A few people laughed, but Amy stopped moving, expression blank, finally managing to say, “That’s the plan.”
Samita stood up and walked up to the front. Dressed in a green blouse and khaki pants, it was one of the few times I’d seen her out of costume. With black hair and brown skin, she looked like she might be from southeast Asia, and her parents were. She’d been born in the US.
She stood in front of the group as Amy moved to the side and stood next to the wall. Samita’s eyes darted from one of us to another. In combination with the straightness of her stance, she gave the impression of a highly motivated student hoping for an “A.” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 6
I clicked on the email.
All it said was “You know what to do,” and underneath that sentence there was a link to a Dropbox folder. I hesitated for a moment and then clicked on it. It opened to a web page that listed only one file in folder. It was called “Exposure.mpv.”
I’d heard of the video format. It only ran on the associated player and only worked once. No one knew who had designed it. The Double V forums were certain it was a known tech genius, but couldn’t agree on who.
Daniel’s bed creaked, and I heard him walk up behind me as I sat at the desk. “Maybe we should get Izzy. It’s only going to play once, and she’s got a great memory for sounds.” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 48
A second look gave me a few clues I’d missed when I’d first seen what I’d thought was Adam. “Adam” had the same thin build and overall look, but he seemed taller than normal. It wasn’t by much.
Haley bent down, obviously getting a closer look. “Is she okay?”
Daniel stared at “Adam’s” face briefly. “I think so. There’s no way of knowing how she’ll take this later, but she didn’t kill anybody, or even hurt anyone. She relayed Artaxus’ orders to Hunter and the fae. That’s all. It’s not out of the question that being mind controlled might still traumatize her, but she didn’t do anything particularly terrible under his influence. She was more of a glorified gofer.” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 47
I wondered how she intended to distract him. I had ideas, but I couldn’t know for sure till she tried something. We’d have to watch outside for a chance to escape–preferably without looking Artaxus in the eye. Amy had agreed that that was a bad idea back in the hallway behind the store–and we were already under her protection spell then.
Standing next to the hatch that was normally on the mech’s roof, and currently on its side, Haley rested the particle accelerator rifle on her shoulder. “What did Rachel say?”
“That she’s going to try something, and we should run if we get the chance. Do you think you’ll be able to tell without–” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 43
A tap with my tongue accepted the private connection. I replied, “Artaxus grabbed us.”
“I’m coming.” Rachel didn’t give me a chance to respond.
I didn’t have time for that anyway. The mech had begun to make the kind of low pitched squeaks that made me think of houses settling or boats on the water, but with more strain as the body shuddered. Somewhere, something cracked.
I hoped it wasn’t important, and it must not have been. The mech didn’t fire off a major alert-just a few minor ones. Of course, that didn’t mean that I was going to stick around and find out if Artaxus could actually crush the mech. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 42
Artaxus pulled himself entirely on to the ledge before I’d worked out a plan for our dive. I knew I didn’t want to get in reach of the dragon’s claws or in range of his breath.
“Laser?” I asked Haley.
She muttered the word, “Aiming,” only barely loud enough for me to hear, followed by the crackle and hum of the laser firing.
It hit the dragon’s back like her other shots had, destroying the creature’s scales, and cutting into its hide, cauterizing the wound even as it made it.
Artaxus’ head whipped around and he blew flame at us, but we were too far away and moving too quickly for the fire to do any real damage. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 41
Touching my palms with the fingers of my gloves, I typed back, “Named Artaxus. He’s a dragon. Don’t look in eyes. Mind control.”
Rachel texted back, “Fuck.”
Amy and the dragon were still talking. I typed, “Need to get outside. Bad to fight here. Because fire.”
Kind of have a plan, Daniel thought at me. Amy’s about to suggest we talk outside. If he doesn’t buy it, we run.
That’s a bad plan, I thought back. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 36
Amy lowered her chin, looking at him as much as she could without meeting his eyes. “I don’t want the throne, and even if I did, I don’t want to kill my sister and plunge the kingdom into war.”
The man shrugged. “Give yourself time. You might find that you feel differently in another hundred years.”
Hundred years? I thought.
To judge from Amy’s thoughts, Daniel replied, the nobility, and particularly the Bloodmaidens are long lived—assuming they don’t die in combat—and they do that a lot. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 35
Travis’ mouth twitched. “I’m pleading the fifth on that, but yeah, I like the idea. That might get us what we need. Do we have any other way we can find out more? Like his ex-girlfriend… Jaclyn, do you know where she is? Or what about Samita and Rod? Can’t you, I don’t know, summon up something?”
Samita’s mouth turned into a flat line. “Summoning is very dangerous. One wrong move and you could release whatever you summon into the world. Worse, depending on what you summon, you could put your life or even your soul in danger.”
Jaclyn started tapping furiously into her phone.
Vaughn looked up from whatever he’d been checking on his phone. “Hey, it doesn’t have to be something dangerous does it? I read one of those Dresden Files books, and in there the guy summons up fairies and feeds them pizza. Can’t you do something easy like that?” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 3
Jaclyn shook her head, and pulled her phone out of her pocket. “That’s not what interests me. What I want to know is why he’s even bothering? What do we know about him?”
“Well,” I paused, mouth partway open, wondering if I should even say it. “I’m pretty sure he’s a client of my dad’s. My dad had a client who was a superhero, and who needed therapy after quitting. Adam’s girlfriend got killed by the mob, and he went on some kind of rampage, killing anyone remotely associated, I guess. Agent Lim got him into therapy. I don’t know why he actually stopped killing and went through with it, but he did say nice things about my dad when I talked to him once.”
Fingers already tapping out something on the screen of her phone, Jaclyn said, “His codename?”
She stopped and looked up at me. “That guy? I heard about him.” Then she started tapping away again. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 2