Then Red Lightning took to the air, flying out to the street where Günther inspected the living and the dead.
Grandpa stood in the street, staring down at the asphalt.
I turned away from watching him, and back toward Ghostgirl. She’d been watching him too, but turned her head back toward me.
“That was weird,” I said.
She turned to look behind herself again, looking out of the alley and toward the street. When she turned back to look at me, she said, “Weirder than you think. We don’t exist in their universe. A supervillain attacked Mom, and she lost the baby.”
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 23
“Hey,” I said.
She held up her left arm, looking down at the League communicator on her wrist. It looked just like the ones Nick made for us when we were in costume.
She tapped on the screen, waited, and then said, “It’s her. Thank God.”
Then she pulled a roll of duct tape out of her utility belt, floated down, and taped Julie’s mouth shut.
I laughed. “Duct tape? Did Nick put that in there?”
She froze. “No. I… Wait a second.”
She pulled up the communicator again, and this time she pointed it at me. After tapping the screen she said, “OK, this is going to be weird, but we split off early last summer—your time.”
“My time?” Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 22
Not that we had time, and to judge from how they handled the True, if they were anything but decent, we were so screwed.
I’d never seen Vaughn target more than one person at a time with lightning. He’d told me that he didn’t think he had enough control to do it without straight out killing people. Whoever the person behind the lightning I’d just seen was, he’d taken out everybody near the entrance to the alley all at once.
Glancing upward identified him instantly—the red costume with a lightning bolt under an arch with Egyptian hieroglyphics on the chest? That was Red Lightning’s costume. I’d always thought the lightning, plus the arch, plus the hieroglyphics was a little busy, but I’d never gotten to complain to Red Lightning himself about the questionable logo design due to him being dead.
It appeared that I might get the chance now. This wasn’t Vaughn. This wasn’t Vaughn’s cousin Lucas, or his Uncle Russ, Lucas’s father. It was Giles Hardwick, the original Red Lightning.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 21
I had to shut her up long enough for us to escape even if it meant shutting her up permanently. As much as I hated everything she wanted to do to us, I still didn’t want to kill her.
I flew across the street, passing the True, sometimes flying through them. They weren’t moving.
I looked back—no one was moving. Looking forward I found one exception—Julie. Even the True running with her had stopped.
I thought about that. She’d been hired to catch Tara, but maybe she didn’t get paid if the Blues caught her themselves?
Julie ran across the laundromat’s parking lot, still shouting. I couldn’t hear her, but from her lips, it looked like, “Don’t move! Don’t move! No one move!”
Then she smiled.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 20
I pulled my finger away from the screen, and the button changed from “Red Alert” to “Alert Sent.”
I was just about to call Travis to ask what Tara wanted me to do when the situation changed again. In the moments between noticing the Blues with the motorcycles and the Greens jumping out of their vans, and sending the red, the Blues had jumped off their bikes to join their fellow Blues in firing shots at Rod. At the same time, the Greens had taken a position off to the side, and they weren’t carrying handguns like the Blues. They had automatic rifles—specifically AK-47’s.
One of them had a grenade launcher.
I didn’t know how much trolls could take, but Rod couldn’t stand there forever.
As I came to that conclusion, one of the Blues stood up, waved his arms and all the True stopped firing.
He started talking, and taking the chance that Julie wasn’t in range, I listened in.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 19
I stared at the phone’s screen, trying to remember what Nick had told me about his design. He’d put the phones together last spring when we’d been facing the remnants of the Cabal. After a moment, I remembered everything.
Nick had used the the Defenders teams’ communication protocols for our communicators. They were based on protocols Grandpa designed, and they’d become a standard. It wasn’t much of a jump to guess that he’d designed them to work here too—especially when I remembered that Dixie Superman got lost and came through Infinity City to our world. Grandpa successfully visited Dixie Superman’s reality once, and he would have needed a way to get back.
I could easily see Nick throwing in a way to detect which reality we were in if he had access to Grandpa’s plans.
This was the best news I’d had in hours, and I might have screamed in relief—except I didn’t—and that was good, because as I floated there, another name appeared on the team list:
∞ Red Lightning
And that put a whole new spin on everything—what with Red Lightning having betrayed the original Heroes League, and being, well, dead.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 18
Samita didn’t say anything, and honestly, I had been kind of rude. Not that Tara seemed to hear.
She waved us forward, following Travis toward the corner—though not too closely. She didn’t have a death wish. Travis had already reached out, stuck his claws into one of the wooden beams that held up the floor above us and ripped it down.
He didn’t even act as if there were any resistance. In one moment, the beam was holding up the floor. In the next, it was in two pieces, both of them dangling from the ceiling. In the moment after that, Travis ripped a hole in the floor large enough for any of us to crawl through.
Tara turned toward us, and said, “Quickly, now. Samita and Rod, please climb through. Travis help them up. I’ll go last.” Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 17
I gave them a few moments, and that was a mistake.
Remember how I’d protected myself by phasing out enough not to hear? It’s great for avoiding control by super-powered slavers, but not so good for hearing what’s going on.
My fear was that they’d take Julie’s gag out, and she’d start telling me what to do. What I didn’t think of was that they’d take her gag off, and she’d immediately tell them how to turn off the bombs and open the door.
I don’t know if that’s what happened, but as I was about start my final countdown, the door opened, and the Blues walked in with Julie.
She stood with them, trying to order everyone inside the circle to do something.
Not that I had any idea what.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 16
She folded like she’d been punched, her hair falling into her face as she bent over.
I hadn’t killed her. I hadn’t planned to either. I’d thought the material looked like the kind my grandfather designed for the League, and then improved again and again over the years. With one shot, I’d proved my guess right.
Better than getting it wrong for sure, but I wasn’t going to dwell on that.
Then I flew completely out of the door, shooting toward the woman I’d shot, and turning invisible.
Not waiting to see the results, I dove back into the building, and grabbing Samita’s jacket I flew down the stairs, through the door, and inside. Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 15
So, Julie was awake, and what great timing. What would happen first? Would her friends notice that it hadn’t been her shouting back, or would Julie manage to take off her gag?
It’s days like that that made me want to get out of bed in the morning.
“Time to move,” Travis said, “grab her keys, and get us out of here.”
I looked down at the door. It had a key, and a dial—like on a combination lock or a safe.
That explained all the clicks when she’d opened the door.
“Not that simple,” I told him. “I don’t know the door’s combination.”
“Combination?” His mouth twisted, probably in frustration. “You’ve got Julie, right? Make her tell you.”
I looked at Julie. She didn’t say anything. Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 14