“You worked for the Cabal? When?”
“Not recently,” Lee said. “I helped overthrow a couple emperors during the Roman Empire. Second time around, they didn’t pay me, so I killed the guy they were trying to get in, and took power myself.”
Haley looked up at me. Her expression probably meant, “Is he serious?”
Continue reading Counterattack: Part 3
The stealth suit didn’t have as much hardware in it as the regular Rocket suit, but it could sense damage. The damage readouts showed a “2” in red.
“2” meant that at least one bullet had passed the jacket’s outer layer, and into the inner gel layer, but had stopped before going through the layer I could wear under clothes. Passing through that layer would have been a “3.”
A “3” meant that I would be visiting the hospital soon, if I were lucky.
Continue reading Counterattack: Part 2
“So you just told him?” Jaclyn didn’t seem to be able to contain her disbelief.
“It’s not like I invited him to train with us,” I said. “I just told him the same thing I’ve always told anyone curious about who I’m taking martial arts from.”
“It’s not that bad,” Haley said. “Of all Sean’s friends, Dayton’s the only one who’s actually nice.”
Continue reading Uncontrolled Substances: Part 2
Vaughn never got hit by the lightning.
When the strikes stopped, he stood there unharmed, smiling nervously, glass shards and glass craters surrounding him.
“He’s cheating! You can’t do that.” The King of Storms shouted at Lee.
“He’s controlling weather.” Lee said. “Get on with it or yield.”
Continue reading King of Storms: Part 12
“Let’s get on with it then,” Lee said.
Both Vaughn and the King of Storms turned to look at him.
“Neither of you is going to change their name so now it’s time to come up with another way to handle it. You’ll want to choose seconds and Vaughn, you get to choose the weapon if it’s a duel.”
“Duel?” Vaughn sounded incredulous.
Continue reading King of Storms: Part 11
Above us, the cloud became darker, extending across the dune toward Grand Lake.
“Relax,” Lee said. “We both know that if I were coming to kill you, I’d have already tried by now.”
“Why are you here?”
“I’m training them.” He waved vaguely in our direction.
Continue reading King of Storms: Part 10
The thing faded into the storm and disappeared. Between the darkness and the possibility that its body might have been nothing more than falling rain, I didn’t know whether it had teleported away or simply ceased to be.
Either way, the rain changed from a downpour to nothing in the space of ten seconds.
As the rain ended, the clouds thinned, letting the sun illuminate the puddles in the road and the mud across the street in the parking lot.
Continue reading King of Storms: Part 9
Vaughn and I stood in the parking lot of the Grand Lake Martial Arts Academy, taking in some of the first decent weather of the year.
We’d had heavy snow during the last two weeks of February, but the first week of March had seen the (re)melting of all the snow and temperatures in the fifties. This wasn’t especially warm, but after three months of near zero, it felt like a heat wave.
Continue reading King of Storms: Part 1
“Worked for your grandfather in the ‘worked for one of his companies’ sense or in the ‘foot soldiers in his Legions of Evil’ sense?” I asked.
“A little of both,” Vaughn said. “Actually a lot of both. All their grandparents were pretty high up in both places. Grandpa hired in a bunch of his people into positions where they could have a legal paycheck. Fact is, he did more than that, whenever he found someone that his potions could affect, he moved them here. I think it was one of those ‘breed a super race’ ideas. Obviously, it didn’t pan out.”
Cassie said, “The kids didn’t have powers?”
Continue reading Bullies and Counselors: Part 3
I don’t remember much of the drive over. I wanted to ask Haley a bunch of different things, but with Jaclyn in the car it didn’t feel right. It also seemed kind of nosy.
It took about thirty minutes to get to the studio. Normally it would have taken fifteen, but the after-school traffic slowed everything down. South High was practically in the suburbs. The Grand Lake Martial Arts Academy sat midway between downtown and the edge of the city. In the 1880’s it had been near the edge of Grand Lake. In the 1950’s, it had been Cannon’s Hardware before Cannon’s became an auto parts chain. The red neon “Cannon’s Hardware” sign still hung parallel to the building, stretching from the top of the second floor to the top of the first. It wasn’t lit.
A painted, plywood sign with the words “Grand Lake Martial Arts Academy” rested on the ledge above the first floor of the brown, brick building.
Continue reading Bullies and Counselors: Part 2