Tag Archives: The Shift

The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 18

She fired anyway, but the burrito missed, hitting the hill in an explosion of chunky salsa that coated the area around the blast.

A spattering hit the two stuck to the hill above her and they screamed, trying to wipe it off their clothes.

A ladle sized splash hit the one leaping toward her as it was still in the air. His eyes widened and his faced tensed, but Kayla barely noticed.

Beams of white light hit the creature, causing it to tumble in the air. When its hand hit her, she expected to die, but it barely hurt at all. She’d heard stories where the bad wounds, the truly terminal wounds were surprisingly easy to take, but when she looked down at her chest where the hand hit, she didn’t see any blood.

Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 18

The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 16

She pushed the button.

All the voices disappeared into static along with the displays in the helmet and every light in the armor. As of that moment, she was alone in front of the exit to HQ, and not standing either.

She didn’t know what the suit did to help her stay balanced, but whatever it was, it had to be electrical because moments after the lights faded she fell over backwards.

Taking stock of the situation, she stared upward. Stars peeked through the leaves and branches, visible in the dusk.

Continue reading The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 16

Stardock: Part 15

I’d noticed clouds forming since the fight started, and as I was about to press Theo on exactly how bad he felt, lightning erupted in front of the building.

Travis had told the glass cannons (mobile artillery, if you wanted to be formal) to help us, and now they were. I’d have taken help earlier, but Daniel was in the group, and he’d probably been responsible for the timing. That meant that this was probably the best possible moment, whatever I might think.

Thanks to my observation bots, I had three different perspectives available. All of them showed essentially the same scene.

As our group dived behind the old factory to get out of the machine race soldiers’ line of fire, the remaining robots split into two groups, some of them heading for the building that we’d started at, and the rest spreading out as they aimed for our building. No matter what direction we turned toward we’d be in some robot’s sights.

At least that’s the way it would have gone. Continue reading Stardock: Part 15

A Kind of Small Crow: Part 10

The flunky started hitting himself, and screaming, his voice reminding me again that this was Davis, the guy who’d made the offer to Courtney.

I wondered for a moment how much damage I wanted to do to him. I had questions for him, after all, but that didn’t matter as much as I’d have thought.

Rook’s suits were pretty well constructed.

The bots wedged themselves into cracks, but they did a lot more damage to the powered armor than the person inside. Plus, after the first wave, I brought in a wave of EMP bots.

The first wave withdrew as the second settled on him. He stopped hitting himself for a moment, and adjusted his footing, probably in preparation for attacking me—or possibly escaping.

Then the EMP bots exploded. Continue reading A Kind of Small Crow: Part 10

Settling In: Part 5

Lightning hit the leader again, and while his body shook, the paralysis gun dropped out of his hand, falling to the roof with a clunk.

Part of me hoped it still worked by the the time I could move. I planned to grab it. A more practical side of my mind hoped it had been destroyed in the first lightning strike.

Near me, Cassie stood up, entering the edges of the helmet’s peripheral vision. She didn’t waste any time. Once she was on her feet, she ran straight at the leader as he bent over to grab the gun.

Continue reading Settling In: Part 5

Settling In: Part 4

He didn’t get up easily. He pushed himself up one hand at a time, swaying as he made it up on two legs.

Taking an experimental step, he spied something on the roof, and bent over to get it—the automatic pistol. When he came up the second time, he seemed stronger. He stood up normally.

Quickly, he pointed the gun past me—probably at Vaughn.

This time the wind came up as a roaring, howling blast that drew the man into the air, and threw him off the building. Continue reading Settling In: Part 4

Settling In: Part 3

I tried to dive to the right, but I’d already lost control of my legs.

I crumpled, and fell to the roof of the building. I fell sideways, and then rolled halfway on to my back—”halfway” because I was mostly on my arm and right side of my back, and partly on my rocketpack. It wouldn’t let me roll all the way there.

The other guy—the only guy with an exoskeleton still standing—had pulled out a paralysis gun too. Continue reading Settling In: Part 3

Settling In: Part 2

Marcus followed them, lengthening his legs as he jumped, and stretching his arms to grab the ledge on the other side. His leap reminded me of a frog somehow.

If it weren’t night, I could have blamed it on his green costume. I only recognized him because I knew he was coming, and because no normal human could stretch like that.

Frog-like or not, the way his shape briefly blocked the stars made me think of Batman cartoons—which ironically brought me back to reality. Continue reading Settling In: Part 2

Under 30: Part 30

They came toward me even though the Rocket suit had risen one hundred feet above the ground. Many weren’t more than shapes with legs—squares, triangles, rectangles, but those were some of the smaller creatures. The larger ones shouldn’t have seemed ominous at all, but they were big, and they shouldn’t have been flying.

But I still haven’t said what they were, have I?

I was being attacked by infrastructure—stoplights, telephone poles, city buses, trains, rails, roads, power lines, police cars, firetrucks, and more, some of it mixed together, not all of it from our time. Continue reading Under 30: Part 30

Under 30: Part 29

Marcus had managed to resist, but I didn’t know exactly how.

If Daniel had been there, he could have told me. Better, he could have helped. Well, maybe. A telepathic link might have opened him up to Evil Beatnik’s influence.

Obviously Marcus had had more control of his body than Evil Beatnik had, and a considerably weirder physiology. That couldn’t hurt. Continue reading Under 30: Part 29