Category Archives: Arc 4.4: TBD

TBD: Part 10

“Yeah?” He pulled the tab, and opened the can, barely seeming to care.

That annoyed me, because it wasn’t as if I’d volunteered the information. He’d asked. I didn’t see any reason to start a conversation with him. If anything, I’d be willing to go out of my way to avoid it.

I pressed the down button on the elevator. If nothing else, I could leave.

“Have you been telling stories about me?”

Continue reading TBD: Part 10

TBD: Part 9

I got on my stationary bike, and ignored Sean. I didn’t have anything to say to him.

As the woman in scrubs taped sensors to my arm and chest, and after she’d explained to me what I had to do, I turned to Jenny. “I saw Brooke before I met my adviser. I don’t know where she is now.”

From the row of bikes behind me, Brooke said, “Back here.”

I turned toward her voice and saw her. “Hi. I didn’t notice you.” Continue reading TBD: Part 9

TBD: Part 8

“No reason you should remember me. Like a lot of people I attended your grandfather’s funeral, but not as myself, and I wasn’t around much during the years when you were your grandfather’s lab assistant.”

That had to be how it looked from the outside. “After the Rocket’s retirement as a hero, he stayed home and worked on devices for the community with his grandson as an assistant.”

It was accurate as far as it went, but it felt less like my life, and more like I was an appendage to Grandpa’s.

Continue reading TBD: Part 8

TBD: Part 7

The rest of the week went by in a blur, and we spent most of it in the hotel. We did take a couple field trips—probably to make it seem like we were a normal bunch of students visiting Chicago. During one field trip we went to the Field Museum.

For the other, we toured the Midwest Defenders’ Chicago headquarters.

We got a more thorough tour than most groups, but the Defenders were all out on an emergency. That was okay. As much as I missed seeing Daniel’s dad as Mindstryke, and liked most of the other members of the team, Guardian still made me feel incompetent. Continue reading TBD: Part 7

TBD: Part 6

Izzy’s mouth twitched. If that meant she was worried, I was in agreement. She didn’t deserve to get in trouble for yanking me out of the crowd like that, but I could see how she might.

We all went into the room anyway.

Lim sat down on the table. “I wanted to talk with you about a few different things, and I’m hoping you’ll pass them on to Travis and Rachel.”

“Of course,” Daniel said.

From behind me, Vaughn muttered, “If we remember.” Continue reading TBD: Part 6

TBD: Part 5

Stepping a little faster, I said, “Just a second, I feel like I should say something to her.”

Behind me (by then), Daniel said, “I don’t know. She seems kind of worked up—”

Okay, I heard that, but I didn’t really hear it. So when I tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Hey, we met this summer. I’m the Rocket—”

I didn’t get to finish my sentence. Continue reading TBD: Part 5

TBD: Part 4

“Now,” he said, “the first two years will be mostly classes, but in the third year your classes will include internships with nearby superheroes or superhero teams. The summers starting in your second year will all be intense physical training, and—”

The sound of someone clearing her throat sounded, audible everywhere in the conference room, but not unbearably loud. Just as obviously, it hadn’t come from the speakers near the front of the room.

Continue reading TBD: Part 4

TBD: Part 3

Bullet scanned the crowd, all of us sitting there and watching him, and continued. “For you to understand this, we’re going to have to step back for a second and review some things that everybody thinks they know, and then I’ll tell you which ones are really true.

“Everybody knows that the Heroes League claimed to be fighting aliens in 1970’s. Some people think the aliens were faked by the government. Some even think they were really aliens, but they were hired by the government. Either way, everyone knows there are superheroes who claim to be aliens even though they look a lot like humans.”

That was all too true. The “alien” heroes I’d seen on TV could have been faked by a good special effects department. All they needed were prosthetic foreheads, pointy ears, oddly colored makeup, and weird teeth.

They’d look at least as real as anything on Star Trek. Continue reading TBD: Part 3

TBD: Part 2

Sean didn’t have any real reason to be bothered. It wasn’t as if everyone worshiped me or something. I knew people, you know? Some I knew better than others. Some I liked better than others.

I’d met a lot of supers without ever trying to, and I’m pretty inoffensive, so no one had anything much against me.

I could see where it might be a comedown for him though. He was pretty popular in high school.

It probably wouldn’t last. He was good looking, and even charming from what I’d been told. I’d never noticed it myself. Continue reading TBD: Part 2

TBD: Part 1

We’d said our goodbyes earlier, so when my sister Rachel and I got out of Dad’s SUV at the airport, we didn’t have much to say to our parents.

I popped the hatch, grabbed my suitcase and backpack and put them next to me in the drop-off area. I handed Rachel her suitcase (her backpack hung on her back), and shut the hatch.

We moved to the side of the vehicle. Mom had her window open.

Rachel said, “I’ve got everything. Nick?”

“Me too.”

Dad smiled at us. “Enjoy your conference, and congratulations to both of you again. Full ride scholarships. That doesn’t happen to everyone.”

“Thanks, Dad. Now hurry and get out of here before airport security decides you’re terrorists.” Continue reading TBD: Part 1