“Right in there, miss.” the voice of the orderly barely reached the hospital room before a sight to behold burst in.
Tink hadn’t bothered transforming out of her Renaissance costume, only pulling back her cowl and goggles. Dried blood caked one legs and both hands where she hadn’t even noticed that the shattered pieces of her gauntlets had punctured her arms. Part of a spiked chain had caught and torn part of her costume from below her shoulder blade to her ribs; material meant to repel higher velocity penetration and slashing weapons had relented to lower speed piercing.
From where she was sitting next to Jamie’s hospital bed, Meghan’s jumped at the sudden arrival. Jamie, who was in the middle of tapping on her palmtop, looked over and her eyes widened. “Wow… you look like you’ve had a bad day—and I just got eighteen stitches and two pints of FastPlas.”
Ignoring her remark, Tink grinned at her and Meghan. “You’re okay! When I asked at the front desk and they said you’d been admitted…”
“Oh yeah.” Jamie’s laugh was a little weak, betraying that she wasn’t back to full strength. … Continue reading
Renaissance tightened her fist. Myriad wasn’t wrong. Without being able to tell which Myriad was the real person, she couldn’t go all out against them. Her goggles were returning heat signatures from each one of them, so that wasn’t any help.
Only, she’d never entered a fight as Renaissance with the intention to go all out with her physical strength.
“You’re making that same mistake,” she said quietly. One hand dipped into the pocket of her kilt. All of the Myriads hesitated, watching that hand. The bottom edges of her ammo magazines had raised patterns and RFID chips in them so that she could tell which was which regardless of whether she had on her gauntlets or barehanded.
It only took a moment to find the one she was looking for and slide open the safety on the side. “You still know nothing about me.” She was in motion, diving to the side as she depressed the tab under the safety and flung the magazine at the closing semi-circle of Myriads.
She hit the ground and rolled to the other side of a car as the magazine detonated all sixteen pellets inside, unleashing a rapidly-expanding … Continue reading
The moment the Myriads’ stances shifted, Renaissance gestured inside her gauntlets, cycling the grapnel magazines. Her latest design allowed for three different types of ammunition to be stored at once and rotated as needed. The indicator light on the back of the left one went pink, the right green.
The first Myriad that reached her was wielding a truncheon. Renaissance sidestepped them and slammed her right shoulder into the hollow of their armpit. Their feet left the ground in the clash and they went over on their back.
Simultaneously, she fired with her left hand, spattering the ground in an arch with pinkish slime—a compressible formulation of animal birthing agent, one of the most slippery substances available. Three of the Myriads couldn’t check their charges in time and ending up slipping, crashing to the floor. There, more of the slime coasted them, making recovery even more difficult.
Another Myriad leapt over the one Renaissance had tackled, brandishing a knife. The flashing blade clashed with an armored gauntlet, leaving them open to a firm push from Renaissance’s other hand, which sent them sprawling.
Green pellets fired from the right gauntlet. Where … Continue reading
With a muffled beep from its electronic lock, the rooftop access to the fifty-second floor of the Sentinel Insurance building swung open.
Anyone standing among the HAVACsystems and solar panels up there would have seen an overweight, red-faced man with cauliflower ear and a Breeze-E Heating and Cooling uniform on stepping through it, but the reality was quite different.
Instead, the intruder was a woman, standing around five-foot-nothing wearing a maroon motorcycle helmet and matching long, leather coat, split into tails at the bottom. Beneath it, she wore a black armored shirt, black military-style BDUs, and combat boots with a trim to match the coat alongside equally matching fingerless gloves.
Over one shoulder, she carried a duffel bag sagging with weight, and a green glass marble slowly orbited her head, emitting glittering particles colored to match the white and blue uniform of her disguise.
Inside the helmet, Violence Museum’s Battle Battle was playing loudly while a map of the city overlaid part of her vision. Three GPS markers lit the screen; two stationary, one in transit on Welker Boulevard.
“It’d really suck if they took a detour now,” … Continue reading
The front windows of the Jiffy-mart had been blown out, scattering glass and metal across the parking lot. Two of the cars that had been in the path of whatever had done so had been push back several feet, their front ends crumpled as if they had been in head-on collisions.
Between them and the gas pumps, a police car looks as it it had been sideswiped itself, both front and rear passenger doors crushed in so far in that it looked to be nearly bent in half. Its former occupants had pulled back to the sidewalk, trying to keep the gawking crowd from going any closer.
