A thin, almost surgical blast flew from Solar Flare’s hand toward Ray’s head.
I didn’t see Jaclyn’s hand move, but it met the plasma in mid air, outlining her hand and arm in white and splashing out of her palm. She gave a gasp while Ray screamed.
Bits of plasma fell toward Gena and the other man, waking them both up screaming in pain, and splattering across their armor.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 18
Solar Flare didn’t stop burning when he landed. White and yellow flames covered his body.
I checked him for any hint that he might have calmed down since crashing the McAllister’s Christmas party. His face was immobile. His lips were a thin line.
It felt like the wrong kind of calm.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 17
Bullets bounced off my helmet, and the guitar, hitting the stealth suit. With the full suit, I would have just felt the impact. With the stealth suit, I felt each individual bullet. It hurt.
Purely out of habit, I pointed my arm at Ray and blasted at him with the sonics. The answering shout and a pause in the rain of bullets made it worth it.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 16
Circling around, I tried to think of the next step. If they had equipment in the SUV, I didn’t want them to have access to it, so I dipped back into the roadway, firing at the SUV’s cargo area and hoping I’d destroy anything that mattered inside.
When I started firing, Ray and the other guy were already moving. By the time the laser had melted a few holes in the vehicle’s side, they’d already run to the edge of the woods and started to return fire.
I angled myself upwards, over the trees, and out of their sight.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 15
Flying in the winter is cold.
The full Rocket armor feels warm even in the worst weather, probably because Grandpa spent a lot of time flying during the winter. By contrast, Grandpa’s main focus when he created the stealth suit was for it to fit under clothes. Even after pulling the supplementary jacket, pants and gloves over the basic suit, the stealth suit still felt colder.
Adding a guitar to the mix didn’t make things any easier.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 14
Jaclyn started moving a couple minutes after the door shut.
I could hear her push herself up, fall once, push herself up again, and then I saw her black, heeled boots on the floor in front of me. She stopped for a moment, looking (I assumed) at the people on the floor, and then ran to the window on the far side of the room.
I heard the kitchen door open, followed by a gasp.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 13
I couldn’t quite understand what any of them were saying, but the tone of the conversation sounded ugly.
“Ugh,” I said, “I can’t make out who it is. Can you?”
Haley listened and frowned, “I think it’s the agents from the coffeehouse. We’d better hurry.”
We both stood up and she looked over the side of the railing as if she were considering jumping over.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 12
“Do you think they’re going to arrest him right here?” Marcus said, keeping his voice low.
“No idea. I hope not. He’s probably armed, and, from reputation he doesn’t sound like he’d go easily.”
“Or she,” Marcus said.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 11
“Well,” I said, “it turned out that you could find uranium on Amazon, but they sold it in such small amounts that if you wanted to do anything interesting you’d have to buy a lot of it and I don’t think we really have the facilities for working with it anyway.”
I started to tell her exactly what sort of things I’d need to buy, but then I stopped, because sometimes I do notice when I’m telling people more than they’ll ever want to know.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 10
Christmas day. In any other year, getting out of the house would have been a challenge. When Grandpa Vander Sloot was alive, we always seemed to have one of Mom’s brothers’ families at our house for Christmas. This year everyone had done their own thing. I suppose we could have gone to visit Dad’s family, but we’d visited Grandpa and Grandma Klein in Wyoming last year.
Wyoming is a long drive from Michigan and it doesn’t get any better in the winter.
We stayed home.
On Christmas day it turned out to be just the four of us. After we’d opened presents, gone to church, had dinner, and hung around the house for a while, visiting Haley’s family cottage sounded like a good idea.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 9