If we’d been spinning faster, maybe he’d have hit the guy on my arm and then been clipped by the guy hanging onto my legs from behind.
That’s not what happened, but even as we lurched sideways, the suit continued to spin. The guy hanging onto my right arm didn’t let go, but I heard him shouting at the guy who’d tried to punch me and ended up punching him. I could hear muffled noise through his helmet even though I couldn’t make out the words.
The puncher, meanwhile, had bounced off us and was trying to stabilize himself upright in the air and trying not to send himself flying in some random direction. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 9
Assuming the Nine at least influenced Protection Force, Rook might have been involved in preparing them. He’d have gone over available footage and police reports of fights I’d been in and possibly even information from Stapledon about my abilities. Even assuming that Stapledon was perfectly secure, I knew that our exhibition fights had made it online.
That and every battle we’d ever had in public. Cell phones and surveillance cameras made keeping secrets harder. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 8
Two bullets hit me before I began my first mid-air Rocket suit integration. The first glanced off my arm, not doing much. The second would have gone through my heart if my armor hadn’t been in the way. Three years ago, it would have killed me. In the meantime, I’d replaced the original material with a substance that had origins in alien tech and repaired itself.
Judging from the strength of the hit and the damage the HUD reported, I decided that the bullet had to be armor-piercing.
It didn’t go through my armor, pushing me backward, ricocheting downward toward the forest. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 7
“Whoa,” I held my hands up in the air, raising them slowly, palms forward. “There’s something that you’ll want to know before firing on us. You’re currently being watched by more than 100,000 people on multiple different streaming services—”
Kayla interrupted me. “One million people.”
A quick look at the bottom of my HUD confirmed she was right. I continued, watching them as I talked. “—actually one million people. Anyway, you don’t want to attack us in front of that many people, do you? I’m pretty sure security guards aren’t allowed to use deadly force unless we’re attacking you or someone else.” Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 6
On the bottom of my HUD, a bar running across the bottom showed the number of people viewing climbing—thousands already. Then the number jumped by a factor of ten. It had been shared by a super known as Kid Biohack. I wondered if it was him or a staffer, but I didn’t have time to find out.
My floating pods signaled that they were near. That would be nice. People knew the stealth suit by now, but not as well as they knew the Rocket suit. If I could talk to Protection Force in a version of the Rocket suit that called up memories of the legacy of the Heroes’ League, that would help. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 5
That felt like a gut punch even if it wasn’t quite unexpected. The one thing that you could know for sure about the Nine is that no one knew exactly who their leadership was. You could also guess from the name of the organization that there were nine of them.
It was a pretty good guess that they were all supervillains.
I’d only ever run into one supervillain that worked for the Nine personally—Rook, an inventor who constructed suits of powered armor themed after rooks. Rooks were corvids just like crows and ravens. Rook himself had been kicking around since the mid-80s, around the same time my grandfather retired. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 4
Before I told everyone what I’d seen, I considered our options. Running might work. Depending on what their rocket packs’ range was, we might be able to fly away, use Vaughn’s weather control to keep them back, and head for HQ.
If Tara and her parents were any indication, the True weren’t automatically bad, but we might have to subdue them and maybe destroy the birthing chamber. From what I’d seen of Protection Force and the Nine, we might need everyone for that, but at the very least, we’d need the jet. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 3
On the off-chance that Lim would have a chance to look at the video, I started it all uploading. At the same time, I found that I didn’t like the coincidence at all. Lim was unavailable on the night where it happened that we were going into Higher Grounds’ offices?
Lim had a habit of being sent into situations where he couldn’t talk. That wasn’t unusual. It seemed inevitable when you considered that a big part of his job was acting as a government liaison too superheroes. All the same, knowing that the Nine had infiltrated the FBI made me worry. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 2
“Camouflage setting,” I said over the comm, flipping mine on.
It wouldn’t make me invisible, but it matched my surroundings. Haley and Vaughn’s suits had it too. Tara wore her own (not of my design) and hers didn’t as far as I knew.
We all squished our bodies next to the wall of the building. That might be enough on first glance. Protection Force’s suits’ night vision wasn’t likely better than night vision goggles—which were often monochrome. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 1
Were all of the True newborns? If they were, it made sense. Based on what I remembered from accessing the birthing chambers’ library, they could crank out a generation a day or maybe less than a day. They had 24 there and were working on another twelve.
The ones they had guarding the doorway had to come from a previous batch—which made me wonder where the other ten were. Were they outside walking the perimeter? Guarding some other location? Continue reading Who Are the True?: Part 10