All posts by Jim Zoetewey

Motor City Intern: Part 3

I’d been at gruesome death scenes before. One of the worst had been the product of a man who’d burned the victims halfway to ash. That one had left me with mixed associations with the smell of smoked pork.

The bright side of this one was that it wouldn’t leave me with mixed associations with pleasant smells. It smelled like rotting meat combined with any biological substance that might leak out of a human body before the body stiffened.

I didn’t throw up, but it was a near thing. My stomach rolled and I did my best to keep everything inside where it belonged. Continue reading Motor City Intern: Part 3

Motor City Intern: Part 2

Mateo pulled on his helmet, letting his hat fall down his back, held on by a blue leather string. He grinned at me. “You always have a choice.”

I put my leg over my motorcycle’s seat and grabbed my own helmet, feeling the electric hum of the engine. “True, but some choices aren’t the kind you can say no to if you want to live with yourself later.” Continue reading Motor City Intern: Part 2

Motor City Intern: Part 1

It was the last two weeks of my internship and not the internship for my engineering degree. That one had ended barely two months in after an investigation and battle that left most of the company’s leadership in prison.

Grand Lake University’s engineering department with help from the FBI had put me into a quiet internship where I learned how to design auto parts for the rest of the year. It wasn’t the most interesting internship, but on the other hand, no one had attempted to kill me, making it much less stressful than my first internship.

This was my post-college internship through the Stapledon program which meant I was interning with another superhero group. Continue reading Motor City Intern: Part 1

Loose Ends: Part 8

Emmy looked from me over to Tara, “Do either of you know what happened to Victor?”

Eyeing Tara, I hoped she took the hint. Or to put it another way, I hoped she chose to take the hint. She almost certainly got it and if she failed to notice, it could only be that she had a bigger problem on her mind.

For a moment, I thought I saw the hint of a smile as Tara responded, most likely guessing at my thoughts. “No one knows. He teleported away. If I had to bet, he’s with the Nine and he’s telling them how he can turn the True into an unstoppable army under their command if they’ll just give him the money.” Continue reading Loose Ends: Part 8

Loose Ends: Part 7

I looked down at the bag, “The ping pong paddles and balls were kind of an impulse thing. We’ve got tables, but not an official ping pong table. I was figuring we could use one in the dorm, maybe? I really wasn’t thinking very far ahead.”

Emmy smirked. “Well normally, I’d have to give you a little lecture about taking swag just to take it, but with everything that’s happened, go ahead and clean out the closet. I don’t have to care anymore.”

I thought about it. “I could use some more pens.” Continue reading Loose Ends: Part 7

Loose Ends: Part 6

Talking about it too widely could literally lead to the end of the world, so I felt like I had a decent excuse.

Still showing a hint of a smile, Lim stood up and tapped the globe on the table again. It stopped glowing. “If that’s it, I should let you go. I’m assuming that you got everything?”

I shrugged, “Everything I intended to take. Do you think anyone’s going to mind if I grab pens, t-shirts, or anything else from the swag closet?” Continue reading Loose Ends: Part 6

Loose Ends: Part 5

I raised an eyebrow. “How?”

Isaac leaned forward, glancing over at Tara and then at me. “I have contacts all over the superhero community and it shouldn’t surprise either of you that Nick’s not the only one I’ve got trying to infiltrate the Nine. One of them let me know that the Nine were after me about the time that Dr. Hansen tried to mind control you. Continue reading Loose Ends: Part 5

Loose Ends: Part 4

Tara wore the katana she’d carried the night before. I wondered what it did if anything. I hadn’t made it, after all.

It could be that it was just a sword that she’d chosen to use when she adopted her late father’s superhero identity—Ronin. Given that they were masterless warriors and he’d left the True, I could see why the name might have resonated with him and her too. Continue reading Loose Ends: Part 4

Loose Ends: Part 3

Then Daniel frowned. I can’t say that there aren’t potential problems, though. Memories associated with verbal commands using Dr. Hansen’s tie pin or other people’s voices last longer than normal memories and a decent telepath could use them as foundations for altering how someone thinks—which is why the Dominators are as effective as they are.

Have someone with voice powers put in a few basic commands, let a telepath set up a framework that connects the commands together, and maybe have a wizard set up a way to revert to that mental state if a telepath removes it and you’ve got something I can’t remove and maybe something I can’t detect. Continue reading Loose Ends: Part 3

Loose Ends: Part 2

Trying to keep him guessing, I interpreted the question as literally as possible. “It does not help me remember. What do you mean by faking ‘it’?”

Dr. Hansen began to move his left arm upward toward the gun, mostly likely to steady it so that he could shoot me. I had no time left to wait. I was just about to use the stealth suit (concealed as jeans, a long sleeved t-shirt, and a jacket) to lean forward and throw the desk at him, but I didn’t have to. Continue reading Loose Ends: Part 2