Tara grinned, and when she did, I was reminded that whoever had designed the supersoldiers she was descended from, had obviously been designing for looks too. Not for the first time, I wondered why. Still, she was in a good mood, and considering the memories I must have brought up, that wasn’t a bad thing.
“I hope you don’t think I’m telling you he’s a bad person.” She paused but didn’t give me time to respond. “He’s not. It’s just…” She stopped. “You know that I grew up in Infinity City. I grew up on the run from the True, the supersoldier group my parents left. They worked as muscle all over the city, training me the entire time because they knew the True would want me too.
“When we came here and I enrolled in the Stapledon program, the guys didn’t first of all think of me as a soldier. They thought of me as the new, hot girl. Some of them had a betting pool on who could ‘score’ with me first. I didn’t think anything of all the attention at first, but when I thought about it, I put everything together. After that, I got angry.” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 8
I raised my hand. “That makes sense, but I’ve got a couple questions.”
Amy raised an eyebrow—which I suspected meant, “You’re raising your hand? No one else did.” I put it down as Samita said, “Yes, Nick?”
“You mentioned that you were looking for confirmation that it was the same creature and not an alternate. Did you get that from the book?” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 7
A few people laughed, but Amy stopped moving, expression blank, finally managing to say, “That’s the plan.”
Samita stood up and walked up to the front. Dressed in a green blouse and khaki pants, it was one of the few times I’d seen her out of costume. With black hair and brown skin, she looked like she might be from southeast Asia, and her parents were. She’d been born in the US.
She stood in front of the group as Amy moved to the side and stood next to the wall. Samita’s eyes darted from one of us to another. In combination with the straightness of her stance, she gave the impression of a highly motivated student hoping for an “A.” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 6
Amy looked out over the group of us, brushing away a few strands of red hair that had fallen across her right eye. She took a breath. “I feel like I should tell you what you’re in for because taking part in this isn’t a decision you should take lightly. It destroyed entire kingdoms before one of the earlier Bloodmaidens figured out how to kill it. It wasn’t easy either. For her, it came at a huge personal cost.”
Amy stopped, frowning. Then she took a breath and went on. “I’ll tell you how we first found out about it. The country I’m from is a little like your United Kingdom, but not exactly. The islands are shaped differently, and some of the tribes that founded it are different, some the same, and I think many are going under different names. Well, it doesn’t matter. Just be aware that if something sounds familiar, it isn’t really.” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 5
Over the next two days, I settled into a more normal routine. The spybots didn’t pick up anything worth mentioning. Kid Biohack didn’t try to contact us. I had time to hang around with Haley, which on Thursday night turned into all the people who happened to visit my room—Camille, Vaughn, and Courtney. We didn’t talk about anything even related to Stapledon or superheroes because a number of Jeremy’s friends also came through including Jillian, the Kid Biohack fan we’d met while moving in.
Sean even dropped by to talk to Vaughn. It was the first time I’d seen him since leaving Colorado. It wasn’t precisely awkward. We’d talked a few times after everything that happened—fighting faeries, the dragon, and so on, but no heart to heart talks or anything. We’d acknowledged each other and left it at that. Thursday was no exception. Sean and I nodded at each other. Sean and Vaughn stepped out to talk, and then Vaughn came back alone.
It wasn’t exactly a homework-friendly situation. I didn’t get anything done until after everyone left. On the bright side, it was still the first week of school, so there wasn’t much homework to speak of.
Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 4
The day went, and if I’m honest with myself, the classes weren’t bad. It was the first day of each class that I took, and while I did learn that I’d have some big projects, they weren’t due for months. It wasn’t even worth worrying about. Besides, some of them sounded fun.
So the classes themselves weren’t bad, but what came between the classes could have been better.
It probably was just me, but it felt like everyone was talking about the fight. In my 9am, Modern European History class, a group of students were discussing it before the prof came in. I was sitting near the front, and couldn’t see any of them. Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 3
Wind blew in the background, not loudly enough that I had any difficulty understanding his words, but loud enough that I knew it was there.
“It’s been a while since we last talked.” Daniel’s dad’s tenor voice came over the phone. “Ordinarily I wouldn’t have called you this early, but my wife assured me that you were up.”
Daniel’s mother wasn’t as strong a telepath as his father. Most of her abilities only worked on people who were asleep, but under the right conditions, there was no known limit to her range. If she said someone was awake, you could assume she was right. Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 2
Travis gave a snort. “No, but if we’re going to expand, we’re going to need a system for it. My frat has one. No reason our team shouldn’t.”
He frowned. “If nothing else, it might help to have something to point to when we say no to that guy. I’ve got a feeling he’s going to get pissy.”
Outside, Kid Biohack paused to talk to the small group of people gathered on the sidewalk, most of whom were carrying cameras. When had they arrived? How had they even known we were here?
Even as I asked the question, I knew the answer. We’d participated in a public fight. The police had been called. If the press wanted to talk to us where would they go? Here or the real headquarters (which they shouldn’t have any way to know about)?
As the photographers’ flashes went off, Kid Biohack stepped into the road and ran away, taking only seconds to match the speed of traffic. Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 1
Kid Biohack’s right hand twitched, but despite what I expected, he didn’t blow up at Travis. He smiled and said, “I know that wasn’t the ideal introduction, but it’s not entirely my fault. My powers make me a little impulsive sometimes. I’m sure some of you have the same problem.”
He smiled at Haley. She didn’t smile back.
“I don’t know how it is for you,” he continued, “but my muscles and tissues respond to chemicals my body secretes, allowing me to make myself faster, stronger, tougher and more agile. No one’s found a limit as to how far I can push them. It’s all a matter of controlling my body to create the right combination of chemicals. People even write into my website to suggest ideas.”
I felt my eyebrow rise, and wondered if he saw any hint of that through my mask.”You’re pretty open about how that works.” Continue reading Hackjob: Part 11
Kayla got back to me almost immediately. “If you don’t have any reason for him to be in custody, they want you to release him, but they also want to talk to you tomorrow–all of you.”
“Did they say why?”
In the background of Kayla’s connection came the sound of tapping. “Not exactly, but they sounded unhappy about a few different things–the damage at the fight, that Kid Biohack never notified them he was going to be active here, and well, I overheard a lot about the Syndicate L guy Biohack was chasing. His name is Seth Bradley, and I looked him up. He’s got quite a record. He’s been suspected of murder a few times over, but there’s never been enough evidence to connect him to the crime.”
Floating above the ground, he didn’t seem especially intimidating, but murder? If he mostly fought normal people, he could rack up a high body count completely accidentally. The fact that he hadn’t gotten caught argued that it wasn’t accidental, though. Continue reading Hackjob: Part 10