you when we get back!"

The Brotherhood disrobed, nervous bodies glistening with sweat as they stripped down to shorts or less, removing any clothing that could be twisted or caught in battle. Not to be left out, O'Shay ripped off his shirt in a dramatic flourish to show his determination to help. Brains suppressed a smile when he noticed the gesture and the fact that O'Shay kept his jeans on for discretion.

With their anguish refocussed on the task ahead, the four juvenile heroes (and O'Shay) set off for battle. It was a rescue that could make or break this war, but they knew losing was no longer an option. Behind them, Gyan began working frantically to release his bonds fast enough to follow them and fearful that the traitor was still amongst them.

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