She decided she didn’t have time to worry about the Battle Roombas even if they were firing giant boxing gloves at aliens.
Thinking about how weird her life had become was a waste of time.
On the floor ahead of her, the aliens moaned softly. Okay, she told herself, they’re not dead.
She had to admit she felt a touch of relief. She hadn’t wanted to kill anybody, and these aliens, whatever they were, were shaped like people. She couldn’t see through the facemask, but even that looked like a human could comfortably wear it–assuming they were big enough.
These guys were almost as big as Travis.
Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 11
“Wow,” I said, “you’re early.”
Mindstryke shook his head. “Not really. I told you the latest we’d be here was ten, and some of us happened to finish up earlier than expected.”
He was right. Now that he’d mentioned it, I remembered him saying that. I also remembered a couple other things he’d said.
“We’re still waiting on part of the current League, and one member of the board.”
I was about to ask him who that was when the words, “Entered: Accelerando, C. Retinal scan confirmed,” appeared on the bottom of my screen.
Shortly after that one of the tunnel doors swung open, and Jaclyn walked through with her grandfather. She wore her purple costume—not really more than a jumpsuit, but she didn’t need it for protection. The hard part was creating a fabric that could handle hitting the speed of sound. Continue reading Spin: Part 6
Inside the police department looked like most institutional buildings — beige walls, tile floor, cubicles — but with the obvious addition of men and women in blue carrying guns.
We ended up standing inside a conference room. “We” in this case meant new and old Heroes League members, the Midwest Defenders, the FBI representatives, PsyKick, Larry, and a few police.
It was a big conference room — two, actually. They’d taken out the divider between two rooms as we came in.
The tables had been pushed to the wall and the sleeping bodies placed in the middle of the room. All the rest of us stood around the edges while Daniel, his dad, the Fed with the psychic helmet, and PsyKick deep probed their minds.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 59
“No. There’s no way I’m doing that,” I said.
“That was a joke. I wasn’t suggesting you let Mindstryke take over, but you need to listen to the guy. No one thinks about it when they start, but managing your image is a major piece of the job.”
Guardian pulled a couple pieces of pepperoni pizza onto a plate.
Flick leaned in toward the table and smiled briefly. “He’s right. Some of you have heard about what happened when I joined the Defenders. I think the most important thing I’ve learned in the past two years is how to handle myself in public.”
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 58
The house only blew up a little bit — at least by comparison to an atomic bomb, for example. It didn’t have a mushroom cloud, just gouts of flame pouring out the kitchen windows and doors. To judge from what it looked like afterwards, it must have blasted out a couple pieces of wall too, but I was too distracted by the flames and smoke to notice.
We had already gotten out when it happened. The explosion destroyed the kitchen, part of the dining room, and started most of the back of the house burning. Even through my armor I could feel the heat a little.
I hit the ground when it blew like everyone else, realizing belatedly that I probably didn’t have to.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 56
“Are you getting anything?” I asked Daniel.
We stood about twenty feet to the side of the main table where everyone else sat, quietly talking.
“Almost,” Daniel said. “I’ll pull you in when I’ve got it.”
The grownups hadn’t been gone for long.
My vision blurred. Superimposed upon the League HQ’s main room, I saw the lab with it’s collection of machines and spare Rocket suit parts. Larry (his helmet off) fiddled with the controls of one of Grandpa’s more advanced fabrication machines. Daniel’s dad and C, Jaclyn’s grandfather, faced each other next to the counter on the left side of the room.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 48
Legion HQ felt full. Three of the four Elementals plus Future Knight, Red Bolt, and Tomahawk were sleeping on the floor. All of the new League (except Vaughn and Marcus) plus Jaclyn’s grandfather, Larry, and Mindstryke, Daniel’s dad.
Mindstryke had showed up just after we’d all sat down at the main table. He looked tired.
“I had to settle my dad down. He thought it was 1965 and the original League was still fighting Red Lightning. I didn’t know he still had one.” He held a ring in his hand. The gem flickered.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 47
Kids don’t really know adults. What I remembered of Jaclyn’s grandfather from the picnics was a man who spent a lot more time laughing, telling funny stories, and coaxing me into racing Jaclyn. I think I only ever won one race. He gave me a forty-nine foot head start out of fifty feet and even then it was a near thing.
As a crimefighter though, he had the old school, “fight the criminals, and run from the cops” approach.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 42
As I ran toward the table in the middle of the main room, I wondered just what else putting HQ on high security did. What if it sent an alert to other hero groups? I didn’t feel like explaining all this to Guardian or the Midwest Defenders.
Glancing at the screen, I saw Travis, Haley, Marcus and Cassie crouched at the forest entrance, in costume and looking nervous.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 41
Wind blew out of the tunnel, rattling parts in their boxes and tools hanging the walls. In the middle of it, I could see the hazy shape of the girl. I wondered what effect the sonics would have on her. Would sound do nothing or would it disrupt whatever connected her to herself in that form?
I didn’t want to kill her, so I decided not to think about it. She was Daniel’s problem.
“She’s kind of… dispersed mentally,” he said, “but I can do this –“
The hazy form flattened as it hit an invisible wall, face, glasses and the back of her skull interpenetrating each other. She dissolved into a colored gas, reforming a few feet away as cloudy version of herself.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 40