Planet in the Middle: Part 6

Four Hands wasn’t anywhere to be seen in the group. I wasn’t sure what that meant. It wasn’t impossible that a motivator from the new group of Ascendancy soldiers had gotten him to confess, but it wasn’t likely. If he was as he seemed, a revolutionary in the making, he might be plotting with his people now.

I couldn’t assume it would do us any good, though.

Jaclyn glanced over at Kals and the tech as they talked with Jadzen. “If they’re not coming for her, I don’t know why they’re coming this way.”

Marcus looked past her toward the screens, “We’d better do something then. We’d better go—unless you think we can take them out. I know you’re not at your best though.”

Frowning, Jaclyn glared at him. “I know. Right now we can fight or run and I don’t know where to run to. I could get Jadzen out of here, but that just means they’ll go after the rest of you.”

I thought about calling the Waroo, but that wasn’t a solution either. With the new troops behind them, the Waroo mercenaries would be a delay and nothing more. That didn’t mean I wouldn’t use their help if we needed a delay, but I didn’t want to waste their efforts—especially if they might die on my behalf.

Turning to Tikki, Marcus asked, “Is there anything you could do?”

Tikki bit her lip. “I can’t do anything big enough to affect all of them.” Then she stared at the screens.

From Jadzen’s side of the building came her voice, “There’s nowhere else to go that’s any safer and doesn’t put others in danger. We’re going to have to fight. We have defenses here. If we run, they’ll find us while we’re traveling.”

I looked around the long room. People stirred as the conversation’s noise woke them up. Though I’d missed it before, it wasn’t all of the Council members. They’d spread out some of the leadership. Beyond that, there were the Council’s bodyguards, more than a few of whom were fit, and had guns lying on their mats. It wasn’t more than ten, but that was something.

Plus, of course, they had us—which might have given Jadzen more confidence than I felt we deserved.

Jadzen stood, pulling on robes that struck me as heavier than what I’d seen her wear before. “Everyone, wake up!”

My suit buzzed out the commanding tones, but her speech had the desired effect. People sat upright on their mats, pulling on clothes.

“The Ascendancy has received reinforcements and they’ve chosen to send troops here. We all know why. This is where most of the Council is. They want to cut off the head before killing the rest. As you know, these are the last of our prepared refuges. We have nowhere else to go. On the surface, our choices are to fight or to surrender. You remember why we left and you know that surrendering means to have our minds remade in the image of the Human Ascendancy.

“So, we can’t surrender. We can only fight. That’s why I’m sending word to all of our people that we are fighting and they may have to as well. Be aware that it is not hopeless. In addition to the Ascendancy, the Xiniti have also landed troops on the planet. If we can survive long enough, we’ll receive assistance both from the Xiniti and our nearest bunkers.

“Arm yourselves if you can fight. If you can’t, go to the lower level. We can’t offer anything more now, but we will not let you down.”

Jadzen turned toward us. “Our defenses will hurt them, but unless we’re very lucky, they won’t destroy them. We’ll need your help. At first they’ll encounter our traps, but soon enough there will only room for your deeds to keep us safe.”

Cassie met her gaze. “We’ll be there. It’s not like there’s much of a choice.”

We all looked at her. “There isn’t,” she said. “I hope there’s a better plan than simply waiting for the traps to fail before sending us in. We need something better than that, right?”

Jadzen only said, “You’ll have to devise one. Our people will be happy to work with you”

If Cassie’s comments bothered her, I couldn’t tell. She turned toward one of the bodyguards—this one prematurely white-haired, but mid-thirties by his features. “Trenith, you’re familiar with our defenses. Coordinate with them.”

Then Jadzen turned toward the tech who’d been watching the screens, “Send the alert.”

In the distance, a bomb exploded and figures on one of the screens were bathed in fire. Trenith watched as Kamia and Neves stepped through the flames unharmed.

8 thoughts on “Planet in the Middle: Part 6”

  1. Typos:

    “If they’re not coming for her, I don’t know why they’re coming this way.”

    coming fore here,

    more than a few of whom were fit, and had guns lying on their mats.

    Unnecessary comma

    “The Ascendancy has received reinforcements and they’ve chosen to send troops here.

    comma after reinforcements

    You remember why we left and you know that surrendering means to have our minds remade in the image of the Human Ascendancy.

    comma after left

    Coulda sworn I saw another bit of missing punctuation on the first read-through, but I couldn’t find it after looking three times. Maybe 4AM isn’t me most alert time, lol.

    Thanks for the chapter.

  2. Good book. I have found you over, but have to Questions:
    First Question: Where does the title come from? “Legion of Nothing” Is never said in the series, as far as I remember (new Reader…)

    Second Question: How can in the program (I do not remember the exact Name…) be 200 pupils? In the entire USA, if you are thinking that supers are dispersed through the Society evenly, only 436 metahumans. Even with power-Juice, we only get to 1308 persons, total. Of Course in the USA there might be more supers, because of reasons, but only ca 8% of all metahumans are in the necessary age-group (short search over Google, age Group 20-24 years old). So we are speaking About a maximum of 105 People… and that is if the everyone with powers in the agegroup gets into the program…

    1. Thanks for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      With regards to your first question:

      The name comes from the fact that I wanted to hint at the way they named old comics (The Legion of Superheroes, The Newsboy Legion, etc…) and also wanted the name to be a bit less triumphant than those names tended to be. Thus, I went with a kid’s standard response to a parent when they don’t want to explain what they’re doing “Nothing.”

      Nick actually uses “nothing” in exactly this way near the end of the first chapter of the story.

      As for the second question:

      Once everyone starts using power juice and the power impregnator on people all previous estimates about how many supers there are effectively worthless since people who wouldn’t be eligible to be “super” now are.

      1. but really often you have said that 10.000 activated are out there and together with the not activated there are 30.000. I try to find a chapter, and will post that than as a Reply…

        1. True. I don’t know where the chapter is precisely, but that’s right. 10,000 activated is easy to verify. 30,000 whose powers are inactive is a “best guess” when you bring power juice into the equation.

          Beyond that, the power impregnator allows people that ordinarily wouldn’t be able to activate to activate. Because family members of people with powers obviously have some potential, there are clusters of people with powers that would never ordinarily have activated. Because of that, there are quite a few more than people’s previous understanding allowed for.

          A key point to remember is that they have the information that they have, but that information isn’t completely correct. It’s just the closest that they’ve got.

          1. of Course, but as far as I remember this number is still used in the arc in Question. Of Course there are clusters, but even so they can see that whats going on is wrong. Another Thing out of this arc or the one before tells us, that USA should have less than normal and not more than normal, because the standart demographic type in the USA is White European, mostly German and English. While the powers are mostly from People, who originally came from other types… Of Course there is Change, if an ancient ancestor was egyptean, it might not be easily seen, but the Point still stands.

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