“No!” a strained voice shrilled from inside the store, raw from screaming. “Just back off! Back off! Gimmie a minute! I didn’t mean it! You’ve gotta believe me!”
Chaos hovered over the scene, cape billowing in the localized tornado that held him aloft, hands extended outward with fingers spread. “We are. I’m staying right here. Just tell us what’s going on and maybe we can help.”
There was a crash inside the store and a frightened yelp in the same voice. “I-I don’t … Continue reading
Metal screamed, accompanied by pops like gunshots that resounded through the cockpit of the rapidly disintegrating Junker mecha. The entire structure quaked as the forces of nature and laws of physics once more took hold as the magic retreated from it’s superstructure.
The look of smug satisfaction on Bill Trembley’s face dissolved into terror as his brain caught up to the fact that his victory of the super-heroine was predicated on the principle that he would be alongside her as they were both crushed into a pulpy red slush under several tons of machinery.
Whatever smugness he’d lost however was recovered by Facsimile who looked him dead in the eye and grinned.
She knew that a lack of magic in the metal meant that more than just nature and physics could act on the hulk of the Junker now.
Something changed in the tenor of the cacophony around them. The shaking slowed and the clatter became a slump as metal that was previously shearing and scraping to pieces began to metal and slough apart instead. Within moments, daylight flooded in as the cockpit split open like a rotten melon.
“You know,” Facsimile began, alighting on a convertible lying on its side, “I usually mock the bad guys who bring robots or guns to a super-fight in Mayfield… but I guess we’re not in Mayfield, so I’ll let it slip this time.” She smirked, “Oh wait—you just straight up planned to attack the team with a metal-bender in a giant robot. I have zero sympathy for what’s about to happen to you.”
Osp lowered Alloy to the pavement just in front of where she was standing. He craned his neck to look the mecha up and down. “Fax?”
“There’s gonna be a problem with that.”
The speakers mounted to the machine crackled. “What?” Hydraulics hissed as Junker pivoted and brought its excavator claw to bear. There was a boom and suddenly the claw rocketed forward, trailing a chain behind it.
The car Facsimile was standing on melted under her feet, the metal its body was composed of whipping up and around Alloy like a wave to form a quarter dome just in time to intercept the claw with a resounding clang. Facsimile barely caught herself from falling, … Continue reading
Juniper was pretty sure she should have been tired, having awoken at the crack of dawn to fly from Arizona to Virginia, riding up the Freeland House just to immediately board a private shuttle out to Dayspring College’s private airfield just to catch another flight back west to Detroit.
Should have been.
But the truth was, she was bursting with excitement.
Bursting, and bouncing in her seat. “Looking forward to seeing the world, Jun?” Cyn gave her a toothy grin, “Or just Detroit?”
“Or maybe she had too much syrup on her… everything at breakfast today,” Melissa said dryly.
Juniper was sitting between the two of them in the back of the shuttle. “Can’t all three be true?” asked Juniper with a small smile of her own. “I need high caloric density to help fuel my powers and sugar is a common source of it. And I love to travel. And Detroit… how can you not be excited? I hope we have time to see the sights.”
“I made sure the team at least gets a photo op and tour at the big ones: Motown, The … Continue reading
I know you folks are tired of my delays, but this one is very serious.
I had a serious health scare this week. I spent four days in the hospital, which if you’re familiar with America’s healthcare system, you will know will almost invariably destroy me financially even before the long term care I will need. Working as intended.
So I’ve had a lot of a lot this week and hopefully, I’ll be back on schedule for next week
Kareem raised an eyebrow as Warrick fidgeted on the barstool at the kitchen counter of the apartment they shared with JC. Warrick had come a long way with his usual social awkwardness over the years, so it was never a good thing when he started behaving oddly with his friends—and that took zero mind reading.
Warrick caught the raised brow and its meaning just as easily and looked away, scratching his head with the hand that wasn’t fiddling with a bottle of soda. He’d been caught out and was trying to formulate what he’d been carrying around in his head. After a beat, he took a drink in a last ditch effort to buy time.
Letting him stall as long as he needed, Kareem closed the door to the apartment and made his way to the loveseat in their living/dining area.
“So Lily talked you into coming with us,” Warrick eventually said, trying hard to sound conversational.
“Indeed,” Kareem replied lightly. “She took me to brunch and everything to convince me. She was quite adamant.”
The soda bottle clinked on the counter top. “Yeah, about that… dude Lily’s … Continue reading