Tag Archives: Alex

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

Courtesy: Part 54

At that moment, I heard a noise or more accurately many small taps and thumps. A quick look around me explained it. The humonsters were back. They’d scrambled over the mounds on either side and came down in front of us, behind us, and to the sides of us lying on top of the mounds.

I’d last seen roughly 25 of them scrambling for cover among the mounds, but here there were 50, maybe more.

They opened their mouths and shouted, “Don’t move!” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 54

Courtesy: Part 52

The humonsters ran after us, ignoring Cassie and they didn’t just run. They leapt. They tumbled. The talons that grew out of their hands and feet clacked against the floor.

They weren’t slow. Only the fact that Alex, Jenny, Kals, and Katuk had started first kept them from being caught—that and Katuk’s shooting ability.

Without looking, he pointed the gun under his forearm backward and fired, scattering blasts of white light behind him. The first two caught humonsters full on, severing the right arm from one and the entire lower half of the other. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 52

Courtesy: Part 51

I can’t read them very well, Daniel thought at us, but for lack of a better analogy, I think it’s the heart, the center of the organism’s circulation. I wish we had a biologist because then I could ask better questions, but I know that as long as we get Alex there, it’ll die.

Noticing, no doubt, that we hadn’t started tearing Amy limb from limb, the humonsters shouted as one, “Kill her now!”

As the noise overwhelmed the sound of the buzzer again, I had to fight the urge to charge Amy, hearing Julie’s command in my head again.  Continue reading Courtesy: Part 51

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