She pushed the button.
All the voices disappeared into static along with the displays in the helmet and every light in the armor. As of that moment, she was alone in front of the exit to HQ, and not standing either.
She didn’t know what the suit did to help her stay balanced, but whatever it was, it had to be electrical because moments after the lights faded she fell over backwards.
Taking stock of the situation, she stared upward. Stars peeked through the leaves and branches, visible in the dusk.
Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 16
“Grandpa,” Chris said, “your pacemaker?”
Kayla could imagine Cannon shaking his head as he replied. “Between the distance and my armor, the pacemaker should be fine.”
“No,” Chris said, “this doesn’t sound like a good idea. I can take it in, and get out. I don’t have any missiles left and low on power, so I’m not going to get into fights. I’ll run.”
C talked over everyone. “Good so far, but I think we’re going to need everybody we’ve got left. I’d say send in the ship, both Man-machines, get their attention, and place the device. It doesn’t matter which of you does it. Get everyone in the jet, and then set the device off. The jet will survive that, right?”
Not waiting for anyone else, Cannon said, “It will. I tried hitting it with the anti-electronics effect back in the 70’s. The shields absorbed it. I’m not even sure they knew they were hit.” Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 15
Cannon’s voice was a little distorted as it came through the speakers. “Give me a second. I think I’m passing some rock.”
He paused. “Are you all still there?”
Almost everyone said, “Yes.”
“It shouldn’t be hard now that you’re here,” Cannon said.
Kayla guessed he meant C.
Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 14
“No extra beans,” Kayla said. “Got it.”
She looked down at the gun. It had two grips. The trigger and guard were on the back one. the front grip had a line of buttons on the side. Above them, it said, “Extra,” followed by “Beans,” “Cheese,” “Chunky Salsa,” “Green Sauce,” “Red Sauce,” and “Shell.”
Thinking back to English composition class from last semester, she wondered what Chekov would do if he saw a burrito gun hanging on the wall in Act 1 of a play.
Probably kill himself, she imagined.
Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 13
As he said it, the other set of power armor opened. The man pushed his way out as the pieces separated.
Then, as pieces flew across the carpet, the man came to his feet. Almost immediately, the hands and feet changed to claws, and his teeth grew into fangs.
He turned toward the other alien, and his jaw dropped a little. He gave a choked laugh. His blue jumpsuit was tighter around the chest, and loose around the waist and hips.
The male alien said something to the larger female. She replied with one word in an unknown language and a snarl.
Kayla would have bet anything that the mercenary had just cursed.
Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 12
She decided she didn’t have time to worry about the Battle Roombas even if they were firing giant boxing gloves at aliens.
Thinking about how weird her life had become was a waste of time.
On the floor ahead of her, the aliens moaned softly. Okay, she told herself, they’re not dead.
She had to admit she felt a touch of relief. She hadn’t wanted to kill anybody, and these aliens, whatever they were, were shaped like people. She couldn’t see through the facemask, but even that looked like a human could comfortably wear it–assuming they were big enough.
These guys were almost as big as Travis.
Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 11
“Wow,” I said, “you’re early.”
Mindstryke shook his head. “Not really. I told you the latest we’d be here was ten, and some of us happened to finish up earlier than expected.”
He was right. Now that he’d mentioned it, I remembered him saying that. I also remembered a couple other things he’d said.
“We’re still waiting on part of the current League, and one member of the board.”
I was about to ask him who that was when the words, “Entered: Accelerando, C. Retinal scan confirmed,” appeared on the bottom of my screen.
Shortly after that one of the tunnel doors swung open, and Jaclyn walked through with her grandfather. She wore her purple costume—not really more than a jumpsuit, but she didn’t need it for protection. The hard part was creating a fabric that could handle hitting the speed of sound. Continue reading Spin: Part 6
Inside the police department looked like most institutional buildings — beige walls, tile floor, cubicles — but with the obvious addition of men and women in blue carrying guns.
We ended up standing inside a conference room. “We” in this case meant new and old Heroes League members, the Midwest Defenders, the FBI representatives, PsyKick, Larry, and a few police.
It was a big conference room — two, actually. They’d taken out the divider between two rooms as we came in.
The tables had been pushed to the wall and the sleeping bodies placed in the middle of the room. All the rest of us stood around the edges while Daniel, his dad, the Fed with the psychic helmet, and PsyKick deep probed their minds.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 59
“No. There’s no way I’m doing that,” I said.
“That was a joke. I wasn’t suggesting you let Mindstryke take over, but you need to listen to the guy. No one thinks about it when they start, but managing your image is a major piece of the job.”
Guardian pulled a couple pieces of pepperoni pizza onto a plate.
Flick leaned in toward the table and smiled briefly. “He’s right. Some of you have heard about what happened when I joined the Defenders. I think the most important thing I’ve learned in the past two years is how to handle myself in public.”
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 58
The house only blew up a little bit — at least by comparison to an atomic bomb, for example. It didn’t have a mushroom cloud, just gouts of flame pouring out the kitchen windows and doors. To judge from what it looked like afterwards, it must have blasted out a couple pieces of wall too, but I was too distracted by the flames and smoke to notice.
We had already gotten out when it happened. The explosion destroyed the kitchen, part of the dining room, and started most of the back of the house burning. Even through my armor I could feel the heat a little.
I hit the ground when it blew like everyone else, realizing belatedly that I probably didn’t have to.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 56