I still can't make sense of what's going on, even after we finally get a room to ourselves to sit and chat. The room used to be Peter's, and only Peter's. But because of all the evacuees coming in, the third floor, which was previously set aside exclusively for the kids of Midtown Science High School, had to open up a few rooms. Therefore, everyone now has a roommate. It seems like pure chance that Peter and Grayson are sharing a room now, but whatever the circumstances, it's actually a good thing. Two superheroes are better than one, am I right or am I right?
Luckily, Wells (who, unlike the two villains we've met since I closed the black hole, has yet to disappear randomly) has an idea about what may be happening. Once we're inside the boys' room (why I think of it like that, I'm not sure, since one of them isn't even a boy), he leans against the door and says, "I think...when I was taken from my proper time and space, I was sent through a wormhole-"
"You already said that," Peter says.
Wells nods. "True. But since there are more people whom you seem to know randomly appearing and disappearing, there must be more wormholes surfacing in Central City as we speak."
Everyone around me looks shocked. I'm sure that, like with me, it's from picturing the possibility of more and more villains, arriving from an infinite myriad of quantum-multiverse dimensions. Well, obviously they wouldn't be all villains. After all, there's this pre-Eobard Thawne version of Wells, who's most definitely not a bad guy. I hope. There's still a nugget of doubt holed up in a dark corner in the back of my mind as far as Wells is concerned. Even if this is the real deal we're talking to, I'll never be able to trust him one hundred percent. But at this point, I think I can settle for seventy-five.
"All right," Cisco says, clapping his hands. "Who wants to invent something to look for wormholes in the city first?" He points his thumbs at himself, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess that the next two words out of his mouth are going to be "this" and "guy." Which, yes, they are, sadly.
"Hmm..." The droning sound drifts from Grayson's mouth for a while as he strokes the stubble above his lip. Other than my coma months, I haven't gone a day without shaving since I was Peter's age. I made the mistake of trying to grow a mustache for No-Shave November that year. To this day, Iris and Joe insist that I ruined that year's Christmas card with my ill-advised experiment, and I'm inclined to agree with them. Maybe I could grow a more impressive 'stache now, but I'm almost afraid to try. Even if it does work, I'd never hear the end of it from Cisco and Caitlin. The former, in particular, would draw on an endless pool of "Who are you and what the hell have you done with Barry Allen?" jokes. At least I'd probably learn how to say that in Spanish too, because if I know Cisco, he'll have no problem breaking out the bilingual-humor card in the event of his game needing to step up.
"You say something?" Gwen asks, turning to Grayson as he starts tapping one of his hands against the edge of his bed. It looks rather like he's drumming with that one hand.
Grayson starts, then shakes his head. "No, no, no...well, I, uh, did have an idea. But it's a dumb one, and you guys aren't gonna like it."
"Try us," Caitlin says.
"Yeah," I say. "Any idea is better than none at all."
"And there are no wrong answers?" Grayson asks. When nobody responds to his joke - I think it's a joke, anyway - he moves on and presents his idea. "Okay. So, as most of you guys know by now, I've been known to work with Batman in Gotham. I used to be his protégé, the one they called Robin. Now there's a new Robin, who's basically my adopted little brother-"
"The point, please?" Olivia says.
"Do you know what I'm gonna suggest?" Grayson asks.
"I can guess," Olivia says, smirking. "And if I'm right, you're also right, 'cause the others are so totally not gonna like it."
Grayson purses his lips. "Okay. So, you know how the NSA's supposed to wiretap and eavesdrop on all the phones in the world?" He holds out his phone after cycling through its menu a few times. "Well, there's someone spying, but it's not the NSA. It's someone a little less official, and his name is Bruce Wayne."
Olivia rolls her eyes. "I knew it."
"What are you-" Gwen begins.
Grayson has his thumb poised over the screen once again. "Quick, give me a name. Any name."
It's Caitlin who chooses a name - Harry Blair. Which makes sense, the Central City Rush quarterback being her sports crush. His resemblance to her husband Ronnie helps.
Mouthing the letters in Harry's name to himself, Grayson types it in on his phone, then turns it around so the rest of us can see the display. What we see is a trippy little vision - it looks like a black-and-white 3-D animation of a crowded street.
"What are we looking at, exactly?" asks Wells.
"This is where Harry Blair's cell phone is right now," Grayson says. "But...huh. That doesn't really look like Harry Blair, does it?"
He's right - the person holding the phone up at a funny angle, taking a selfie (I hear the clicking sound effect of the phone's camera), isn't Harry. The person's not even the same gender as Harry. What really disturbs me, though, is how familiar this young woman looks. I can't really place it, though. Not with everything and anything in the animated view pulsing slightly, like they're giving off radio waves. And then the image moves so it appears to be looking up at the sky while she presses some buttons, eventually sending a text.
