Tag Archives: Julie

Distractions: Part 3

Despite remembering her worst, I said, “You know, she might. If you want, I can bring it up. The thing is, she’s going to leave soon. I don’t know how much time she’ll have to teach you, but I think she’d be willing to teach you something. I think she wants to hang out with me and maybe relax for a second, though. So, she won’t want to teach the whole time.”

Waving her hand as if she were waving away my concerns, she said, “Don’t worry about it. I can’t spend all day with her either. Anything she can show me will put me ahead of where I am now.”

She stopped, staring at the camera and by extension at me, “You’re friends?” Continue reading Distractions: Part 3

Distractions: Part 2

My implant handled the call and Kals and Katuk appeared in my vision, standing against a background of beige cubicles. No longer wearing the green spacesuit she’d been in earlier, Kals wore a black dress made of a material that added overtones of colors that slowly formed shapes that then turned into landscapes or animals. The movement was subtle enough that you wouldn’t notice it if you didn’t think about it, but obvious when you did.

I’d seen similar clothing on her mother and other people who were dressing formally in the Human Ascendancy.

My implant offered me a history of fashion trends in the Human Ascendancy and I slapped it down. I didn’t need to know that right now. Continue reading Distractions: Part 2

A Day in The Life: Part 13

Shadow and Voice led me over to the locker rooms to change. If you’re imagining a futuristic locker room, stop.

It looked like the locker room of every high school sports team in the United States—rows of toilet stalls with metal dividers for privacy. A roomful of metal lockers for each person on the team and wooden benches for people to sit. The far end of the room opened into a tiled room with showers.

I read the names on the lockers—Accelerando, Captain Commando, The Mystic, The Rocket, Storm King and the others—realizing, “There’s only one locker room?”

Voice, a thin, blonde woman, shucked her grey Stapledon uniform, laughed and grunted, “You got it.” Continue reading A Day in The Life: Part 13

Revelations: Part 7

Travis’ voice came over the comm. “Don’t get too close. I’ve got a plan.”

I didn’t have time to ask him about the plan. The Thing disappeared through the wide hangar door. We could have closed it. It would have bought Travis time, but on the other hand, he didn’t seem to need it and The Thing would have trashed our door.

It was a big metal door that ran from the ceiling to the floor—not exactly the kind of thing you can pick up at Lowe’s.

The Thing flew through the doorway, past the concrete wall on one side and the door on the other. Continue reading Revelations: Part 7

Everybody’s Got One: Part 4

Over the next two days, I settled into a more normal routine. The spybots didn’t pick up anything worth mentioning. Kid Biohack didn’t try to contact us. I had time to hang around with Haley, which on Thursday night turned into all the people who happened to visit my room—Camille, Vaughn, and Courtney. We didn’t talk about anything even related to Stapledon or superheroes because a number of Jeremy’s friends also came through including Jillian, the Kid Biohack fan we’d met while moving in.

Sean even dropped by to talk to Vaughn. It was the first time I’d seen him since leaving Colorado. It wasn’t precisely awkward. We’d talked a few times after everything that happened—fighting faeries, the dragon, and so on, but no heart to heart talks or anything. We’d acknowledged each other and left it at that. Thursday was no exception. Sean and I nodded at each other. Sean and Vaughn stepped out to talk, and then Vaughn came back alone.

It wasn’t exactly a homework-friendly situation. I didn’t get anything done until after everyone left. On the bright side, it was still the first week of school, so there wasn’t much homework to speak of.
Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 4

Rachel in Infinity City: Part 22

“Hey,” I said.

She held up her left arm, looking down at the League communicator on her wrist. It looked just like the ones Nick made for us when we were in costume.

She tapped on the screen, waited, and then said, “It’s her. Thank God.”

Then she pulled a roll of duct tape out of her utility belt, floated down, and taped Julie’s mouth shut.

I laughed. “Duct tape? Did Nick put that in there?”

She froze. “No. I… Wait a second.”

She pulled up the communicator again, and this time she pointed it at me. After tapping the screen she said, “OK, this is going to be weird, but we split off early last summer—your time.”

“My time?” Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 22

Rachel in Infinity City: Part 21

Not that we had time, and to judge from how they handled the True, if they were anything but decent, we were so screwed.

I’d never seen Vaughn target more than one person at a time with lightning. He’d told me that he didn’t think he had enough control to do it without straight out killing people. Whoever the person behind the lightning I’d just seen was, he’d taken out everybody near the entrance to the alley all at once.

Glancing upward identified him instantly—the red costume with a lightning bolt under an arch with Egyptian hieroglyphics on the chest? That was Red Lightning’s costume. I’d always thought the lightning, plus the arch, plus the hieroglyphics was a little busy, but I’d never gotten to complain to Red Lightning himself about the questionable logo design due to him being dead.

It appeared that I might get the chance now. This wasn’t Vaughn. This wasn’t Vaughn’s cousin Lucas, or his Uncle Russ, Lucas’s father. It was Giles Hardwick, the original Red Lightning.

Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 21

Rachel in Infinity City: Part 20

I had to shut her up long enough for us to escape even if it meant shutting her up permanently. As much as I hated everything she wanted to do to us, I still didn’t want to kill her.

I flew across the street, passing the True, sometimes flying through them. They weren’t moving.

I looked back—no one was moving. Looking forward I found one exception—Julie. Even the True running with her had stopped.

I thought about that. She’d been hired to catch Tara, but maybe she didn’t get paid if the Blues caught her themselves?

Julie ran across the laundromat’s parking lot, still shouting. I couldn’t hear her, but from her lips, it looked like, “Don’t move! Don’t move! No one move!”

Then she smiled.

Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 20

Rachel in Infinity City: Part 19

I pulled my finger away from the screen, and the button changed from “Red Alert” to “Alert Sent.”

I was just about to call Travis to ask what Tara wanted me to do when the situation changed again. In the moments between noticing the Blues with the motorcycles and the Greens jumping out of their vans, and sending the red, the Blues had jumped off their bikes to join their fellow Blues in firing shots at Rod. At the same time, the Greens had taken a position off to the side, and they weren’t carrying handguns like the Blues. They had automatic rifles—specifically AK-47’s.

One of them had a grenade launcher.

I didn’t know how much trolls could take, but Rod couldn’t stand there forever.

As I came to that conclusion, one of the Blues stood up, waved his arms and all the True stopped firing.

He started talking, and taking the chance that Julie wasn’t in range, I listened in.

Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 19

Rachel in Infinity City: Part 18

I stared at the phone’s screen, trying to remember what Nick had told me about his design. He’d put the phones together last spring when we’d been facing the remnants of the Cabal. After a moment, I remembered everything.

Nick had used the the Defenders teams’ communication protocols for our communicators. They were based on protocols Grandpa designed, and they’d become a standard. It wasn’t much of a jump to guess that he’d designed them to work here too—especially when I remembered that Dixie Superman got lost and came through Infinity City to our world. Grandpa successfully visited Dixie Superman’s reality once, and he would have needed a way to get back.

I could easily see Nick throwing in a way to detect which reality we were in if he had access to Grandpa’s plans.

This was the best news I’d had in hours, and I might have screamed in relief—except I didn’t—and that was good, because as I floated there, another name appeared on the team list:

∞ Red Lightning

And that put a whole new spin on everything—what with Red Lightning having betrayed the original Heroes League, and being, well, dead.

Continue reading Rachel in Infinity City: Part 18