“No, I didn’t.” I’d been following the whole thing obviously, but not through the news.
Well, a little through the news, but mostly through the Michigan Heroes Alliance’s emails. The various states’ Heroes Alliance groups had come out against it.
Still, I’d originally heard about the change last spring. I wondered what took them so long.
Courtney barely gave me time to finish my sentence. “I thought they’d do something eventually, but not without more warning.”
Continue reading Taking Control: Part 3
The next day I sat down to eat breakfast with Jeremy in Hardwick Hall’s cafeteria. My first class was organic chemistry at 9 am—which seemed cruel and unusual punishment given when I went to bed.
“Organic chemistry? Don’t sophomores take that? And it’s supposed to be a hard class.” Jeremy looked up from his cereal. He’d dripped a little milk on his t-shirt.
“I don’t know,” I said. “It’s only the first week, but it doesn’t seem that bad. I tested out of so much stuff that I’m taking everything out of order.” Continue reading Taking Control: Part 2
Fifteen minutes later, she stepped out of the office, and started walking toward the hall. I waved to her, and she slowed, letting me catch up.
“Did you just see your advisor too?”
“Kind of. I got out, and then I noticed you were in there, and thought I’d say hi when you got out.”
Then I wondered if I’d been too honest. She could take that a bunch of ways ranging from “creepy stalker” to “he’s interested in me” to “just being friendly.”
Continue reading Orientation: Part 5
The cafeteria had more than one level, allowing people on the edges to take in everyone on the main level of the room. Vaughn and Cassie sat together at a table with a view, but also one that wasn’t more than ten feet from an exit.
I wondered if that was intentional or accidental. Lee would have approved, though he probably would have positioned Vaughn with his back to the wall and Cassie nearer to the edge.
She’d work better as a lookout because she could take a lot of damage and still report back, giving Vaughn time to counterattack.
Not that any of us were likely to be attacked in the cafeteria—at least not this early in the semester. Continue reading Orientation: Part 4
Haley colored. “Sorry. I wasn’t going to take it or anything. I just wanted to look at it. My mom has the same book.”
Jeremy turned out to be a slightly chunky guy in shorts and t-shirt. The t-shirt said “Gevil” (except the “e” was a sigma) in Google’s multi-colored letters. Jeremy himself had a small mustache and five o’clock shadow.
“Does she actually believe it?”
“What? No. I don’t think so. I think she bought it at a garage sale. It was really popular once, and she was curious, so…”
After a pause, she said, “I’m Haley, Nick’s girlfriend.” Continue reading Orientation: Part 3
The next day was Sunday. After my family went to church, and had dinner, I decided that I was going to go to HQ to get some serious work done on the anti-paralysis device. I had a working prototype. I just had to put out a copy for all of us, plus spares. Except then I realized I ought to make copies for anyone who planned to help us, plus if I managed to pump out more roachbots, it wouldn’t hurt.
That’s what I thought at about 1:30, but then I remembered that Keith and Courtney’s graduation open houses were that afternoon between two and four, and that I’d RSVP’ed. Worse, I couldn’t just skip it because Haley had been invited too. Continue reading Graduation: Part 11
“It was one of those two A.M. phone calls,” Vaughn said. “You know, the ones that are either going to be incredibly good, or incredibly bad.”
The cafeteria was mostly empty and lunch hour was mostly over. Vaughn had happened to pass my table on the way out. Courtney and Keith were sitting with me, so I couldn’t say much.
Continue reading Counterattack: Part 4
Haley crossed the floor and stepped into the kitchen, the door swaying back and forth after she passed through.
Even as she passed out of sight, a rusty, white Ford Taurus raced through the parking lot, barely stopping before turning on to Jefferson Street. I couldn’t be sure, but I thought I saw our waitress in the driver’s seat.
Though I couldn’t understand her words, I could hear Haley’s voice. She wasn’t shouting, but she wasn’t making an effort to keep the volume down either.
Continue reading Uncontrolled Substances: Part 9
Restaurants ran down both sides of Jefferson Street, most of them chains. Scattered among the McDonalds, Burger Kings, CVS Pharmacies, and gas stations were local businesses.
As we neared the restaurant, Haley stopped talking and asked, “What kind of restaurant was it?”
“Basically fine dining. A steak house, I think.”
Off to the right I saw the building, a long building, decorated to suggested a cabin in the woods — fake wooden logs for the walls, a big, glowing sign that said “Grand Lake Steak and Fine Dining” next to a picture of a buck.
I turned the car into the parking lot.
“Oh, this ought to be interesting,” she said.
Continue reading Uncontrolled Substances: Part 8
Talk turned back to who people were going to the prom with. Vaughn and Cassie were both going, but not with each other. Kayla either wasn’t going or didn’t have a date. Either way, she didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t hear what the rest of the guys were doing, but maybe they didn’t say.
When Keith heard I was going with Haley, he said, “You should go to a restaurant with Courtney and I before prom.”
Continue reading Uncontrolled Substances: Part 6