“We should step into a different hall, or better yet, a classroom.” He pointed down the hallway to our left. “How about that one?”
It didn’t look bad.
Earthmover had molded the whole installation out of rock, and he (or someone who worked for him) had kept an eye on aesthetics. The track lighting illuminated reddish-orange rock. Paintings and photos on the walls showed pictures of the West—the Rocky Mountains, the city of Denver at night, desert thunderstorms, and mesas. There were several doors in the hall, and windows let us look into each of them from the hall.
“This way,” he said and walked through the closest door. Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 9
Tara grinned, and when she did, I was reminded that whoever had designed the supersoldiers she was descended from, had obviously been designing for looks too. Not for the first time, I wondered why. Still, she was in a good mood, and considering the memories I must have brought up, that wasn’t a bad thing.
“I hope you don’t think I’m telling you he’s a bad person.” She paused but didn’t give me time to respond. “He’s not. It’s just…” She stopped. “You know that I grew up in Infinity City. I grew up on the run from the True, the supersoldier group my parents left. They worked as muscle all over the city, training me the entire time because they knew the True would want me too.
“When we came here and I enrolled in the Stapledon program, the guys didn’t first of all think of me as a soldier. They thought of me as the new, hot girl. Some of them had a betting pool on who could ‘score’ with me first. I didn’t think anything of all the attention at first, but when I thought about it, I put everything together. After that, I got angry.” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 8
“If you think you can do it, I’m all for it,” I said.
Alex grinned. “Trust me. I’ve seen worse, and it worked out. Now, can you take off your glove?”
I thought about it, checking my HUD for alerts. There weren’t any left. “Assuming the repair systems worked, yes.”
I used my right glove to set the left gauntlet to split and be absorbed into the left forearm. It worked. That didn’t surprise me and it shouldn’t have. It wasn’t the first time I’d tried it after all, but it was the first time I’d tried it after the suit took massive damage.
“Oh,” Haley said, staring at my hand. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 46
Taking a risk, but not much of one, I switched the view from sonar to computer enhanced night vision. That gave Haley and me an excellent view of the dragon running down a street in between big suburban houses, unknowingly tearing up flowerbeds, and smashing a Volkswagen Beetle.
As Artaxus smashed a silvery, reflecting ball on a pillar, the air in front of him began to shimmer.
In the next moment, the shimmering had spread across the road, and solidified into a half circle. The dragon blocked much of the view, but I could see a grassy field and a castle wall towering over it. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 45
“No way,” I said, wondering how he’d gotten his powers activated. It wasn’t exactly a casual thing. The League had the first known working device to do it. It hadn’t been hard for me to make it work, but I’d had the benefit of my grandfather’s documentation.
I knew that the government had their own devices. From the news and personal experience, I knew that criminal organizations also had them. I wasn’t aware of anyone outside of those two groups owning any, but almost everything they needed was available on the internet now.
Corporate devices couldn’t be far away if they weren’t already out there.
Jaclyn’s mind obviously went along the same track mine did. She put down her hamburger, and said, “He can’t still be using power juice his uncle brewed. It’s illegal, and they wouldn’t allow him into the program, would they?”
“He’s not,” Courtney said. “I asked him.”
Continue reading Fresh Meat: Part 5
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
A little more loudly than necessary, Jack said, “Jethro Tull is a group, not a person.”
Haley scowled. “Sorry. Just curious.”
Then she shut off the comm, and looked back at Flick. “I’m not going be able to talk to him much longer.”
“Sorry, hon, but you might like him better once he changes.”
To judge from Haley’s expression, she doubted that. “Once he changes into what?” Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 4
Text appeared below the screen that showed our position and that of the other planes.
[You’re making yourself completely vulnerable. I’m not suggesting you attack, but landing and turning off your shields represents an unacceptable risk.]
I shut off the comm, and quietly asked, “What would you suggest?”
[If you have to appear vulnerable, lower the jet, but don’t land, and give me permission to turn on the shields whenever I think it’s necessary.]
“You need my permission?”
[Yes. My makers wanted artificial intelligences limited to minimize their risk.]
Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 3
The good point about owning a “jet” created from the remains of alien spacecraft is that it does surprisingly well even in the presence of enormous explosions.
The engines, meant for sending the ship into orbit, shot us far out of the range of the blast. Its shields absorbed what little of the blast could reach us.
The ship’s inertial dampers did well enough that I felt a little pull, but kept standing as the ship shot forward, creating huge sonic booms.
Given that we were in northern Manitoba near Nunavut, the noise probably wasn’t bothering many people. We might have upset more polar bears. Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 1
“Oh,” I said, looking over the instrument panel in preparation for take off, “by the way, we’re thinking that they’ve got psi-blocking devices all over.”
Alex said, “Well, that screws us over big time.”
“Yeah, we’re hoping to take them out, but if we’re lucky we won’t need to. Our first group’s got a good chance of getting Captain Commando out by themselves.”
“Good, because without teleporting, we’re not going to be much help. No one here can fly.”
So if we got in trouble, and couldn’t take out the psi-blockers, anyone coming to help us would have to do it the hard way. Continue reading Here We Come: Part 6