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
Legion HQ felt full. Three of the four Elementals plus Future Knight, Red Bolt, and Tomahawk were sleeping on the floor. All of the new League (except Vaughn and Marcus) plus Jaclyn’s grandfather, Larry, and Mindstryke, Daniel’s dad.
Mindstryke had showed up just after we’d all sat down at the main table. He looked tired.
“I had to settle my dad down. He thought it was 1965 and the original League was still fighting Red Lightning. I didn’t know he still had one.” He held a ring in his hand. The gem flickered.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 47
It took less than a second for him to fly under me, flip around to face me and grab my throat with both hands.
His face told me everything I needed to know about his intentions. Screaming incoherently at me, he squeezed the armor around my neck. It didn’t break, but I could feel it move under his fingers. Cords of muscle visible in his forearms, he strained his arms to put as much force into the squeeze as he could.
For that moment, my armor held.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 43
Kids don’t really know adults. What I remembered of Jaclyn’s grandfather from the picnics was a man who spent a lot more time laughing, telling funny stories, and coaxing me into racing Jaclyn. I think I only ever won one race. He gave me a forty-nine foot head start out of fifty feet and even then it was a near thing.
As a crimefighter though, he had the old school, “fight the criminals, and run from the cops” approach.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 42
Sitting on my bed later, I tried to think through my next move.
I didn’t for a minute intend to seriously consider anything Magnus thought he had to offer. It sounded like he wasn’t going to be any help in a fight and I couldn’t see how cutting off access to the mayor’s money would do any good. I would have blown him off immediately except that I had been freaked out by the fact that he’d called me on my cell phone.
Not that I still wasn’t a little freaked out by that.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 37
I decided to take the day off from costumes, but the day didn’t cooperate with me.
School went okay that way. I saw Vaughn and Cassie in the halls and said, “hi,” but that was about it. The day didn’t fall apart till I got home. I arrived before my parents, pulling the mail out of the mail box and grabbing the paper off the front porch. I unrolled it to find myself on the front page under the headline, “ROCKET AND TOMAHAWK BRAWL DOWNTOWN.” A smaller headline below it said, “Mayor Calls for More Assistance.”
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 34
Hardwick House sat on a hill near the middle of downtown. It began, not especially humbly, as an enormous mansion back when Percival Hardwick made his fortune as a lumber baron. His heirs added on to it in a peculiar mixture of styles. The first section used the thin spires and intricate woodwork of the Gothic style. A later addition to the house had added an eight story tower and the extensive stonework of the Medieval Revival style. The final section of the house had been added in the late 1920’s — six, flat roofed stories, each story less wide than the story below. The final story ended in the shape of an Egyptian pyramid.
Impressively hideous, it absorbed almost half a city block when you included the grounds.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 31
Putting the suit on and checking the systems took a good ten minutes as usual. I ran down a tunnel to the exit in the middle of the forest in Veterans’ Memorial Park. It felt good to be in the full suit. The last time had to have been when I’d bugged Magnus’ house in Chicago — almost a month ago now.
The doors opened above me and I jumped, making it a good twenty feet before the rockets kicked in and took me the rest of the way into the sky. The trees went past in a blur of branches. I found myself looking down on the city lights almost before I realized it.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 30