I wondered how much fog Ashgabat saw normally. It didn’t seem likely that a city in a desert would have much fog. We were practically announcing, “Hey everybody, there’s something strange in your neighborhood.”
On the other hand, we’d chosen the team based on strength, not stealth. Izzy, Rod, Jaclyn, Amy, Cassie and I were taking on the The Thing That Eats directly. Daniel, Vaughn, Camille, and Haley would be outside, discouraging interference. Continue reading Intrusion: Part 6
Tara grinned, and when she did, I was reminded that whoever had designed the supersoldiers she was descended from, had obviously been designing for looks too. Not for the first time, I wondered why. Still, she was in a good mood, and considering the memories I must have brought up, that wasn’t a bad thing.
“I hope you don’t think I’m telling you he’s a bad person.” She paused but didn’t give me time to respond. “He’s not. It’s just…” She stopped. “You know that I grew up in Infinity City. I grew up on the run from the True, the supersoldier group my parents left. They worked as muscle all over the city, training me the entire time because they knew the True would want me too.
“When we came here and I enrolled in the Stapledon program, the guys didn’t first of all think of me as a soldier. They thought of me as the new, hot girl. Some of them had a betting pool on who could ‘score’ with me first. I didn’t think anything of all the attention at first, but when I thought about it, I put everything together. After that, I got angry.” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 8
A few people laughed, but Amy stopped moving, expression blank, finally managing to say, “That’s the plan.”
Samita stood up and walked up to the front. Dressed in a green blouse and khaki pants, it was one of the few times I’d seen her out of costume. With black hair and brown skin, she looked like she might be from southeast Asia, and her parents were. She’d been born in the US.
She stood in front of the group as Amy moved to the side and stood next to the wall. Samita’s eyes darted from one of us to another. In combination with the straightness of her stance, she gave the impression of a highly motivated student hoping for an “A.” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 6
I clicked on the email.
All it said was “You know what to do,” and underneath that sentence there was a link to a Dropbox folder. I hesitated for a moment and then clicked on it. It opened to a web page that listed only one file in folder. It was called “Exposure.mpv.”
I’d heard of the video format. It only ran on the associated player and only worked once. No one knew who had designed it. The Double V forums were certain it was a known tech genius, but couldn’t agree on who.
Daniel’s bed creaked, and I heard him walk up behind me as I sat at the desk. “Maybe we should get Izzy. It’s only going to play once, and she’s got a great memory for sounds.” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 48
A second look gave me a few clues I’d missed when I’d first seen what I’d thought was Adam. “Adam” had the same thin build and overall look, but he seemed taller than normal. It wasn’t by much.
Haley bent down, obviously getting a closer look. “Is she okay?”
Daniel stared at “Adam’s” face briefly. “I think so. There’s no way of knowing how she’ll take this later, but she didn’t kill anybody, or even hurt anyone. She relayed Artaxus’ orders to Hunter and the fae. That’s all. It’s not out of the question that being mind controlled might still traumatize her, but she didn’t do anything particularly terrible under his influence. She was more of a glorified gofer.” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 47
“If you think you can do it, I’m all for it,” I said.
Alex grinned. “Trust me. I’ve seen worse, and it worked out. Now, can you take off your glove?”
I thought about it, checking my HUD for alerts. There weren’t any left. “Assuming the repair systems worked, yes.”
I used my right glove to set the left gauntlet to split and be absorbed into the left forearm. It worked. That didn’t surprise me and it shouldn’t have. It wasn’t the first time I’d tried it after all, but it was the first time I’d tried it after the suit took massive damage.
“Oh,” Haley said, staring at my hand. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 46
Izzy shot into the air, moving so quickly that she was nothing more than a blue blur. She hit the dragon’s wing at the joint where the small inner wing ended and the larger, triangular far end of its bat like wing began.
The bone made a crack that was audible to all of us below.
Izzy didn’t stop there. She followed it up with another punch that I didn’t see, but found its mark.
Artaxus stopped breathing fire and snapped at her, twisting his neck around. He failed to catch her. She’d shot upward again, hovering far above him. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 37
Touching my palms with the fingers of my gloves, I typed back, “Named Artaxus. He’s a dragon. Don’t look in eyes. Mind control.”
Rachel texted back, “Fuck.”
Amy and the dragon were still talking. I typed, “Need to get outside. Bad to fight here. Because fire.”
Kind of have a plan, Daniel thought at me. Amy’s about to suggest we talk outside. If he doesn’t buy it, we run.
That’s a bad plan, I thought back. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 36
Amy lowered her chin, looking at him as much as she could without meeting his eyes. “I don’t want the throne, and even if I did, I don’t want to kill my sister and plunge the kingdom into war.”
The man shrugged. “Give yourself time. You might find that you feel differently in another hundred years.”
Hundred years? I thought.
To judge from Amy’s thoughts, Daniel replied, the nobility, and particularly the Bloodmaidens are long lived—assuming they don’t die in combat—and they do that a lot. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 35
I looked over at Daniel. “Do you know what’s going on out there? We have a plan, but all we know is that everybody is outside in the park. We were basically going to take out the leaders and go on from there, but we didn’t include dragons in the plan.”
Not giving Daniel a chance to reply, Haley asked, “And why aren’t they coming to investigate all the noise?”
Cassie looked toward the hole in the wall, into the shop, and (I’m assuming) out of the shop’s front. “She’s right. They’re not.”
Daniel closed his eyes. “Give me a second. I’ll find out.” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 34