I considered my next step. We were on an eight lane highway with no median between the northbound and southbound. The only thing between them was a four foot high concrete barrier. That was on the left.

When I looked to the right, I realized that the lane must be a little lower than the road running alongside it because the concrete sloped down to the highway.

We were the second lane in from the right on the southbound side. Thanks to the catmecha’s legs, we might be able to move over the front of the red Chevy Cavalier to my left. I wasn’t completely confident though, that it wouldn’t step on the car’s hood, denting it at best, pushing the engine through to the concrete at worst.

That was the nearest we got to the side of the road. To the immediate left we had semi-truck, and whatever happened to be in the lane past that.

So, I went with plan b. (more…)

I wasn’t sure what I could do about that. Alex and his dad probably had good reasons for what they did. It wouldn’t be a good thing if something major came up, and they were too tired to help their team because they’d spent all day in the hospital healing people.

Realistically, they’d probably be better off allowing scientists to study how their healing worked with various illnesses and injuries than actually healing anybody.

I hoped they thought that far ahead. (more…)

Denver’s traffic sucked.

Driving in from Denver International Airport wasn’t bad at first, but then we got into the city. That’s when we began to experience everything I hated about driving in Chicago. By that I mean having to pay attention to more cars and lanes than I wanted to.

Two lanes would merge into three, and I’d have to watch from all directions as cars around moved across the highway in different directions.

If I hadn’t been driving I might have been able to pay attention to the bright blue sky, and how different the landscape was. Left to itself, Michigan is covered with large trees.

Colorado tends to be covered with grasses, and small trees, many of which are evergreens. Not only can you see the sky, but you can see for a long way on the ground. Plus, any time you get a little height while you’re in Denver—by going down a long hill, for example—the Rocky Mountains loom in the distance.

It probably says something about me that my strongest association with mountains is Mordor. (more…)


Sorry to tell you now, but I’m pushing the next update over to Friday. I thought I might be able to write it all last night, but that didn’t work out.

Today, however, is my wife’s birthday, and last night it occurred to me that doing my usual thing on Wednesday (writing until the update’s done, and basically ignoring everything else) would probably be a bad idea.

Thus, I’ll be finishing it up on Thursday, and posting somewhere between 1 and 2 EST on Friday.

In the meantime, if you do read the Pen and Cape Society website, you’ll note that I’m on the list as one of three options for Friday’s story update there. You can guess why I might be apphrensive about this. Feel free to click through and vote for well… anybody but me.

Then I rechecked the time, and understood where Courtney was—not here yet.

Only twenty minutes had passed since I started looking for the file, read it, and remembered the longer version of the story Grandpa Vander Sloot told me.

I still had forty minutes to kill.

Not having anything better to do, I walked over to one of the stools by the wall, and logged into one of the computers. I checked my email, surfed for a while, checking out out Double V’s forums. They had an entire section devoted to discussing the Heroes League.

Since we’d stopped St. Louis from being destroyed, and appeared prominently in the defense of the New York City and the surrounding area, the forum had only become more busy.

It was funny, and occasionally frustrating, at how little they knew about what was going on behind the scenes.


Hey folks, PCS is doing a story where each section will be written by a different author and the main character’s decisions will be made by the voting public (that’s you, I’m hoping).

Check it out here:

The start…

Joe decided to put Lee on hold with a click, and took Larry’s call.

“Rocket?” Larry’s voice came over the suit’s internal speakers. “I don’t know what half this stuff does, and I can’t turn off the translator, but this suit’s got amazing weapons. You want me to hit him again?”

The Nexus struggled to pull its legs out of the pile. It wasn’t going easily. He barely seemed to move one piece of concrete when another fell back into the hole he’d created.

Plus, something about the giant’s balance seemed off.

“Follow my lead,” Joe said, and hung up.


The Nexus didn’t even seem to notice the noise.

A rainbow of colors swirled around the Rhino costume as it blurred toward them, changing it from gray, lumpy armor with a horn to sleek, bronze armor with a metallic sheen.

It still had a Rhino theme, but it was bigger, and had a long bronze horn with a sharp spike on the end.

The bronze armor stopped, and voice came from it. It sounded almost like Larry’s, but not quite, and it didn’t speak in English.

“Je suis le Bronze Rhino!” (more…)

Pressing the buttons on his palm, Joe made the suit to turn upright and hover. As the Nexus flew toward him, barely slowing down and raising his arm, Joe wondered how good an idea this would be.

Bright shifting colors raced toward him, and passed to his right, quickly followed by the Nexus himself.

Joe turned in place in the air. It had seemed difficult the first time he’d tried it, but after more than thirty years in the Rocket suit, he barely thought as he did it.

The Nexus turned toward him, turning upright in the air and pointing the bracer at him.


With the press of a button on his gauntlet’s palm, Joe shot into the air. The giant followed him, not directly on his tail, but not in any danger of losing him.

Was the Nexus playing with him?

The creature could have opened up on him, but hadn’t yet. Of course, they hadn’t been in the air for long. They were only about as high as the highway. It seemed strangely empty, all gray concrete that ended abruptly in the air only a few hundred feet away.

In Nexus’ situation, Joe would already have fired. Whatever that bracer did, it seemed to have an area effect. That would take care of whatever problems it might have with moving while aiming.

Joe didn’t expect it to have many. If it was an Abominator AI, it was probably as accurate as it was on the ground.