Nodding, I said, “Then I guess we’d better go do something that’s obviously stupid.”
“It’ll be fine,” Cassie said, “Mr. Sparkles is looking forward to it. I don’t think he quite understands that we’re not going out there to slaughter them.”
I eyed the alien gun in it’s holster on her belt. Using it to its full potential would get us in more trouble than I wanted to imagine.
Haley’s mouth twisted as she glanced down at it, but she said, “I think we need to get out there. Is everyone ready?” Continue reading Roll the Dice: Part 2
“Uh… Yeah. I can see how you’d feel that way and, honestly, you’re right,” I stood up, feeling the beginning of a headache and some pain as I stood, the spots where I hurt corresponding to where the creature bit me.
Unlike almost everyone else, I’d been too busy to throw on my costume, making me tempted to pull up my shirt or pull down my pants to check for physical marks.
This wasn’t the moment for checking. I could do that before I put on the Rocket suit, but I did want to know. Continue reading Isolation: Part 12
The problem with being more or less as powerful as a “baby” Artificer was that I wasn’t yet powerful enough to hurl energy at whatever that thing was and also snap back to my body.
Unsure what good it would do, I moved as much of me as possible behind the strand, thinking it was better than nothing, and betting I wouldn’t be able to do any of the defensive exercises I knew either.
Pushing whatever of me was in this place out, I felt the barriers begin to thin as the blob came into my vision. It had left the security of its own strand to swing out to the side and fly in my direction. Continue reading Isolation: Part 11
Jaclyn stepped forward, “I don’t want to be ‘that guy,’ but weren’t we going to try to see what we could do to slow things down and give the Nine’s puppets some space so they could be flexible? That was the plan last night.”
“I know. You’re right. We were going to do that,” Haley said, “And that’s not the only thing we need to think about. Lim called this morning… If we go in and people die, the public could end up on Major Justice’s side just because they don’t expect us to kill people.” Continue reading Isolation: Part 9
I thought about it a little longer and realized that it might be easy. Using my implant, I asked Hal, Do you have any data on camouflage or invisibility devices that Major Justice made for the military?
Hal’s reply appeared in my HUD.
[I have access to records of every device Major Justice made for the military. I can send you the specifications and testing data.] Continue reading Isolation: Part 8
Kayla laughed, “You haven’t spent half the time talking to him that I have. At least he’s respectful to you. He thinks I’m some kind of no name peon.”
I couldn’t imagine what he said to her that made the way Major Justice treated me seem respectful.
She looked down at her phone, “Oh, and he’s gone. I guess he wanted to sneer at me one more time before they attacked.”
Cassie’s eyes narrowed, “You didn’t tell me he was being nasty to you.” Continue reading Simple Choices: Part 11
Kals talked with Julie in a low voice, using words that were a mixture of English and Ascendancy. The Ascendancy was straight jargon transliterated or translated into English. Even the Xiniti implants couldn’t translate it very well, turning most of the words into sound waveforms—which I could maybe figure out her strategy given time, but not in the moment. I still needed more context.
The words themselves still didn’t make it clearer. An example? Kals said, “I’ll need you to do eight high mind squirts in a row in the low mind zug pattern I taught you earlier.”
Julie meanwhile, furrowed her brow at first, but then smiled and said, “Got it!” Continue reading Simple Choices: Part 10
As Adam took off the necklace and handed it to me, Daniel thought at me, This is a good sign. In my dad’s stories, this is the kind of thing that should have provoked violence and I don’t sense any coming except in the least likely of futures.
I took the necklace and looked at the buzzer. I’d been right to think that it looked like one of my earlier designs, but it wasn’t one of them. I’d made them available to other people at points, but I didn’t think I’d done so with the model this appeared to be a copy of.
Keon had the skill to do it. He’d been at Stapledon before Adam disappeared and so had other techies. Continue reading Simple Choices: Part 9
Making a mental note to ask Amy if we could do something about him teleporting into HQ whenever he wanted, I stood up. I wasn’t the only one. Jaclyn, Haley, and Izzy had beaten me to it. Izzy was already in the air, hovering above her seat.
Tiger hadn’t done much when Adam first appeared in HQ, but this time, he’d made it to his feet and was already walking around the table.
He wasn’t growling, but watched as Adam walked toward the group, sometimes glancing over at Jaclyn as if wondering what she wanted him to do. Continue reading Simple Choices: Part 8
“I think we may have to,” I said. “I don’t like the idea either, but I feel like having us on the front lines at all times might not be a good idea. We could use help even if it’s Adam’s help.”
Cassie looked over at the medical capsule and then back to us, “I know what you’re thinking. We just lost Travis and you and I both know that there’s something out there that can kill any of us—even me. I’m not sure this is the time to make this decision. I think we might find it too easy to say yes right now even though you know what Adam’s like.” Continue reading Simple Choices: Part 5