“If you value your lives and the lives of those you care about, you’ll intervene from a distance if at all. If that creature bites you, you’ll be linked to it, or worse, become part of it.”
She watched me, waiting, I guessed, for my response.
“We won’t, at least most of us. We’ve been warded against it. I know you don’t like the source, but it works, and if you think about it, I’d bet that the blood magic you’re familiar with can’t do that.”
Shaking her head, she backed away. “Remember that I warned you. If we have to, we’ll kill anyone infected by the creature.” Continue reading Crisscross: Part 11
Before anyone could move, he nipped Philo’s shoulder, and lunged for me. I held up my arms, one forward in a block, and pulling the other back, ready to punch.
It bit my blocking arm, completely surrounding it from the elbow up, but that didn’t last. Warmth suffused my body, and a red glow tinged my view of the scene. The view from one of my spybots showed that the entire Rocket suit glowed red.
At the same moment, The Thing That Eats spit my hand out of its mouth, yelping in pain. Not wasting the moment, I punched it with all the strength the Rocket suit had, aiming a little upward. Continue reading Crisscross: Part 9
I’d never seen the new guy before. Aside from fitting my profile for the Cabal, he had dark, curly hair, light skin, and at least at that moment, a wide smile. He wore an oversized sweater and jeans.
Philo turned back to us. “This is Andronicus. I haven’t seen him in more than two, maybe three hundred years.”
Andronicus nodded to the group of us. “I have been busy this last little while.” Continue reading Crisscross: Part 8
My HUD showed my armor’s status as 89%—as in 11% of the armor’s cells had been damaged and no longer responded to commands. Even though the anti-tank mini-missile hadn’t hurt me, that counted for something.
If she had more of those, I might be forced to use the laser or the killbot.
It did strike me though that she was clearly in a mood to talk. If I could keep her talking, it would be better than killing her. Continue reading Crisscross: Part 7
Haley looked the newly formed full Rocket suit up and down, but only glanced over at Camille, “Drop me off on the edge of the crowd. I’ll look for people who are too close.”
Vaughn turned to me, “You want to take Eagle suit? I think I can take force field guy.”
Out on the street, the Eagle suit had smashed one of the two Rocket suit clones into an Escalade. “Why not? She’s probably looking for a rematch.” Continue reading Crisscross: Part 5
My helmet dimmed the light as the lightning leapt from Vaughn’s black gloved hand, outlining the Eagle suit in sparks. The woman in red must have been struck too because she convulsed, even if she didn’t fall out of the air.
The Eagle suit did fall. It landed on the edge of one of the Escalades’ hoods, crumpling the metal underneath, but simultaneously jumping lightly to the ground. Then she flipped the Escalade onto its side.
Whoever was inside obviously hadn’t been hurt, but the wings had. One hung loosely, almost touching the ground. The other had retracted into a straight line that hung behind the suit’s back. A little smoke rose from the metal casing between the wings. Continue reading Crisscross: Part 4
“Going visible,” I said, and took the stealth suit out of camouflage mode. Now the stealth suit appeared in “classic” mode—all black with silver helmet and a silver “R” on the chest.
Waving with my right hand, I tried to get their attention while checking the comm to see if they were listed as using the common Heroes Alliance protocols. They appeared on the list as “PF AFS Unit 1” and “PF AFS Unit 2,” but they weren’t the only Protection Force people on the list. I didn’t have time to count, but there were at least ten, maybe twenty more. Continue reading Crisscross: Part 3
I dropped my books off in my dorm room—as in I literally dumped the books (and notebooks) from my backpack on the floor, shut the door, and ran up the steps to the top floor of the dorm. I made a quick check for people in the little alcove under the hatch to the roof.
Assisted by the stealth suit that was hidden under my clothes, I crawled up the ladder more quickly than I would have normally, and flipped the hatch open to find Vaughn, Camille, and Haley already there and in costume.
I pulled myself up, shut the hatch. “I didn’t expect to be last.” Continue reading Crisscross: Part 2
“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
“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