The women in her head agreed. He wasn’t descended from the Elders. He’d existed before they’d come through the portal to Earth. The first Bloodmaiden knew him then. Her voice echoed in Amy’s mind. “We only thought he was a mercenary, but when the gilfangs of Korandur’s Deep crawled up to the surface, it became obvious that he was more than simply a man. He didn’t wear his current shape then, but he liked those swords.”
The other Bloodmaidens whispered, and Amy caught glimpses of their memories. Whatever he was, he was dangerous and so powerfully magical that he didn’t even appear to be connected to magic.
In his favor, he terrified the Harcourts. This was someone she needed to know better. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 11
They walked back to the gyrocopter landing area hand in hand. She wasn’t precisely sure how that had happened. Their hands had bumped a couple times, and then, if she was honest with herself, she had to admit that she’d taken his hand. On the other hand, he didn’t have to walk next to her, and she was fairly sure that he’d bumped her hand first. So, they’d had the same mutually bad idea.
And it was a bad idea. She was literally leaving tomorrow, possibly for ten years. Plus, if everything went well, and her parents brought her home next year… Well, if any hint of this reached the tabloids, it would be the royal scandal of the season. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 10
Flame burst from the twin rockets on the boy’s backpack, and the boy flew upward toward the mooring mast. Then, lowering himself to the building and landing next to the mast, he stepped behind a metal cabinet.
The airship moved closer to the mast, and when it was close enough that Amy wondered if the nose would hit, the mooring mast bent and extended toward the nose of the airship.
Amy didn’t see it, but she heard a metallic clank, and felt the airship stop moving forward. It hadn’t been moving much. She barely felt it, but she felt something. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 4
“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
Taking a risk, but not much of one, I switched the view from sonar to computer enhanced night vision. That gave Haley and me an excellent view of the dragon running down a street in between big suburban houses, unknowingly tearing up flowerbeds, and smashing a Volkswagen Beetle.
As Artaxus smashed a silvery, reflecting ball on a pillar, the air in front of him began to shimmer.
In the next moment, the shimmering had spread across the road, and solidified into a half circle. The dragon blocked much of the view, but I could see a grassy field and a castle wall towering over it. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 45
My armor threw out a long series of errors and red alerts about my gauntlet and all the control mechanisms inside it. Essentially, it was useless, and so were the weapons systems on that arm. Plus, the life support systems informed me the temperature inside the gauntlet was hot enough that my arm had “probably been damaged.”
Given the pain in my arm, and faint scent of cooked pork that certainly had to be me, I would have made some nasty comments about the idiot who wrote the error messages except that was also me.
Well, a past version of me at least, a version who hadn’t had his hand turned into–
“Cooked meat,” Artaxus said. “Was that enough to break the Bloodmaiden’s spell, I wonder?” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 44
Next to me, Amy muttered, “I didn’t prepare any spells to handle that. Red Hex?” Her voice raised as she said Samita’s codename.
Samita shook her head. “Not directly. Troll and I both wear rings that I bound to spirits of probability. They protect us from getting hurt, and of course I enchanted our costumes. I might be able to repurpose something…”
She frowned, and opened one of the leather pouches on her belt, sticking her arm inside, and pulling things out to examine. This wouldn’t have been anything to remark about except that she’d stick her arm in all the way to the elbow while the pouch was at most four inches deep.
Weirder, she’d take objects out of the pouch that were wider than the pouch—a white, porcelain basin, for example.
After examining it, she put it back in. Continue reading Demo: Part 17
Rachel raised an eyebrow. “What’s going on now?”
Tara crossed her arms. “I noticed you weren’t listening earlier. Is it the same thing we talked about before?”
Rachel took a breath and sighed. Jaclyn pulled her feet out of the holes she’d created when she landed, and shook her head. “I knew that was going to come back to haunt us.”
Remembering how little I could hear during the fight, I said, “I told Hal to update you if he had something that needed action on our part. So far it hasn’t, but I could tell him to update you anyway?”
“Rocket,” Rachel said, looking me directly in the eyes, “this is something that we all need to be kept updated on.” Continue reading Demo: Part 16
I ignored him. The last thing I needed was for the man to connect the Rocket with one of the kids who’d trashed his pictures at the club a month ago.
Out of the corner of my helmet’s view, the photographer tensed as Rod jumped over the wall in troll form, carrying Samita in one hand and drooling from his mouth. The ground shook as he landed.
Tara, who’d landed just behind Rod, didn’t fall, but she did have to take a few extra steps where she might normally have taken one.
The photographer along with the rest of the crowd took several steps backward. A few people cursed. Others made wordless noises. Continue reading Demo: Part 8
“The tournament will work like this. You’ve got four teams. In the first round, there will be two fights and the winners will fight each other in the second round. It’s quick and simple, and it will have to be. We’ve got the VIP’s for the afternoon, and not longer than that. With luck, it’ll be exciting and get everyone back here in time for supper.”
Lee’s mouth quirked in a half smile. “Does anyone have any questions?”
Patriot Jr’s hand shot up. “I’m not trying to second guess you, sir, but why these groups? There are enough upperclassmen alone to fill the exercise, but you sprinkled in a few second years. I’m not complaining. They’re powerhouses, but why?” Continue reading Demo: Part 3