“And he’s got a shield, a weak one, but quite sophisticated. Actually, I’m pretty sure he’s aware of me now. I don’t think he’s got any real range, so he’s got no idea of where I’m at, but he’s coming to the window now. Don’t look up. He’s nervous, but not all out scared. While he’s not much of a telepath, I’m getting the feeling he’s powerful at something.”
Not looking up, even though I wanted to now, I concentrated on the traffic. It wasn’t dense, but cars drove down both sides of the road.
Three story brick buildings stood on both sides, some dark brown, some red, others tan or gray. All of them from the turn of the last century, some with satellite dishes hanging from the brick. It felt like some of the older sections of Grand Lake except there you’d be into newer construction within a few blocks. Here it felt like I’d only seen old buildings except for the really, really new ones that looked like glass from top to bottom.
Chicago definitely had more taxis too.
Continue reading Chancy Connections: Part 6
I brought the van to a stop in front of them. Daniel sent a quick telepathic hello at me almost at the same instant I noticed him, not saying anything about all the other stuff flying around in my head just then.
I felt grateful for that.
The van didn’t have side doors in the middle of the van, so Daniel and Izzy had to crawl over Haley’s seat. The van’s second row of seats didn’t have windows, but on the other hand Daniel was clairvoyant, and Izzy had some kind of extra-powerful sonar. They could deal.
A little quickly, Izzy said, “Hi,” to us and pulled on her seatbelt—not that she needed one. She did need a winter coat though. She wore a green, fleece jacket that could handle anything Berkeley, California was likely to throw at it, but stood out in the Midwest.
On the other hand, Izzy could probably survive in Antarctica wearing that jacket.
Continue reading Chancy Connections: Part 5
On a Saturday morning two weeks later Haley and I drove to Chicago. It was early March, and February’s snow melted on each side of the freeway, brownish near the road.
Two weeks seems like an awfully long wait when you consider that there may be aliens out there who want to cause all of humanity to die horribly. It’s more understandable when you think about the logistics of it all. Initially we didn’t know exactly what we were looking for. All the ship knew was that a suspiciously large number of objects that used materials common to alien technology were going through the postal service, UPS, Fedex and other mailing services in or near Chicago. They were being picked up from P.O. Boxes, and delivered to empty buildings, and from there they disappeared.
Except we’d found a common name between a couple of the post office boxes, and a signature—Chancy as in Chancy Smith, Chancy Jones, and Chancy Sirianni.
I had a hunch, and I’d directed the ship to search whatever it could find that had Chancy in the name, and it had. Continue reading Chancy Connections: Part 4
I looked over at Haley. She’d sat down again, pulled her legs up onto the chair and wrapped her arms around them. It likely felt more comfortable to her than it looked to me.
“You heard all of that, right?”
She colored a little. “Sorry. I didn’t try to. It seemed private.”
“I’m sure it was, but Daniel’s not in a position to complain.”
Haley let go of her legs, and they touched the floor in one fluid motion that wasn’t quite human. She could have followed it up by leaping to grab one of the ceiling’s support beams, but didn’t.
“It’s sad,” she said. “I don’t know her very well, but she seems nice. She’s a little shy, but maybe he can draw her out.” She paused. “Not that Daniel’s any kind of party animal, but he’s comfortable with people.”
“I guess,” I said, knowing better. Daniel was extremely comfortable with people.
Continue reading Chancy Connections: Part 3
I typed back, “That’s just for recon, right? If you’re talking just the two of us.”
It didn’t take long for Daniel to reply. “Recon first, but not just me and you.”
His next text said, “Haley and Izzy too. A good combination. Intelligence gathering. Muscle.”
I paused to think about it, looking up from the phone, aware of HQ again, and of my monitor—which still showed the words “Conference ended.”
Haley stood up from her chair. “Who are you texting?”
“Daniel,” I said, realizing that I had Vaughn’s attention too.
I felt a little weird about that. The moment Haley asked what we were talking about, I’d have to tell her, or lie. This wasn’t one of those things that I’d be able to hide though. Everybody would know when we were done anyway. Continue reading Chancy Connections: Part 2
The price of maintaining a group is meetings—two hour long, soul sucking meetings.
We’d landed in the mid-afternoon, a little later than two. I’d sent everyone a text on their League phone saying what we’d done and that I planned to email them a report of what we’d found.
I got replies from just about everybody that hadn’t gone—essentially saying, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
And that led to an online meeting where we all got to discuss what we’d learned and decide what to do about it now. Worse, not all of us were in one room. Most people were attending via online video, which meant that everybody had to attend via online video in effect.
Haley, Vaughn, and I sat at the main table in the middle of HQ staring at our monitors while everyone else sat in their dorm rooms, bedrooms, or in Travis’ case, his car.
Continue reading Chancy Connections: Part 1