“Janie shouting for help is how I got involved,” Morgana answered. “If the two of them hadn’t been persona, the kidnappers would’ve ignored them. If Janie hadn’t been so good at mentalics back then, the kidnappers might have gotten away with it. Unless Joe stopped them. One of the kidnappers had a very strong mentalic screen, strong enough that Janie had to be really loud to be heard outside. Fortunately, we heard her. But when I met Janie and Trisha I could tell they were very deeply gifted, and needed a practiced hand guiding them. That was me.”
“In any event,” Morgana continued, pausing once and again for more chicken, “there was press coverage of Joe saving Trisha and Janie. The press made it sound like the villains teleported out to Sand Crab Island. In the middle, Joe somehow separated them from their pistol, following which Stars Over Boston came to the rescue. Then Joe got your daughters back to you. The miscreants must’ve been seriously injured while resisting arrest, because they all died that evening. None of that is false, but there are some minor details left out.” Morgana paused to finish off another croissant.
“Janie described Joe teleporting them, first to someplace in northern Canada and then to Frog Pond Park,” Abigail said. “They were both worried about Joe, because when they left him he was shivering.”
“Chills are common if you go way too deep into your gifts,” Morgana explained. “And I mean way too deep, not just a bit too deep. That’s not surprising, given what he did. Fortunately, he or they moved the whole thing to Sand Crab Island. That combat was not a couple of guys wrestling over possession of a knife. Joe was the good-guy side of the deepest level persona combat in New England since Crittenden’s War. Joe is in the power range where he could easily level a city block of brownstones with one plasma blast, which is truly unusual for a boy his age. The people on the other side were probably about as good. The pistol that did not quite take down Joe’s shields was indubitably a Krell disruptor pistol. It’s a starcore weapon. If the villains had fired it at Boston, they would have torched everything on the ocean side of Beacon Hill with one shot. Assuredly it hit Joe’s shields, and his shields did not go down. Joe won by himself. On the way out, he grabbed the pistol and a Krell shield bracer from one of the miscreants. The miscreant was dead at the time. Joe killed him. Joe seems to have no compunctions about killing people. Stars Over Boston got there after everything was over. I am morally certain. Joe teleported out with your daughters because he saw me appear.
“Then, afterward, something broke into Castle Island Prison, put the guards to sleep without their noticing anything, hid its presence from the three members of Stars Over Boston who were also guarding the place, and exfoliated the memories of the surviving villains, incidentally killing them. The villains were very deeply tranquilized and being given medical care. Mighty Mind was going to search their memories, but was waiting for the needed court order. Something else did not wait. You may have heard about the ring of perverts in our country’s southern neighbors, the ones who were kidnapping persona children and torturing them to death? The people captured in Boston were their strike team. The same night that the prisoners died, something appeared above the perverts’ main base, smashed down a very high power set of force fields, killed the personas defending the place, and rescued a bunch of children. The political aftermath, when the detailed records were made public, is still reverberating. People have heard the parts, but not connected the dots.”
“Is Janie safe near Joe?” Abigail asked. “Isn’t it dangerous to have personas that powerful wandering around in their vicinity? I’m not counting you, of course.”
“The only time I’ve seen Joe use his powers, that from a distance, he was protecting Trisha and Janie at what I hope he realized was a considerable risk to his own life. Trisha and Janie have nothing to worry about, so far as I can tell. Joe took a big chance to fight that crew. I’m not sure whether or not he knew he was taking a chance. He may have thought he would just stomp the people attacking Trisha and Janie into the ground. If they’d been ungifteds, he would have. I want to speak to him. With that sort of power, unless you have good training, your slight errors can get large numbers of people killed. Including you, if you make a big enough mistake. Also, someone put a geas on your house. I find that bothersome. There aren’t a lot of people who can do that, and none that I can name appear to have a motive.”