“I’ve known Magnus for a long time. He trusts me to handle the details he doesn’t have time for,” Colette said, her voice catching as she talked.
I couldn’t help but suspect that even though she answered Kals’ questions, she was screaming inside.
Kals sighed, “What kind of things do you do? I need to know more details.” Continue reading From Far Away: Part 11
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
Kals opened her mouth and began to say, “I’d like th—“ but then she stopped. “You know what? I know I told you about techniques your buzzer doesn’t block and that you fixed them, but if she knows techniques that I don’t, I should probably take Katuk.”
I nodded, “Yeah. She probably doesn’t have experience with Xiniti.”
Katuk added, “We hear frequencies that you don’t and our brains are different enough that few Dominators can manipulate us.” Continue reading From Far Away: Part 8
Kals stopped and looked into the cell where Ana lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling. I didn’t know what she was thinking and then she spoke into my head via my implant.
That’s your cousin? I’m sorry I couldn’t do more. I think she’s going to be back to normal unless there’s another telepathic trigger in there or one of the other things you mentioned over the ansible connection. You told me there was magic and telepathy and unpredictable technology. I understood you, but I didn’t get it until now. I understand why your people couldn’t figure it out. Continue reading From Far Away: Part 7
With a glance at her face, I realized that it wasn’t her bones. She’d been wearing glasses and the plastic frame broke. This wasn’t as good news as you’d expect. Blood ran down her cheek from the spot where the plastic dug into her skin.
The glasses hung for a moment longer and then fell to the floor.
Ana didn’t seem to notice as she stood straight up and then moved her head back as if getting ready to hit the bars with her face.
And then she didn’t. Continue reading From Far Away: Part 6
Mindstryke grinned, “Everything I’ve heard about the Ascendancy is bad, so I can’t say I’m surprised. You’ll be the first person with the skills of a Dominator that I’ve worked with. The few times I’ve encountered them, they’ve been trying to kill me.”
He nodded toward one of the hallways, “We’ve got them down this way. We can’t keep them close enough that Ana would be in the range of the Dominator’s voice. We’ve got a buzzer to prevent that sort of thing, but we both know that accidents happen. Over here.” Continue reading From Far Away: 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
Daniel’s dad continued, “Guardian’s giving the asteroid a quick once over, checking if the asteroid’s anything more than a big rock. We’ve got a few ideas as to how we can handle it if it’s just a dinosaur killer, but we don’t want any surprises.”
I’d set the suit to monitor Stapledon communications and the Heroes League team channel for activity. There wasn’t much of anything going on between our team. Like me, they were likely all listening to the Defenders. The Heroes League channel showed a lot of activity between Haley and Kayla at first. After that, Camille, Sydney, Marcus, and Chris all came online.
Chris? That was cool. Haley was calling in everybody. If Grand Lake had an asteroid with its name on it, they’d have a decent chance of taking it out between the League jet, Camille’s anti-gravity powers, and Chris to think things through.
If the people who were guessing that the asteroids were a feint were correct, they’d need everyone they could get. Fighting the machines had been too close, and who knew what the Hrrrna were like?
I wished I was there. I wished I had time to pay attention to what they were saying.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 12
Lim continued, “We’ll be using the strategies and tactics we practiced yesterday, so you shouldn’t have had time to forget them yet. There will be one additional wrinkle. We’re already evacuating Stardock just like we are the rest of the city. That means that if we do decide to blow Stardock, we won’t be looking for you to evacuate the people below. We’ll need you to watch out for each other. Don’t leave anyone in your unit behind.”
He paused, looked us all over, and then, when we thought he’d finished, he said, “There’s one more thing. Stardock isn’t the only alien technology in New York City. We fought the Abominators in the 1970’s, and we collected everything we could find. I’m not going to tell you where it is, but none of you should be surprised to discover that we’re studying it, or that we’re doing our best to reverse engineer it. When you fight, you need to use tools that can do the job. Our own tools won’t, so we’re getting better tools.That’s why we may redirect a few of you if we have to blow Stardock. Don’t hesitate if we call you in. Trust me, it will be important.
Continue reading Stardock: Part 11
Then Travis turned his attention back to Daniel’s dad. “OK, you said that your dad, the Mentalist saw this coming. What did he see?”
Quickly shaking his head, Mindstryke said, “It’s not exactly like that. For my dad, Daniel, and I, precognition comes without a lot of control at first. Seconds in the future are easiest. Everything else comes unasked for, but over time you become better at directing it. The problem is that there isn’t just one future, there’s an infinite number. Some of the differences aren’t much, but they’re there.
“My dad got to the point that he could see futures as collections of connected events, and even look for specific outcomes. He gave us patterns of events we should look for and a few spots where we can intervene. Mostly though, we can’t. We guess it’s because you’ll become too reliant on us, and unprepared when you need to handle things yourselves.
“And that leads us to today. We were going to wait on handing over direct control to you, but we can’t. You’ve just gotten too much attention. As of now, the League’s business issues need you to have the power to make decisions. We won’t have time to handle it. The staff doesn’t have the authority.”
“The staff?” Travis sounded confused. “The only staff I know about is Kayla.”
Continue reading Spin: Part 7