I read the article on my phone. The dead activist had a name I couldn’t pronounce, attended a university in Turkmenistan, majored in engineering, and had been twenty years old.
That boggled my mind. He’d been only a year older than I was.
According to the regime, he’d been executed for treason.
The article didn’t go into any great detail about what he’d actually been doing except to note that he’d organized students to protest after the regime’s recent actions. Continue reading Burning: Part 8
I wondered if anyone in the program could match Guardian. I’d heard that he wasn’t even limited to this dimension in his abilities. Brooke, his daughter (who I actually knew better) was limited to a few miles last I’d heard.
Last year we’d tracked down Chancy Harris, and even if he wasn’t in Guardian’s league, he appeared to be able to send people hundreds or even thousands of miles easily.
The impression I’d gotten when we met him though was that he wasn’t all that fussy about his customers. Case in point, he’d actually been working for aliens who turned out to be trying to destroy humanity last spring.
Continue reading Burning: Part 7
Any idea who we’d tell? I continued running, wondering if anyone was noticing the conversation.
It wasn’t as if we were cheating.
Still, there were telepaths out there who could listen in on conversations like this. Even if people agreed with the idea, one unknown listener was one too many.
I felt agreement from Daniel at that unarticulated thought. Then he answered my question.
Continue reading Burning: Part 6
The laughter faded, leaving me with a strong sense of Daniel’s presence plus a hint of both amusement and tiredness.
I was with him on all of the above.
That’s a better way to go than going over and taking over a country. It’s nice to fantasize about, but at core when someone does that, they’re assuming that they know better than all the people that live in that country. Plus, it’s a sovereignty thing. Countries have rights, or at least they ought to.
I looked around to find him. Daniel was faster than I was, but his range couldn’t cover the entire track from what I remembered.
I checked in front of me, seeing other runners, but not him.
Behind, Daniel said, and I turned my head all the way around, seeing Daniel on the curve half a lap behind me.
My range is improving.
Continue reading Burning: Part 5
Camille grimaced. “That’s horrible. That shouldn’t happen to anyone.”
She turned, following Tara with her eyes to where she sat. Gordon stood next to her. I couldn’t hear him, but from the expression on his face I guessed he must be apologizing.
Tara’s face didn’t show any emotion, and after a moment Gordon left.
Camille let out a breath, and shook her head. “We should do something for her.”
I found myself imagining it as an episode of a a children’s cartoon–“My Little Pony” or something. Camille would throw a party for her, and Tara would say, “Thanks Camille, now I don’t feel bad about my dead parents anymore!”
Come to think of it, that sounded more like the Simpsons satirizing children’s cartoons.
Continue reading Burning: Part 4
Camille nodded. “I don’t think I’d overthrow a country, but it would be nice to be able to do something. I don’t know how many people the regime killed, but it’s a lot.”
She glanced over at Haley and me. “Right?”
“Hundreds last night,” Haley said. “That’s what the TV was saying when I turned it on.”
Gordon nodded slowly. “Thousands over the last few weeks. Look, I know we’re not going to do it, but we’ve got the power to end it right here–definitely in the room, but maybe even at this table.”
I looked up at down the table from the side where the sun streamed in, bringing out the redness in the rocks all the way to the far wall where the stained rocks glistened.
I guessed there might be fifty people at the table. He had a point there. Fifty people with powers could do some damage.
Not that the world needed or wanted more damage.
Continue reading Burning: Part 3
“Go ahead,” I said. “We’re not saving space for anybody.”
Even if we had been, there were plenty of spaces on either side of us. Gordon sat down.
He’d loaded his tray down with breakfast food–french toast, eggs, sausages, bacon, hash browns, fruit salad and a chunk of beef.
Evidently he was one of those supers who needed more food than average.
Continue reading Burning: Part 2
People were talking about Turkmenistan the next day. Around noon, Haley and I were sitting in the compound’s cafeteria with Camille, one of Haley’s friends and a Heroes League recruit. We’d taken the van to Castle Rock’s Catholic church—St. Francis of Assisi.
I still wasn’t sure if that had been a good idea.
We’d gone as ourselves, and not in costume. All it would have taken to blow our identities was pictures placing us near the very well publicized Stapledon summer program while the Rocket wasn’t appearing much in Grand Lake.
Still, the Castle Rock church was on the list of churches that the program said were safe, so we went.
Don’t ask me what made them safe. Given the program’s reliance on mental blocks for it’s students, I probably wouldn’t be happy to know.
Continue reading Burning: Part 1