We took the stairs up. Between Rod’s injuries, my need to keep the suit from running off, and our crowd of former kidnapping victims, it took longer than the way down.
And oh yeah, the darkness didn’t help either.
The Nine’s men had thought enough ahead that they’d locked the doors to the stairway so when we got to the parking garage, I readied myself to knock it down.
As I lowered my shoulder just before charging, Sam said, “No, wait!”
Continue reading Cassie: Part 22
I didn’t even try to reply. The man with glowing golden spider legs had taken another swipe—only this time not at me.
He’d tried to stick a limb through the chest of the guy in the suit. He’d have succeeded too except that I saw it, grabbed the guy and jumped out of the way.
That put the two of us on the left side of the room with Sam, my lookalikes, and the kidnapped guys.
It left Rod alone in the middle of the room with glowing guy.
Continue reading Cassie: Part 21
As the butt of the rifle touched me, I saw everything differently—not in the good and evil sense, but as if I had another sense, one totally devoted to arms and tactics.
For each man with a gun standing in the doorway, I could tell where they were aiming. With a glance, I knew that the glowing man’s golden spider legs were a plasma-like substance contained within a casing he could generate or thin at will.
Not that he was doing much just then. Continue reading Cassie: Part 20
Ignoring the voice in my head, I said, “Let me get this straight. Surrender or die, right? If we surrender what happens then? Do we die anyway? Are you going to hold us for ransom, or what?”
Addressing the voice, I asked, What can you do? And make it quick, I’m in the middle of something.
“No stalling. If you don’t make your choice, you choose death.”
My luck to run into the one super-villain in the world who noticed when you tried to get him talking. Continue reading Cassie: Part 19
As it wrapped around my thigh, the limb felt warm and smooth, almost like plastic, but then it changed, becoming hot, painfully hot. It began to burn. I screamed, and blacked out.
And okay, that was the best thing that could have happened. “Hurt” doesn’t hold a candle to what I felt. I felt like I was nothing but pain. I felt like it was burning through the skin and into my leg.
It felt like that because that’s exactly what it was doing.
Continue reading Cassie: Part 18
Rod whirled around more quickly than I’d have expected. Not Jaclyn’s (“a blur knocked me out”) level of speed, but fast enough that if I ever got thrown into Faerie and had to fight trolls, I’d give them some respect.
Fast enough that his punches took out two of them at once, and their automatic rifles might as well have been shooting marshmallows. He didn’t seem to care.
They were pouring into the room. I didn’t know how many there were. More than twenty for sure. Probably more than forty.
Well, except that after Rod took out like, half of them, they were backing up and not firing a whole lot.
A few stayed in the doorway, but the rest retreated into the hall. Voices shouted words I couldn’t make out mingled with the beeps, clicks and flat tones of walkie-talkies.
They were planning something, and we didn’t want to wait for it.
Continue reading Cassie: Part 17
The metal looked wrong. Even rusted, the color shimmered between blue and green. Nick would have known the name of the metal, but I’d seen it before—in the engine room of the Heroes League’s “jet.”
Nick’s grandfather had scavenged the engines from an alien spaceship.
It put a new spin on everything in the room, and I had no way to read any of the clay tablets or anything. One of them might be the impregnator’s owner’s manual for all I knew. Continue reading Cassie: Part 16
Sam scried out the rooms behind the doors. Most of the place appeared to be a workroom—it was some kind of lab—but there were people locked in a storage room just off the main room.
There were seven of them, four girls, three guys, all around our age. A bucket sat in the corner. I couldn’t see details in the water basin, but I could guess what the bucket was for.
“I don’t like this,” Sam said. “The Nine? Without backup?”
“We can take them. It’s not like we’re storming their headquarters. This is a lab. Worst case scenario, we’re facing a bunch of guards, and maybe a scientist. Besides, we can’t leave them like that.” Continue reading Cassie: Part 15
A burst of light almost blinded me. The frog-things howled and held their arms in front of their eyes.
Sam shouted, “Both of you, come here!” She held the staff in both hands, keeping the top end high above her head. The tip of her staff blazed with light.
I didn’t hesitate, shielding my eyes from the light with my hand, and joining her. Within two of his steps Rod stood next to us.
I couldn’t see much of anything past Sam’s light, but within it, I could see everything like it was day. The frog-things backed away to the edges of the circle
“This is great. Why didn’t you do this before?”
“I’m not sure how long it will last.”
Continue reading Cassie: Part 14
The shark monster wasn’t alone. Frog-things stood all around it, but the closest four of them held poles with hooks on the far end. Shark prods?
Rod muttered something hard to understand, but it ended with “—it.”
“I’ll take the shark,” he said, and put Sam and I down near the wreck of an SUV. Most of its front had been bitten off. I could see the tooth marks in the metal.
The missing chunk of engine and hood lay in front of it, but no mangled people.
I liked to imagine that the driver had escaped—somehow.
I’m an optimist like that. Continue reading Cassie: Part 13