She fired anyway, but the burrito missed, hitting the hill in an explosion of chunky salsa that coated the area around the blast.
A spattering hit the two stuck to the hill above her and they screamed, trying to wipe it off their clothes.
A ladle sized splash hit the one leaping toward her as it was still in the air. His eyes widened and his faced tensed, but Kayla barely noticed.
Beams of white light hit the creature, causing it to tumble in the air. When its hand hit her, she expected to die, but it barely hurt at all. She’d heard stories where the bad wounds, the truly terminal wounds were surprisingly easy to take, but when she looked down at her chest where the hand hit, she didn’t see any blood.
Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 18
She pushed the button.
All the voices disappeared into static along with the displays in the helmet and every light in the armor. As of that moment, she was alone in front of the exit to HQ, and not standing either.
She didn’t know what the suit did to help her stay balanced, but whatever it was, it had to be electrical because moments after the lights faded she fell over backwards.
Taking stock of the situation, she stared upward. Stars peeked through the leaves and branches, visible in the dusk.
Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 16
“Push the button, Control,” Haley talked at a normal volume, but the intensity in her voice made it seem louder.
Kayla’s voice came through. She started to say, “I…” hesitated, and said, “You’re all right there.”
“We’ll be fine,” Haley said, sounding just as intense as before. “Now!”
Man-machine’s voice came over the comm at almost the same time, “Now, dammit!”
Continue reading Stardock: Part 35
I’d noticed clouds forming since the fight started, and as I was about to press Theo on exactly how bad he felt, lightning erupted in front of the building.
Travis had told the glass cannons (mobile artillery, if you wanted to be formal) to help us, and now they were. I’d have taken help earlier, but Daniel was in the group, and he’d probably been responsible for the timing. That meant that this was probably the best possible moment, whatever I might think.
Thanks to my observation bots, I had three different perspectives available. All of them showed essentially the same scene.
As our group dived behind the old factory to get out of the machine race soldiers’ line of fire, the remaining robots split into two groups, some of them heading for the building that we’d started at, and the rest spreading out as they aimed for our building. No matter what direction we turned toward we’d be in some robot’s sights.
At least that’s the way it would have gone. Continue reading Stardock: Part 15
Daniel’s dad continued, “Guardian’s giving the asteroid a quick once over, checking if the asteroid’s anything more than a big rock. We’ve got a few ideas as to how we can handle it if it’s just a dinosaur killer, but we don’t want any surprises.”
I’d set the suit to monitor Stapledon communications and the Heroes League team channel for activity. There wasn’t much of anything going on between our team. Like me, they were likely all listening to the Defenders. The Heroes League channel showed a lot of activity between Haley and Kayla at first. After that, Camille, Sydney, Marcus, and Chris all came online.
Chris? That was cool. Haley was calling in everybody. If Grand Lake had an asteroid with its name on it, they’d have a decent chance of taking it out between the League jet, Camille’s anti-gravity powers, and Chris to think things through.
If the people who were guessing that the asteroids were a feint were correct, they’d need everyone they could get. Fighting the machines had been too close, and who knew what the Hrrrna were like?
I wished I was there. I wished I had time to pay attention to what they were saying.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 12
The voice on the other end barely gave me time to finish. “What kind of new information?”
“There’s a factory making a material for armor I came up with. The weird thing is that I only came up with it a couple days ago, but they’ve been making it for months.”
He didn’t say anything, leaving me to look over the jet’s glowing dashboard, and then look out towards St. Louis’ growing skyline. The Gateway arch rose just past the river, and skyscrapers on either side and behind it.
Lights from below made it stand out.
Chances were that that would be destroyed if we failed too.
My mind substituted shattered skyscrapers and a fallen arch for the scene ahead. Continue reading Chance & Fate: Part 5
A little more loudly than necessary, Jack said, “Jethro Tull is a group, not a person.”
Haley scowled. “Sorry. Just curious.”
Then she shut off the comm, and looked back at Flick. “I’m not going be able to talk to him much longer.”
“Sorry, hon, but you might like him better once he changes.”
To judge from Haley’s expression, she doubted that. “Once he changes into what?” Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 4
Text appeared below the screen that showed our position and that of the other planes.
[You’re making yourself completely vulnerable. I’m not suggesting you attack, but landing and turning off your shields represents an unacceptable risk.]
I shut off the comm, and quietly asked, “What would you suggest?”
[If you have to appear vulnerable, lower the jet, but don’t land, and give me permission to turn on the shields whenever I think it’s necessary.]
“You need my permission?”
[Yes. My makers wanted artificial intelligences limited to minimize their risk.]
Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 3
As much as I might want to assume Sean was wrong on the grounds that he was talking, I wished we could fly away.
Whatever I might think, Haley’s console had the flight controls for the moment, and unless I felt I should say something, she could make the decision without me.
My console only showed the weapons and shields at the moment.
Haley began to turn her head around. It was obvious she was going to ask someone for advice.
Keeping her voice low, Flick said, “I’ve got to make some calls. Cooperate, but stall.” Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 2
The good point about owning a “jet” created from the remains of alien spacecraft is that it does surprisingly well even in the presence of enormous explosions.
The engines, meant for sending the ship into orbit, shot us far out of the range of the blast. Its shields absorbed what little of the blast could reach us.
The ship’s inertial dampers did well enough that I felt a little pull, but kept standing as the ship shot forward, creating huge sonic booms.
Given that we were in northern Manitoba near Nunavut, the noise probably wasn’t bothering many people. We might have upset more polar bears. Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 1