They didn’t arrive to attack us that afternoon or even that evening or night. It was a little disappointing after all the warnings. We went on high alert for the night, taking turns staying up and not leaving HQ.
We could have all slept and let HAL watch for intruders, but we decided it was better to have two people awake, armored, and ready for action. Besides we had a lot of people. No one had to stay up that long. Continue reading Isolation: Part 1
Guardian nodded back toward the part of the parking lot where the sheriffs’ cars, boxes, reporters, and all of the people from the building stood. There were more people than I remembered and several black SUVs, all of them unlabeled. The people coming out of them wore black jackets and armor with the letters “FBI” placed in the middle of the chest and taking up half of it.
The Probationers, our team, and the Defenders were in and out of the crowd, some of them helping law enforcement, and the rest simply talking. Daniel and Izzy were talking with Ape Nasty and Mistress Madness. Continue reading Older Enemies: Part 6
Guardian nodded, watching me as we talked, “How long will it take?”
“I don’t know. My bet would be two weeks at most. It might be as short as a couple of days, depending on where my friend is and how long it takes me to get to an ansible.”
“Oh,” Guardian let out a breath and shook his head. “I’m guessing this is a friend from your excursion into the Human Ascendancy. I’ve never gotten any details on that beyond hearing that it was harder than it should have been. Alright, get your friend. We’ve got an ansible at our Chicago base. That way, you won’t have to fly to Mars to use the Xiniti ansible.” Continue reading Older Enemies: Part 5
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
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
Haley barely let him finish before jumping in. “What do you mean, ‘no?’ You’re not going to do anything. You just told us so, and we can’t leave her there.”
Guardian’s jaw tightened, and he said, “We’re going to do something, but we’re going to do it right. Even if you know where she is, and it isn’t a trap, they’ll still be expecting an attack. I’m not going to throw high school students up against Rook and possibly more of the Nine’s people. If anything, I’m going to send in experienced people. Time to stop talking, and give me her location, I’ll get as far as I can.”
Somewhere in the back of my mind, a part of me wanted to remind him that some of us were college students, but I doubted that arguing technicalities would get me anywhere.
Continue reading Ready or Not: Part 3
I clicked for more information, and realized that it wasn’t Cassie’s new communicator sending the signal. It was her old one.
The old League had alert signals that allowed them to show status using green, yellow, and red like ours did, but didn’t allow them to send sound or pictures—just location.
They’d been great at what they could do, but I’d replaced them last spring. Continue reading Ready or Not: Part 2
Inside the police department looked like most institutional buildings — beige walls, tile floor, cubicles — but with the obvious addition of men and women in blue carrying guns.
We ended up standing inside a conference room. “We” in this case meant new and old Heroes League members, the Midwest Defenders, the FBI representatives, PsyKick, Larry, and a few police.
It was a big conference room — two, actually. They’d taken out the divider between two rooms as we came in.
The tables had been pushed to the wall and the sleeping bodies placed in the middle of the room. All the rest of us stood around the edges while Daniel, his dad, the Fed with the psychic helmet, and PsyKick deep probed their minds.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 59
“No. There’s no way I’m doing that,” I said.
“That was a joke. I wasn’t suggesting you let Mindstryke take over, but you need to listen to the guy. No one thinks about it when they start, but managing your image is a major piece of the job.”
Guardian pulled a couple pieces of pepperoni pizza onto a plate.
Flick leaned in toward the table and smiled briefly. “He’s right. Some of you have heard about what happened when I joined the Defenders. I think the most important thing I’ve learned in the past two years is how to handle myself in public.”
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 58
“Is there some way I could avoid being on TV?” I said.
“Are you nervous?” Haley asked. “Your grandfather was on TV all the time.”
“Was he your grandfather?” Flick said. “I wondered about the connection. I remember seeing him on TV as a little kid. He always seemed so calm.”
Flick didn’t seem all that much older than we were. I would have guessed mid to late twenties. At best she could have seen him at the tail end of his career unless she’d seen some old news footage. During a history class, I once saw him in a World War II era newsreel.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 57