Tag Archives: web serials

“Everybody Fights” – Part 2

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

The worst part was not knowing what the hell was going on. Moreen had heard an almighty crash a few minutes ago. Everyone in the office had. It had shaken her desk, jostling the pens and pencils in their holder. Harris had taken one look at Moreen, said “I’ll check it out,” and dashed off.

She hadn’t seen him since.

Moreen couldn’t sit. She stood by her desk, watching the office doorway intently for Harris to run back through it. Around her, everyone was talking in hushed, nervous tones. She’d put the room on lockdown until they knew what had happened. There were trained agents here, yes, but there were also people from admin, the IT department, and PR, none of them qualified to deal with an attack—if this was, in fact, an attack. Moreen wanted to evacuate them right away, but without knowing the situation, that could lead them straight into danger rather than away from it.

She tried to think of a reasonable, non-emergency explanation for what could have caused that sound. Fireworks from the parade? Not likely. They wouldn’t light fireworks during daylight, and with the Illusionist attending, they didn’t need to light them at all. She was a one-woman pyrotechnics show without the noise, cost, or risk of accidentally setting something on fire. Moreen tried to remember if there were any construction sites nearby, any big equipment that could rattle the ground. She came up blank.

“Rocha, Hewitt,” she called. “Do some recon and—” Continue reading

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“Everybody Fights” – Part 1

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

They would have died within minutes if Val hadn’t gone with them.

The lobby was full of broken glass, the wrecked cars they’d abandoned, and people who were either cowering or scrambling to counterattack. It was a big open space, where those on the second floor could look down over the first from behind glass railing. Nice from a design standpoint, but it meant potential snipers could take them out from practically anywhere. Blueblood led them up the stairs—not an enclosed stairwell in the side of the building, but the one in the middle of the lobby where they were completely exposed.

“I’m counting on you, Val,” he said, barely audible over the screams and gunfire.

Val glared at his back. If he was paying her, she would have insisted on a raise.

She didn’t mind-control anyone deeply or for any longer than a few seconds. She spread out her telepathic senses as far as they would go, jumping from head to head in descending order of threat. When a DSA agent aimed a gun at them from the second floor, she made him think someone was sneaking up behind him. He turned around and wasted his bullets on nothing. A group of security guards rushed towards them, so she gave one hallucinations of monsters all around him, making him scream and flail and force his companions to restrain him. She made a man reaching for a phone to call for backup feel like his throat was closing up so he couldn’t speak. She could barely focus on her own feet going up the steps. Her concentration needed to be everywhere at once.

Then Supersonic showed up. Continue reading

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“Parade of Fools” – Part 9

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

The sirens were soft and distant at first, changing pitch as they got closer. An army of police cars and ambulances swarmed the deserted city street, coming from all directions. The stillness and silence that had descended after Dave took down Tidal Wave lasted for maybe a minute before everything turned hectic again. The police went straight to Tidal Wave, but the paramedics barely knew where to start. There were so many injured.

Dave’s job at a time like this was to get out of the way and let the professionals do their thing. He assured the medics he wasn’t hurt so they could help the people who really needed it, and he told the police what they already knew: they needed to get Tidal Wave drugged or away from water before he regained his senses. Then he walked pointedly off to the side to wait for DSA backup. A downside of the costume was that people saw Dave as an authority. He could give them terrible advice, and they’d follow it to the letter, assuming White Knight knew something they didn’t. He had to watch what he said.

Yuna joined him on the sidewalk. Her arm was in a sling, and the paramedics had given her something for the pain. Her soggy cape flopped behind her, and her wet hair clung tightly to her skull. Dave was equally soaked, and in the chilly air, he had to struggle to keep his teeth from chattering.

“So your costume’s not an illusion this time,” Dave commented, figuring she would have made it look dry if it was. Continue reading

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“Parade of Fools” – Part 7

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Mr. Glenn Sherman had a pretty nice car. It was an SUV with genuine leather seats, high tech climate control, and a spacious interior that was spotless. But the most important feature was the tinted windows. Val sat in the middle seat next to Blueblood, Joey and two of Blueblood’s men crammed into the back. The SUV stopped at the guard booth outside DSA headquarters, and Val focused on the thoughts of both Sherman and the guard, making sure neither of them noticed there were passengers in the car.

She couldn’t fool the security camera perched over the booth, hence the need for tinted windows. She and the others waited in silence as the guard said good morning and scanned Sherman’s ID card. The proper information came up on the computer, and Val didn’t have to work hard to pull the mental wool over guard’s eyes. Mr. Sherman was a well-known bigwig here. The guard didn’t give him much scrutiny.

The guard handed the ID card back, and the orange and white striped bar in front of the car rose, letting Sherman drive into the parking lot.

Too easy. Continue reading

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“Parade of Fools” – Part 6

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Dave’s cheeks were starting to hurt from smiling so much. The parade float continued its slow progress down the street with him on top, a chilly wind whipping past him. The high school marching band was on their fourth cycle of the same three songs they’d been playing all morning, and their steps were starting to drag. Dave should be grateful; at least he didn’t have to walk the whole way. But he just wanted to climb down from this damn thing and sit alone somewhere quiet.

The noise was the worst. The screams and cheers of the crowd packed onto the sidewalks merged into one never-ending roar. He wouldn’t be able to escape it even if he covered his hands with his ears. He waved steadily, keeping his smile in place and hoping everyone was far enough away not to notice that it was actually a grimace. The countless faces stared up at him, shouting his name. They held up hand-made signs proclaiming, “White Knight = Invincible” or “We ♥ You!” in marker and glitter, shaking them in a bid for his attention. They jumped up and down and waved their hands wildly, stomping and shouting until the movement all blurred together into one writhing mass.

