Category Archives: Book 13: Division

Relative Uncertainty: Part 3

Uncle Steve nodded, “They’re the biggest that I know of. I’m asking you for help because my father was the Rocket and I’ve suspected that you’re the current Rocket ever since the suit’s first reappearance.”

“Huh,” I said, “that’s quite a guess if it’s true.”

Uncle Steve smiled while Vaughn managed a surprisingly credible poker face. Continue reading Relative Uncertainty: Part 3

Relative Uncertainty: Part 2

I considered asking him if visiting my house would help him. In my “brilliant kid who’s starting his own engineering firm” identity, it made sense. Why would he come to visit me in the first place? I couldn’t help him.

That would have led to questions that I didn’t want to answer over the phone, especially if he’d known that my grandpa, his father, was the Rocket.

“Sure,” I said, “most of us are home tonight. So at least you won’t be alone.” Continue reading Relative Uncertainty: Part 2

Relative Uncertainty: Part 1

I put my dishes into the dishwasher, letting the door shut with a click. Despite the 80s look, which included big silvery plastic buttons surrounded by fake wood grain, it still worked. It worked better than my parents’ dishwasher in fact. Theirs tended to leave bits of food if you didn’t rinse the dishes before putting them inside.

It didn’t seem likely that 80s dishwashers were that much better (or longer lasting) than present-day appliances. I’d never taken it apart, but I wouldn’t have put it past my grandfather to stick alien tech or his own tech inside. It beat having to fix or replace the dishwasher. Continue reading Relative Uncertainty: Part 1

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