Tag Archives: Haley

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 50

It would have been over right there if it had never occurred to us that someday we might be exposed to a Dominator and be without a buzzer.

The bad news, of course, was that we hadn’t had access to Kals or anyone with Dominator training. We did have Julie, but unlike the Dominators in the Human Ascendancy or serving the Nine, she hadn’t been taught from childhood. She’d picked up what she could by experimentation and what the teachers in the  Stapledon program knew the Dominators could do.

Still, it was something—enough to practice with. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 50

Courtesy: Part 49

Arete shook his head, “You’re bluffing. There’s no way this Xiniti could pass that on to the rest. There’s no Xiniti Mars base and even if there were there’s no way they’d find out for hours.”

I don’t know how often you encounter people whose understanding of the world is so far from yours that you absolutely despair of bridging the gap, but I hope it’s never for anything important.

In that moment though, I barely knew where to start. I tried, “Look, there is a Xiniti base at the LaGrange point near Mars. It takes the speed of light more than three minutes to get there. If you’re communicating back and forth to a Mars rover it might take 15 to 45 minutes to communicate back and forth, but that’s partly just technology and it’s not technology we’re using. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 49

Courtesy: Part 48

I looked him in the eye (to the degree that I could through a helmet) and said, “We’re all going to die and you with us. If you get out, that means the whole planet goes. Whether people I care about die because of the Nine or because the Xiniti make the sun go nova, they’re dead. So congratulations, you’ve made this whole situation so bad that you have no hold on us because we don’t have anything to lose.”

In the moment, I meant it, but I knew that if we got reports of our parents dying at the hands of the Nine and we survived, it wouldn’t feel like a victory. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 48

Courtesy: Part 45

Cassie piped up before anyone else, “How do we trust you? You were literally trying to kill some of us less than a minute ago. Sure, you stopped, but what are we supposed to do with that? Right now you need us, but maybe in the future you decide that you don’t. What’s going to stop you from absorbing the whole world then?”

The boy frowned, “The Xiniti will burn this world. Isn’t that correct?”

“Right,” Cassie pointed at the mounds, “but we see what you’re up to. You’re making replacements for us.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 45

Courtesy: Part 44

Logically, I should have told him to shoot it. The longer we took with this, the more time the greater horde had to reach us. Plus, it was most likely an avatar for a larger entity that was willing to sacrifice human life without a thought.

Why didn’t I? First of all, Alex didn’t take orders from anybody. Second, we didn’t know where the core of the entity was and a conversation could give us time to find it that combat wouldn’t. Beyond that, would the Fungus Collective simply hand us the core of its mental processes? Unlikely. If I had to guess, I’d guess that the kid was intended to be a distraction for us.

Also, there was the possibility, however small, that we were actually looking at a kid. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 44

Courtesy: Part 43

“Those of us who could fly” might not have been the best way to put it. Specifically, Daniel, Amy, and I followed Izzy (carrying Paladin) in. We’d be joined by a couple more from Haley’s group.

Everyone else gathered outside under Tara’s leadership.

As great as Camille’s control over gravity was, she didn’t have infinite power in the tank which meant that all of the fungus creatures that hadn’t been destroyed by the equivalent of a hundred foot fall would be attacking soon. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 43

Courtesy: Part 42

Izzy laughed.

Alex eyed her, “What?”

She shook her head, “You’re confident.”

“I’m stating a fact. You brought me here to do a job and I’m ready.” Alex looked over at a group of Jennys, possibly for support. More than one of them rolled their eyes.

Over the comm, Brooke AKA Portal AKA Guardian’s daughter and Alex’s girlfriend said, “Alex…”

Daniel interrupted before the conversation went any further, “Our chances of success start going down the longer we take here.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 42

Courtesy: Part 36

“Maybe we should ask him to get them out? I think he would,” I said.

“I’ll do it,” Haley said. “We’re stuck here until you and Paladin reach us.”

“Do that,” Cassie added, reminding me that we were on the group channel. “It’s crazy to leave them there if you’ve got a choice.”

I frowned, “I just hope Control won’t be stuck there alone.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 36

Courtesy: Part 35

I hadn’t been planning to kill Magnus, but if I was honest with myself, the guy was immortal. Short of killing him, what were we going to do, hand him over to courts or law enforcement that the Nine influenced or controlled? Get him put into jail for as long as there was a will to keep him?

There might be a way to do that for 20 years, but what about 1000 or more? He could realistically outlive any government willing to put him away and if he did, he could pick up where he left off, possibly creating a whole new organization built on the immortal loyalists, hidden money, and maybe organizations we didn’t yet know he controlled. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 35