To be clear, it was the good kind of “not alone.” In the clearing with us was everybody that hadn’t been in HQ when we teleported out.
And when I say everybody, I’m not exaggerating by much. This was what Cassie called a “friends and allies” practice. Not only did it include all current members of the Heroes’ League (except for Rachel who was in space), but it included all the former members of Justice Fist who hadn’t joined up with Sean’s new Justice Fist. So basically, we didn’t have Sean, Jody, or Dayton, but we did have Julie (voice powers), Shannon (darkness), Camille (gravity), and Sydney. Continue reading Never Go Home: Part 9
I did the only thing I could think of. I ordered the power interface to cut off the power, but on the off chance that the tablet had a bomb inside, I did it while running for the exit and shutting the door behind me.
Theoretically, given the size of the tablet, it might not be much of a bomb, but I knew what Cassie’s gun could do. I remembered the bodies of the frogmen on the roof of a building in Washington D.C. It hadn’t been pretty and if push came down to it, if I had to come up with a species most likely develop a golfball-sized hydrogen bomb (or worse), the Abominators would have been high on my list of candidates. Continue reading Never Go Home: Part 4
Yoselin nodded, “I do. This is bigger than Cuba and the United States. The Dominators and the Nine represent a threat to all nations and I don’t want to be at home wasting my time while you fight. I’ve known about them all of my life and this is the closest thing I’ve ever had to a lead on them. I want to follow it.”
Daniel and I looked at each other, making an instant telepathic connection. She means it, Daniel told me. I don’t know if she’s been modified by them in the past, but since I don’t see any hints of it, I’d be willing to take a chance on her.
Me too, I thought back. We should probably ask Cassie what she thinks. Continue reading Rematch: Part 22
Daniel nodded, “That’s what I was thinking too. It has to be them. The only question is whether someone hired them to do it or whether they’re doing it on their own. If no one’s hiring them, that’s worse.”
Yoselin turned around, “And why do you think that?”
I knew why, but he answered first, “Because if they did it themselves, they’ll care what happened, and I’m not sure we’re ready to go up against the Dominators. If the Nine hired them, the Nine might care, but they’ll have to hire the Dominators for them to care. We’ve gone up against the Nine successfully a couple of times now. We might be able to do it again.” Continue reading Rematch: Part 21
Free for some value of free—which in this case meant not fighting someone that could potentially kill me with a punch or, more likely, kill Kid Biohack.
I took a moment to orient myself. There’s no point in getting out only to fly into the path of a Mack truck. I’d come out on the side of the arena where I thought I would, a side with no obvious doors or windows except, of course, for the hole my bots blew in what would have otherwise passed for a wall. Continue reading Rematch: Part 20
The first time I’d ever fought him, I aimed the sonics directly at his ear, keeping them at a level designed to cause pain, but not trying to hurt him. I’d been trying to distract him from a couple of guys in a mini-van who were shooting video and got too close.
It had distracted him but hadn’t hurt him much.
This time I was going for more than a distraction. Kid Biohack wasn’t fighting rationally. He might die if he came back into the fight. If it was better to maim than to kill, I felt sure I could justify destroying the Grey Giant’s hearing and sense of balance if it kept Kid Biohack alive. Besides, if the Grey Giant’s weird, transforming grey goo body was anything like Marcus’, weird, transforming grey goo body, he’d fix himself turning back.
If destroying his sense of balance didn’t work, well, I still had killbots. Continue reading Rematch: Part 19
My evasive maneuvers put me over lines of machines and mech parts and materials—steel for frames, plates of armor, boxes full of bolts. It reminded me of the secret factory that Chris inherited, and it didn’t surprise me at all. When he and Larry looked over my pseudo-frog suit, he’d told me everything.
After Armory stopped being a superhero, he’d gone to Man-machine for advice on how to make powered armor as a business and they’d stayed friends after that. Well, at least until Armory stiffed him on an object I called The Ball that he made for a group of supervillains called The Maniacs. Continue reading Rematch: Part 17
Glass and plastic broke on the machines at the nearest work areas. Some of the people who had been running stopped to turn around to look at the suit, recognizing the sound of a recorded bullfrog. Taking advantage of the moment, I activated the music playlist I’d put together last night.
I started with Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World,” also known by its first line, “Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog.” At this, more people stopped to stare at me, throwing their hands over their ears before they began to run again. Continue reading Rematch: Part 15
Once I grabbed my luggage, we took the elevator downstairs and checked out of the hotel, talking and joking around like we’d known each other all of our lives. In the case of Cassie and Daniel, that was true, but over the last couple of days, we’d gotten to know Yoselin (or at least her persona) well enough to fake it.
She did add a certain energy to the group, laughing loudly, accompanying most of what she said with wide gestures. Plus, Cassie, who despite what she told everyone, spoke fluent Spanish or close enough that she could keep up with Yoselin, something that had to help with our cover. Continue reading Rematch: Part 14
All the same, it’s easy to say you went to bed, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll sleep once you get there. It gets harder to sleep when you know you’ve got something big planned the next day. That’s especially true if you know you could get hurt, that your friends could get hurt, and if one of your friends is a telepath with who you’ve had a low-level telepathic connection since childhood—at least when you’re in range—you might sense his anxiety too.
I don’t think either of us noticed it at first, but twenty minutes after pulling the sheets up, I found myself staring at the ceiling, which thanks to the mirrors on the ceiling, gave me a dark reflection of myself staring up at myself. Lit only by the stars and moon outside my windows, I could see only a little more than shadows, but it was enough for me to recognize my face. Continue reading Rematch: Part 13