Vladislav looked down toward the rat’s face, speaking slowly, “No one needs to die this time. In fact, no one should die at all. It will attract attention to the project and that will cause problems.”
The rat picked a bit of mystery meat out from between its teeth, chewed, and swallowed it, “Disappointing. What about in the houses on say the same block? We could choose one that wasn’t too close. Maybe on the far end of the block?”
Not allowing his expression to change, Vladislav reminded himself that despite Boss Scree’s ever-present focus on food, he and his people were very good at what they did, “As I told you earlier, no one should die for this project.” Continue reading Probationers: Part 5
It didn’t take long to get to his laboratory. Though it wasn’t the equal of the laboratory in his castle, Vladislav had brought the essentials and collected substitutes for what couldn’t be moved.
People always stared at it the first time they opened the door. Between the computers, partially assembled sets of powered armor, boxes of spare parts manufactured at his factories, the refrigerators with bags of blood, magic circles on the floor surrounding his anvil and other devices, it looked like no other room in the building.
The shelves were full of books, jars containing powders, preserved creatures, and humanoid and animal body parts, some of which still moved. Continue reading Probationers: Part 4
The voice on the other end said, “Yes, sir,” again with the same, precise intonation he’d used before. It was Florin Ablu. How long ago had Vladislav hired his family? Perhaps 300 years ago. Maybe a little longer.
As Vladislav came to that conclusion, Florin added, “Sir, do you wish me to assign this to your children? Earlier you said they should stay out of the public eye for fifty years, but I believe that Maria and Alexandru regularly feed on a number of the Nine’s employees.” Continue reading Probationers: Part 3
The Atoner frowned, “I don’t think so.”
Time stretched and Dr. Transylvania began to open his mouth to say goodbye when The Atoner said, “Talk in my office, Doc?”
Dr. Transylvania nodded and they got up from the table, walking out of the concrete-walled room as Mistress Madness muttered, “Looks like the grownups are going off to have a private conversation.”
The Atoner smiled at her, “If it’s important, we’ll let everybody know afterward. This is a team. Doc and I don’t run this team. We all do.” Continue reading Probationers: Part 2
Dr. Transylvania could have bought a more impressive headquarters for the Probationers himself. He had the money.
Four stories high with gray concrete and steel beams being the most noticeable pieces of the interior, it looked like what it had been—a warehouse used by the postal service. Even though the building now held offices and laboratories, it still looked like an abandoned warehouse from the outside. It even had a worn post office symbol on the outside of the building, the eagle so light and worn that he couldn’t tell what color it had originally been. Continue reading Probationers: Part 1
Connecting to my comm through my implant, I told him, “No worries. We see you. We didn’t know it was you, but we do try not to shoot when we don’t know what we’ll hit.”
I looked over at Cassie and she rolled her eyes at me.
Unaware of that, Lim replied, “Good. I’m contacting D.C. to get people there up to speed about all this. Did you recognize the missiles?”
I was about to say I hadn’t, but Hal did. Continue reading Older Enemies: Part 13
Lim, who had years of following both the original League and us didn’t hesitate. Tapping the screen exactly twice, talked into it, and as he finished, his words blasted out of speakers throughout the complex, “Evacuate immediately! Only take something if you’re holding it. There’s nothing in here that’s worth your life. Again, get out now!”
To us, he said, “I’m leaving with the staff. Go to your jet and don’t feel bad about breaking things if you need to.” Continue reading Older Enemies: Part 12
“Uruk,” Daniel said, shaking his head. “That’s where Gilgamesh ruled, assuming that he was a real person. Also interesting? Gilgamesh wanted to be immortal and he went to find Utnapishtim. Utnapishtim was basically Noah down to building a boat to preserve the world’s animals and his family during a massive flood. In Sumerian myth, Utnapishtim was given immortality by the gods afterward.”
Izzy glanced over at him and smiled, “You beat me to it.”
His mouth twitched, “I cheated. I heard you thinking about it. I knew Gilgamesh, but I didn’t remember Utnapishtim.” Continue reading Older Enemies: Part 11
Cassie looked up from the tablet, “Do you think this is Magnus talking? Writing on clay tablets seems like too much work just to keep a diary.”
“No idea,” I said. “Do you think he’s seeing people from the Cabal?”
She shook her head, “Who knows? I guess I’d better get back to reading.” Continue reading Older Enemies: Part 10
I thought back at Daniel, Me too. Because I don’t even dare to touch some of this stuff.
Next to the scrolls on the desk were clay tablets with the odd triangular marks and lines of cuneiform. There was even a clay cylinder with a kind of scene. In addition to the cuneiform, there was a scene that showed a man in what looked like a kilt and another creature with a man’s torso, a lion’s body, and what appeared to be wings on its back. Continue reading Older Enemies: Part 9