Category Archives: Book 13: Division

Courtesy: Part 46

The boy froze again, his right hand curling into a ball. Then he smiled and said, “I would like that. Is this something that you can teach me or would you place a spell on me?”

“A spell,” Amy said, glancing over at Arete, “and I can’t do it now because I’m a little tired, but I think I could in ten minutes.”

Uncurling his right hand, the boy smiled, “I don’t necessarily need it, but I’ll think about it. I do sometimes have a little trouble with rogue personalities and a little help keeping them under control wouldn’t hurt.”

While I couldn’t say I wanted Arete free, helping the Fungus Collective keep him controlled also felt wrong. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 46

Courtesy: Part 45

Cassie piped up before anyone else, “How do we trust you? You were literally trying to kill some of us less than a minute ago. Sure, you stopped, but what are we supposed to do with that? Right now you need us, but maybe in the future you decide that you don’t. What’s going to stop you from absorbing the whole world then?”

The boy frowned, “The Xiniti will burn this world. Isn’t that correct?”

“Right,” Cassie pointed at the mounds, “but we see what you’re up to. You’re making replacements for us.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 45

Courtesy: Part 44

Logically, I should have told him to shoot it. The longer we took with this, the more time the greater horde had to reach us. Plus, it was most likely an avatar for a larger entity that was willing to sacrifice human life without a thought.

Why didn’t I? First of all, Alex didn’t take orders from anybody. Second, we didn’t know where the core of the entity was and a conversation could give us time to find it that combat wouldn’t. Beyond that, would the Fungus Collective simply hand us the core of its mental processes? Unlikely. If I had to guess, I’d guess that the kid was intended to be a distraction for us.

Also, there was the possibility, however small, that we were actually looking at a kid. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 44

Courtesy: Part 43

“Those of us who could fly” might not have been the best way to put it. Specifically, Daniel, Amy, and I followed Izzy (carrying Paladin) in. We’d be joined by a couple more from Haley’s group.

Everyone else gathered outside under Tara’s leadership.

As great as Camille’s control over gravity was, she didn’t have infinite power in the tank which meant that all of the fungus creatures that hadn’t been destroyed by the equivalent of a hundred foot fall would be attacking soon. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 43

Courtesy: Part 42

Izzy laughed.

Alex eyed her, “What?”

She shook her head, “You’re confident.”

“I’m stating a fact. You brought me here to do a job and I’m ready.” Alex looked over at a group of Jennys, possibly for support. More than one of them rolled their eyes.

Over the comm, Brooke AKA Portal AKA Guardian’s daughter and Alex’s girlfriend said, “Alex…”

Daniel interrupted before the conversation went any further, “Our chances of success start going down the longer we take here.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 42

Courtesy: Part 41

It took less time than I expected even though it seemed to be a disaster when it began.

As I’d stepped forward, burning through the legs of next nearest Prime clone, more barreled into the area all at once. Arms bashed me from more than one direction, knocking me sideways. Even as I began to push myself off the ground, I wondered if I’d be able to do anything. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 41

Courtesy: Part 40

Remembering the last time we’d fought these things, I couldn’t forget that we’d just sent a few of our heavy hitters away so that they could breathe safely.

That time though we didn’t face the prime clones plus a near-infinite number of mooks. It was just them and we’d all trained together.

Jaclyn shouted, “Use the wall,” and everyone knew what she meant. Everyone who could go hand to hand with them went to the outside. Everyone else went toward the wall with us between the two.

That meant that as the first three took huge leaps, bounding into our space, Izzy flew in, hitting the nearest one, throwing it backward hard enough that it flew in a straight line toward the wall on the far end, cracking the concrete.

It fell to the ground. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 40

Courtesy: Part 38

Having talked through our battle plan in a dark garage lit mostly by the lights on the far end, we started on stage one of the plan.

By moving to the far end of the room and letting Izzy passively construct a picture of what was ahead, we learned that we had one level between us and the main event. That level, so far as we could tell was empty—which was an interesting choice.

To my mind, that meant that it was empty to make it more obvious when someone attacked or maybe because they had an area of effect weapon they planned to activate on intruders. Tara thought I had a good point. So, we waited. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 38

Courtesy: Part 37

“Huh,” I checked around us again for hostiles with the suit’s sensors and didn’t see anything while my mind raced.

How much could they get out of Arete at this point? He’d been dead for a bit by now. On the other hand, your opponent always did things for a reason. Best to assume that they were going to copy his voice, add it to the telepaths, and create some kind of super-influencer or add it to every fungus construct they could.

“Does everyone have buzzers? As in anti-voice control buzzers? Preferably my design?” I looked around the group for responses. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 37