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
I thought about Reliquary. He was head of Stapledon’s magic department, mostly because he was the only wizard willing to associate with Stapledon, and not coincidentally something of a rebel in the wizarding community.
From what I’d heard, he was also fantastically knowledgeable about magic. He’d have been careful with The Thing That Eats’ container. He wouldn’t have let it shatter. Whoever or whatever had taken it had to have been looking for it—though if it were somehow a random heist, the thief got far more than expected.
While I thought about it, Haley asked, “How is Reliquary doing?” Continue reading Share The Love: Part 3
Amy had sent it to everybody. As we read the first message, the second came in, “Details next weekend.” With next weekend being a Stapledon weekend, it was the closest we could come to getting everyone together.
Anyone who wasn’t at Stapledon could watch video from the meeting in HQ. We’d almost certainly need the support.
Messages appeared from everyone involved, asking questions, discussing the situation.
“We could ignore it all until tomorrow,” I said.
Haley sighed. “I’m sure we’d regret it.” Continue reading Intrusion: Part 3
Because the van’s dashboard was still in civilian mode, I couldn’t even send out bots to try to follow her. I pulled out my own phone, holding it to my side, and angling it with its back toward the back, so that people behind me couldn’t see the screen.
The “presence” screen showed that Kid Biohack’s communicator was on and placed him in the factory’s yard.
There had to be another way to find out whether he was alive or not, short of running out there. Continue reading Precision: Part 10
We pushed our way back to the van, leaving and undoubtedly violating laws about staying at the scene of a crime in the process. I wasn’t sure how many heard the first part of the conversation, but there were a lot of people at the end.
Of course, that was when Kid Biohack was there. Back when it was Alden and Jillian talking, it wouldn’t have appeared to be anything more than normal conversation since he’d been out of costume.
Still, someone might have listened to all of it. In that case, the police would be very interested in anything Jillian would have to say. Continue reading Precision: Part 8
Jillian’s boyfriend straightened up, letting go of Jillian’s arm, and standing in between her and Kid Biohack. Meeting Kid’s eyes, he said, “I told you I wasn’t going to do the hero thing after graduation. The system’s corrupt, and I know you know it. We talked about it back—” and there he blinked, “—in days we can’t talk about.”
Jeremy glanced over at me, and I guessed he’d recognized the same thing I had—the slack-jawed look of a guy whose psychic block had kicked into action.
Haley grabbed Jillian’s arm and whispered into her ear while pulling her backward, and nudging Camille and the guys next to her.
That was the smart play. Getting a ringside seat at what might be a superpowered fight was not. Continue reading Precision: Part 7
In the background, I heard Courtney continue. “His text said that he was corralling everyone else.”
Jillian stood a little taller than Haley, and she’d braided her hair—which went halfway down her back. Just like the last time I’d seen her, she wore a flannel shirt over a t-shirt.
Courtney backed in as Jillian stepped inside—Jeremy and I didn’t have a particularly large room. We each had a closet on either side of the door, forcing everyone to move into the main area of the room, and stand next to our bunks and the desks. Jeremy’s was covered with a mixture of physics textbooks, science fiction paperbacks, old anime DVD’s, and books about conspiracy theories. Except for my laptop and the textbooks I couldn’t get as ebooks, mine was nearly empty.
Courtney pulled out Jeremy’s chair as Haley sat on my desk. Jillian and I stood in the middle of the room next to the bunk beds.
All of this meant that I couldn’t ask Haley anything about the power juice. The big questions being whether Jillian had some on her or whether she’d already drunk it or what? Continue reading Precision: Part 5
When I opened up the pictures on my laptop, it was the speedster I’d seen first—the one that wasn’t glowing—the guy. He’d run back to his origin point, but there was no sign of the woman.
I stayed up for another ten minutes, waiting to see if she’d show up too, but she didn’t. When I woke up the next morning, there hadn’t been any further alerts. Maybe the north end of the route was where she lived.
Maybe she’d taken a cab back? I had no idea. Continue reading Precision: Part 4
I texted back, “I’m awake.”
It had barely been sent when my phone began to buzz. I took the call.
“Hey, Nick!” Cassie answered with her normal level of energy—high. She didn’t sound like she was faking it.
“Hey,” I said, suddenly more aware that the wooden chair I sat in lacked cushions. “So what’s going on?” Continue reading Precision: Part 3
Despite the new details, we’d collected, there wasn’t much to do in the van, and we all left for our respective rooms—within limits anyway. Vaughn, Courtney, Haley, and I all lived in the biggest dorm on campus, and so we walked together. Haley and I broke off from the rest to talk about next weekend—which wasn’t a Stapledon weekend—planning to spend some time together.
Vaughn and Courtney talked a bit as they walked off, but I doubted that they talked for long. Their rooms were on opposite sides of the dorm.
When I finally walked through my own door, I found Jeremy working through physics homework at his desk, laptop open, his screen lighting his face.
I finished the homework I had left and then used my laptop to review the speedster sightings the bots had detected so far. It was just the two I’d found out about on the way back, but in both cases, they started on the southeast side of the city. More interesting, they came in view of my spybots within half a mile of each other. Continue reading Precision: Part 2