I half expected Turkmenistan to erupt in torrents of blood and destruction by Sunday night, but it didn’t. Nothing happened. That didn’t mean I wasn’t trying to stop it though.
I considered sending an email explaining everything to Agent Lim, but didn’t when it occurred to me that anything that went to Lim’s email address might be permanently archived by the government. Instead I sent him an email saying that something of potentially international importance had come up, and that he should talk to me or Dr.Nation as soon as possible. Continue reading Demo: Part 1
Between the blue t-shirt that appeared to be a pajama top and the wrinkles in his khakis, Dr. Nation was the closest to disheveled I’d ever seen him. He’d obviously come straight from bed, and thrown on anything in reach.
It could have been worse, I told myself. He might have come in a bathrobe.
Dr. Nation leaned over Stephanie, and picked up the glowing metal weapon, aiming its face away from him and us. After a moment, he turned it off.
Then he checked Gordon’s face. It was red where he’d hit the rock wall. He touched his hand on Gordon’s arm, checking Gordon’s pulse, nodding and giving a small smile as he found it. Then he looked at Haley. “How long does your poison generally last?”
She pursed her lips. “That’s hard to say. It depends on how big they are, and how much I put into them. With the normal amount, people are out for at least ten minutes.”
Nodding slowly, he asked, “And did you give them the normal amount?”
Haley grimaced, and said, “I… think? It was a bit of a blur.” Continue reading Threat Analysis: Part 10 (The Real One)
My mind raced. Was there a technical fix for this? Set Hal to follow where the email went and delete it from any system that had it? That would create a mess by itself. If it turned out that the recipient had already printed it out or removed the computer from the internet, we might not ever find it.
Haley glanced back at me, but since I was still trying to think about technical solutions, I didn’t say anything.
She frowned, and addressed Stephanie again. “Can’t you stop them? You know these people, right? If they’re trustworthy, they’ll understand it wasn’t your information to give.”
Stephanie’s face twitched. “Do you want to leave a bunch of murderers in charge?” Continue reading Threat Analysis: Part 9
I wondered if anyone in the program could match Guardian. I’d heard that he wasn’t even limited to this dimension in his abilities. Brooke, his daughter (who I actually knew better) was limited to a few miles last I’d heard.
Last year we’d tracked down Chancy Harris, and even if he wasn’t in Guardian’s league, he appeared to be able to send people hundreds or even thousands of miles easily.
The impression I’d gotten when we met him though was that he wasn’t all that fussy about his customers. Case in point, he’d actually been working for aliens who turned out to be trying to destroy humanity last spring.
Continue reading Burning: Part 7
Any idea who we’d tell? I continued running, wondering if anyone was noticing the conversation.
It wasn’t as if we were cheating.
Still, there were telepaths out there who could listen in on conversations like this. Even if people agreed with the idea, one unknown listener was one too many.
I felt agreement from Daniel at that unarticulated thought. Then he answered my question.
Continue reading Burning: Part 6
On Saturday morning, we gathered at the compound’s athletic fields. They had two football/soccer fields with tracks running around them. The first year students gathered in the middle of one and the second, third, and fourth years gathered in the other.
The first years seemed to take up most of the middle of their field, but that wasn’t really true. It wasn’t just them. Adults in costume (both superhero and medical scrubs) were scattered throughout the crowd.
I recognized what they were doing from last year—entry assessment. The program was getting a baseline of their abilities. They’d set up a walled room on one end of the field. I wasn’t sure of the material, but from here it looked like stone.
I didn’t know what kind of powers they had to work with, but an awful lot of powers had the potential to kill if they weren’t contained.
Continue reading Entry Assessment: Part 1
Joe decided to put Lee on hold with a click, and took Larry’s call.
“Rocket?” Larry’s voice came over the suit’s internal speakers. “I don’t know what half this stuff does, and I can’t turn off the translator, but this suit’s got amazing weapons. You want me to hit him again?”
The Nexus struggled to pull its legs out of the pile. It wasn’t going easily. He barely seemed to move one piece of concrete when another fell back into the hole he’d created.
Plus, something about the giant’s balance seemed off.
“Follow my lead,” Joe said, and hung up.
Continue reading When It’s Over: Part 9
The Nexus didn’t even seem to notice the noise.
A rainbow of colors swirled around the Rhino costume as it blurred toward them, changing it from gray, lumpy armor with a horn to sleek, bronze armor with a metallic sheen.
It still had a Rhino theme, but it was bigger, and had a long bronze horn with a sharp spike on the end.
The bronze armor stopped, and voice came from it. It sounded almost like Larry’s, but not quite, and it didn’t speak in English.
“Je suis le Bronze Rhino!” Continue reading When It’s Over: Part 8
Pressing the buttons on his palm, Joe made the suit turn upright and hover. As the Nexus flew toward him, barely slowing down and raising his arm, Joe wondered how good an idea this would be.
Bright shifting colors raced toward him, and passed to his right, quickly followed by the Nexus himself.
Joe turned in place in the air. It had seemed difficult the first time he’d tried it, but after more than thirty years in the Rocket suit, he barely thought as he did it.
The Nexus turned toward him, turning upright in the air and pointing the bracer at him.
Continue reading When It’s Over: Part 7
“Heroes League,” he said. He’d left it set to “Rocket voice.” There couldn’t be any doubt who’d answered.
The person on the other end gasped. “Excuse me? Sir? I’m Officer Smythe of the Grand Lake police force, and there’s a man flying through downtown. He’s been asking for the Heroes League, and Captain Schwarz told me to call you.”
Joe frowned. “Is there something wrong with the flying man? Should I be worried?”
Officer Smythe paused. “I… I don’t know, sir, but he’s big. Maybe twelve feet tall, and he doesn’t look happy.”
“Do you have any idea who he is? I know a lot of flying people these days.”
Smythe gave a short laugh. “No. I’ve never seen this guy.”
Joe had the feeling that Smythe was a rookie. Continue reading When It’s Over: Part 3