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
Turning back to Marcus, she said, “He’s close to death, but not there. I can bring him back by reversing time.”
That didn’t surprise me. It fit with everything else. If she could slow people or speed up herself, why couldn’t she move backward in time? Then another thought struck me, “You could have brought back Maru or Alanna.” Continue reading Unhidden: Part 9
In seconds, Agent 957’s armor fell to the ground, expelling a cloud. Some of the grey particles floated in the air, others fell out of the bottom of his helmet, creating a small pile. It made me grateful that the Rocket suit filtered the air. It wouldn’t do me harm, but I didn’t like the idea of breathing him in.
The four-handers ran away, deeper into the tunnels, unwilling to take the chance that we wouldn’t kill them. Given that there were more than 20 bodies on the ground, most of them killed by me, I couldn’t blame them.
I turned to check on Marcus. He looked worse than I’d realized. Continue reading Unhidden: Part 8
The beam hit Marcus’ chest, but it didn’t get through his new costume. While I hadn’t been planning to go to war, I knew that he and Jaclyn were more vulnerable to heat and lasers than they were to anything physical.
I designed their costumes to disperse heat and reflect lasers.
In Marcus’ case, I designed his to adjust to shapeshifting to the degree that it could—which sometimes worked against protecting him. Continue reading Unhidden: Part 7
That turned out to be a fool’s dream. Agent 957 barked out a command that my implant translated as, “Target him!”
“Him” in this case meant me and the four remaining soldiers ran at me, the front two firing their weapons, hitting my armor. I felt the warmth. Even as I began to aim the sonics directly at the nearest soldiers, one of them fell over, taken out because Tikki recycled one of their own shots.
Another of their energy blasts missed, flying above everyone’s heads and hitting the ceiling. Continue reading Unhidden: Part 6
By shots, I mean burning blasts of energy and technically they didn’t ring out so much as sizzle through the air. Of course, a technicality of description wouldn’t make their weapons less lethal.
Marcus flattened out against the wall—though not before Tikki stood in front of him with her bubble of time distortion filling the tunnel. I was on the wrong side—the unprotected side. That wasn’t bad. I wanted to be able to do things, but it was inconvenient for Marcus.
That said, head on fights with people using energy weapons weren’t his strong point. Like Jaclyn, he’d inherited some level of toughness from their grandfather, but it worked better against physical hits. Continue reading Unhidden: Part 5
I considered if we had any alternatives to making a last stand in the tunnel. We could run to the next intersection and take another tunnel, but if they were managing to track us anyway, that wouldn’t help.
I could try to bring down the tunnel behind us. The Rocket suit could do it, but I’d have to punch the wall or ceiling. It might land on me.
My laser was powerful enough to punch holes in the ceiling, but I’d still have to be close to cut any appreciable amount of rock. Continue reading Unhidden: Part 4