The butler opened the door and showed the two of them into Hardwick House.
Stepping into the small alcove next to the door, Joe noticed that Giles had had the place redecorated since he’d last been in. All the old Victorian furniture with its intricate carvings had been replaced by modern furniture with straight lines, uncarved wood, and basic shapes. Joe wondered where all the old stuff had gone, but did not plan to ask. It really didn’t matter.
Turning to the butler, he said, “Mitchell, If you don’t mind, we’ll find our own way in. They’re at the top of the pyramid, right?”
Continue reading 1953: Part 3
Inside the police department looked like most institutional buildings — beige walls, tile floor, cubicles — but with the obvious addition of men and women in blue carrying guns.
We ended up standing inside a conference room. “We” in this case meant new and old Heroes League members, the Midwest Defenders, the FBI representatives, PsyKick, Larry, and a few police.
It was a big conference room — two, actually. They’d taken out the divider between two rooms as we came in.
The tables had been pushed to the wall and the sleeping bodies placed in the middle of the room. All the rest of us stood around the edges while Daniel, his dad, the Fed with the psychic helmet, and PsyKick deep probed their minds.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 59
“No. There’s no way I’m doing that,” I said.
“That was a joke. I wasn’t suggesting you let Mindstryke take over, but you need to listen to the guy. No one thinks about it when they start, but managing your image is a major piece of the job.”
Guardian pulled a couple pieces of pepperoni pizza onto a plate.
Flick leaned in toward the table and smiled briefly. “He’s right. Some of you have heard about what happened when I joined the Defenders. I think the most important thing I’ve learned in the past two years is how to handle myself in public.”
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 58
The house only blew up a little bit — at least by comparison to an atomic bomb, for example. It didn’t have a mushroom cloud, just gouts of flame pouring out the kitchen windows and doors. To judge from what it looked like afterwards, it must have blasted out a couple pieces of wall too, but I was too distracted by the flames and smoke to notice.
We had already gotten out when it happened. The explosion destroyed the kitchen, part of the dining room, and started most of the back of the house burning. Even through my armor I could feel the heat a little.
I hit the ground when it blew like everyone else, realizing belatedly that I probably didn’t have to.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 56
Legion HQ felt full. Three of the four Elementals plus Future Knight, Red Bolt, and Tomahawk were sleeping on the floor. All of the new League (except Vaughn and Marcus) plus Jaclyn’s grandfather, Larry, and Mindstryke, Daniel’s dad.
Mindstryke had showed up just after we’d all sat down at the main table. He looked tired.
“I had to settle my dad down. He thought it was 1965 and the original League was still fighting Red Lightning. I didn’t know he still had one.” He held a ring in his hand. The gem flickered.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 47
Not far from where the others were stuck to the street, Daniel, Haley, and Marcus were fighting Water and doing about as well as they would fighting a puddle.
Haley stood in the middle of the road, directly in front of the elemental. Marcus stood just behind her, having shifted into a vaguely demonic shape complete with batwings and wide blades instead of hands. Daniel stood on the sidewalk.
Haley slashed the humanoid’s middle, leaving ripples, but no wound. She ducked a punch then flipped backward, allowing Daniel to take a shot.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 46
Only as I passed over the house did I realize that we didn’t have much of a plan. I was going to attack Future Knight and they were going to do what to the water elemental guy?
Too late to stop now.
In the streetlights’ illumination, I could see Travis, Jaclyn, and Cassie standing in the street. All of them were up to their knees in white stuff that reminded me of shaving cream or possibly meringue.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 45
Kids don’t really know adults. What I remembered of Jaclyn’s grandfather from the picnics was a man who spent a lot more time laughing, telling funny stories, and coaxing me into racing Jaclyn. I think I only ever won one race. He gave me a forty-nine foot head start out of fifty feet and even then it was a near thing.
As a crimefighter though, he had the old school, “fight the criminals, and run from the cops” approach.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 42
As I ran toward the table in the middle of the main room, I wondered just what else putting HQ on high security did. What if it sent an alert to other hero groups? I didn’t feel like explaining all this to Guardian or the Midwest Defenders.
Glancing at the screen, I saw Travis, Haley, Marcus and Cassie crouched at the forest entrance, in costume and looking nervous.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 41
“Looks pretty bad, doesn’t it?” Vaughn said. “You’d never believe it, but my grandfather’s personal stuff never burned.”
“It must be the only thing that didn’t,” I said.
A layer of dark soot seemed to be everywhere, mixed with bits that crunched when I stepped on them.
“Nah,” Vaughn said, “The side tunnels didn’t burn. That’s where I found the stuff that I handed over. Let’s go.”
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 33