“Looks like Haley would like us in the main room,” I said, putting my phone back into my pocket.
“Yeah,” Chris said, checking his own phone.
There wasn’t much of a need to reply since she’d be able to see when we left the lab. She might well be able to hear our conversation about leaving or our footsteps as we walked out the door.
One of these days, I needed to test the limits of her abilities, and maybe everybody’s. One of these days knowing it might save our lives, or maybe just not kill them through ignorance. Either way, the Stapledon program had tested all of us–back on our first official weekend in the program.
I wondered where that information was kept and who had access to it. Continue reading Share The Love: Part 10
Another thought popped into my head. “Oh, and if we can manage it, we need to come up with some way to track it even though it looks exactly like a normal human when it’s not transformed and the only way a person can know the difference is with magic.”
Chris shook his head. “So what you’re saying is that we just have to do the impossible? Got it.” Continue reading Share The Love: Part 9
“I’m sure,” Lee said. “Now that doesn’t mean I can’t help at all. All I’m saying is that The Thing can’t see me in action. I’ll be happy to give you advice. I wasn’t directly involved in creating our deadly toys, but I know that typically our creatures go to ground and try to grow in secret. If they can, they’ll hide until they can attack with overwhelming force. The sooner you find it, the better for everyone.”
“I already started on that, but without magic, I can’t automate my system for detecting it.”
Lee laughed. “I’m confident you’ll figure something out. In my experience, there’s more than one way to solve most problems. Anyway, if you want my advice, I’m only a phone call away.” Continue reading Share The Love: Part 8
What was left of the night didn’t go well. I sent an email to everybody with a link that would allow them to view the entire conversation with Vengeance. We recorded everything going on in the downtown office but didn’t keep it unless we needed to.
This, I kept.
We took the van back to HQ and slept on cots for the night. At first, I tried to think about how I could use the roachbots to detect The Thing That Eats, but the roachbots couldn’t detect magic.
In the end, I gave up, hoping that The Thing That Eats had possessed someone from the Cabal and would activate if they noticed someone running faster than a normal human–which is what I’d set the bots to watch for anyway. Continue reading Share The Love: Part 7
I thought about my parents, all of our parents, and all of the other people in Grand Lake who had no idea what they were facing. Then I thought about Amy’s story and not the most recent one about how she came to be here. I thought about the Bloodmaiden’s discovery of The Thing That Eats and how it had eaten everyone in the kingdom of Rheged.
“You’re going to need to make an exception in your quarantine. The Thing that Eats is an enemy of Bloodmaiden. She knows how to fight it and how to catch it. She made the wards that caught it the first time.”
Taking a step toward the door, Vengeance said, “For someone who practices blood magic?” His lip curled and there was no mistaking the disgust in his voice. “Never. I’ve met blood mages and some of them seemed like decent people at first. But I’ve never met one that wasn’t eventually corrupted by the magic that they thought served them.” Continue reading Share The Love: Part 6
Haley took advantage of his pause to interject, “Wait. We didn’t loose anything. We captured a creature in Turkmenistan. It only got away after Reliquary took it somewhere, and it doesn’t sound like he let it loose either. It sounds like he was attacked.”
Vengeance turned to look at her. “We know he was attacked. Our people were with him. Funny how the prodigal son comes back for help when he can’t handle it alone—”
Haley interrupted. “It doesn’t sound like your people handled it.” Continue reading Share The Love: Part 5
Fifteen minutes later, we were parking in the Grand Lake Heroes’ League’s visible headquarters, having taken the underground tunnel from the regular HQ in my van. “We” in this case meant Haley, Camille, Vaughn and me. We’d chosen the group based on the fact that we all lived in the biggest dorm on campus, making it easy to meet up.
“Why is this guy even here?” Vaughn asked as he stepped out of the van’s side door. He wore one of the new costumes I’d designed, but he’d set it to be replacement for his original costume. It looked like black leather, but didn’t have the straps that had made me compare his first costume to bondage gear.
“I don’t know,” I said, crossing in front of the van. “I’m betting that it’s got something to do with The Thing That Eats because the timing is too coincidental.” Continue reading Share The Love: Part 4
I thought about Reliquary. He was head of Stapledon’s magic department, mostly because he was the only wizard willing to associate with Stapledon, and not coincidentally something of a rebel in the wizarding community.
From what I’d heard, he was also fantastically knowledgeable about magic. He’d have been careful with The Thing That Eats’ container. He wouldn’t have let it shatter. Whoever or whatever had taken it had to have been looking for it—though if it were somehow a random heist, the thief got far more than expected.
While I thought about it, Haley asked, “How is Reliquary doing?” Continue reading Share The Love: Part 3
Amy met Vaughn’s eyes. “My father said to wait ten years and if I hadn’t heard anything from him to gather together what allies I can find, and take back the kingdom if I can.”
Her voice didn’t waver, didn’t sound apologetic or uncertain. Her accent even edged toward British though it wasn’t quite. In that moment, I could completely believe that she descended from generations of royalty and supernatural guardians, and would get back what was theirs. Continue reading Share The Love: Part 2
Jaclyn’s voice came over the comm. “Not that that’s not important, but there’s one more thing we need to decide. What are we going to do with this guy?”
She stood over the body of The Thing That Eats’ host. “I’ve checked his pulse, and if he’s got one, it’s too faint for me to tell.”
Izzy turned toward the body, adding, “I’m not sure either, but if I had to guess, I’d say he’s alive, but barely.” Continue reading Share The Love: Part 1