Distant sirens grew louder, and I decided that I ought to start paying attention to the world around me again. The sirens meant that the police were on their way to pick up Jillian, Hank, Latoya, and Andronicus.
Checking around the area, all four of them lay on the ground, none of them showing any sign of The Thing That Eats. To judge from what happened to Andronicus the first time, they might be out for quite a while.
He was a special case though as he’d been controlled for hundreds of years, but he could also regenerate. Maybe for people who’d been controlled for a short time, but couldn’t regenerate, it would even out? Continue reading Harvest: Part 17
“You’re a normal human—physically, at least. Mentally, no…” She shook her head again. “But that doesn’t matter. If I’m that far gone, I’m not going to be able to control what happens when I’m offered what I need to fix myself.
“When the Bloodlords created the Bloodmaiden to protect our land, they borrowed ideas from the Elders. They were a lot like vampires, but they were alive. Their hunger for blood lives on in the Bloodmaiden construct, but also in all the noble families of my world because we’re partially descended from them. Some people believe it’s why we can use magic.
“You can’t trust the Bloodmaiden construct if I’m dying. Find me an animal or let it happen.” She stared at me, waiting, I assumed, for my response. Continue reading Harvest: Part 16
Amy shoved the spear into its eye. It sunk into the corner, deeper than any of her other strikes.
Though I couldn’t see it, I felt the air thicken with its being. Flashes of memories of faces that other people had loved or hated passed through my mind, followed by moments of terror and a vision of The Thing’s teeth.
The Thing tried to pull away, but Amy stepped forward, pushing the spear in further. It reached out its hand, grabbing the spear, but it did that about the same time that I shoved my sword into its other eye, pushing it as deep as I could and willing the flames to burn hotter. Continue reading Harvest: Part 15
“That’s my roommate, Jeremy. He’s already got the block, and he already knows who I am.” I hoped that would be enough to stop Lee from making any snap decisions.
As Jeremy came in, Lee had touched on the topic of who his people were. He’d probably killed people for knowing less, and to be fair, this was a potentially world ending secret if Jeremy figured it out. Worse, Jeremy had actually been part of an online discussion group about Lee. It wasn’t likely that he’d figure out much of anything from what he’d heard, but he had a better chance than 99% of the world’s population…
That was why I’d mentioned the block.
Looking me directly in the eye, Lee said, “Make sure it’s a good block.” Continue reading Splits: Part 7
I blinked, trying to think of what to ask next. That opened up too many questions.
Haley didn’t wait. “How low?”
Lee paused, making it either the first or the only time I could remember seeing him hesitate. “Let’s say that there are multiple factors involved.”
He leaned back in his chair, the red leather becoming more visible next to his shoulder length, black hair.
“Yeah? Like what?” I tried to sound interested, but not too interested.
Haley looked over at me. Lee chuckled. Continue reading Splits: Part 6
Amy looked over at Samita. They’d all sat together on one of the hotel beds. “I think that could work. Psychic teleportation should get us around any ward I’ve ever heard of.”
Brow furrowing, Samita’s face went blank. After a little while, she raised her hand to her chin and waited longer. A moment later, she straightened up and lowered her hand. “It should work. There are wards that prevent teleportation, but I think I’d recognize them.”
Amy grinned. “That’s good enough for me.” Continue reading Splits: Part 5
“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
What was left of the night didn’t go well. I sent an email to everybody with a link that would allow them to view the entire conversation with Vengeance. We recorded everything going on in the downtown office but didn’t keep it unless we needed to.
This, I kept.
We took the van back to HQ and slept on cots for the night. At first, I tried to think about how I could use the roachbots to detect The Thing That Eats, but the roachbots couldn’t detect magic.
In the end, I gave up, hoping that The Thing That Eats had possessed someone from the Cabal and would activate if they noticed someone running faster than a normal human–which is what I’d set the bots to watch for anyway. Continue reading Share The Love: Part 7
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