Daniel’s dad continued, “Guardian’s giving the asteroid a quick once over, checking if the asteroid’s anything more than a big rock. We’ve got a few ideas as to how we can handle it if it’s just a dinosaur killer, but we don’t want any surprises.”
I’d set the suit to monitor Stapledon communications and the Heroes League team channel for activity. There wasn’t much of anything going on between our team. Like me, they were likely all listening to the Defenders. The Heroes League channel showed a lot of activity between Haley and Kayla at first. After that, Camille, Sydney, Marcus, and Chris all came online.
Chris? That was cool. Haley was calling in everybody. If Grand Lake had an asteroid with its name on it, they’d have a decent chance of taking it out between the League jet, Camille’s anti-gravity powers, and Chris to think things through.
If the people who were guessing that the asteroids were a feint were correct, they’d need everyone they could get. Fighting the machines had been too close, and who knew what the Hrrrna were like?
I wished I was there. I wished I had time to pay attention to what they were saying.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 12
Lim continued, “We’ll be using the strategies and tactics we practiced yesterday, so you shouldn’t have had time to forget them yet. There will be one additional wrinkle. We’re already evacuating Stardock just like we are the rest of the city. That means that if we do decide to blow Stardock, we won’t be looking for you to evacuate the people below. We’ll need you to watch out for each other. Don’t leave anyone in your unit behind.”
He paused, looked us all over, and then, when we thought he’d finished, he said, “There’s one more thing. Stardock isn’t the only alien technology in New York City. We fought the Abominators in the 1970’s, and we collected everything we could find. I’m not going to tell you where it is, but none of you should be surprised to discover that we’re studying it, or that we’re doing our best to reverse engineer it. When you fight, you need to use tools that can do the job. Our own tools won’t, so we’re getting better tools.That’s why we may redirect a few of you if we have to blow Stardock. Don’t hesitate if we call you in. Trust me, it will be important.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 11
Then Travis turned his attention back to Daniel’s dad. “OK, you said that your dad, the Mentalist saw this coming. What did he see?”
Quickly shaking his head, Mindstryke said, “It’s not exactly like that. For my dad, Daniel, and I, precognition comes without a lot of control at first. Seconds in the future are easiest. Everything else comes unasked for, but over time you become better at directing it. The problem is that there isn’t just one future, there’s an infinite number. Some of the differences aren’t much, but they’re there.
“My dad got to the point that he could see futures as collections of connected events, and even look for specific outcomes. He gave us patterns of events we should look for and a few spots where we can intervene. Mostly though, we can’t. We guess it’s because you’ll become too reliant on us, and unprepared when you need to handle things yourselves.
“And that leads us to today. We were going to wait on handing over direct control to you, but we can’t. You’ve just gotten too much attention. As of now, the League’s business issues need you to have the power to make decisions. We won’t have time to handle it. The staff doesn’t have the authority.”
“The staff?” Travis sounded confused. “The only staff I know about is Kayla.”
Continue reading Spin: Part 7
“Wow,” I said, “you’re early.”
Mindstryke shook his head. “Not really. I told you the latest we’d be here was ten, and some of us happened to finish up earlier than expected.”
He was right. Now that he’d mentioned it, I remembered him saying that. I also remembered a couple other things he’d said.
“We’re still waiting on part of the current League, and one member of the board.”
I was about to ask him who that was when the words, “Entered: Accelerando, C. Retinal scan confirmed,” appeared on the bottom of my screen.
Shortly after that one of the tunnel doors swung open, and Jaclyn walked through with her grandfather. She wore her purple costume—not really more than a jumpsuit, but she didn’t need it for protection. The hard part was creating a fabric that could handle hitting the speed of sound. Continue reading Spin: Part 6
By the time our food came, anyone who had wanted an autograph had one. There weren’t that many people in the restaurant after all.
A fair number of them pointed phones in our direction. It didn’t make me feel better. It’d be really annoying if one of us accidentally used a real name. We’d probably see it all over the internet in hours.
Daniel’s voice popped into my head. It gets worse. One of them already called a television station, and they’re sending out a reporter.
What? It was all I could do not to say it out loud. Why didn’t you say something?
It’s no big deal, Daniel said. The nearest TV station is half an hour from here. Our food should be here sooner.
Hoping that no one thought to bribe the cooks, I looked over the room again, and didn’t see anything unusual. Continue reading Spin: Part 5
I shut down HQ for the night around 11:23 pm, knowing even as I did it that my parents weren’t going to be happy.
We had arrived back at 10:47 pm. In theory, I suppose, I could have been home on time if I’d skipped showering and let everyone else turn things off. Unfortunately just taking off the armor and putting it away took 10 minutes. Short of asking Jaclyn to carry me back to the house at full speed, I couldn’t see any way to be home on time.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 60
Inside the police department looked like most institutional buildings — beige walls, tile floor, cubicles — but with the obvious addition of men and women in blue carrying guns.
We ended up standing inside a conference room. “We” in this case meant new and old Heroes League members, the Midwest Defenders, the FBI representatives, PsyKick, Larry, and a few police.
It was a big conference room — two, actually. They’d taken out the divider between two rooms as we came in.
The tables had been pushed to the wall and the sleeping bodies placed in the middle of the room. All the rest of us stood around the edges while Daniel, his dad, the Fed with the psychic helmet, and PsyKick deep probed their minds.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 59
“No. There’s no way I’m doing that,” I said.
“That was a joke. I wasn’t suggesting you let Mindstryke take over, but you need to listen to the guy. No one thinks about it when they start, but managing your image is a major piece of the job.”
Guardian pulled a couple pieces of pepperoni pizza onto a plate.
Flick leaned in toward the table and smiled briefly. “He’s right. Some of you have heard about what happened when I joined the Defenders. I think the most important thing I’ve learned in the past two years is how to handle myself in public.”
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 58
“Is there some way I could avoid being on TV?” I said.
“Are you nervous?” Haley asked. “Your grandfather was on TV all the time.”
“Was he your grandfather?” Flick said. “I wondered about the connection. I remember seeing him on TV as a little kid. He always seemed so calm.”
Flick didn’t seem all that much older than we were. I would have guessed mid to late twenties. At best she could have seen him at the tail end of his career unless she’d seen some old news footage. During a history class, I once saw him in a World War II era newsreel.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 57
The house only blew up a little bit — at least by comparison to an atomic bomb, for example. It didn’t have a mushroom cloud, just gouts of flame pouring out the kitchen windows and doors. To judge from what it looked like afterwards, it must have blasted out a couple pieces of wall too, but I was too distracted by the flames and smoke to notice.
We had already gotten out when it happened. The explosion destroyed the kitchen, part of the dining room, and started most of the back of the house burning. Even through my armor I could feel the heat a little.
I hit the ground when it blew like everyone else, realizing belatedly that I probably didn’t have to.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 56