Category Archives: Arc 13.4.0: Misdirection

Misdirection: Part 10

He hit.

I saw the blade go into my chest straight through my armor. I’d protected against that, as had Rook the last time I’d seen him. Much as I had, he’d upgraded. Right now though, his weapons could go through my armor whereas mine couldn’t go through his.

I needed to get a sample of that blade or ideally the whole device so I could study the mechanism—assuming I survived. Continue reading Misdirection: Part 10

Misdirection: Part 9

Uncle Steve sighed as he saw me come through the door, seeming to relax a little even if he went back to watching Number Eight within seconds. Mom, for the record, didn’t look any less nervous. I turned toward the silver wall, standing directly in front of my mom, but ahead and to the right of Uncle Steve.

I got in position even as Number Eight slashed a foot-long hole in the wall. I hadn’t noticed before, but a six-inch long blade extended from the bottom of his cane. I supposed that made it a knife or spear cane because that was too short for a sword. Continue reading Misdirection: Part 9

Misdirection: Part 8

Number Eight turned his head to look back at me as the force field went down, his eyes wide and his mouth open in an expression that said, “Oh, no.”

He turned back to the hole he’d made in the door and looked inside. I reached forward, trying to knock him away from the hole before he disappeared. I failed. I thought I felt his arm give and then my arm was flying through where his body had been.

From the other side of the hole, though, I heard his voice give a short scream followed by, “Wait till you see what I do to your mother, you little shit.” Continue reading Misdirection: Part 8

Misdirection: Part 7

I managed to avoid falling over after hitting the glowing shield but I wobbled as I moved my right leg back to stabilize myself. I still had to hold out my arms and wave them a little. It wasn’t a good look. At any rate, it wasn’t a look that communicated that I was an unstoppable force of justice that was only temporarily having trouble balancing in the basement laundry room.

Number Eight smiled and then turned around to the wooden door, ignoring me. Continue reading Misdirection: Part 7

Misdirection: Part 6

The living room always felt the opposite of living during my childhood. Mom kept it perfect for guests to the point that you could see the lines where the vacuum cleaner ran on the carpet, or if you chose to sit there, the footprints you left on the way to the couch.

Mom wasn’t obsessive enough to vacuum after seeing footprints appear, but there were times I felt like she’d have preferred that I teleport into the room.

In that sense, Number Eight was Mom’s perfect guest. When you considered that he planned to kill Uncle Steve, maybe a bit less so. Continue reading Misdirection: Part 6

Misdirection: Part 5

“Tempting offer,” I said. “I have a counteroffer. How about you leave without hurting anybody and we all get to skip a fight?”

Number Eight smiled. That smile along with his bowler, cane, and the white shirt under his suit jacket made me think of the film A Clockwork Orange. Appearing to be in his mid-thirties, the man seemed a little too old for the role.

I’d never watched it, but it sounded disturbing. Continue reading Misdirection: Part 5

Misdirection: Part 4

As I ran, I tried to think who the people I’d seen might be. The tall woman with green skin came first. I’d seen an alert about her from the FBI. She was called Rogue Croc—which I guess was a reference to a film in addition to the fact that she’d been recruited into the army and been activated by their version of the power impregnator before “going rogue.” Also, she’d grown up in a village of Cabal descendants, so she wasn’t going down easy.

My implant returned that the woman with the staff was called Magicka and that she’d been around since the 1920s, mostly fighting members of the Mask family. As of my internship with the Motor City Heroes, Mateo/Blue Mask was a friend who had no chance to get here in time to help. Continue reading Misdirection: Part 4

Misdirection: Part 3

I didn’t realize that even as I felt optimistic, the other shoe had already dropped. The tree in the front yard had started on fire and the mulch and one of the bushes in front of their house had started with it.

Haley started talking to her mother over the comm again, “You need to get out, but don’t exit where they can see you. Go over to the neighbors. We’ll figure out a way to get you out of there… How? The police are coming. How do I know? Mom. You don’t have time for this. Get Dad and get out. And be careful, okay? I love you too.” Continue reading Misdirection: Part 3

Misdirection: Part 2

It hadn’t changed at all from how I’d left things. Haley was still talking to her mom. The Cabal soldier was still standing on the sidewalk in front of her house. Other people from our team were standing near us—Marcus, Tara, Julie, Katuk, and Kals.

Jaclyn’s camera still showed the burning house, “Hey,” she said, “should Blue and I head over to the house? I don’t like the looks of having a Cabal soldier there just waiting.”

From above Jaclyn, Izzy said, “I don’t either.” Continue reading Misdirection: Part 2

Misdirection: Part 1

Once the Cabal soldier crossed the street, he stopped, standing on the sidewalk as if he were waiting for someone. It kind of worked. It wasn’t as if he were wearing a purple, orange, or green skintight jumpsuit, the kind of thing that screams, “I’m a supervillain!”

Bearing in mind that many of the Cabal had been Roman soldiers, he wasn’t wearing either a toga or carrying a shield. That would have been out of place in a suburban, upper-middle-class neighborhood. He wore a grey coat and blue slacks that to my eye had the heaviness of materials used for armor. I doubted that a Cabal soldier needed armor, but no one wanted to run around naked and I supposed that was less likely with tougher materials. Continue reading Misdirection: Part 1