Kid Biohack’s right hand twitched, but despite what I expected, he didn’t blow up at Travis. He smiled and said, “I know that wasn’t the ideal introduction, but it’s not entirely my fault. My powers make me a little impulsive sometimes. I’m sure some of you have the same problem.”
He smiled at Haley. She didn’t smile back.
“I don’t know how it is for you,” he continued, “but my muscles and tissues respond to chemicals my body secretes, allowing me to make myself faster, stronger, tougher and more agile. No one’s found a limit as to how far I can push them. It’s all a matter of controlling my body to create the right combination of chemicals. People even write into my website to suggest ideas.”
I felt my eyebrow rise, and wondered if he saw any hint of that through my mask.”You’re pretty open about how that works.” Continue reading Hackjob: Part 11
Kayla got back to me almost immediately. “If you don’t have any reason for him to be in custody, they want you to release him, but they also want to talk to you tomorrow–all of you.”
“Did they say why?”
In the background of Kayla’s connection came the sound of tapping. “Not exactly, but they sounded unhappy about a few different things–the damage at the fight, that Kid Biohack never notified them he was going to be active here, and well, I overheard a lot about the Syndicate L guy Biohack was chasing. His name is Seth Bradley, and I looked him up. He’s got quite a record. He’s been suspected of murder a few times over, but there’s never been enough evidence to connect him to the crime.”
Floating above the ground, he didn’t seem especially intimidating, but murder? If he mostly fought normal people, he could rack up a high body count completely accidentally. The fact that he hadn’t gotten caught argued that it wasn’t accidental, though. Continue reading Hackjob: Part 10
“But,” Haley continued, looking up at the man, “my guess would be that they may have threatened his family, but he doesn’t think they’d really go after them. They mostly threatened him.”
His eyes zeroed in on her. “That’s not true.” At the same time, Haley and Travis both said, “He’s lying.”
Then they both laughed. It didn’t seem that funny. I wondered how much of it was a family thing.
The man grimaced, and looked toward the front door. I didn’t think he could possibly have a realistic escape plan, but I tensed anyway. Continue reading Hackjob: Part 9
When the door opened, we followed a ramp down into the lower level and into the garage.
It didn’t look much different than it used to (even if it was bigger), or much different than any underground parking area in the world–concrete walls, floor, and ceiling. The one major difference from most parking garages was fairly easy to notice.
Kid Biohack stopped to stare at one of the corners. “Is that a fireman’s pole?” Continue reading Hackjob: Part 8
Next to me, Haley kept her voice low, asking, “Is he still recording?”
I checked the dashboard. Now entirely a digital display, it included more than your average van. I checked the corner where it listed all the users of its local LAN. Kid Biohack wasn’t on the list even though he was listed in grey with a question mark next to his name.
“No,” I said. “To discourage bugs, I set up the van so that signals can’t get out unless they’re connected to the local LAN. His system is set up with standard cape protocols. It’s asking for permission, but I’m not giving it access.”
In the main area of the van, Kid Biohack looked at Travis and smiled. “I tracked him down. He’s connected to your string of armored car robberies.” Continue reading Hackjob: Part 7
Travis eyed Kid Biohack. “We need to talk.”
Swallowing, Kid Biohack said, “Uh-huh.”
Travis let him down to the road, and let go of his throat, but not his arm. Kid Biohack stared up at Travis with an expression that made it obvious that he probably didn’t actually want to talk as much as he wanted to be somewhere else.
“Rocket,” Travis asked, “can you get us a vehicle?” Continue reading Hackjob: Part 6
Whatever else could be said of Kid Biohack, his reflexes were freakish. I came out of my dive roughly twenty feet behind him, close enough to see the guy he was chasing with my helmet’s composite night vision.
The stride of Kid Biohack’s target was amazing. He was taking twenty feet at a step, and not because of exceptionally long legs. It was all strength. That was how Jaclyn ran. He simply wasn’t as fast. More interesting, Kid Biohack was keeping up the same way. Continue reading Hackjob: Part 5
I picked up my tablet and clicked on the YouTube app, finding my subscriptions, and clicking on Kid Biohack’s feed.
Vaughn laughed. “You’re subscribing to that guy?”
I ignored him. The video was entitled “Live: Kid Biohack Corners Suspect!” More than three thousand people were currently watching. Continue reading Hackjob: Part 4
Wednesday found me attending classes and quietly wishing I had a lab on campus like I had when I’d been in the Castle Rock Compound for the summer. I’d spent Tuesday evening back in the lab in the Heroes’ League’s headquarters watching my bot factories build robots, and loading them into my “assist pods.”
Then I let the pods float into the air, dispersing bots to their assigned lamp posts and telephone poles.
All of it went without a hitch despite the fact that it was 99% automated. Continue reading Hackjob: Part 3
I laughed. “You’re probably right about that. We don’t even do our social media. I assume it’s being done either by our board’s staff or maybe by someone on the ‘for profit’ side of the operation. So far as I know, no part of the League released the dragon video, though.”
I thought about that. I’d never asked who did our social media. For all I knew, someone on the board thought it would do some good.
Coming back to myself, I continued, “You might be right about not caring who knows his secret identity. If he grew up in a compound, he might not have one.” Continue reading Hackjob: Part 2