I could see how Major Justice or the Nine might have come up with the idea though. Having people barrage you with requests that you surrender, some of them people you know… Well, it didn’t feel good.
Knowing that it had to be a ploy took a bit of the edge off, but I wondered if they’d done this before and to whom.
Then another thought hit me, “If you all are getting deluged with texts like I am right now, forward them all to Hal.” Continue reading Isolation: Part 7
Kals talked with Julie in a low voice, using words that were a mixture of English and Ascendancy. The Ascendancy was straight jargon transliterated or translated into English. Even the Xiniti implants couldn’t translate it very well, turning most of the words into sound waveforms—which I could maybe figure out her strategy given time, but not in the moment. I still needed more context.
The words themselves still didn’t make it clearer. An example? Kals said, “I’ll need you to do eight high mind squirts in a row in the low mind zug pattern I taught you earlier.”
Julie meanwhile, furrowed her brow at first, but then smiled and said, “Got it!” Continue reading Simple Choices: Part 10
As the trees shook, flame exploded outward and upward from the spot she hit. Flying upward out of the gout of flame, Johnny Destruction roared into the sky and then dropped toward the ground feet first with a trail of fire following him.
Izzy shot into the air after him, diving as he changed direction, maybe catching him on the ground because there was another blast of fire and a moving trail of flame moving down the street. Continue reading Sudden Changes: Part 5
Uncle Steve sighed as he saw me come through the door, seeming to relax a little even if he went back to watching Number Eight within seconds. Mom, for the record, didn’t look any less nervous. I turned toward the silver wall, standing directly in front of my mom, but ahead and to the right of Uncle Steve.
I got in position even as Number Eight slashed a foot-long hole in the wall. I hadn’t noticed before, but a six-inch long blade extended from the bottom of his cane. I supposed that made it a knife or spear cane because that was too short for a sword. Continue reading Misdirection: Part 9
“Tempting offer,” I said. “I have a counteroffer. How about you leave without hurting anybody and we all get to skip a fight?”
Number Eight smiled. That smile along with his bowler, cane, and the white shirt under his suit jacket made me think of the film A Clockwork Orange. Appearing to be in his mid-thirties, the man seemed a little too old for the role.
I’d never watched it, but it sounded disturbing. Continue reading Misdirection: Part 5
As I ran, I tried to think who the people I’d seen might be. The tall woman with green skin came first. I’d seen an alert about her from the FBI. She was called Rogue Croc—which I guess was a reference to a film in addition to the fact that she’d been recruited into the army and been activated by their version of the power impregnator before “going rogue.” Also, she’d grown up in a village of Cabal descendants, so she wasn’t going down easy.
My implant returned that the woman with the staff was called Magicka and that she’d been around since the 1920s, mostly fighting members of the Mask family. As of my internship with the Motor City Heroes, Mateo/Blue Mask was a friend who had no chance to get here in time to help. Continue reading Misdirection: 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
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
The claw had penetrated at least an inch deep and while the other four hadn’t penetrated as far, they were all bleeding—a lot.
Aiming the sonics of my left arm at Art, who’d begun to get up from the floor,I fumbled with a can that hung on my utility belt, pulled it out, and sprayed, covered the wounds with foam.
Vaughn threw a bolt of lightning at Art and he convulsed, going down for good as a crack of thunder echoed in the room. Continue reading Who Are The True?: Part 6