Aiming for the Hardwick Industries lab building, I half-expected that what was left of Protection Force’s team would be waiting in the air or on the roof.
They weren’t. I couldn’t see them anywhere.
Had they left or had they gone inside? I didn’t have time to find out. It was enough that we had to get in there and destroy the birthing chambers. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 24
I didn’t have time to ask Cassie how her gun had stopped the shot because the next flash of purple targeted me.
Keeping myself in phase took everything I had. By the time that the purple glow around me disappeared, I knew that everything I’d pulled out of whatever power reserves I could access was gone. I wasn’t going to be able to prevent that if he did it again—not for a little while, anyway. All I could do was hope he didn’t realize it.
Thinking about it, I didn’t fall over, but I wobbled. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 23
Of course, maybe I’d get lucky and a killbot would work. The way the night had been going, that was nothing to count on. Also, given that purple glowing tinge to Victor’s skin, I had no idea what he could do, but if he existed out of phase, the only way I’d be able to touch him is by using what the Cosmic Ghost’s taught me to power up the killbot somehow. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 22
Not seeing anything appear yet, I directed one of the spybots to fly ahead of us and sent Cassie a memory of the last few seconds along with directions for how to see the spybot’s video.
She sent back the words, “If everyone on the team had implants, it would be so much easier.”
Then she spoke over the comm, “Ronin, remember when Rook captured me? If I get the chance, I’m going for him.”
Speaking without inflection, Tara’s high pitched voice seemed lower than it was, “I know.” Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 21
I felt her queasiness as her words echoed in my head. “No, I don’t remember you ever saying, ‘Hey Cassie, the True have your face.’ I think I’d have remembered that.”
“We just found out. I thought we passed it on. With everything going on, I really don’t remember. It’s not just you though. They also based them on Emmy, the receptionist, and also Stephanie. She was at Stapledon.”
Stepping over to the body and staring down at it, Cassie held up her hand as if waving my comment away even as my implant reminded me that I had passed it on. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 20
Cassie and the gun’s arrival had distracted me from the Rook’s final killbot, something I realized as a wave of fear went through me.
The emotional push from knowing that my life could end at any moment left me scanning my HUD only to have the implant draw my attention to the small yellow glow behind the bot. It had flown past me in my moment of inattention and, contrary to its previous behavior, it wasn’t adjusting its course.
Then, a few hundred feet ahead of me the light winked out and the HUD’s sensors showed it falling into the woods. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 19
It should have had a backup controller in the mouthguard. They’d taken the rest of Grandpa’s design. Sure, the mouthguard took a little bit to learn to use, didn’t give you the precision of hand controls, made the helmet design more complicated, and theoretically, all you needed to control the suit’s major functions was one hand, but what if you needed both hands for something complicated while flying?
Some things required triple redundancy and controlling what direction you were flying was one of them. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 13
In the face of all that, I knew what the first thing I had to do was. Send Lim a message so that he knew that he was right. The Nine had infiltrated the FBI—and by the way, they’d also infiltrated the Engineering Department of my university.
In the grand scheme of things, the FBI was more important to the country, but the university had a more immediate impact on my life. Lim would want to know in any case. Continue reading Truth and the True: Part 12
With everything going on at Higher Ground, you’d think that I’d work on that and nothing else, but life wasn’t that simple.
We’d gotten to that point in the semester when the tests begin to appear and papers along with them. Electronic engineering and materials science weren’t majors with a lot of papers, but I did have to turn in a couple of short ones explaining the technical choices I’d made on projects. The tests weren’t bad—Dr. Strazinsky’s calculus class asked about material I’d learned on my own and “Principles of Photonics” was interesting enough that I couldn’t ignore it. Continue reading Truth and the True: Part 1
Possible responses hung in my head, most of them bad. I settled on, “I’m sorry. I wish we could have done something, but none of us are any good at healing.”
I thought back to my friend Alex. He was good at healing. It would have been nice if the Ghosts had grabbed him along with Rachel. He couldn’t have survived the trip without a spaceship, and everything I knew through my implant and Rachel said that they didn’t bother with them.
Kals shook her head. “Iolan could have done it if he had access to all his equipment. The Ascendancy killed her in more ways than one. I hate them. I don’t know how, but somehow we have to destroy them. Not everybody, but the Ascendant and the Ascendant Council, the Guard… It all needs to end.” Continue reading Trees & Shields: Part 36