“Uh… Yeah. I can see how you’d feel that way and, honestly, you’re right,” I stood up, feeling the beginning of a headache and some pain as I stood, the spots where I hurt corresponding to where the creature bit me.
Unlike almost everyone else, I’d been too busy to throw on my costume, making me tempted to pull up my shirt or pull down my pants to check for physical marks.
This wasn’t the moment for checking. I could do that before I put on the Rocket suit, but I did want to know. Continue reading Isolation: Part 12
The problem with being more or less as powerful as a “baby” Artificer was that I wasn’t yet powerful enough to hurl energy at whatever that thing was and also snap back to my body.
Unsure what good it would do, I moved as much of me as possible behind the strand, thinking it was better than nothing, and betting I wouldn’t be able to do any of the defensive exercises I knew either.
Pushing whatever of me was in this place out, I felt the barriers begin to thin as the blob came into my vision. It had left the security of its own strand to swing out to the side and fly in my direction. Continue reading Isolation: Part 11
Having recognized that, it became a different problem. What kind of exercise did it resemble? The exercises fell into different categories, but they all revolved around manipulating energy that I gathered and then using it for offense, defense, communication, and travel.
So far, I wasn’t doing any of them effectively. I was working on the building blocks that would eventually allow me to do something with them when I had enough energy to play with—which wouldn’t be any time soon. Continue reading Isolation: Part 10
Jaclyn stepped forward, “I don’t want to be ‘that guy,’ but weren’t we going to try to see what we could do to slow things down and give the Nine’s puppets some space so they could be flexible? That was the plan last night.”
“I know. You’re right. We were going to do that,” Haley said, “And that’s not the only thing we need to think about. Lim called this morning… If we go in and people die, the public could end up on Major Justice’s side just because they don’t expect us to kill people.” Continue reading Isolation: Part 9
I thought about it a little longer and realized that it might be easy. Using my implant, I asked Hal, Do you have any data on camouflage or invisibility devices that Major Justice made for the military?
Hal’s reply appeared in my HUD.
[I have access to records of every device Major Justice made for the military. I can send you the specifications and testing data.] Continue reading Isolation: Part 8
I could see how Major Justice or the Nine might have come up with the idea though. Having people barrage you with requests that you surrender, some of them people you know… Well, it didn’t feel good.
Knowing that it had to be a ploy took a bit of the edge off, but I wondered if they’d done this before and to whom.
Then another thought hit me, “If you all are getting deluged with texts like I am right now, forward them all to Hal.” Continue reading Isolation: Part 7
“We’ve done this a few times too often,” I said, realizing I was talking only as it came out of my mouth.
“You call, come up with some kind of ultimatum, compare me and everyone on the team to spoiled children, and then you attack us and get your ass handed to you. You should do something different and I don’t mean attacking us with even more people.
“If you want to do something that surprises me, be kind and respectful of others. Treat me and the whole group as if we’re capable of making reasonable choices and you’ll probably get reasonable choices out of us.” Continue reading Isolation: Part 6
Lim hung up, leaving Haley and me standing there together next to one of the cubicles in the command area of the main room, all of our friends and some family in cots on the other side of the room.
We didn’t have anywhere else to send them—nowhere convenient anyway. Daniel’s family had relocated to the Midwest Defenders’ base in Chicago after the fight. I’d been thinking about asking Guardian about that yesterday, but not until after we’d talked last night.
An attack on HQ wasn’t out of the question. The simulations I’d seen this morning included a few different attacks and that was one of them. Continue reading Isolation: Part 5
I held the phone up to my ear and said, “Hi. What’s the bad news?”
Lim gave a small chuckle, “It’s good to know you’re paying attention. That’s what all of us involved in teaching you have been aiming for, but you’re right. It’s not good news. It also isn’t terrible news, but it’s bad in what it represents.” Continue reading Isolation: Part 4
With that thought, I gave up on worrying about Jody until I had a more solid reason to worry about him. I considered asking Daniel or maybe Tara, but I knew that Daniel was sleeping without even looking.
Our childhood link did that much even if it didn’t allow me to borrow his powers while he was unconscious. Continue reading Isolation: Part 3