Category Archives: Arc 13.6.5: Courtesy

Courtesy: Part 65

“Right,” Amy said. “They’re going to set something up for the end of the week. I asked why it couldn’t be sooner and it’s what you’d think. They all live in fear of Magnus. They don’t want it to be obvious that they’re going anywhere and don’t want it to be obvious that they returned. It takes time to set it all up.”

“Huh,” I remembered how far Ruthie Shaw had been from anywhere. “I knew they were on the run, but it makes me wonder how much of a risk it is to get them together.”

Amy met my eyes, “One that they’re willing to take because they’re afraid that not doing it will be worse.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 65

Courtesy: Part 64

I thought back to the fight in the playground with the initial version of the mushroom zombies, trying to remember what Hunter had said that he’d done.

In that same moment, I had a flashback to talking to my grandfather in this space, gathering my thoughts to explain the logic of the design decisions I’d made. Knowing that Guardian had interned with the Heroes’ League at one point, he’d probably had the same sort of conversations except about tactics instead of design decisions.

Weird. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 64

Courtesy: Part 62

“For what it’s worth,” I said, “I was ready to take a chance on it. We will have to face the Nine and it would be easier with whatever you got out of Arete.”

He gave a weak nod and coughed, “There’s another chance. I knew you had to destroy us completely. I created a spore, separated from us, and encased it as completely as I could. Look past me. I’d give it to you, but I shouldn’t touch it.”

I stepped around him. Hidden from direct view, a ball made of a pearl-like hard substance sat on a bare spot of concrete. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 62

Courtesy: Part 61

I pushed the bot views into the background and paid attention to the world around me. Alex pointed at the mounds around us and the ceiling. All of them sagged and dripped viscous, brown goo. More liquid puddled beneath the withered skin.

“We should grab everybody,” I said. “We might be able to get away with leaving Flame Legion. I know she doesn’t exactly enjoy dying, though.”

Alex nodded, “Yeah. That hasn’t changed, but she’s more used to it. I’d leave her.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 61

Courtesy: Part 60

Sean’s face tightened. He took a short breath as if he were about to blow up at her, but instead let out a long breath, finishing with, “Are you sure? Do you know it?”

Amy shook her head slowly, “No. I didn’t absorb him. Another Bloodmaiden was in charge when he got hit with the Bloodspear. So she got more out of him than I did and she doesn’t like answering questions. I don’t have his thoughts, just a whisper of his feelings. He was happy and relieved when he got the order, the way you are when you’ve been worrying about something and now you can finally do something about it.”

Sean looked over at Dayton, then back at Amy, “Couldn’t that have been part of it? The Nine can manipulate your feelings too.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 60

Courtesy: Part 59

I had good reason to think Kals would be fine but I didn’t know if Alex had bothered to download and install the latest update. You could reasonably ask why that wouldn’t be automatic, but even my updates had the potential of going wrong.

You wanted to install when you had a backup suit available and not midway through a mission.

In that moment, though, I didn’t spend any time checking the update logs. I jumped for Jody and glancing behind at me, his eyes widened. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 59

Courtesy: Part 58

I didn’t shed tears, but if I weren’t having to again slaughter humonsters, I could have. I punched a humonster that jumped down from the top of a mound toward Alex in the face, splattering it across the side of the mound it jumped from.

We might finally be done with this.

Alex stumbled toward the glowing mound, shaking his head, his footing becoming more sure with each step. He only had to make it twenty feet, but I’d seen how unpredictable twenty feet could be. 

Still, he had Kals and whatever Bloodmaiden was in control for help. It needed to be enough. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 58

Courtesy: Part 57

That knowledge gave me the confidence to let “Amy” and Kals protect Alex while I did my best to protect Daniel and the various Jennys.

Her ability to duplicate herself made it worse when every copy represented a tunnel into her brain.

I fired off a series of armor piercing bots. They weren’t as effective as killbots, but they were simpler and faster to produce. Plus, they didn’t have monomolecular blades constantly sucking energy until they dulled. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 57