Standing up and stepping away from the chair, Hardwick grinned wider. “There’s one more thing you should know. Those files you took included records from Red Lightning’s breeding program and how our company assisted him at that time as well as things I’ve done to protect the products of that breeding program—including hiring the Executioner, a known criminal. Continue reading Truth and the True: Part 8
Hardwick laughed though it didn’t have the joy and surprise of most laughter. “You want me to go to war with the Nine? Don’t kid yourself. I’m sure we’re every bit as compromised as anyone else. The moment we try to do anything, they’ll know.”
Ryan shook his head. “I’m not asking that. I’m asking that you talk to people over there and see what you can do to free us from them. Say that you want us for yourself. Since they know you’re friendly to them, they’ll know that if they want something from us, they can get it.” Continue reading Truth and the True: Part 7
It’s worth noting that technically I hadn’t received a physical list. I’d received a list as part of Hal’s message to my implant. When I thought about the message, I knew everything on the list. Russell Hardwick’s name was on one of the most recent conversations.
It had happened yesterday around eight in the morning, only a few hours before I’d come into work. The message described the location as Sandy LePage’s office, but the meeting was with Ryan McCall.
Of all the meetings, and there were more than 20, this one stood out because of who was involved, when it happened, and where.
I knew I wanted to look at it first. Continue reading Truth and the True: Part 6
“Don’t forget it,” Russ said. “No business can survive without good people. You and your father have both been good influences in his life.”
The sound of helicopter blades ended that conversation as everyone in the crowd turned to watch the copter land.
As it came down, Vaughn’s mom turned to me and tapped my shoulder. “Good to see you, Nick.”
I managed to get out, “Good to see you too,” but not much more. The noise made conversation impossible and I was fine with that. It’s not that I disliked her, but the last real conversation I’d had with her involved her informing me that she knew I was the Rocket and that she didn’t want Vaughn to be involved with the new version of the Heroes’ League in any way. Continue reading Dealing With It: Part 7
I couldn’t argue with her. We stood at the nexus of humanity’s extinction by the True, the possibility that Higher Ground’s mission to understand alien technology would kick off humanity’s genocide by the Xiniti, and the more day to day menace of the Nine and their attempts at worldwide influence.
By this time we ought to be used to it. Things we’d done during the summer had the potential to affect the fate of far-flung human and alien civilizations that spanned the galaxy around us—not to mention becoming peripherally involved a civil war between Lee’s people that had lasted for millions, possibly billions of years.
The difference being, of course, that the stakes felt higher when they affected the city where you lived. Continue reading Dealing With It: Part 6
Hardwick pushed back his chair, and stood up behind the desk. “Don’t threaten me, George. Ray’s got nothing to offer me that I can’t buy.”
Small flickers of electricity arced between the fingers of his left hand.
Mr. Drucker said, “Yeah? Good, but I wasn’t threatening. I came here to tell you what would happen if you side with these people instead of our kids. I’ll see you at the next meeting.”
He touched his hand back on the beam, and the metal flowed back into position, slightly more shiny in the spots Mr. Drucker had melted.
Then he left. Continue reading Graduation: Part 20
The idea of helping me skip school amused Rachel as much as I thought it might.
It amused her enough to wake up at seven instead of nine, and pretend to be Mom. The school bought it. One of the nice things about not being the kind of guy who gets in trouble regularly is that the staff doesn’t recognize your mother’s voice. Continue reading Graduation: Part 19
We agreed to meet again on Monday, and then everybody left.
Well, almost everybody. Haley stayed.
I walked into the lab and started pulling out the parts for the anti-paralysis/mind control devices. Thinking back on it, I don’t remember being in a particularly bad mood, but I wasn’t in a good one. The rest of the afternoon and the evening stretched before me. I had to finish them that night because if something came up tomorrow, one of us might die.
Continue reading Graduation: Part 14
“Before you know it,” turned out to be a bit of an exaggeration.
He arrived on Saturday afternoon, complete with chaperon, meeting me in front of the parking garage behind the hospital.
The area around the hospital was one of those spots in Grand Lake that felt like a big city. The highway that ran through downtown wasn’t far off, and we could hear it. The hospital, a big, block-shaped, brick building, sprawled across the street. The new medical research institute, a long metal and glass building that could have been stolen from the cover of a science fiction novel, stretched as long as the combined hospital and garage.
Continue reading Counterattack: Part 5
Mr. Drucker didn’t look satisfied by Vaughn’s uncle’s reply, but he didn’t keep on arguing either.
I couldn’t tell whether it came from the table or from someone outside the roachbot’s view, but someone asked, “What about the Heroes League?”
Continue reading Decisions: Part 9