Isaac switched to another card, frowning for a moment as he paused.
“With that said, it’s time to talk about this year. In the past we’ve done extended training in the summer, but only for students who are already enrolled. From now on, this will be new students’ introductions to the program.
“Additionally, in the past, the Stapledon program would pay for any college or university in the United States, we are now limiting that to specific universities or colleges within a certain distance of those universities. That still represents a wide selection of educational institutions.
“The reason for this is that we’ll be instituting daily training, and don’t want anyone to have to travel too far.
Continue reading Fresh Meat: Part 2
Reed showed us to our rooms, let us drop off our luggage, and led us to the cafeteria before leaving us to meet the buses.
“Find a table,” he said as he opened the door to walk out, “the buses are here. You’ll be seeing all your friends in minutes.”
I believed him. Except for us, the room was empty of students, but it was full of staff. The tables had been set. The staff were placing food on four different tables that barely seemed to have room for more.
On the stage in front of the room, a man said, “Testing, testing?” into the microphone on the podium until someone called him on the phone. Then he said, “Good,” and left the stage and room. Continue reading Fresh Meat: Part 1
Lim walked a couple steps more up the ramp, and joined me. “Keep on moving. I’ve got to get in there to thank everybody in person, and to assure them that their friends are getting the best medical care available—which is true by the way.”
I turned around, and started following Daniel for a few steps before turning back toward Lim to ask, “About those rights and responsibilities—“
Lim interrupted me. “We’re looking into it, but in the end you may have to flat out ask them. Of course, you may have a few more resources than most of us. Use them and you’ll have a head start.” Continue reading Glory: Part 7
That was interesting, and not necessarily good. It wasn’t necessarily bad. It didn’t automatically mean Sean was planning to take out his fear and anxiety about his sister on me.
It didn’t mean he wasn’t either.
Vaughn saw him as Sean got closer. “Hey, he’s coming back–”
And then Sean was there, landing on the sidewalk with exactly the force required to stop, and not a bit more or less. I’d come to envy that. Sure, I’d worked out a landing command that did the same thing, but it wasn’t flexible. I needed to do manual landings a lot, and when I did, it was all too easy to drop a foot, or have to run a few steps before I could fully stop.
Despite the control he’d shown when landing, Sean slumped when he hit the ground.
Continue reading Glory: Part 5
I felt Travis grab my arm as I stepped toward the door, and said, “Hang on!”
Jaclyn and Travis jumped with me as I gave the rockets fuel, and that was all for the best. The Rocket suit wasn’t meant to carry people. Sure, you could carry people. You could carry several people, but let’s put it this way—if a car were falling off a bridge, and I was the only chance for the people inside to survive… well… those people were likely to have a very short life.
This was bad for a whole lot of reasons, but mostly because it wasn’t at it’s best maneuvering while carrying three people, two from my right arm, one with my left. The right rockets had to compensate by putting out more force on that side just to keep us from listing to one side or the other.
This made all turns a little sluggish. If you hypothetically happened to be flying above the Hudson River while pieces of a spaceship fell from above, this was more than a little inconvenient.
The HUD said, [COLLISION ALERT].
Continue reading Glory: Part 1
Lim answered the phone, and from his tone I could tell he sounded a little better than he had before.
“Rocket, who do you need? Right now, almost everyone’s free, so you’ve got your pick.”
“Everyone?” That seemed unlikely.
“You got stuck with the largest group. Most of the rest had to deal with four people at a time. I’m not saying people didn’t get hurt, but we haven’t had any deaths yet. Plus, we just had help show up–mercenaries.”
“Who? Protection Force?” Continue reading Stardock: Part 29
Through my observation bots, I watched Bloodmaiden take to the air. I knew she could fly, but from her motion, it looked more like she’d jumped. One leg bent in a step, and the other straight, her pose reminded me of early Superman comics, and how Jaclyn jumped.
If she used her ability to fly to cushion her landing, I didn’t notice it. Her boots sank into the ground next to Jaclyn.
She’d jumped over the building. I knew she wasn’t this strong normally. Continue reading Stardock: Part 24
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
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