Shadow and Voice led me over to the locker rooms to change. If you’re imagining a futuristic locker room, stop.
It looked like the locker room of every high school sports team in the United States—rows of toilet stalls with metal dividers for privacy. A roomful of metal lockers for each person on the team and wooden benches for people to sit. The far end of the room opened into a tiled room with showers.
I read the names on the lockers—Accelerando, Captain Commando, The Mystic, The Rocket, Storm King and the others—realizing, “There’s only one locker room?”
Voice, a thin, blonde woman, shucked her grey Stapledon uniform, laughed and grunted, “You got it.” Continue reading A Day in The Life: Part 13
Travis’ voice came over the comm. “Don’t get too close. I’ve got a plan.”
I didn’t have time to ask him about the plan. The Thing disappeared through the wide hangar door. We could have closed it. It would have bought Travis time, but on the other hand, he didn’t seem to need it and The Thing would have trashed our door.
It was a big metal door that ran from the ceiling to the floor—not exactly the kind of thing you can pick up at Lowe’s.
The Thing flew through the doorway, past the concrete wall on one side and the door on the other. Continue reading Revelations: Part 7
Over the next two days, I settled into a more normal routine. The spybots didn’t pick up anything worth mentioning. Kid Biohack didn’t try to contact us. I had time to hang around with Haley, which on Thursday night turned into all the people who happened to visit my room—Camille, Vaughn, and Courtney. We didn’t talk about anything even related to Stapledon or superheroes because a number of Jeremy’s friends also came through including Jillian, the Kid Biohack fan we’d met while moving in.
Sean even dropped by to talk to Vaughn. It was the first time I’d seen him since leaving Colorado. It wasn’t precisely awkward. We’d talked a few times after everything that happened—fighting faeries, the dragon, and so on, but no heart to heart talks or anything. We’d acknowledged each other and left it at that. Thursday was no exception. Sean and I nodded at each other. Sean and Vaughn stepped out to talk, and then Vaughn came back alone.
It wasn’t exactly a homework-friendly situation. I didn’t get anything done until after everyone left. On the bright side, it was still the first week of school, so there wasn’t much homework to speak of.
Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 4
“Hey,” I said.
She held up her left arm, looking down at the League communicator on her wrist. It looked just like the ones Nick made for us when we were in costume.
She tapped on the screen, waited, and then said, “It’s her. Thank God.”
Then she pulled a roll of duct tape out of her utility belt, floated down, and taped Julie’s mouth shut.
I laughed. “Duct tape? Did Nick put that in there?”
She froze. “No. I… Wait a second.”
She pulled up the communicator again, and this time she pointed it at me. After tapping the screen she said, “OK, this is going to be weird, but we split off early last summer—your time.”
“My time?” Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 22
Not that we had time, and to judge from how they handled the True, if they were anything but decent, we were so screwed.
I’d never seen Vaughn target more than one person at a time with lightning. He’d told me that he didn’t think he had enough control to do it without straight out killing people. Whoever the person behind the lightning I’d just seen was, he’d taken out everybody near the entrance to the alley all at once.
Glancing upward identified him instantly—the red costume with a lightning bolt under an arch with Egyptian hieroglyphics on the chest? That was Red Lightning’s costume. I’d always thought the lightning, plus the arch, plus the hieroglyphics was a little busy, but I’d never gotten to complain to Red Lightning himself about the questionable logo design due to him being dead.
It appeared that I might get the chance now. This wasn’t Vaughn. This wasn’t Vaughn’s cousin Lucas, or his Uncle Russ, Lucas’s father. It was Giles Hardwick, the original Red Lightning.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 21
I had to shut her up long enough for us to escape even if it meant shutting her up permanently. As much as I hated everything she wanted to do to us, I still didn’t want to kill her.
I flew across the street, passing the True, sometimes flying through them. They weren’t moving.
I looked back—no one was moving. Looking forward I found one exception—Julie. Even the True running with her had stopped.
I thought about that. She’d been hired to catch Tara, but maybe she didn’t get paid if the Blues caught her themselves?
Julie ran across the laundromat’s parking lot, still shouting. I couldn’t hear her, but from her lips, it looked like, “Don’t move! Don’t move! No one move!”
Then she smiled.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 20
I pulled my finger away from the screen, and the button changed from “Red Alert” to “Alert Sent.”
I was just about to call Travis to ask what Tara wanted me to do when the situation changed again. In the moments between noticing the Blues with the motorcycles and the Greens jumping out of their vans, and sending the red, the Blues had jumped off their bikes to join their fellow Blues in firing shots at Rod. At the same time, the Greens had taken a position off to the side, and they weren’t carrying handguns like the Blues. They had automatic rifles—specifically AK-47’s.
One of them had a grenade launcher.
I didn’t know how much trolls could take, but Rod couldn’t stand there forever.
As I came to that conclusion, one of the Blues stood up, waved his arms and all the True stopped firing.
He started talking, and taking the chance that Julie wasn’t in range, I listened in.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 19
I stared at the phone’s screen, trying to remember what Nick had told me about his design. He’d put the phones together last spring when we’d been facing the remnants of the Cabal. After a moment, I remembered everything.
Nick had used the the Defenders teams’ communication protocols for our communicators. They were based on protocols Grandpa designed, and they’d become a standard. It wasn’t much of a jump to guess that he’d designed them to work here too—especially when I remembered that Dixie Superman got lost and came through Infinity City to our world. Grandpa successfully visited Dixie Superman’s reality once, and he would have needed a way to get back.
I could easily see Nick throwing in a way to detect which reality we were in if he had access to Grandpa’s plans.
This was the best news I’d had in hours, and I might have screamed in relief—except I didn’t—and that was good, because as I floated there, another name appeared on the team list:
∞ Red Lightning
And that put a whole new spin on everything—what with Red Lightning having betrayed the original Heroes League, and being, well, dead.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 18
I gave them a few moments, and that was a mistake.
Remember how I’d protected myself by phasing out enough not to hear? It’s great for avoiding control by super-powered slavers, but not so good for hearing what’s going on.
My fear was that they’d take Julie’s gag out, and she’d start telling me what to do. What I didn’t think of was that they’d take her gag off, and she’d immediately tell them how to turn off the bombs and open the door.
I don’t know if that’s what happened, but as I was about start my final countdown, the door opened, and the Blues walked in with Julie.
She stood with them, trying to order everyone inside the circle to do something.
Not that I had any idea what.
Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 16
She folded like she’d been punched, her hair falling into her face as she bent over.
I hadn’t killed her. I hadn’t planned to either. I’d thought the material looked like the kind my grandfather designed for the League, and then improved again and again over the years. With one shot, I’d proved my guess right.
Better than getting it wrong for sure, but I wasn’t going to dwell on that.
Then I flew completely out of the door, shooting toward the woman I’d shot, and turning invisible.
Not waiting to see the results, I dove back into the building, and grabbing Samita’s jacket I flew down the stairs, through the door, and inside. Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 15