Dave gripped the railing with his free hand as his waving slowed. Vertigo hit him, making him sway. The air had felt so chill before, but now he was roasting. He would have tugged at his collar if he had a hand to spare. He kept waving, but the movement had turned jerky, and he struggled to keep his head held high and the smile tight across his face. The street was swimming out of focus, and he wanted to squeeze shut his eyes. Continue reading

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“Parade of Fools” – Part 5

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“So when are you going to tell me the plan?” Val asked.

She was sitting with her feet propped up on a table in a penthouse apartment in Washington DC. A large TV showed news coverage of the parade—not that they needed it; they were sitting a few blocks away from the actual event. Still, it had been nice to see the interview with White Knight. Blueblood had glared murderously at the screen throughout the whole two minutes of it, making Val work hard to hide her smile. Dave looked good. It was all an act for the public, of course, but at least he’d recovered enough to fake it. That was a big difference from the last time she’d seen him, when his trauma had been raw.

She savored seeing him on TV, knowing it was the closest she’d get to him for a long time. She almost wished Blueblood would send her to attack him today. Not that she wanted to attack him, but it would be an excuse to get close it him. A small thrill shot through her at the thought, but it wasn’t meant to be. She was stuck with Blueblood today.

“I’ve told you the plan,” Blueblood answered, delicately cleaning a pistol.

“You’ve told me what we’re doing, not why.” Continue reading

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“Parade of Fools” – Part 4

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A cool breeze carried the smell of hot dogs and popcorn from one of the street vendors, and Dave hoped his stomach didn’t growl on live television.

“—really have to commend both local and national law enforcement,” he finished up. “If it weren’t for the quick response of the Chicago PD and the DSA’s tireless efforts to track me down, I wouldn’t be here today.”

A pretty reporter held a microphone in front of him, and he looked at the camera as he spoke. The parade hadn’t started yet. They stood in a fenced off section of city street where the marchers and support teams were either sitting around waiting or frantically rushing to get things ready on time.

“Thank you, White Knight. I think I speak for all of us when I say it’s wonderful to have you back.” The reporter turned as the camera focused on her. “We’re less than twenty minutes from the start of the parade now. Tune in for continuing coverage throughout the day. Back to you, Karen.”

The camera lowered, and Dave relaxed. That was the hardest part of the day, and he’d made it through without sticking his foot in his mouth. Now all he had to do was smile and wave.

He shook hands and exchanged thanks with the reporter and cameraman before they packed up and moved on. Dave’s handler from PR, a tiny yet formidable woman in a business suit, checked her watch and told him to start heading for the float. Continue reading

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“Parade of Fools” – Part 3

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

Val stood inside a payphone booth in front of gas station outside San Diego, California. It was one o’clock in the morning—or make that three o’clock Central Time, which was what she’d been living in for the past several weeks. Combine that with the four-hour flight from Chicago, and it was no wonder she was tired. But tiredness was a luxury she couldn’t afford right now.

“—extremely concerned,” her father said over the phone.

“I know, but—”

“Evelyn spoke with me,” he went on. “You realize every action you take reflects back on my reputation. This is an embarrassment. I’m not happy.”

Val wanted to hang up on him. She wanted out of the phone booth, with the wads of old chewing gum stuck to the sides and the dirty receiver that was probably giving her at least two different diseases. She wanted away from his dry, disapproving voice.

“Don’t worry about Evelyn, Dad. I’m about to solve that problem. Trust me.” Continue reading

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“Parade of Fools” – Part 2

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

Dave took three days off from work—not voluntarily, but because his entire chain of superiors insisted he needed time to rest and recover. A good idea in theory but awful in reality. Dave loafed around his apartment with no direction and no focus. He tried reading a few things but didn’t make it past the first chapter before tossing the books back onto his shelves. The TV couldn’t hold his attention, and when he’d turned to model-building (a hobby he’d picked up as a teenager to challenge his control of his strength), he’d crushed the tiny plastic ship pieces in his frustrated grip.

He didn’t get a single full night’s sleep. But nightmares weren’t surprising. It would be stranger if he didn’t have them. It didn’t mean he needed professional help.

Finally going back into the office was a relief. Walter might not have approved him for active duty yet, but that didn’t mean there weren’t reports to write, meetings to attend, and papers to sign. It would be nice to be busy, not to mention having people to talk to. Or so he had thought. Once he walked through the doors, it was a different story. Continue reading

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“Parade of Fools” – Part 1

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

The old family lake house was becoming quite the hot scene. The dusty sheets had been taken off the furniture, the refrigerator restocked, and people came and went at all hours. Blueblood, of course, didn’t tell Val who half these people were. He’d taken over the house like a king visiting a noble’s estate, claiming the master bedroom for himself and letting his men make a complete mess of the place. Val wasn’t in a position to stop them anymore, so she watched and brooded and spent a lot of time reading minds. Only the minds of Blueblood’s men, that is. Blueblood himself had mental shields as strong as she’d feared, and her attempts to subtly break in came to nothing.

“I’ll kill him,” Joey had said when he’d seen her blackened, infected hand. “I’ll beat him until he fixes it.”

Val had to grab his arm to stop him. “Not a good idea to hit someone whose touch can kill you.”

“I’ll wear gloves. I’ll use knives and hot irons. Give me half an hour alone in a room with him, and I swear—”

“No,” she’d said firmly. “We play along with him for now.”

So here she was in the dining room, playing along as Blueblood introduced his latest guest. Continue reading

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