Free for some value of free—which in this case meant not fighting someone that could potentially kill me with a punch or, more likely, kill Kid Biohack.
I took a moment to orient myself. There’s no point in getting out only to fly into the path of a Mack truck. I’d come out on the side of the arena where I thought I would, a side with no obvious doors or windows except, of course, for the hole my bots blew in what would have otherwise passed for a wall. Continue reading Rematch: Part 20
The first time I’d ever fought him, I aimed the sonics directly at his ear, keeping them at a level designed to cause pain, but not trying to hurt him. I’d been trying to distract him from a couple of guys in a mini-van who were shooting video and got too close.
It had distracted him but hadn’t hurt him much.
This time I was going for more than a distraction. Kid Biohack wasn’t fighting rationally. He might die if he came back into the fight. If it was better to maim than to kill, I felt sure I could justify destroying the Grey Giant’s hearing and sense of balance if it kept Kid Biohack alive. Besides, if the Grey Giant’s weird, transforming grey goo body was anything like Marcus’, weird, transforming grey goo body, he’d fix himself turning back.
If destroying his sense of balance didn’t work, well, I still had killbots. Continue reading Rematch: Part 19
My evasive maneuvers put me over lines of machines and mech parts and materials—steel for frames, plates of armor, boxes full of bolts. It reminded me of the secret factory that Chris inherited, and it didn’t surprise me at all. When he and Larry looked over my pseudo-frog suit, he’d told me everything.
After Armory stopped being a superhero, he’d gone to Man-machine for advice on how to make powered armor as a business and they’d stayed friends after that. Well, at least until Armory stiffed him on an object I called The Ball that he made for a group of supervillains called The Maniacs. Continue reading Rematch: Part 17
Glass and plastic broke on the machines at the nearest work areas. Some of the people who had been running stopped to turn around to look at the suit, recognizing the sound of a recorded bullfrog. Taking advantage of the moment, I activated the music playlist I’d put together last night.
I started with Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World,” also known by its first line, “Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog.” At this, more people stopped to stare at me, throwing their hands over their ears before they began to run again. Continue reading Rematch: Part 15
Once I grabbed my luggage, we took the elevator downstairs and checked out of the hotel, talking and joking around like we’d known each other all of our lives. In the case of Cassie and Daniel, that was true, but over the last couple of days, we’d gotten to know Yoselin (or at least her persona) well enough to fake it.
She did add a certain energy to the group, laughing loudly, accompanying most of what she said with wide gestures. Plus, Cassie, who despite what she told everyone, spoke fluent Spanish or close enough that she could keep up with Yoselin, something that had to help with our cover. Continue reading Rematch: Part 14
All the same, it’s easy to say you went to bed, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll sleep once you get there. It gets harder to sleep when you know you’ve got something big planned the next day. That’s especially true if you know you could get hurt, that your friends could get hurt, and if one of your friends is a telepath with who you’ve had a low-level telepathic connection since childhood—at least when you’re in range—you might sense his anxiety too.
I don’t think either of us noticed it at first, but twenty minutes after pulling the sheets up, I found myself staring at the ceiling, which thanks to the mirrors on the ceiling, gave me a dark reflection of myself staring up at myself. Lit only by the stars and moon outside my windows, I could see only a little more than shadows, but it was enough for me to recognize my face. Continue reading Rematch: Part 13
“Well, I got charger for the brick, but for the tablet,” and there I paused, knowing that if I said what I saw we were going to have to trust her with even more, “I got ‘god killer.’ I don’t know what sense if any, that makes to you.”
Over my implant, Cassie said, I hope she’s worth the risk. Because if she isn’t trustworthy, that thing might be going to Cuba.
Shaking her head and then looking me in the eyes, Yoselin said, “No. Except now my implant is warning me that if I repeat what you said, I’m risking reprogramming by the Dominators.”
Laughing, she said, “It threatens me a lot. It’s like carrying the worst parts of home along.” Continue reading Rematch: Part 12
Len nodded at them, “I assume you’re delivering the new artifact. If you’re here for the next delivery of mechs, I told your… owners… that they’re going to be late due to certain parts being unavailable.”
As he’d said, owners, he’d grinned at them and not a nice grin. It was more of a smirk. The Tara twin gave no reaction, an expressionless dark blond woman in a black business suit. By contrast, Captain Clone’s eyes narrowed and his mouth widened in an expression that in my life meant that Cassie’s next punch was going to hurt. I’d mostly seen it after a hard punch while training, or when we were playing Monopoly.
The less said about that, the better. Continue reading Rematch: Part 11
Turning off the TV and leaving the remote on the chair, Cassie walked over to the table in the middle of the room, asking, “From what little I’ve heard of Kid Biohack from you and the rest of the team, he loves any camera he can find, but he’s on the right side. From what I’ve seen from your recording, Yoselin might be trustworthy for what we’re doing, but she’s probably got plans for Armory’s stuff that we might not like.”
Daniel put his phone in his pocket and joined her at the table, reaching it at about the same time I pulled out a chair, “You were saying we might want to blow up Armory’s stuff. With the Nine there and Yoselin likely to grab what she can for Cuba, it makes even more sense. It could make for a good distraction on the way out.” Continue reading Rematch: Part 10
I turned, checking around the corner of our booth to see Yoselin stepping back from the buffet and walking down the aisle back to our booth.
She grinned at me, It’s funny how that story lives on. My dad never saw him again after that. The earth elemental disappeared after the island sank. The Dixieland Defenders might have destroyed it. Cuba didn’t allow supernatural heroes to be part of government teams back then so my dad didn’t have anyone to ask.
She sat down and bit into a croissant she’d spread strawberry jelly on. Continue reading Rematch: Part 9