Tapping my fingers on my palms, I brought up our group’s location. Daniel and Izzy’s location came up as “Unknown”—which didn’t necessarily mean that they were dead. It could mean that the bomb had kicked out enough of an EMP that it killed their comms.
For that matter, if their signal came through, I realized, it didn’t necessarily mean that they were alive.
The thought that I needed to include people’s health in the next iteration didn’t distract me enough. I was still aware that Izzy and Daniel might both be dead or near to it.
The bombs weren’t nuclear, but they obviously included materials that I wasn’t familiar with. Even if they were only briefly radioactive or poisonous, they could still kill.
Then Daniel and Izzy’s status flickered from red to green. A good sign.
Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 11
“I’m just about to tag the bombs with roachbots, but I’ve got time for that. How long do you have?”
“I don’t know.” He spoke hesitantly. “I caught that they set the bomb, but they didn’t even know how long they had. All they knew is that they might die even if they hurried.”
So apparently in real life, bombs on timers didn’t have convenient displays.
“Crap,” I said. “You don’t have time for me to figure out how to disarm it. I think your best bet is to have Izzy poke holes in it. I’ll send you a schematic showing where. It’ll still be a powerful bomb, but you’ll only get a 100 foot radius blast instead of a mile.”
“Why not have her break it in two?” Daniel asked.
“Better chance of it going off,” I said. “Well, unless you’ve got Cap’s sword.”
“Got it,” he said. Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 10
“Storm King, are you ready?”
Vaughn didn’t seem to hear me at first, but as I was about to ask again, he said, “Almost, it’s hard to get the position right—unless you want it to suck us up too?”
“I’m against that.” I eyed Camille, realizing that I didn’t know her codename if she had one. “Hey, are you ready to float them upward?”
She nodded, taking a breath as she did it. I hoped she wasn’t already too tired to manage it. I wondered if we shouldn’t have had Vaughn create a tornado around the storage building from the beginning. Then Camille could have been backup if the bombs escaped.
She wouldn’t have the strength to do much after this.
Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 9
“So, do you think you can handle it, or if it even needs to be handled right now?”
Daniel went quiet. Then he said, “I just swept the area telepathically, and at least five of them are awake. Plus, even though my precognitive ability is pretty vague, I get the sense that the bomb’s going to take out the city if we don’t attack. Actually, I think it’s got a good chance of going off if we do, but it’s inevitable if we don’t.”
In the background, I heard Izzy say, “Have him call the Defenders.”
She was completely correct. This was exactly when we needed to call in the Defenders.
“Did you hear that?” Daniel spoke quietly.
“Got it. Just a second.” Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 8
“Um… Actually, kind of. Izzy and Daniel are good for scouting, and that’s what I’m using them for. You’re more like artillery. You never know where we might need you. I’d say let’s wait till we know, and then I’ll send you, if needed.”
“Well that… fucking sucks.” Vaughn stared at his chair’s monitor.
Camille looked over at Vaughn and then over at me. Despite what I normally expected out of her, she wasn’t flirting at all.
“So don’t you think we ought to leave the bombs to the Defenders? They’ve been doing it longer.
Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 7
I had the jet’s scanner zoom in on the storage building, specifically on the objects inside. Flat discs approximately the thickness of tires lay on top of each other, arranged in the shapes of cylinders.
From the picture, the building appeared to be about seventy-five percent full. It wasn’t hard to calculate either. The building was rectangular.
I wondered exactly what that worked out to in terms of discs.
I zoomed in further, trying to zero in on one specific disc.
From behind me, Vaughn asked, “So, what’s in there?”
“I’m trying to figure that out,” I said, trying not to sound annoyed. Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 6
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
Before making any calls, I walked to the campus parking garage. The van wouldn’t be as warm as my dorm room, but it was warmer than standing outside.
I turned the key, and it began to hum. After the fight where Rook had ripped chunks out of the van, and flipped it over, I’d done some fairly extensive repair work. Among other things, I’d switched the van’s power source over to the same fuel cells I used for Cassie’s armor—not to mention changing its engine substantially.
Its heating system didn’t work as well as I wanted, but there were tradeoffs.
One was that the new engine barely made any noise at all, and once it warmed up, I could comfortably sit inside without guzzling gas. Another, of course, was that the armor was vastly improved. There were a few more.
I dialed Rachel’s number. She answered, taking a deep breath as she saw me. Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 4
“I hadn’t asked him… I haven’t asked anyone.”
Cassie’s voice rose as she talked. “Well, don’t skip him. I told you he’s been feeling left out.”
“Ok. I won’t. You told me about that.”
As the words escaped my mouth, I realized that I’d committed to bringing him along—which meant I ought to call him.
“Good,” Cassie said. “Are you going to let him know, or should I?”
“I’ll do it,” I said. “Do you have anything else? I should probably call him now.” Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 3
Jeremy hung up his towel inside his closet, and said, “Is this major?”
I didn’t know I was that easy to read.
I looked away from the computer, and up at him as he stopped next to my desk.
“Seriously,” he asked, “How big?”
And the crazy thing was, I really could tell him. Daniel had telepathically blocked him from passing on information to anyone outside the League.
On the other hand, the less he knew, the better. If Daniel didn’t maintain it, the mental construct would dissolve on its own eventually.
Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 2