“Huh.” I stared into the distance as I wondered how exactly we’d handle a faerie invasion, and also, why they’d bother.
I happened to have aimed my staring vaguely in the direction of the door, and so I was watching as Samita and Tara walk though the magically guarded doorway.
Technically, I heard Tara before I saw her. Her voice cut through the silence, a torrent of words with barely any space between them. She was very excited about whatever it was. Continue reading Demo: Part 4
“The tournament will work like this. You’ve got four teams. In the first round, there will be two fights and the winners will fight each other in the second round. It’s quick and simple, and it will have to be. We’ve got the VIP’s for the afternoon, and not longer than that. With luck, it’ll be exciting and get everyone back here in time for supper.”
Lee’s mouth quirked in a half smile. “Does anyone have any questions?”
Patriot Jr’s hand shot up. “I’m not trying to second guess you, sir, but why these groups? There are enough upperclassmen alone to fill the exercise, but you sprinkled in a few second years. I’m not complaining. They’re powerhouses, but why?” Continue reading Demo: Part 3
Camille nodded. “I don’t think I’d overthrow a country, but it would be nice to be able to do something. I don’t know how many people the regime killed, but it’s a lot.”
She glanced over at Haley and me. “Right?”
“Hundreds last night,” Haley said. “That’s what the TV was saying when I turned it on.”
Gordon nodded slowly. “Thousands over the last few weeks. Look, I know we’re not going to do it, but we’ve got the power to end it right here–definitely in the room, but maybe even at this table.”
I looked up at down the table from the side where the sun streamed in, bringing out the redness in the rocks all the way to the far wall where the stained rocks glistened.
I guessed there might be fifty people at the table. He had a point there. Fifty people with powers could do some damage.
Not that the world needed or wanted more damage.
Continue reading Burning: Part 3
Unshielded engines were a spaceship’s weak point in combat. That and anyplace they predictably thinned the shields—like weapon hardpoints. Anyone who’d trained on spacecraft knew it. There were a host of techniques to minimizing your chances of dying—ranging from special shields to keeping changes of direction brief. It wasn’t as if you slowed down very quickly in space.
Most of the defenses were oriented toward spaceships though because any living being that attempted to sneak past working engines would quickly become well done.
I had every reason to hope that didn’t apply to Izzy. Continue reading Stardock: Part 30
Lim answered the phone, and from his tone I could tell he sounded a little better than he had before.
“Rocket, who do you need? Right now, almost everyone’s free, so you’ve got your pick.”
“Everyone?” That seemed unlikely.
“You got stuck with the largest group. Most of the rest had to deal with four people at a time. I’m not saying people didn’t get hurt, but we haven’t had any deaths yet. Plus, we just had help show up–mercenaries.”
“Who? Protection Force?” Continue reading Stardock: Part 29
I pointed at the back of the chest section. “If you could pick that up and hang it on my back, it would be a lot easier.”
Tara’s gaze followed my hand, and I realized that I wasn’t doing all that well. Almost everything was in the same place. I clarified. “Uh… The piece with the rocket pack on the back. It’ll be heavier than you’d expect.”
“This?” She picked it up without a problem, and placed it on my back.
I felt the weight, and stepped backward with one foot to brace myself. Then I started plugging cables into the stealth suit, and pulling out sections of frame that the breastplate would lock into.
Tara handed me each piece of armor, and it went quickly.
Continue reading The Unusual Suspects: Part 4
I thought about that. With everything that had happened between the two of us, I still didn’t see Sean as evil. I did think he was massively, hugely messed up. From what I’d seen, his father was close to, if not actually, abusive, and had cheated on Sean’s mom with at least one person (Camille’s mom), and maybe more. Growing up with someone like that wasn’t exactly a head start.
It wasn’t a surprise then that Sean had bullied people (I wasn’t the only one). After Haley told me about how their relationship ended, I’d overheard more stories about relationships he’d had. He’d sounded controlling, and manipulative.
Considered rationally, he wasn’t the kind of person I’d want around me.
When I was honest with myself though, it wasn’t because I’d thought things through rationally that I didn’t want him around. It was because I thought he was a jerk.
Continue reading The Unusual Suspects: Part 3
I finished all my homework by seven—giving me more than enough time to get to headquarters, and finish what I was really excited about—Cassie’s armor.
I closed my laptop, pushed back my chair, and stepped away from my desk. Then I looked out the window. From the third floor of DePuit Hall, I could see most of Grand Lake University’s main campus. Lights came from dorms and lecture halls, standing out in the night, and illuminating the snow that covered the grounds.
It was January in Michigan after all, and that meant winter.
I considered whether I really wanted to cross the city in weather this cold. I’d fixed up my van, but I’d paid more attention to adding armor than making it comfortable.
Continue reading Doom: Part 1
“Hey,” I said.
She held up her left arm, looking down at the League communicator on her wrist. It looked just like the ones Nick made for us when we were in costume.
She tapped on the screen, waited, and then said, “It’s her. Thank God.”
Then she pulled a roll of duct tape out of her utility belt, floated down, and taped Julie’s mouth shut.
I laughed. “Duct tape? Did Nick put that in there?”
She froze. “No. I… Wait a second.”
She pulled up the communicator again, and this time she pointed it at me. After tapping the screen she said, “OK, this is going to be weird, but we split off early last summer—your time.”
“My time?” Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 22
I had to shut her up long enough for us to escape even if it meant shutting her up permanently. As much as I hated everything she wanted to do to us, I still didn’t want to kill her.
I flew across the street, passing the True, sometimes flying through them. They weren’t moving.
I looked back—no one was moving. Looking forward I found one exception—Julie. Even the True running with her had stopped.
I thought about that. She’d been hired to catch Tara, but maybe she didn’t get paid if the Blues caught her themselves?
Julie ran across the laundromat’s parking lot, still shouting. I couldn’t hear her, but from her lips, it looked like, “Don’t move! Don’t move! No one move!”
Then she smiled.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 20