We didn’t have long to think about Guardian’s statement. Even as I wondered whether or not he was going to chew us out when he got here, a hole opened in the air above the parking lot. Guardian floated out, muscles showing under his silver suit as it shimmered in the sunlight. Flying along with him came Daniel’s father, Mindstryke in a black costume with the Greek letter Ψ on the upper left of his chest.
Flick jumped out of the hole to the right of Daniel’s father, landing on the sidewalk going down the middle of the parking lot. Small, blond, and wearing a light blue costume with large, metallic gauntlets, already glancing around the parking lot to understand the situation. She’d been one of our teachers at Stapledon. Even though her power didn’t put her in the top ranks of heroes by itself, she’d made the most of it. Continue reading Older Enemies: Part 4
Then Travis turned his attention back to Daniel’s dad. “OK, you said that your dad, the Mentalist saw this coming. What did he see?”
Quickly shaking his head, Mindstryke said, “It’s not exactly like that. For my dad, Daniel, and I, precognition comes without a lot of control at first. Seconds in the future are easiest. Everything else comes unasked for, but over time you become better at directing it. The problem is that there isn’t just one future, there’s an infinite number. Some of the differences aren’t much, but they’re there.
“My dad got to the point that he could see futures as collections of connected events, and even look for specific outcomes. He gave us patterns of events we should look for and a few spots where we can intervene. Mostly though, we can’t. We guess it’s because you’ll become too reliant on us, and unprepared when you need to handle things yourselves.
“And that leads us to today. We were going to wait on handing over direct control to you, but we can’t. You’ve just gotten too much attention. As of now, the League’s business issues need you to have the power to make decisions. We won’t have time to handle it. The staff doesn’t have the authority.”
“The staff?” Travis sounded confused. “The only staff I know about is Kayla.”
Continue reading Spin: Part 7
“Wow,” I said, “you’re early.”
Mindstryke shook his head. “Not really. I told you the latest we’d be here was ten, and some of us happened to finish up earlier than expected.”
He was right. Now that he’d mentioned it, I remembered him saying that. I also remembered a couple other things he’d said.
“We’re still waiting on part of the current League, and one member of the board.”
I was about to ask him who that was when the words, “Entered: Accelerando, C. Retinal scan confirmed,” appeared on the bottom of my screen.
Shortly after that one of the tunnel doors swung open, and Jaclyn walked through with her grandfather. She wore her purple costume—not really more than a jumpsuit, but she didn’t need it for protection. The hard part was creating a fabric that could handle hitting the speed of sound. Continue reading Spin: Part 6
By the time our food came, anyone who had wanted an autograph had one. There weren’t that many people in the restaurant after all.
A fair number of them pointed phones in our direction. It didn’t make me feel better. It’d be really annoying if one of us accidentally used a real name. We’d probably see it all over the internet in hours.
Daniel’s voice popped into my head. It gets worse. One of them already called a television station, and they’re sending out a reporter.
What? It was all I could do not to say it out loud. Why didn’t you say something?
It’s no big deal, Daniel said. The nearest TV station is half an hour from here. Our food should be here sooner.
Hoping that no one thought to bribe the cooks, I looked over the room again, and didn’t see anything unusual. Continue reading Spin: Part 5
Jaclyn paused, and then said, “What happens next?”
Flick said, “Well, then we have to decide whether we take them in as soon as we can, or whether we watch them, and hope they’ll lead us to other people the Nine hired.”
The tone of her voice turned sarcastic as she said, “But that’s not the best part. The best part is the committee monitoring how we do it, and second guessing whether watching him without taking him in is really worth it. Plus with this we’ll get to discuss at any moment whether what we do will cause an international incident.
“Look forward to it kids, this is what you’re training for.”
Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 5
A little more loudly than necessary, Jack said, “Jethro Tull is a group, not a person.”
Haley scowled. “Sorry. Just curious.”
Then she shut off the comm, and looked back at Flick. “I’m not going be able to talk to him much longer.”
“Sorry, hon, but you might like him better once he changes.”
To judge from Haley’s expression, she doubted that. “Once he changes into what?” Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 4
Text appeared below the screen that showed our position and that of the other planes.
[You’re making yourself completely vulnerable. I’m not suggesting you attack, but landing and turning off your shields represents an unacceptable risk.]
I shut off the comm, and quietly asked, “What would you suggest?”
[If you have to appear vulnerable, lower the jet, but don’t land, and give me permission to turn on the shields whenever I think it’s necessary.]
“You need my permission?”
[Yes. My makers wanted artificial intelligences limited to minimize their risk.]
Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 3
As much as I might want to assume Sean was wrong on the grounds that he was talking, I wished we could fly away.
Whatever I might think, Haley’s console had the flight controls for the moment, and unless I felt I should say something, she could make the decision without me.
My console only showed the weapons and shields at the moment.
Haley began to turn her head around. It was obvious she was going to ask someone for advice.
Keeping her voice low, Flick said, “I’ve got to make some calls. Cooperate, but stall.” Continue reading Picking Up Pieces: Part 2
Flick threw a ball into the main group of heavy bird bots as they began to run across the floor toward us.
The ball punctured the bird bot’s chest, coming out the other side, and continuing through each bot behind it.
I’d never known for sure what her power was, but it had something to do with controlling mass and momentum. I’d heard that there were very specific rules about how it worked, but I’d never seen her in action, so I didn’t know what they were. Continue reading Breaking & Entering: Part 12
Much like in the control room, the second floor mostly stayed together. Spots of concrete fell and the nearest section of floor simply bent downward toward us, giving us a view of storage rooms.
A file cabinet slid sideways, and fell into the room, landing on the melted remains of the cloning tanks.
It would have been great if that had been the end of it.
It wasn’t, but it looked like it for a second.
Cassie lowered the gun. “Let’s get out of here.”
“Yeah.” Continue reading Breaking & Entering: Part 11