Kals glanced in the direction of Katuk. She’d arrived just after Tiger, and said, “I’d like to help.”
Haley looked at her, “Are you sure? You were training Julie.”
Katuk spoke before Kals could reply, his voice level, “I was instructed to warn you if you do something that put you at serious risk. I want to help Nick as well, but going with them would put you at serious and unpredictable risk. In addition, you know that you’ll have to leave shortly. You’ll need to be healthy to help with the invasion and you’ll assist Nick more if Julie is capable.” Continue reading Friends & Family: Part 5 →
Soon after that, we all went back to base. After asking Daniel, I stripped out of the full Rocket suit and showered. Haley had assured me that it was a necessity. I put on a real pair of jeans and a t-shirt because she’d also assured me that my nanotech-produced clothing also needed washing.
Daniel had assured me that the chance of anything happening in the next hour or two was extremely unlikely. Continue reading Friends & Family: Part 4 →
I found myself remembering back to when we’d faced Ray and the Cabal and Ray’s method of terrorizing his targets—killing their families first, getting closer and closer, and then killing the target. From the way Haley’s face tightened, I guessed that she was remembering the same. Back then, we’d been able to rely on the FBI to guard our families. Knowing that the Nine likely had an ear there, we’d have to do it ourselves.
I said, “Can you move more bots out? We need to cast a wider surveillance net around our families, but I think we might want to do the same around close friends.” Continue reading Friends & Family: Part 1 →
Amy’s mouth twisted as she eyed the glowing object. Part of me worried that she wasn’t in costume, but given that the message had found her, it was too late to worry about revealing her identity. The North American Wizard Council had probably known from the moment she appeared on our world.
In an accent that wasn’t quite Irish, Scottish, or English, but some alternate universe’s near relative, she said, “I’m Princess Amelia of the House of Sacrifice, current Bloodmaiden. You have my attention. What is your request?” Continue reading Fonts of Magic: Part 1 →
“Right,” Amy said, “except they’re terrified of blood magic and that means they’re terrified of me because I’m connected to the most powerful blood magic-based construct they’ve ever heard of.”
I thought about that, “I’m surprised they didn’t go after you when we were done fighting The Thing That Eats.” Continue reading Enforcers: Part 10 →
Kals shook her head, “Sometimes I think that all I am is a sad story for these people. You know, the orphaned daughter of the martyred mom who united the resistance… Let’s hear her speak and be inspired… I get it. I really do. People need a flag to wave. They need a cause. I’m available and I’m ready to work for it because I think it needs to happen too.
“The Human Ascendancy is nothing more than a leftover of the Abominators’ military bureaucracy and they rule with no more thought to humanity’s good than the Abominators did. They need to go and I’m willing to work to make it happen, but I’m not in charge. The rebellion has a council and I go where they tell me to.” Continue reading Distractions: Part 4 →
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 →
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 →
What did I want to know? Everything? What she was about when she chose to turn Armory from a superhero into a purely profit-seeking weapons developer? How it happened that she had some kind of relationship with Bullet and why she did it? What did she know about Martin Magnus and what they’d been using Master Martian for?
We kind of knew the answers to those questions, but we only really had guesses and Master Martian’s version of events. Continue reading From Far Away: Part 10 →
Kals laughed, “Oh, really… I can join you then? Do you think I’ll want to? That I’m desperate enough that I’ll sit around waiting for something interesting to happen in my life? You’re very impressed with yourself and whatever you’re doing. I think you need to tell me everything about it.”
I didn’t need the buzz of the Defenders’ protections to tell me that Kals had chosen violence (or mind control. The difference was arguable). I heard the tone of her voice take on an odd tone, but not quite the one I remembered. Continue reading From Far Away: Part 9 →