Unshielded engines were a spaceship’s weak point in combat. That and anyplace they predictably thinned the shields—like weapon hardpoints. Anyone who’d trained on spacecraft knew it. There were a host of techniques to minimizing your chances of dying—ranging from special shields to keeping changes of direction brief. It wasn’t as if you slowed down very quickly in space.
Most of the defenses were oriented toward spaceships though because any living being that attempted to sneak past working engines would quickly become well done.
I had every reason to hope that didn’t apply to Izzy. Continue reading Stardock: Part 30
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
The voice on the other end barely gave me time to finish. “What kind of new information?”
“There’s a factory making a material for armor I came up with. The weird thing is that I only came up with it a couple days ago, but they’ve been making it for months.”
He didn’t say anything, leaving me to look over the jet’s glowing dashboard, and then look out towards St. Louis’ growing skyline. The Gateway arch rose just past the river, and skyscrapers on either side and behind it.
Lights from below made it stand out.
Chances were that that would be destroyed if we failed too.
My mind substituted shattered skyscrapers and a fallen arch for the scene ahead. Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 5
Jaclyn paused, and then said, “What happens next?”
Flick said, “Well, then we have to decide whether we take them in as soon as we can, or whether we watch them, and hope they’ll lead us to other people the Nine hired.”
The tone of her voice turned sarcastic as she said, “But that’s not the best part. The best part is the committee monitoring how we do it, and second guessing whether watching him without taking him in is really worth it. Plus with this we’ll get to discuss at any moment whether what we do will cause an international incident.
“Look forward to it kids, this is what you’re training for.”
Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 5
Text appeared below the screen that showed our position and that of the other planes.
[You’re making yourself completely vulnerable. I’m not suggesting you attack, but landing and turning off your shields represents an unacceptable risk.]
I shut off the comm, and quietly asked, “What would you suggest?”
[If you have to appear vulnerable, lower the jet, but don’t land, and give me permission to turn on the shields whenever I think it’s necessary.]
“You need my permission?”
[Yes. My makers wanted artificial intelligences limited to minimize their risk.]
Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 3
Flick threw a ball into the main group of heavy bird bots as they began to run across the floor toward us.
The ball punctured the bird bot’s chest, coming out the other side, and continuing through each bot behind it.
I’d never known for sure what her power was, but it had something to do with controlling mass and momentum. I’d heard that there were very specific rules about how it worked, but I’d never seen her in action, so I didn’t know what they were. Continue reading Breaking & Entering: Part 12
Much like in the control room, the second floor mostly stayed together. Spots of concrete fell and the nearest section of floor simply bent downward toward us, giving us a view of storage rooms.
A file cabinet slid sideways, and fell into the room, landing on the melted remains of the cloning tanks.
It would have been great if that had been the end of it.
It wasn’t, but it looked like it for a second.
Cassie lowered the gun. “Let’s get out of here.”
“Yeah.” Continue reading Breaking & Entering: Part 11
I thought about it a little more. No, my basic plan was still possible. We could have a rescue group and a distraction group. We just might have to join up afterward instead of having the distraction group get away quietly.
No, better yet, I thought—only risk the people who can take a lot of damage and whose powers allow them to get in and get out quickly.
“OK,” I said, “here’s the plan now that I’ve got an idea of what’s going on.”
Continue reading Here We Come: Part 5
Well, the gun shouldn’t become a problem, I told myself, not if Cassie’s around to control it.
On the other hand, I thought, you could argue that it might be even less of a problem if Cassie and every one of us completely ignored it forever. In fact, thinking about it abstractly, you could argue that Cassie’s very existence was a problem. If (as government scientists suspected) spliced in DNA caused the Abominator citizen’s mark to be written as a structure in her brain, reverse engineering it would open up the possibility of humans using truly horrible technologies.
Plus, what if aliens wanted it too for some reason? If anybody, they ought to have access to Abominator technology and the ability to remake it, right? On the other hand, Grandpa had implied that outside of their appearance on Earth, the Abominators had been gone for a while.
Then I remembered that Bullet said that the Nine had been infiltrated by aliens. Continue reading Here We Come: Part 4
We let the telepathic connection lapse, and I concentrated on flying. Specifically, I thought about the route, and whether I ought to be getting special permission. The signal had come from Canada.
Theoretically dropping by without warning could cause an international incident.
Of course, Canada got along with the US pretty well. It wasn’t as if we were going to fly into North Korea, for example.
Still, Canada had its own supers as well as an air force, and I didn’t want to run into either of them.
Continue reading Here We Come: Part 2