Lim continued, “We’ll be using the strategies and tactics we practiced yesterday, so you shouldn’t have had time to forget them yet. There will be one additional wrinkle. We’re already evacuating Stardock just like we are the rest of the city. That means that if we do decide to blow Stardock, we won’t be looking for you to evacuate the people below. We’ll need you to watch out for each other. Don’t leave anyone in your unit behind.”
He paused, looked us all over, and then, when we thought he’d finished, he said, “There’s one more thing. Stardock isn’t the only alien technology in New York City. We fought the Abominators in the 1970’s, and we collected everything we could find. I’m not going to tell you where it is, but none of you should be surprised to discover that we’re studying it, or that we’re doing our best to reverse engineer it. When you fight, you need to use tools that can do the job. Our own tools won’t, so we’re getting better tools.That’s why we may redirect a few of you if we have to blow Stardock. Don’t hesitate if we call you in. Trust me, it will be important.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 11
Then Travis turned his attention back to Daniel’s dad. “OK, you said that your dad, the Mentalist saw this coming. What did he see?”
Quickly shaking his head, Mindstryke said, “It’s not exactly like that. For my dad, Daniel, and I, precognition comes without a lot of control at first. Seconds in the future are easiest. Everything else comes unasked for, but over time you become better at directing it. The problem is that there isn’t just one future, there’s an infinite number. Some of the differences aren’t much, but they’re there.
“My dad got to the point that he could see futures as collections of connected events, and even look for specific outcomes. He gave us patterns of events we should look for and a few spots where we can intervene. Mostly though, we can’t. We guess it’s because you’ll become too reliant on us, and unprepared when you need to handle things yourselves.
“And that leads us to today. We were going to wait on handing over direct control to you, but we can’t. You’ve just gotten too much attention. As of now, the League’s business issues need you to have the power to make decisions. We won’t have time to handle it. The staff doesn’t have the authority.”
“The staff?” Travis sounded confused. “The only staff I know about is Kayla.”
Continue reading Spin: Part 7
By the time our food came, anyone who had wanted an autograph had one. There weren’t that many people in the restaurant after all.
A fair number of them pointed phones in our direction. It didn’t make me feel better. It’d be really annoying if one of us accidentally used a real name. We’d probably see it all over the internet in hours.
Daniel’s voice popped into my head. It gets worse. One of them already called a television station, and they’re sending out a reporter.
What? It was all I could do not to say it out loud. Why didn’t you say something?
It’s no big deal, Daniel said. The nearest TV station is half an hour from here. Our food should be here sooner.
Hoping that no one thought to bribe the cooks, I looked over the room again, and didn’t see anything unusual. Continue reading Spin: Part 5
Mindstryke nodded. “She’s right, but it’s not going to be all bad. It’ll be hard to deal with at first, but it could be worse.”
He glanced to the right, toward something off camera. When his eyes were on us again, he said, “You’ve just experienced what would be a life changing event for some capes. You stopped St. Louis from being destroyed and did it with minimal loss of life. If you want, you’ll be interviewed every day of the week. People will want to pay you thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars for product endorsements. You’ll be celebrities.”
He stopped, gave a sigh, and continued. “I’ve known a lot of people who used events like this to change careers. They stayed in just far enough that they were visible vigilantes, but they spent the rest of their time being ‘the man who saved St. Louis.’” Continue reading Spin: Part 3
I stared at the screen. “The board? As in the League’s board or the Defenders’?”
Mindstryke shook his head. “Not the Defenders’ board, the League’s. But that’s for later. Right now I’d like you to explain what happened from the point where you first became aware this was possible through to your response.”
We did. Rachel told him about first hearing about the possibility in Infinity City. I described how I’d recognized a clue after months of searching. Then everybody explained their individual part in the plan.
He nodded as we talked, no longer smiling, but taking notes, and asking questions.
After we were done, he said, “Ok, I’ll summarize this, and then we’ll go over what to talk about and what to skip if someone asks you about it.
Continue reading Spin: Part 2
Haley landed the jet in the parking lot between the storage building and the factory.
We’d arrived less than an hour before, and aside from a little debris from the bombs, it didn’t look much different. It was lighter (past the factories and warehouses, the eastern sky glowed), and the tornado sirens were still going, but it was close to the same.
An inch of snow still covered the ground, and the temperature felt cold—if not as cold as Michigan.
For that matter, all the buildings that had been standing when we arrived were still standing. The ones that weren’t weren’t visible from here.
Still, it felt like we’d been there a week.
Continue reading Spin: Part 1
After they hung up, I sat back and thought about it. If I were going to skip, when and how would I do it? I wasn’t going to be able to get my parents to write a note. The block only prevented my parents from recognizing what was going on, or stopping me from doing it.
I decided I’d skip tomorrow. Maybe Rachel could call the office and pretend to be Mom? She’d probably get a kick out of it. Continue reading Graduation: Part 18
I shut down HQ for the night around 11:23 pm, knowing even as I did it that my parents weren’t going to be happy.
We had arrived back at 10:47 pm. In theory, I suppose, I could have been home on time if I’d skipped showering and let everyone else turn things off. Unfortunately just taking off the armor and putting it away took 10 minutes. Short of asking Jaclyn to carry me back to the house at full speed, I couldn’t see any way to be home on time.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 60
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