I couldn’t understand a bit of the language—not that that surprised me.
Travis stepped through the hole in the exhaust tube, his form nearly transparent to me, and (I assumed) completely transparent to whatever was out there. In his place, I didn’t think I would have simply left.
Still, despite being hugely muscled and nearly seven feet tall, Travis could sneak around much better than I could. Throw invisibility in there, and I had to admit, he’d probably done the right thing. At any rate, he’d done one of a few possible “right things.”
I had no right to complain. We needed a scout then, and he was the best person to do it with Rachel scouting further up the ship.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 32
Opening a comm connection to Red Hex, I asked, “How long will the invisibility last?”
Samita took a breath. A quick check of her position showed that she’d been running. That was smart. “Five minutes.”
“Thanks,” I said, and cut off the connection. Five minutes was enough. By that time we’d be where we needed to be or we’d be dead—possibly both.
Burning light from the space ship continued to incinerate everything around the building including the aliens’ own dead.
Meanwhile, transparent forms disappeared into Portal’s gates bare instants before they would have been destroyed. I was pretty sure the people in the ship weren’t targeting them. They were targeting everything. Continue reading Stardock: Part 31
Lim answered the phone, and from his tone I could tell he sounded a little better than he had before.
“Rocket, who do you need? Right now, almost everyone’s free, so you’ve got your pick.”
“Everyone?” That seemed unlikely.
“You got stuck with the largest group. Most of the rest had to deal with four people at a time. I’m not saying people didn’t get hurt, but we haven’t had any deaths yet. Plus, we just had help show up–mercenaries.”
“Who? Protection Force?” Continue reading Stardock: Part 29
In my HUD, Sean’s square started blinking. He wanted a private chat. Oh, great.
I let him talk anyway.
His voice came over the connection as a shout, or if it wasn’t a shout, it had the tone of one. “Are you trying to make me look bad?”
I muted him. Then, thinking better of it, I cut our connection entirely. There was no way that conversation could go anywhere useful.
Lim’s voice, still calm and collected, came over the Stapledon channel. “Then that’s it. We blow Stardock. Everyone retreat through the portal that will open next to Flame Legion. Rocket, Aurora Bees, Patriot Jr., and Izzy—you’re last. Also, Izzy, you need to pick a codename.”
I glanced over to where she hovered next to the building. She said, “I know.”
Continue reading Stardock: Part 17
“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
I wanted to keep on listening to Haley, but became distracted by the scene in front of me. A long, basically rectangular object appeared above Stardock. I say “basically” rectangular because it was thinner at the front than the back. On the whole, it reminded me of a troop transport vehicle, or possibly of those D-day landing craft?
It didn’t seem to have much for weapons, just one turret near the back.
Of course, it didn’t need much when you considered the company it kept. Machine race warriors appeared next to it. I say “machine race warriors” because that’s still faster than referring to them as members of the “Shiny Searchers for Extra Value Meals Clan” or whatever it was.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 13
Daniel’s dad continued, “Guardian’s giving the asteroid a quick once over, checking if the asteroid’s anything more than a big rock. We’ve got a few ideas as to how we can handle it if it’s just a dinosaur killer, but we don’t want any surprises.”
I’d set the suit to monitor Stapledon communications and the Heroes League team channel for activity. There wasn’t much of anything going on between our team. Like me, they were likely all listening to the Defenders. The Heroes League channel showed a lot of activity between Haley and Kayla at first. After that, Camille, Sydney, Marcus, and Chris all came online.
Chris? That was cool. Haley was calling in everybody. If Grand Lake had an asteroid with its name on it, they’d have a decent chance of taking it out between the League jet, Camille’s anti-gravity powers, and Chris to think things through.
If the people who were guessing that the asteroids were a feint were correct, they’d need everyone they could get. Fighting the machines had been too close, and who knew what the Hrrrna were like?
I wished I was there. I wished I had time to pay attention to what they were saying.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 12
The flunky started hitting himself, and screaming, his voice reminding me again that this was Davis, the guy who’d made the offer to Courtney.
I wondered for a moment how much damage I wanted to do to him. I had questions for him, after all, but that didn’t matter as much as I’d have thought.
Rook’s suits were pretty well constructed.
The bots wedged themselves into cracks, but they did a lot more damage to the powered armor than the person inside. Plus, after the first wave, I brought in a wave of EMP bots.
The first wave withdrew as the second settled on him. He stopped hitting himself for a moment, and adjusted his footing, probably in preparation for attacking me—or possibly escaping.
Then the EMP bots exploded. Continue reading A Kind of Small Crow: Part 10
Too quickly for me to see anything but a blur, Travis punched the guy in the face—if you could call a beaked helmet a face.
His punch hit the right cheek, denting it, and twisting the beak. The helmet made a crunching noise, and bent backward. It didn’t seem to bend further back than a human head could, but it didn’t seem to be capable of bending forward anymore.
Not that that mattered. Travis’ punch had knocked the guy backward. Continue reading A Kind of Small Crow: Part 9
I couldn’t see it happen, but at least one of the bullets hit. Vaughn fell, or maybe more accurately, lost control.
He flipped over a few times, dropping dangerously low. I would have lost track of him if it weren’t for the sonar built in to the stealth suit’s helmet.
His black costume blended into the night, but the helmet outlined his body, showing him as he nearly hit Grand Lake Marina Supplies. I say “nearly hit” because he didn’t.
He swerved right just as he was about to hit the “G” in Grand Lake.
Continue reading A Kind of Small Crow: Part 8