Travis’ mouth twitched. “I’m pleading the fifth on that, but yeah, I like the idea. That might get us what we need. Do we have any other way we can find out more? Like his ex-girlfriend… Jaclyn, do you know where she is? Or what about Samita and Rod? Can’t you, I don’t know, summon up something?”
Samita’s mouth turned into a flat line. “Summoning is very dangerous. One wrong move and you could release whatever you summon into the world. Worse, depending on what you summon, you could put your life or even your soul in danger.”
Jaclyn started tapping furiously into her phone.
Vaughn looked up from whatever he’d been checking on his phone. “Hey, it doesn’t have to be something dangerous does it? I read one of those Dresden Files books, and in there the guy summons up fairies and feeds them pizza. Can’t you do something easy like that?” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 3
Jaclyn shook her head, and pulled her phone out of her pocket. “That’s not what interests me. What I want to know is why he’s even bothering? What do we know about him?”
“Well,” I paused, mouth partway open, wondering if I should even say it. “I’m pretty sure he’s a client of my dad’s. My dad had a client who was a superhero, and who needed therapy after quitting. Adam’s girlfriend got killed by the mob, and he went on some kind of rampage, killing anyone remotely associated, I guess. Agent Lim got him into therapy. I don’t know why he actually stopped killing and went through with it, but he did say nice things about my dad when I talked to him once.”
Fingers already tapping out something on the screen of her phone, Jaclyn said, “His codename?”
She stopped and looked up at me. “That guy? I heard about him.” Then she started tapping away again. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 2
My lab felt cramped, the air warm from body heat, and my sister’s voice cut through the low murmur of people talking.
“Remember when I joked about needing an auditorium? Next time I won’t be joking.”
We’d moved my lab tables to the walls, folded them, put everything I’d been working on into boxes, and it still felt like we had no room. All the chairs had been taken, and people sat on the floor or stood next to the wall.
By people, I meant everyone in the Heroes’ League who’d come to Stapledon, plus Courtney, plus Tara, Rod, Samita, and Amy.
The monitor of my computer showed burning buildings from a distance. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 1
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
In my peripheral vision—which included almost everything behind me—Samita opened up a box and threw the dirt inside it into the air. It hung in the air like a cloud, and then in one burst dispersed, spreading across the entire field.
That’s when things got weird.
All the grass on our side of the field drooped, and spread across the ground, covering the dirt in green. As it did, the green became darker, and shinier—like glass, or ice.
Jaclyn and Meteor both fell. For the little that it’s worth, Jaclyn did better, turning her initial stumble into a jump that threw her into the air. She landed only ten feet past our flag, but it didn’t matter. She was still traveling at two hundred miles per hour. Along with Meteor, she slid past our flag pole and toward the obstacle course—depending on the angle. The ground wasn’t level. It wasn’t impossible that they’d slide into the parked cars off to the side of the course. Continue reading Demo: Part 15
An SUV came soon after that. All black with tinted windows, it was obviously used for carrying people who didn’t care to be seen. To the Rocket suit’s senses, it was also obviously armored, meaning it was just as obviously used by people who expected to be shot at.
We all got in–Rachel, Travis, Sean, Vaughn, Izzy, Jaclyn and I.
Izzy leaned against the wall in the back. When Travis turned back from the second row, and asked how she was doing, she barely opened her eyes, but said, “Fine. I’m tired, but there’s nothing wrong with me.”
Then her eyes shut, and she fell asleep.
Continue reading Glory: Part 6
“Redirecting?” I turned toward her and raised an eyebrow—which was completely hidden by my helmet.
“Pushing on the escape pod’s controls at exactly the right moment to keep him from going where he wanted to, and getting a message out to Lim. Lim called in one of the New York teams that didn’t get sent into space, and what do you know? One more captive alien.”
Rachel grinned below her white mask.
“Wow,” I said. “None of the aliens are supposed to be contacting us in the first place. The moment this gets out, the Hrrnna are in major trouble.”
Rachel shook her head. “Doubt it. My bet is they play the ‘we don’t know anything about that’ card, and pretend the Hrrnna here were acting on their own.”
Travis nodded. “That’s how it works.”
Continue reading Glory: Part 3
“Blue strained herself,” Jaclyn said, using the codename we’d used for her last time we’d gotten desperate for a codename.
Her current costume was actually a costume, and it did have some blue and yellow on it, but more black. It reminded me of Native American designs—which fit. She was at least partially Mexican, and a lot of them descended from native tribes.
“Whoa,” Vaughn said. “Her powers, you mean? She doesn’t look hurt.”
He landed near us. I felt the pull of the wind that kept him in the air stop.
Sean landed near him, and the Rocket suit didn’t miss a beat—no static, errors or anything. Either he was getting better at controlling himself, or the suit’s shielding worked like it was supposed to.
Continue reading Glory: Part 2
My helmet adjusted to the lack of light at about the same time the ship dropped a few feet. A warning beeped, and I dropped a few feet, preparing for a landing. The Hrrnna must have had effective night vision because many of the remaining ones turned to aim their weapons at me.
I opened up everything I had at them, putting the few remaining killbots into efficiency mode—which meant that instead of exploding upon entering a body, they’d make holes in opponents initially and only explode if the opponent wouldn’t go down, or if they were nearly out of fuel.
I’d created a really elegant algorithm to calculate the best use of a group of bots on multiple targets. I felt proud if its efficiency, but I’d felt a little sick when I thought about what it actually did. Continue reading Stardock: Part 37
All of us looked at each other. I don’t know what the others were thinking, but in that moment I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t know how much force Vaughn and Sean could create between the two of them, but I doubted they could stop the ship from hitting the ground—not if it were under power at any rate.
If we knocked the power out, it was still an open question.
Not to mention that I remembered how they handled a ship during the training exercise. It wasn’t the same situation, but it was still a disaster with a big ship.
For a second, it seemed like the best option might be to see if the Hrrnna would give us a second chance at letting them go. Continue reading Stardock: Part 36