I had a bad feeling the creature wouldn’t be on my side, and the fact that it was outside the wards made me suspect it was magic.
I desperately needed to tell people that it was there as soon as the fight was over.
Well, assuming it was real, and not the result of staring at a HUD filled with shades of grey (but not the sexy kind). I zoomed in, and saw nothing in that space.
I checked on Stephanie, finding her still covered with goo. She’d pulled out a knife, and was trying to cut the strands connecting her to the ground. Continue reading Demo: Part 21
Of course they were. I’d tested how the suit worked while exposed to electromagnetic force, figuring that someday I might have to fight Sean in it. Despite the shielding I’d put in, self-repair didn’t work well, so I’d designed it to shut off when exposed to enough electromagnetism that there might be problems.
And here we were.
The suit’s artificial muscles released energy as part of a chemical process however, so there wasn’t anything stopping me from what I did next—rushed them, reaching Blue Mask in one long jump. Continue reading Demo: Part 20
I glanced over toward the side of the arena, seeing healers I knew (Alex in his longcoat and “chainmail”), costumed healers I didn’t know, and paramedics.
They all watched from behind the force shield–which was sensible.
Out of the corner of my eye, I checked the stands where the politicians were and noticed that more of them were on their phones than I would have expected, and the rest were talking about something.
I had a feeling I knew what, and wondered exactly what they were hearing. The heroes in attendance appeared to be distracted too. Continue reading Demo: Part 18
Next to me, Amy muttered, “I didn’t prepare any spells to handle that. Red Hex?” Her voice raised as she said Samita’s codename.
Samita shook her head. “Not directly. Troll and I both wear rings that I bound to spirits of probability. They protect us from getting hurt, and of course I enchanted our costumes. I might be able to repurpose something…”
She frowned, and opened one of the leather pouches on her belt, sticking her arm inside, and pulling things out to examine. This wouldn’t have been anything to remark about except that she’d stick her arm in all the way to the elbow while the pouch was at most four inches deep.
Weirder, she’d take objects out of the pouch that were wider than the pouch—a white, porcelain basin, for example.
After examining it, she put it back in. Continue reading Demo: Part 17
Rachel raised an eyebrow. “What’s going on now?”
Tara crossed her arms. “I noticed you weren’t listening earlier. Is it the same thing we talked about before?”
Rachel took a breath and sighed. Jaclyn pulled her feet out of the holes she’d created when she landed, and shook her head. “I knew that was going to come back to haunt us.”
Remembering how little I could hear during the fight, I said, “I told Hal to update you if he had something that needed action on our part. So far it hasn’t, but I could tell him to update you anyway?”
“Rocket,” Rachel said, looking me directly in the eyes, “this is something that we all need to be kept updated on.” Continue reading Demo: Part 16
In my peripheral vision—which included almost everything behind me—Samita opened up a box and threw the dirt inside it into the air. It hung in the air like a cloud, and then in one burst dispersed, spreading across the entire field.
That’s when things got weird.
All the grass on our side of the field drooped, and spread across the ground, covering the dirt in green. As it did, the green became darker, and shinier—like glass, or ice.
Jaclyn and Meteor both fell. For the little that it’s worth, Jaclyn did better, turning her initial stumble into a jump that threw her into the air. She landed only ten feet past our flag, but it didn’t matter. She was still traveling at two hundred miles per hour. Along with Meteor, she slid past our flag pole and toward the obstacle course—depending on the angle. The ground wasn’t level. It wasn’t impossible that they’d slide into the parked cars off to the side of the course. Continue reading Demo: Part 15
I couldn’t argue with her there. Jaclyn alone had a chance of taking out our entire team in a straight fight. Add in another speedster plus Travis, Rachel, and Mist for good measure…
We were toast.
That sounds defeatist, but it wasn’t. The funny thing is that what gave us a chance of winning was the fact that we were playing a game. Jaclyn might be able to kill any of us with a blow in real life, but here she had to decide how much she was willing to hurt us to win.
In front of me, Tara met each of our eyes in turn. “I think I know what they’re going to to do. Rocket, you’ve got a way to stop Ghost, right?” Continue reading Demo: Part 14
The flash worked better on the audience than anyone else. All around me, people were saying things like, “Can you see what’s happening?”
Amy shook her head. Tara, like me, appeared to be unaffected.
She’d probably anticipated the explosion.
Not that that mattered. What mattered was that the blast hadn’t affected Gordon either. Either his hood or something in his mask had blocked the light. Continue reading Demo: Part 13
Amy nodded, and then closed her eyes for a moment, making a small motion with her right hand. “We can talk privately–at least for a little while. I’ll warn you when it’s over.”
“Sure,” I said, noticing Samita glance in our direction and frown. “Uh… It looks like Samita noticed your spell.”
Amy’s helmet didn’t make it easy to see, but she appeared to roll her eyes at that. “She would. Look, she’s supposed to be mentoring me in traditional magic, but she’s also watching to make sure I don’t go batshit insane and drain the school’s blood in an act of ritual horror.”
“Um. Okay. Is it too late to include her?” Continue reading Demo: Part 11
“Okay,” I typed. “Keep watching them, and report—unless I’m fighting. Then only bother me if it’s bad, and it’s something I can actually change. Actually, tell anyone in the League under those conditions.”
The alert flashed. [Understood.]
I needed to encourage Hal to use a handle in the League’s comm system. Having him interact with me through the alert system didn’t make a lot of sense.
Taking my eyes off transparent letters in my helmet’s HUD, I started paying attention to everything around me again.
Amy nodded toward my hands, a gesture made a little stranger by her black and blood red helmet. “What were you doing?” Continue reading Demo: Part 10