Daniel, I thought at him, Why not you?
I’ve never liked being in charge, and I’ve had to do it a lot. Besides, we all need leadership experience and you managed to avoid it when we were switching off. Plus, and this is the most important reason, you’ve been part of the whole thing from the beginning. You’ll see stuff I’ll miss unless I go through your head, and search for every last bit of related stuff.
I could see that, and I did remember him hating being put in charge of things at school. He’d gone to the only Jewish day school in the area, been the grandson of a much loved Rabbi, and was tall and good looking as well. People tended to give him more attention than he wanted.
So okay, he was right, but how was I supposed to butt into Sean and Sydney’s family fight and actually make them listen?
Continue reading Ready or Not: Part 5
Haley’s voice came over the speaker. “What’s Sean doing here?”
On the monitor, both Sean and Sydney looked around, neither of them sure where Haley’s voice had come from.
The two of them stood inside a sewer pipe. The door in front of them was made of concrete covered in reinforced steel.
That wouldn’t be much of an obstacle.
Sean wore his Justice Fist costume—green except for a white triangle that had a green fist inside it. Sydney appeared to be completely covered in gray metal.
She turned her head in Sean’s direction, scowling as she said, “He wouldn’t let me go alone.”
Continue reading Ready or Not: Part 4
Haley barely let him finish before jumping in. “What do you mean, ‘no?’ You’re not going to do anything. You just told us so, and we can’t leave her there.”
Guardian’s jaw tightened, and he said, “We’re going to do something, but we’re going to do it right. Even if you know where she is, and it isn’t a trap, they’ll still be expecting an attack. I’m not going to throw high school students up against Rook and possibly more of the Nine’s people. If anything, I’m going to send in experienced people. Time to stop talking, and give me her location, I’ll get as far as I can.”
Somewhere in the back of my mind, a part of me wanted to remind him that some of us were college students, but I doubted that arguing technicalities would get me anywhere.
Continue reading Ready or Not: Part 3
“Oh yuck.” Sydney crinkled her nose. “I didn’t think that movie could have been worse, but that’s worse.”
Camille smiled a little as Sydney talked, but addressed me, “You made it sound like this was embarrassing for you. Was it? Come on, you can tell us.”
“OK. My grandpa told me what it did when I was twelve, and I tried it on my family’s cat. I mean, who was going to notice? We’d already had him neutered. Except there were a few things I didn’t know. One thing was that the genes that make a cat’s fur a particular color show themselves differently in each gender, so his fur started to change color. He’s normally orange, but female cats aren’t generally orange—”
Haley asked, “What color did he turn into?” She used the same, slightly disbelieving voice she used when asking things like how many days in a row I’d worn a pair of jeans.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 3
When we got back, we set the pizzas on the table, and people spread out around HQ’s main room, eating, and talking, sitting on the floor in little groups.
I sat with Haley, Sydney, and Camille which was weird for a whole lot of reasons. To start, Sydney was the sister of Haley’s ex-boyfriend Sean, who neither Haley nor I got along with. Camille was Sydney and Sean’s half-sister due to their late father having some kind of wandering penis problem.
Eating pizza with them, I found it funny that I hadn’t noticed till we bugged Sean’s house last year. Sydney and Camille looked like sisters—within limits, anyway. Like Sean, Sydney had blond hair, pale skin and blue eyes. Her face reminded me of Sean’s—as much as a girl’s could. As a freshman (freshperson?), she’d always looked a little young to me, but very “in-style.” If her personality were anything like Sean’s, I could imagine her growing into the sort of popular girl who regarded me as a lower form of life. Continue reading Under 30: Part 2
He lay on the road. Then he pulled himself up, and limped to the side.
He sat down in the front lawn of an old white house that hadn’t been painted in at least twenty years. Most of its paint had flaked off the wood.
With luck, no one lived there. Continue reading Targets: Part 20
“Ask him if he can use the underwater entrance,” I told Cassie.
I was pretty sure the Defenders’ jets could.
Cassie passed it along.
“Right,” Alex said, “I remember that from when I was a kid.”
Continue reading Targets: Part 13
I set the red alert on my communicator–not the one for the complex. That would have shut down all the entrances, and the rest of the League would need them.
From outside came the sound of screeching brakes. One of the older streets in the city, State Street ran straight into downtown from the suburbs.
Cars filled all four lanes, and between standing in the middle of the road and (in one case) getting hit by a pickup truck, the Cabal’s men had blocked three of the four.
Continue reading Targets: Part 8
We let him in, bringing Lucas up to the conference room.
He limped as he walked, sighing as he sank into the chair. “Thanks. I was going crazy standing out there. Their fliers could have come by at any time.”
Rachel and I sat down with him, but not before Rachel said, “Thirsty?”
Continue reading Targets: Part 7
I didn’t stop trying to fix the arm, but it would be hard to imagine a worse week to try to fix it than my last week of high school ever.
I didn’t get back to working on things on Monday night because the whole family got talking. With Grandpa and Grandma Klein visiting from Minnesota, that happened easily. Grandpa had taught cultural anthropology at the University of Minnesota, worked for the U.N. in the 1960’s, and had friends all over the world. Continue reading Graduation: Part 23