I turned around to find Vaughn in my latest version of the Storm King armor. Black with a storm cloud on his chest, it included flaps to catch the wind he generated. Yoselin wore her own armor, the red triangle, white star, and blue and white stripes might almost pass for a patriotic US costume if you didn’t think too hard about it. The backpack and streamlined half-cylinders running up and down her arms and legs hinted at a refined version of her father’s armor’s air manipulation tech.
Neither of them wore their helmets, but it was plain they were both prepared for practice. Continue reading Never Go Home: Part 8
Chris grinned, “Can’t argue with that. We’ve still got time to figure it all out and with any luck, we won’t get corrupted by ancient alien artifacts first.”
“Sadly, that means that we’ve got to leave this one alone for the time being,” I looked down at the tablet where it lay on the table. “I’ve got a feeling I’ll want to lock this one away.”
Raising his eyebrow, “Does this mean you’re finally going to open storage room three or four?” Continue reading Never Go Home: Part 7
Yoselin nodded, “I do. This is bigger than Cuba and the United States. The Dominators and the Nine represent a threat to all nations and I don’t want to be at home wasting my time while you fight. I’ve known about them all of my life and this is the closest thing I’ve ever had to a lead on them. I want to follow it.”
Daniel and I looked at each other, making an instant telepathic connection. She means it, Daniel told me. I don’t know if she’s been modified by them in the past, but since I don’t see any hints of it, I’d be willing to take a chance on her.
Me too, I thought back. We should probably ask Cassie what she thinks. Continue reading Rematch: Part 22
Daniel nodded, “That’s what I was thinking too. It has to be them. The only question is whether someone hired them to do it or whether they’re doing it on their own. If no one’s hiring them, that’s worse.”
Yoselin turned around, “And why do you think that?”
I knew why, but he answered first, “Because if they did it themselves, they’ll care what happened, and I’m not sure we’re ready to go up against the Dominators. If the Nine hired them, the Nine might care, but they’ll have to hire the Dominators for them to care. We’ve gone up against the Nine successfully a couple of times now. We might be able to do it again.” Continue reading Rematch: Part 21
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
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
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
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