“Ghost,” Travis said, “get up there and observe. Let us know what you see.”
I made a mental note to shoot off a few of the observation roachbots when we got out from under the shield–which would be soon. Rachel faded out, her white costume turning transparent. The last I saw of her was an amused smile as she eyed Travis, reminding me of the Cheshire Cat–except that she wasn’t a cat, and I’d never been completely sure what Cheshire was.
It sounded like it ought to be a place, but why would anyone name a cat after a place in the UK when it lived in Wonderland?
Maybe it was Alice’s fault? I hadn’t read the book in a long time.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 14
Lim continued, “We’ll be using the strategies and tactics we practiced yesterday, so you shouldn’t have had time to forget them yet. There will be one additional wrinkle. We’re already evacuating Stardock just like we are the rest of the city. That means that if we do decide to blow Stardock, we won’t be looking for you to evacuate the people below. We’ll need you to watch out for each other. Don’t leave anyone in your unit behind.”
He paused, looked us all over, and then, when we thought he’d finished, he said, “There’s one more thing. Stardock isn’t the only alien technology in New York City. We fought the Abominators in the 1970’s, and we collected everything we could find. I’m not going to tell you where it is, but none of you should be surprised to discover that we’re studying it, or that we’re doing our best to reverse engineer it. When you fight, you need to use tools that can do the job. Our own tools won’t, so we’re getting better tools.That’s why we may redirect a few of you if we have to blow Stardock. Don’t hesitate if we call you in. Trust me, it will be important.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 11
Jaclyn paused, and then said, “What happens next?”
Flick said, “Well, then we have to decide whether we take them in as soon as we can, or whether we watch them, and hope they’ll lead us to other people the Nine hired.”
The tone of her voice turned sarcastic as she said, “But that’s not the best part. The best part is the committee monitoring how we do it, and second guessing whether watching him without taking him in is really worth it. Plus with this we’ll get to discuss at any moment whether what we do will cause an international incident.
“Look forward to it kids, this is what you’re training for.”
Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 5
Text appeared below the screen that showed our position and that of the other planes.
[You’re making yourself completely vulnerable. I’m not suggesting you attack, but landing and turning off your shields represents an unacceptable risk.]
I shut off the comm, and quietly asked, “What would you suggest?”
[If you have to appear vulnerable, lower the jet, but don’t land, and give me permission to turn on the shields whenever I think it’s necessary.]
“You need my permission?”
[Yes. My makers wanted artificial intelligences limited to minimize their risk.]
Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 3
Flick threw a ball into the main group of heavy bird bots as they began to run across the floor toward us.
The ball punctured the bird bot’s chest, coming out the other side, and continuing through each bot behind it.
I’d never known for sure what her power was, but it had something to do with controlling mass and momentum. I’d heard that there were very specific rules about how it worked, but I’d never seen her in action, so I didn’t know what they were. Continue reading Breaking & Entering: Part 12
Much like in the control room, the second floor mostly stayed together. Spots of concrete fell and the nearest section of floor simply bent downward toward us, giving us a view of storage rooms.
A file cabinet slid sideways, and fell into the room, landing on the melted remains of the cloning tanks.
It would have been great if that had been the end of it.
It wasn’t, but it looked like it for a second.
Cassie lowered the gun. “Let’s get out of here.”
“Yeah.” Continue reading Breaking & Entering: Part 11
Well, the gun shouldn’t become a problem, I told myself, not if Cassie’s around to control it.
On the other hand, I thought, you could argue that it might be even less of a problem if Cassie and every one of us completely ignored it forever. In fact, thinking about it abstractly, you could argue that Cassie’s very existence was a problem. If (as government scientists suspected) spliced in DNA caused the Abominator citizen’s mark to be written as a structure in her brain, reverse engineering it would open up the possibility of humans using truly horrible technologies.
Plus, what if aliens wanted it too for some reason? If anybody, they ought to have access to Abominator technology and the ability to remake it, right? On the other hand, Grandpa had implied that outside of their appearance on Earth, the Abominators had been gone for a while.
Then I remembered that Bullet said that the Nine had been infiltrated by aliens. Continue reading Here We Come: Part 4
Haley’s lips twisted. “Are you sure you want them to connect? Remember when we flew into space and that robot attached itself to the ship? I don’t want anything like that to happen. Especially not right now.”
I remembered it very well, and I could see her point. Technically though, the gun wasn’t anything like that robot.
Arguably it was worse. The robot had just wanted to escape while the gun (at least the way Cassie described it) took joy in destroying things.
So if I was going to use the ship to boost the gun’s range, I needed to start carefully.
I reached out, detached the gun’s holster from the clip on the chair, and picked it up.
“Gun, can you contact the ship? I’d like to ask you some questions. It’ll make it easier to get Cassie back.”
Continue reading Here We Come: Part 3
The flight to Ann Arbor to pick up Rachel and Jaclyn took less than 10 minutes.
We picked them up at a small lake Rachel had called “Barton Pond.” Whatever it was, it was large enough for me to find from the air, and float over while they boarded. Plus it was dark enough out that we wouldn’t be too obvious.
They were in costume. All in white, Rachel’s gun hung from her utility belt. Jaclyn’s costume was purple, as ever, and unlike anyone else on our team, she wore a mask instead of a bullet resistant hood.
Being basically invulnerable, she could do that.
As they pulled on their seat belts, Jaclyn said, “So, do we have a plan this time?”
Continue reading Here We Come: Part 1
“Yeah, right,” Vaughn said. “Cause we’re going to let you guys run away, and keep on robbing banks, and protesting with monkeys. That’s totally brilliant.”
Unless Evil Beatnik planned to use magic to tell Justice Fist to stop, I didn’t know how he’d do it. I supposed he could use a cellphone if he didn’t care about the rain. That said, in this case, the rain would destroy Mr. Beacham’s cellphone, and Evil Beatnik probably didn’t care.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 25