A few hours later we were on the lawn in front of Denver’s City and County Building in Civic Center Park—a big park with pillared government buildings all around it. The State Capitol building’s gold dome shone in the sunset on the far end of the park.
We’d arrived hours before the actual fireworks for the obvious reasons that it would be easier to find parking, and stake out a spot on the lawn.
We could have gone to Castle Rock’s fireworks display, but Lim had sent an email to everyone encouraging students to spread out. We’d have an easier time blending in in Denver. In fact, everyone in the Stapledon program could have gone to Denver’s show and not skewed the look of the crowd appreciably toward young adults.
We’d bought cheap camping chairs on the way there, and set them up on the lawn. Near me Daniel and Izzy talked with Cassie. Haley, Jaclyn and Camille were laughing about something behind me.
I had my League phone out, and open to the folder on the League’s servers where I’d had Hal put the transcripts.
Hal had overdone it. By far. Continue reading Threat Analysis: Part 3
I thought about it. “I… Uh… No. They’re not dating. Well, probably not. They’ve been friends for ages. So if it seems like they’re close, that’s true, but they don’t seem any closer now than before.”
Amy raised an eyebrow, and then frowned. “I was hoping for an answer that was a little more definitive. Something like, ‘No, they’re not going out’.”
I took my hands away from the keyboard. The AI could wait. Chances were that his trolling wouldn’t cause major damage in the next few minutes. Continue reading Threat Analysis: Part 2
After the phone call with Larry ended, we all squished into the van for a kind of post event victory party. If it felt less like a victory than the beginning of a whole new problem, well, it probably was.
On the bright side, it wasn’t as if we had to do anything immediately.
The roachbots were set to record. The jet would be doing translation. All the humans had to do was provide direction.
By the time Saturday and Sunday were over, all we had to do was throw ourselves back into our normal lives which for the moment meant constant training. Continue reading Threat Analysis: Part 1
Vaughn shrugged. “It’s not like the Russians know it’s us. That’s the whole point of using the fake suit, right? Plus, even if they did, it’s not like the Russians are exactly friendly to the Turk… um… Turkmens? Turkmeni? Last I heard, the Russians weren’t saying anything nice about them at all. They’re not going to be sharing information. So no biggie.”
Amy shook her head. “Maybe, but you’ve got to think bigger. This isn’t just espionage. This is politics. If we had something their rulers wanted, I could easily see them telling us that they’ll tell the world that we were there.”
Cassie let out a breath. “Exactly. That’s exactly the sort of thing I’m worried about.” Continue reading Go Time: Part 10
Who was the second glow? Russian Victory Jr.? Victoryboy?
The way I remembered it, all Russian superheroes were state sponsored. The ones that weren’t state sponsored were officially criminals no matter what their motivation.
A third glow appeared behind the two I’d already noticed, reminding me of something. Russian Victory was part of a group of three soldiers in powered armor. My grandfather had mentioned it was connected to Russian folklore somehow.
For the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of the group though. Continue reading Go Time: Part 8
“What’s Izzy supposed to do with the Ferris wheel?”
Vaughn shrugged. “Maybe take a picture on it? I don’t know. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records. She should do something funny with it. Maybe pretend she’s going to throw it, or stand in front of it with her armor saying ‘All your base are belong to us?'”
“Better yet,” Jaclyn said, “how about you let Izzy know that everything works and that she can bug out of there before someone starts firing missiles at her.” Continue reading Go Time: Part 7
“Marcus and Sydney are waiting in the jet. They’ll be taking off soon. They’re going to shadow her from a distance—far enough away that they shouldn’t be visible, but close enough that they’re in range.”
Jaclyn leaned toward the screen, probably noticing now that the camera display program’s current tab was labeled “Blue,” but the second tab was labeled “Jet.”
I clicked on the button that showed all cameras, and the program divided the screen between Izzy’s view of the sky above South Dakota and the League jet’s much less interesting view of the airlock between the hangar and Lake Michigan.
Jaclyn pulled up a chair and sat next to me. “I didn’t know Marcus could fly the jet.”
Then she frowned. “They can’t hear us from here, right?” Continue reading Go Time: Part 6
I let out a breath. “This seems to be escalating. I don’t know if we’ve got any enemies from the magical end of things, but we’ve got spies. You said it was a fairy or from Faerie, but do you get any sense of place? Like maybe Turkmenistan’s got it’s own fairy tales?”
Amy frowned. “I don’t know this world’s history or magic very well. I’d never even heard about Turkmenistan before this year, but wouldn’t that be like Afghanistan or Pakistan? So jinn, maybe, but I don’t think it was a jinn. It didn’t feel like it had that kind of power.”
Putting my arms on the table, I crossed them and leaned forward. “Something small, and not so powerful?” Continue reading Remote Control: Part 6
Haley kicked her shoes off and literally leapt across the room, landing on all fours. She hadn’t transformed. However her body worked, she was already stronger and faster than normal humans even before a transformation.
As she crouched, she sniffed the air near the doorway.
Almost simultaneously with Haley’s leap, Amy touched her gem, setting off an explosion of red, darker red, black, white, and pink. Continue reading Remote Control: Part 5
Izzy’s forehead wrinkled. “Why do you think that?”
“I’m not sure, but I think she may have talked to the invaders in their native language. Anyway, I know that somewhere in there Amy used magic to transform a little in their direction. Something like that. That whole battle’s a little blurry at this point.”
“I think you’re right,” Daniel said, glancing over at Izzy and then back to me. “Judging from the way she made that shield and that she can fly, her magic is pretty flexible. It’s worth a question. Who do we talk to if it doesn’t work?” Continue reading Remote Control: Part 4