Seconds later, my own phone unexpectedly chimes as I receive a text. I check the screen before unlocking it - the number's an unfamiliar one. Wait a minute... "What's Harry Blair's number again?" I ask Grayson.
He checks it in his system. "(530) 555-7315," he says. "Why?"
"'Cause that's the number that just texted me," I say, my stomach starting to churn. I open the text I just received, and sure enough, there's the selfie the girl just took. "Oh crap," I whisper, taking in the image. "You've gotta be kidding me!"
"Who is it?" asks Grayson.
"It's Lisa Snart," I say.
"Golden Glider?" Cisco's eyes go wide. "No way!"
"You're not helping us out here," Olivia says. "Details, please?"
I read the message accompanying the picture. "I'm back, Speedy. Did you miss me? <3" Trying not to think about this psychotic show of affection, I explain to the others about Lisa being the sister of Captain Cold. It helps that Grayson met Snart already, so now he knows that the cray-cray runs in the family.
"It's a little out of character for her, though," Cisco says after I'm done talking. "I mean, the sneaky petty-theft thing. She and her brother usually go for bigger and better things."
Peter clears his throat. "Um, sorry to change the subject, but...how'd you do that, Grayson? How'd you get into this guy's phone?"
Grayson looks nervous at this point. "Uh...well, I'm not supposed to know about it myself. Hell, if Bruce knew I was telling you guys about this, he'd probably kick my-"
"I'm sure he already knows that I know, at least," Olivia says, crossing her arms.
"Right, right." Grayson shrugs, then gets back on topic. "Okay. So, this little beauty. It's a piece of tech created by Wayne Enterprises that allows surveillance through cell phones. It, uh, uses sonar to listen through the phone's mike, and creates a rough image of the area around it." He shows us the screen again - Lisa's still carrying Harry's phone around, and it seems she's visiting the edge of the exclusion zone downtown.
"She can't hear us, can she?" asks Gwen.
"One-way only," Grayson says.
Silence descends on the room as we process the implications of the invention as Grayson's described it. "Oh my God," Peter says finally. "Oh my God...you guys can actually use that to listen in on people?"
"If it fell into the wrong hands - like, again, the NSA - then yeah." Grayson laughs at his own joke, but then his expression sobers up. "But...Bruce only ever used it once, and then never again. He kinda had to, in order to stop a pretty major supervillain. 'Course," he says with a bitter laugh, "this was back in the Bush years, when it was actually considered okay to snoop on people. Patriot Act and all that. Bruce only used it for good, but he officially made sure the tech was shut down forever after he used it to stop the Joker."
"And unofficially?" I ask.
"Unofficially?" Grayson looks embarrassed. "I still use it. But only when I absolutely have to. Like when Olivia and I are apart, and I wanna make sure she's not cheating on me."
His voice is so deadpan, I assume he's kidding. Olivia, however, appears to take his words seriously, and slugs him in the arm in response. He pouts at her for a second, then flexes his arm and continues talking. "Okay, not really. But I only brought it up now 'cause I can actually see it being good for something for once."
"What, you mean to look for wormholes?" Peter asks.
As if on cue, the display on Grayson's phone changes. Lisa whispers "Yes!" in an excited voice and runs up to what appears to be a small spot of light. Then, the screen erupts in loud static.
"I think she just went through another wormhole," Grayson says.
"Yeah, thank you, Captain Obvious," Peter laughs. "Okay, so is this what you intend to use this baby for? Villain-finding?"
"Yeah." Grayson turns his phone off. "Yeah, it should work."
"But it's a little late to be scouring the city for wormholes at this hour," Wells says. "I suggest we all get a good night's sleep, and tomorrow, we can start our search afresh."
"That's gonna be a bit tricky for us," Grayson says, gesturing to himself, Peter, and Gwen. "We're all supposed to be at CCU tomorrow for the second day of our tour."
"Not that you really need a school tour, Officer," Olivia laughs, pinching Grayson's arm - in the very same spot where she punched him before. "Unless you plan to become a campus cop?"
"There are better reasons to transfer from New Jersey to California, my dear," Grayson laughs.
"I work better at night anyway," Peter says.
"As do I," Grayson says, "but maybe Wells is right. How long have we all been awake?"
"Crime never sleeps," I say, quoting something Joe always used to say whenever he had a late night on the job. "Anyone else willing to work the night shift?"
Everyone else raises their hands, including Wells - I guess he figures he'd rather not be the one to stand in the way of an otherwise unanimous vote.
"All right," I say, breaking out my own phone and calling up a map of Central City on Google. "If we're gonna do this right, you guys all gotta know where to go and what to do."