Talking about it too widely could literally lead to the end of the world, so I felt like I had a decent excuse.
Still showing a hint of a smile, Lim stood up and tapped the globe on the table again. It stopped glowing. “If that’s it, I should let you go. I’m assuming that you got everything?”
I shrugged, “Everything I intended to take. Do you think anyone’s going to mind if I grab pens, t-shirts, or anything else from the swag closet?” Continue reading Loose Ends: Part 6
I raised an eyebrow. “How?”
Isaac leaned forward, glancing over at Tara and then at me. “I have contacts all over the superhero community and it shouldn’t surprise either of you that Nick’s not the only one I’ve got trying to infiltrate the Nine. One of them let me know that the Nine were after me about the time that Dr. Hansen tried to mind control you. Continue reading Loose Ends: Part 5
Tara wore the katana she’d carried the night before. I wondered what it did if anything. I hadn’t made it, after all.
It could be that it was just a sword that she’d chosen to use when she adopted her late father’s superhero identity—Ronin. Given that they were masterless warriors and he’d left the True, I could see why the name might have resonated with him and her too. Continue reading Loose Ends: Part 4
In the face of all that, I knew what the first thing I had to do was. Send Lim a message so that he knew that he was right. The Nine had infiltrated the FBI—and by the way, they’d also infiltrated the Engineering Department of my university.
In the grand scheme of things, the FBI was more important to the country, but the university had a more immediate impact on my life. Lim would want to know in any case. Continue reading Truth and the True: Part 12
I clicked and took the call. Lim sat at his desk at home. Blinds covered the window behind him, but the darkness of the night outside surrounded the edges of the blinds.
Lim sighed and shook his head as he saw me. “You struck pay dirt. Even though I want more detail and more proof, we’ve now got direct confirmation from Ryan and Hardwick’s own mouths that they’re connected to the Nine. We even know that they’re planning to do things that sound questionable once they’ve gotten out from under the Nine’s thumb as well as a near confirmation of the murder of Dean Whiteford.” Continue reading Truth and the True: Part 9
Flipping through the people I could remember from work, I couldn’t think of any that had even hinted that they might be Feds or in any way on my side. To be fair, that was probably a mark of competence.
That in turn reminded me of Stephanie. I needed to show her this video. Even though I wasn’t quite sure she was trustworthy, we were in this together now and she deserved some warning if they somehow caught on to her.
You could make an argument that she might be better off not knowing given Zola and Art’s senses, but I couldn’t quite make myself believe it. At core, the more a person knew, the better they could adjust their actions to match their situation. Continue reading Jekyll Or Hyde: Part 17
A few hours later, I found myself on a call with him. Isaac sat in his home office. I sat in my lab. I’d used backchannels to let him know I had something big and he’d called me from his secure system—the one so secure that even his superiors wouldn’t be aware of it because they might have been compromised.
I’d given him access to the video I’d made. He’d finished watching and shook his head. “That’s bad. I’ve seen worse, but that’s pretty bad. Higher Ground is blackmailing their own employees into getting their DNA modified by alien artifacts. Then they’re using them to steal an unknown piece of data from Hardwick Industries. It seems to be organized by their research director who might have connections to the Nine.” Continue reading Jekyll Or Hyde: Part 16
I stared at him. “Seriously? I’m supposed to help them do it? Isn’t there a point at which we intervene?”
Lim frowned. “There is. When we know before someone might die, we intervene, but even then we try to do it without blowing our cover if it’s possible. Right here, we don’t have that. We’ve got a body that might be be connected and we are following up on that. We don’t need you to do it.
“We’ve also got a problem that has destroyed humanity in alternate universe and that puts this whole operation on a lot of people’s watch lists for a lot of different reasons. The problem is that some of the people whose watch list it’s on are not in it for the right reasons.” Continue reading Claws & Eyes: Part 8
After Vaughn and I went back to the house, I headed immediately down to my lab because I wanted to talk with Isaac Lim. I’d told Vaughn about how I’d now become the “lead” and only programmer on Higher Ground’s birthing chamber remote control project (or whatever it was called).
He’d stared at me long enough that I worried that he wasn’t paying attention to the road. “Let me get this straight—you’re duplicating Cassie’s Abominator Citizen’s Mark with a psi helmet?”
Shaking my head and looking forward, hoping Vaughn would take the hint, I said, “Not exactly. I think her Citizen’s Mark gives her total control of the device. From what I understand, the psi helmet would give the user the default level of access the Abominators gave normal users. I suspect that would still be more than we’re comfortable with.” Continue reading Claws & Eyes: Part 7
I tried to think of ways I could stop the True’s creation without leaving a trail. The best option that came to mind was one I’d thought of earlier. Cassie had been cloned from her father’s DNA plus an X chromosome from an unknown source and a structure in her brain that allowed her to control Abominator technology.
She’d be able to turn off the birthing machine or better, set it to almost, but not quite, follow directions.
The only problem was that she’d been created by Dr. Mind, Nazi brain in a jar, and enemy of her father, Captain Commando. Dr. Mind had either played a role in founding the Nine or they’d acquired his equipment and records. The Nine had been looking for her for years and putting her within their grasp wasn’t the brightest of all possible moves. Continue reading Dealing With It: Part 5