Courtesy: Part 62

“For what it’s worth,” I said, “I was ready to take a chance on it. We will have to face the Nine and it would be easier with whatever you got out of Arete.”

He gave a weak nod and coughed, “There’s another chance. I knew you had to destroy us completely. I created a spore, separated from us, and encased it as completely as I could. Look past me. I’d give it to you, but I shouldn’t touch it.”

I stepped around him. Hidden from direct view, a ball made of a pearl-like hard substance sat on a bare spot of concrete. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 62

Courtesy: Part 61

I pushed the bot views into the background and paid attention to the world around me. Alex pointed at the mounds around us and the ceiling. All of them sagged and dripped viscous, brown goo. More liquid puddled beneath the withered skin.

“We should grab everybody,” I said. “We might be able to get away with leaving Flame Legion. I know she doesn’t exactly enjoy dying, though.”

Alex nodded, “Yeah. That hasn’t changed, but she’s more used to it. I’d leave her.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 61

Courtesy: Part 60

Sean’s face tightened. He took a short breath as if he were about to blow up at her, but instead let out a long breath, finishing with, “Are you sure? Do you know it?”

Amy shook her head slowly, “No. I didn’t absorb him. Another Bloodmaiden was in charge when he got hit with the Bloodspear. So she got more out of him than I did and she doesn’t like answering questions. I don’t have his thoughts, just a whisper of his feelings. He was happy and relieved when he got the order, the way you are when you’ve been worrying about something and now you can finally do something about it.”

Sean looked over at Dayton, then back at Amy, “Couldn’t that have been part of it? The Nine can manipulate your feelings too.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 60

Courtesy: Part 59

I had good reason to think Kals would be fine but I didn’t know if Alex had bothered to download and install the latest update. You could reasonably ask why that wouldn’t be automatic, but even my updates had the potential of going wrong.

You wanted to install when you had a backup suit available and not midway through a mission.

In that moment, though, I didn’t spend any time checking the update logs. I jumped for Jody and glancing behind at me, his eyes widened. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 59

Courtesy: Part 58

I didn’t shed tears, but if I weren’t having to again slaughter humonsters, I could have. I punched a humonster that jumped down from the top of a mound toward Alex in the face, splattering it across the side of the mound it jumped from.

We might finally be done with this.

Alex stumbled toward the glowing mound, shaking his head, his footing becoming more sure with each step. He only had to make it twenty feet, but I’d seen how unpredictable twenty feet could be. 

Still, he had Kals and whatever Bloodmaiden was in control for help. It needed to be enough. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 58

Courtesy: Part 57

That knowledge gave me the confidence to let “Amy” and Kals protect Alex while I did my best to protect Daniel and the various Jennys.

Her ability to duplicate herself made it worse when every copy represented a tunnel into her brain.

I fired off a series of armor piercing bots. They weren’t as effective as killbots, but they were simpler and faster to produce. Plus, they didn’t have monomolecular blades constantly sucking energy until they dulled. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 57

Courtesy: Part 55

As I settled into “Artificer consciousness,” I realized that my view of the world had shifted subtly. While it wasn’t true, it was as if the world now had extra colors except not quite.

If someone had telepathically looked through my eyes, it would have looked no different, but I knew somehow that I was sensing through something else. Through that sense or senses, I could feel that Amy’s body contained more beings than it should. I could almost make out faces and bodies. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 55

Courtesy: Part 54

At that moment, I heard a noise or more accurately many small taps and thumps. A quick look around me explained it. The humonsters were back. They’d scrambled over the mounds on either side and came down in front of us, behind us, and to the sides of us lying on top of the mounds.

I’d last seen roughly 25 of them scrambling for cover among the mounds, but here there were 50, maybe more.

They opened their mouths and shouted, “Don’t move!” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 54

Courtesy: Part 53

Unless I chose to fly upward, I had nowhere to go to dodge the shot. Even if I wanted to, that went against the whole point of being first. This was the kind of shot I was here to take so someone squishier didn’t have to.

Of course, Katuk was right behind me. His armor was every bit as good—which turned out to be important because the Guardsman’s rifle turned out to be automatic and not every shot hit me even if a lot of them did.

They hit hard. I could thank the alien materials I’d modified for my survival and couldn’t be confident that previous versions of the Rocket suit would have done as well. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 53

The Legion of Nothing: A Series of Online Superhero Novels (Updates Monday and Thursday)