From under him, he heard the sound of something large and heavy hitting the floor, probably the table. How much protection it would give, he had no idea. He could already hear the crackle of burning wood.
It was up to him. He wasn’t sure how well he’d do against Spitz’ heat after he turned back into a human, but as long as Spitz wasn’t radiating sunlight, he’d be fine.
Crossing the distance, he reformed off to Spitz’ right and a foot behind him. Continue reading Probationers: Part 10
Vladislav knew he needed to talk quickly or talk with the force of undead charisma—not to Spitz, but to Morgan. Opening up to the energy of unlife, he tried to meet Morgan’s eyes, controlling the flow with nearly one thousand years of experience. Uncontrolled, it would leave him a mindless predator in time.
Even as he felt the cold power enter his body, he knew it was too late. She’d pulled out a slim, palm-sized pistol—too slim to fire bullets. Vladislav had seen them before. Based on Abominator tech, the Nine’s elite agents used them. They could pass through metal detectors and burn through almost anything with time.
She’d declared the gun when she joined the team. Continue reading Probationers: Part 9
Agent Spitz stopped talking, “Do you two have something to say? We’re trying to decide the group’s next focus and as the most experienced members of the group, your input should be useful.”
The Atoner gave a wide and innocent smile, “Doc and I were just agreeing that the Devil Coven might be too big for this group, but investigating their activity in Pittsburgh would be worth a try. Doc at least has enough experience with magic to match them. Well, he can match the groups they normally send out–not the entire coven.”
“Exactly,” Vladislav hoped Spitz wouldn’t ask him for details because he hadn’t been listening. Continue reading Probationers: Part 8
Agent Spitz frowned and said, “Let’s get to work.”
Standing behind the lectern, he began with, “As we discussed this morning, you did an excellent job assisting the Heroes’ League. Our people are checking the effects on the general public’s opinion of the team. Morgan? This is something that you should be caring about because it affects what you can do after your probation is over. If you’re generally popular with the public, it’s even possible that a Defenders unit or one of the other big teams might take you.”
Morgan smirked, “How about the Heroes’ League?” Continue reading Probationers: Part 7
“Thanks,” the Atoner’s voice faded for a moment, but then became louder. “Don’t worry about it. I can understand that you want to do something. This is just one of those times that you have to trust your teammates, okay?”
“Understood. I’ll look forward to seeing you this evening,” Vladislav looked over at the other labs through the transparent wall. No one was in them. He’d be able to finish what little was left.
“You bet,” the Atoner said, closing the connection. Continue reading Probationers: Part 6
The voice on the other end said, “Yes, sir,” again with the same, precise intonation he’d used before. It was Florin Ablu. How long ago had Vladislav hired his family? Perhaps 300 years ago. Maybe a little longer.
As Vladislav came to that conclusion, Florin added, “Sir, do you wish me to assign this to your children? Earlier you said they should stay out of the public eye for fifty years, but I believe that Maria and Alexandru regularly feed on a number of the Nine’s employees.” Continue reading Probationers: Part 3
Dr. Transylvania could have bought a more impressive headquarters for the Probationers himself. He had the money.
Four stories high with gray concrete and steel beams being the most noticeable pieces of the interior, it looked like what it had been—a warehouse used by the postal service. Even though the building now held offices and laboratories, it still looked like an abandoned warehouse from the outside. It even had a worn post office symbol on the outside of the building, the eagle so light and worn that he couldn’t tell what color it had originally been. Continue reading Probationers: Part 1
Both reporters, Alissa and whoever the other reporter behind her was, didn’t seem to notice the Atoner’s comment because they were still looking past him where they were seeing Mistress Madness strolling out of the door. She stopped to check the lobby behind her.
Not seeing anyone following us out of the hole we’d made in the floor, she joined the rest of the group, smirking as she turned around.
I couldn’t help but think that it might have been wiser for her to hurry. Given what happened downstairs, I couldn’t be sure that part of the building wasn’t about to collapse. Continue reading Older Enemies: Part 3
We left. It would have been stupid not to, not to mention more than a little unkind to our backup that, past careers notwithstanding, was risking their lives for an information-gathering mission that had turned into something much bigger.
Jaclyn jumped up, crashing through the floor and then jumping back down to grab Izzy before jumping up again. Cassie didn’t even have time to say, “I could have taken out the floor for you,” though she tried. Continue reading Older Enemies: Part 1
It wasn’t all bad news though, because even if Izzy was out, Jaclyn wasn’t. In a blur, she ran out from behind a group of crates, grabbed Izzy, and disappeared before the True could do anything. White light hit the spot where they’d been.
For all the True’s ability to predict people’s moves, they couldn’t necessarily move quickly enough for it to matter. Continue reading Underground Tower: Part 12