Reminding myself that the Stapledon Program’s secrecy wasn’t really my problem, I decided to concentrate on what was my problem—Blue Sky Lab’s current projects.
Isaac Lim had asked me to find out what they were, and intentionally or not, Dr. Griffin hadn’t answered my question about that. I hadn’t asked as directly as I might. I could change that.
As I was about to ask, Jenny’s voice sounded inside my helmet. “Brooke’s sending the prisoners to their cells. Stand back.”
I turned my head toward where Izzy, Jaclyn, and Cassie stood over the prisoners. Jenny stood a short distance away, acting as Brooke’s eyes no doubt. I didn’t know what they planned to do about the prisoners’ powered armor, but that wasn’t my problem.
All the same, working armor would make it way too easy to escape, but no armor meant that communicable diseases could be passed along.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 26
Fortunately for Dr. Griffin, most of the spray went to the soldier’s side, splattering everyone to his right.
Predictably, all the soldiers pointed their weapons at us, and began to fire back. Laser and plasma blasts shattered branches, started small fires, and with a thunderous crack destroyed the trunk of a tree.
It fell over.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 22
I didn’t need the observation bots to hear a familiar voice broadcast across the building’s clearing and into the woods.
“Humans, evacuate the building and put down your arms. Listen to us, and we may leave you and your young ones alive. It’s more than you’ve any right to expect.”
The warm, tenor voice sounded human, but too perfect. Even if I hadn’t noticed, the Rocket suit pegged the voice as artificial.
In fact, I’d recognized it as a very specific artificial voice–the leader (or at least spokesman) of the Hrrnna.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 21
Given that someone in that building was making competent use of technology created by aliens more evil than the ones trying to provoke genocide on us, it was hard to imagine any kind of good news.
“What?” I asked.
“The office building is owned by Blue Sky Labs, a small company owned by Dr. Valerie Griffin, an electrical engineer by training, but a specialist in alien artifacts for the last five years.”
Lim didn’t take a breath, continuing with, “But that’s not the bad part. She’s got grants and investments from all over, ranging from businesses to the government. That’s not a surprise considering what she’s doing, but here’s the bad part. The last time I saw any lab studying alien artifacts that was this well funded, it turned out they were being funded by the Nine. They didn’t even know it.”
Seeing the alien ships hammering the building’s shield, I wondered if that meant that the Nine had their own version.
If so, I hoped it wasn’t portable.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 20
It made me wonder who exactly was in that building. Finding Abominator tech wasn’t that hard if you knew where to look. There were a few well known archaeological sites. Well known to some people anyway–Grandpa being one of them. He’d been brought in to look at Abominator artifacts.
Most Abominator tech found that way didn’t actually work though. To get working Abominator tech, you either had to get lucky like Cassie or whoever had originally found her gun, or get access to one of the Abominator caches found in various spots in the solar system. Continue reading Stardock: Part 19
I didn’t pay much attention to the explosion beyond noting that it happened. We were gaining on the ships ahead of us.
I couldn’t say that for sure personally. All my HUD showed was the city at night plus blurry areas in the sky that looked very similar to the blurred areas in the sky that I’d normally see behind a jet or a truck.
In short, it was probably the two cloaked ships we’d been chasing. Or, it was some kind of cloaked drone that generated a disproportionate amount of sound in an effort to to mislead us.
That wasn’t impossible.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 18
In my HUD, Sean’s square started blinking. He wanted a private chat. Oh, great.
I let him talk anyway.
His voice came over the connection as a shout, or if it wasn’t a shout, it had the tone of one. “Are you trying to make me look bad?”
I muted him. Then, thinking better of it, I cut our connection entirely. There was no way that conversation could go anywhere useful.
Lim’s voice, still calm and collected, came over the Stapledon channel. “Then that’s it. We blow Stardock. Everyone retreat through the portal that will open next to Flame Legion. Rocket, Aurora Bees, Patriot Jr., and Izzy—you’re last. Also, Izzy, you need to pick a codename.”
I glanced over to where she hovered next to the building. She said, “I know.”
Continue reading Stardock: Part 17
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
Bits of light sparkled around the end of the barrel. I waited to see if it did it again. It didn’t.
Good. Then I didn’t have to put it back in the locker.
I put on a little speed, and joined everyone else by the jet. Haley had touched the door, and it opened, lowering to the ground, and altering to become a short stairway.
Sean looked down at the gun and said, “What’s that? You looked like you were talking to it.”
Not even waiting for me to answer, he reached out to take it.
Continue reading Ready or Not: Part 6
I didn’t even think about what I’d be hitting. I fired, holding the button down even though I knew it used more power.
I don’t think I panicked, but I can’t say I was thinking clearly.
Being rushed by someone who you know can kill you does that. Continue reading Targets: Part 24