Category Archives: Arc 13.1.0: From Far Away

From Far Away: Part 11

“I’ve known Magnus for a long time. He trusts me to handle the details he doesn’t have time for,” Colette said, her voice catching as she talked.

I couldn’t help but suspect that even though she answered Kals’ questions, she was screaming inside.

Kals sighed, “What kind of things do you do? I need to know more details.” Continue reading From Far Away: Part 11

From Far Away: Part 10

What did I want to know? Everything? What she was about when she chose to turn Armory from a superhero into a purely profit-seeking weapons developer? How it happened that she had some kind of relationship with Bullet and why she did it? What did she know about Martin Magnus and what they’d been using Master Martian for?

We kind of knew the answers to those questions, but we only really had guesses and Master Martian’s version of events. Continue reading From Far Away: Part 10

From Far Away: Part 9

Kals laughed, “Oh, really… I can join you then? Do you think I’ll want to? That I’m desperate enough that I’ll sit around waiting for something interesting to happen in my life? You’re very impressed with yourself and whatever you’re doing. I think you need to tell me everything about it.”

I didn’t need the buzz of the Defenders’ protections to tell me that Kals had chosen violence (or mind control. The difference was arguable). I heard the tone of her voice take on an odd tone, but not quite the one I remembered. Continue reading From Far Away: Part 9

From Far Away: Part 8

Kals opened her mouth and began to say, “I’d like th—“ but then she stopped. “You know what? I know I told you about techniques your buzzer doesn’t block and that you fixed them, but if she knows techniques that I don’t, I should probably take Katuk.”

I nodded, “Yeah. She probably doesn’t have experience with Xiniti.”

Katuk added, “We hear frequencies that you don’t and our brains are different enough that few Dominators can manipulate us.” Continue reading From Far Away: Part 8

From Far Away: Part 7

Kals stopped and looked into the cell where Ana lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling. I didn’t know what she was thinking and then she spoke into my head via my implant.

That’s your cousin? I’m sorry I couldn’t do more. I think she’s going to be back to normal unless there’s another telepathic trigger in there or one of the other things you mentioned over the ansible connection. You told me there was magic and telepathy and unpredictable technology. I understood you, but I didn’t get it until now. I understand why your people couldn’t figure it out. Continue reading From Far Away: Part 7

From Far Away: Part 6

With a glance at her face, I realized that it wasn’t her bones. She’d been wearing glasses and the plastic frame broke. This wasn’t as good news as you’d expect. Blood ran down her cheek from the spot where the plastic dug into her skin.

The glasses hung for a moment longer and then fell to the floor.

Ana didn’t seem to notice as she stood straight up and then moved her head back as if getting ready to hit the bars with her face.

And then she didn’t. Continue reading From Far Away: Part 6

From Far Away: Part 5

Mindstryke grinned, “Everything I’ve heard about the Ascendancy is bad, so I can’t say I’m surprised. You’ll be the first person with the skills of a Dominator that I’ve worked with. The few times I’ve encountered them, they’ve been trying to kill me.”

He nodded toward one of the hallways, “We’ve got them down this way. We can’t keep them close enough that Ana would be in the range of the Dominator’s voice. We’ve got a buzzer to prevent that sort of thing, but we both know that accidents happen. Over here.” Continue reading From Far Away: Part 5

From Far Away: Part 4

The Defenders’ staff recommended a route for our approach that avoided air traffic from both O’Hare and Midway. Following their advice, I brought the jet in. Hal, an AI that specialized in predicting how best to win battles between fleets of starships, probably could have worked out a more direct route through Chicago’s many flight paths, but we weren’t in that much of a hurry.

Besides, it was best not to annoy people unless you needed to. Continue reading From Far Away: Part 4

From Far Away: Part 3

In that moment, I realized that Kals wasn’t speaking whatever they spoke in the Human Ascendancy. She spoke English and her accent sounded like the one out of old movies—somewhere between the US and British. I could only guess that wherever her implant downloaded it from had updated its language files in the 1950s.

I hoped that it automatically adjusted with exposure to new variants in the language. If not, she might be able to pass for someone from India who’d studied in the US and the UK. Hopefully, it wouldn’t come to that.

Katuk wouldn’t be able to pass for a human at all. Continue reading From Far Away: Part 3

From Far Away: Part 2

Haley nodded, “Will it be a problem if I keep the weapons console active? Someone might be out here.”

She wasn’t wrong. The first time we’d flown out to the gate it had been partly to take the jet into space and partly because we could make out without worrying about being interrupted. That did not work out as planned. We’d been interrupted by an alien AI that wanted to piggyback on our ship to get out of the system, supers monitoring the area, and a small but multiple ship battle near the gate.

“It’s probably a good idea. It’s not weird at all to find local ships with their weapons active near a gate. You never know who’s going to come through.” Continue reading From Far Away: Part 2