Far too conscious of the limited number of boombots I had left, I tried to think through my next steps. Amy and I stood roughly back to back with her facing Andronicus Thing. The rock stood to her right and my left.
Latoya lay on the ground in front of the rock. Jillian Thing and Hank Thing rushed toward us from my right and they probably weren’t going to respect my agreement with Amy that I handle them while she handled Andronicus Thing.
Worse, I realized that we’d screwed up tactically, possibly lethally. Continue reading Harvest: Part 12
Out of the corner of my eye, I watched The Thing That Eats in all of its bodies. None of them said anything as they stood by the rock, but they watched it.
I felt certain they had a reason, and said, “How do you want to handle it? Straight out attack or something softer?”
Lying with her armored back to the shingled roof, Amy glanced up toward the roof’s peak. “Do you have an idea?” Continue reading Harvest: Part 11
Then Kid Biohack Thing turned away from Vaughn and began to pace the circle. As it passed him, it spoke in a low voice. “They don’t like you, you know. Not really. They like what you can do for them.
Vaughn stared at it and stepped away from the circle. “You’re not as good at that as you think you are.”
He stopped next to where Samita, Rod, Amy, Cassie and I had clumped together between the two nearest circles.
Looking around at the group of us, he added, “I used to worry about that a lot.” Continue reading Harvest: Part 9
Vengeance stood straighter. “We can banish you from this universe. Don’t think we can’t—”
He didn’t get to finish the sentence. In that moment, Alden’s head changed to that of The Thing That Eats. He wasn’t the only one. With a scream, the head of the woman that the elf had called Necromancer changed too.
Her hands continued to smoke, but she didn’t use them. The Thing’s mouth opened and swallowed the Graffiti Knight, weird, inscribed armor and all. Continue reading Harvest: Part 5
I thought about that. “If the animals were summoned by wizards, I’m not sure I’m impressed. If you think about it, The Thing That Eats is powerful enough when it’s taken over supers that animals can’t hurt it much, but it can hurt them.”
Amy cocked her head, thinking. Then she straightened. “When I was back home, my father used to say ‘think sideways’ a lot. My mother is the queen. My father acts as her spymaster. My guess is that they’re using the animals for reconnaissance and maybe to scare normal people away from the battle. If they do make them fight, it’s probably because The Thing can’t possess them.”
Over the comm, Haley made a noise. “I hope they know cougars are on the endangered species list in Michigan.” Continue reading Harvest: Part 2
Because the van’s dashboard was still in civilian mode, I couldn’t even send out bots to try to follow her. I pulled out my own phone, holding it to my side, and angling it with its back toward the back, so that people behind me couldn’t see the screen.
The “presence” screen showed that Kid Biohack’s communicator was on and placed him in the factory’s yard.
There had to be another way to find out whether he was alive or not, short of running out there. Continue reading Precision: Part 10
I swallowed. I’d met a woman who used eagle themed powered armor. She’d been a professional mercenary who worked for Rook directly, and indirectly the Nine. She’d been in Rook’s headquarters when we broke in to rescue Cassie. I’d assumed that she’d survived the headquarters blowing up, but hadn’t expected to see her again.
I hadn’t beaten her as much as escaped from her, so this wasn’t good news. Continue reading Precision: Part 9
We pushed our way back to the van, leaving and undoubtedly violating laws about staying at the scene of a crime in the process. I wasn’t sure how many heard the first part of the conversation, but there were a lot of people at the end.
Of course, that was when Kid Biohack was there. Back when it was Alden and Jillian talking, it wouldn’t have appeared to be anything more than normal conversation since he’d been out of costume.
Still, someone might have listened to all of it. In that case, the police would be very interested in anything Jillian would have to say. Continue reading Precision: Part 8
Jillian’s boyfriend straightened up, letting go of Jillian’s arm, and standing in between her and Kid Biohack. Meeting Kid’s eyes, he said, “I told you I wasn’t going to do the hero thing after graduation. The system’s corrupt, and I know you know it. We talked about it back—” and there he blinked, “—in days we can’t talk about.”
Jeremy glanced over at me, and I guessed he’d recognized the same thing I had—the slack-jawed look of a guy whose psychic block had kicked into action.
Haley grabbed Jillian’s arm and whispered into her ear while pulling her backward, and nudging Camille and the guys next to her.
That was the smart play. Getting a ringside seat at what might be a superpowered fight was not. Continue reading Precision: Part 7
When it was clear that the fighting was over, I resigned myself to going back in and picking apart the technical details of the movie version of the Rocket suit. I stepped toward the door only to find Haley stepping out and shutting it behind her.
“What happened?” She asked, keeping her voice low. Continue reading Precision: Part 6