“I think we will leave,” I said, “but our obligation to Katuk, Crawls-Through-Desert, and uh… Jaclyn’s dog might mean it’s not instantaneous.”
Looking out of the corner of my eye at the Xiniti, I added, “Of course, we’ll go, but as I said, we can’t just leave people hanging.”
Kals smirked. “Got it.” Continue reading Planet in the Middle: Part 12
Kals sheathed her knife. “If you think they’re going to come back, we need to get my mom and everyone out of here. I just wish I knew where to send them. We don’t have anywhere left that’s more secure than this.”
Taking a breath, Jaclyn said, “Your mom said she would have evacuated to your nearest neighbor if they had the time. Wouldn’t that be better?”
Kals frowned. “Well, it wouldn’t be here, but it wouldn’t be any more secure.” She glanced back at the shelter. “You know what? I think that’s the best we’re going to do. I’ll tell her.” Continue reading Planet in the Middle: Part 11
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Cassie cut into Kamia’s shield again except this time she wasn’t alone. With Neves out of sight, Jaclyn blurred, running up to the shield and hitting on the line where the shield was reforming after Cassie cut it with her sword.
For a moment, the blue glow of the shield disappeared and I could see Kamia’s eyes widen. At the same time, she grabbed for her belt while turning to run.
By itself, that wouldn’t have done her much good against Jaclyn or Cassie. What did help was that the shield reformed around her, but much closer to her body. If that had been all, she would have died, but it wasn’t. Continue reading Planet in the Middle: Part 10
Trenith exhaled and kept on watching as the Ascendant Guard members kept on walking through the forest, their shields keeping the flames away from their bodies. One screen showed a map of the forest. If there were any doubt they were walking in our direction, the map killed it.
Trenith’s eyes moved from one screen to another. “We don’t have long. The outer circle is mines. The inner circle is force fields and lasers. There isn’t anything else. We’d hoped to be able to evacuate to the nearest neighbor, but with all of their people coming, we just have to fight. There’s nowhere we can go that they can’t find us. So, I’d get outside the force fields and get ready to fight.”
“God,” Cassie said, “when I said ‘traps,’ I was imagining more than that. That’s practically nothing.” Continue reading Planet in the Middle: Part 7
Four Hands wasn’t anywhere to be seen in the group. I wasn’t sure what that meant. It wasn’t impossible that a motivator from the new group of Ascendancy soldiers had gotten him to confess, but it wasn’t likely. If he was as he seemed, a revolutionary in the making, he might be plotting with his people now.
I couldn’t assume it would do us any good, though.
Jaclyn glanced over at Kals and the tech as they talked with Jadzen. “If they’re not coming for her, I don’t know why they’re coming this way.” Continue reading Planet in the Middle: Part 6
I couldn’t tell whether the Xiniti or the Human Ascendancy was winning. The Human Ascendancy had more ships when you considered their fighters in addition to their battleships, but the Xiniti’s ships (even their battleships) were smaller and changed direction with no warning at all.
They’d turn on an angle, target an Ascendancy battleship with a large part of their firepower, inflict damage and change direction again, putting another battleship in the way of the first’s return fire. It didn’t always work out. Xiniti ships exploded too, but not as many as Ascendancy fighters. On the other hand, there weren’t as many Xiniti ships. Continue reading Planet in the Middle: Part 3
Hal didn’t know exactly when the fleets would enter the system, but he promised to keep me informed. I passed that on to Kals who sighed and said, “We’d better get moving.”
With that conversation over, Kals led me to where everyone else was waiting. It was only a few hundred feet further into the woods next to a thick clump of trees that stood so close to each other that only Marcus would have been able to make it between them.
Jaclyn looked over at Cassie, Marcus, and Tikki. “Are you ready?” Continue reading Planet in the Middle: Part 2
Marcus looked toward the cavern’s opening. “That’s loud. I can hear it through your bot feed, but I don’t need to. It’s just as loud in here.”
I hadn’t noticed, but when I thought about it, he was right.
“We can hear it too,” Jacklyn said. “Does he seriously think he’s fooling anybody?” Continue reading Unhidden: Part 12
She took a long breath. “I’m not in the best of shape. Don’t get me wrong, I can still fight, but I’m burned all over. The new costume did some good but it didn’t stop everything. If we’re going to fight these guys more often, I’m going to need better protection against heat and light.”
Marcus cut into the conversation. “Me too. I nearly died a couple minutes ago.”
The volume of Jaclyn’s reply made the speakers crackle. “What? Nick, you need to watch him better.” Continue reading Unhidden: Part 11
In a little while, I turned around to find Marcus standing, his costume fully repaired. Tikki stood beside him. They were holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes, all but glowing. I didn’t see any hint of regret or anxiety in her smile, meaning that Kee had submerged herself into Tikki again, or that she was too good an actor for me to read.
When you considered that Kee predated the human species and possibly our universe, she’d had billions of years to gain the skills necessary to fool me. Continue reading Unhidden: Part 10