Monthly Archives: November 2013

Chapter 14 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo

Good news! I’m over 40,000 words. No real bad news other than I need to post a bunch of chapters. Here’s Chapter 14:

Chapter 14

Stacy King checked the GPS coordinates she had received from Rigel. She stood in a grove of trees in the Appleton Mall Park, and she seemed to be alone except for a flock of Canada geese who were trying to get to sleep. The sky was dark, and she didn’t see any sign of a flying superhero.

She was starting to get nervous. Superheroes usually didn’t like to be late.

The entire jailbreak played out in her head. She had been studying it since it took place, trying to make sense of everything.

The super-villain wing of the Megalopolis Penitentiary was not meant to be permanent, but rather a temporary solution until a more permanent holding facility was completed in Nevada. Still, state-of-the-air technology was used, including neutralizer bracers, Ultracite alloy bars, etc. Although it had been suggested that robots replace humans as guards, the technology wasn’t advanced enough to be even remotely affordable (not that Ultracite alloy was affordable) and of course, there were fears of cyberattacks.  The guards were well-trained and for the most part, competent.

Unfortunately, one of them had died in the wrong place, at the wrong time. She hoped the autopsy would come back sound. George Nelson, age 54, could be seen walking past a few cells one minute, before suddenly collapsing the next. It had been a massive heart attack. Basically, his heart had exploded. The autopsy had confirmed it.

He had died within sight of Death Queen’s cell. Security wasn’t meant to stop a necromancer with access to a dead body that had access to open her cell.

Once the door had opened, all hell had broken loose.
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Chapter 13B – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo

More writing… Chapter 13 continues

An alert blared. “Unauthorized personnel at front gate,” announced the computer.

Solaria could be seen standing at the front gate, flames swirling around her. She had her arms folded in front of the sun symbol that she wore on her red bodysuit. Snowfall was clearly recognizable standing behind her and to the left, despite the fact that he wore a black trenchcoat over his costume and a black hat on his head.

Telekinetically, Rigel activated the front intercom. “7… 8… 9…“ said Solaria while flames crackled in the background.

“Solaria, this is Rigel. What are you doing?”

“It’s about time. We need to talk, and don’t I get a ‘G’Day’?”

“Sorry, it hasn’t been a good day. I’ll let you both in and meet you at the front door, assuming you’ve passed all the scans,” said Rigel. “Oh, and stay on the sidewalk. The grounds have mines.”

Rigel clicked off the intercom.

“I can talk to Solaria, if you’d like,” offered Ion with a grin. “I don’t mind.”

“I’m sure you don’t. Fine, you can come.”

After Solaria and Snowfall passed retina scans and made it up the sidewalk, Rigel and Ion greeted them at the front door to the mansion. Solaria was no longer projecting flames, but she seemed irritated enough to do so.
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Award Received! Thank you, Becka!

Hi everyone,

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Becka from the blog Sweet Stuff by Becka. Here’s the link. Additionally, I’ve added her to the links on my sidebar. She’s a brave soul doing Nanowrimo right now (and very well, I might add). Unlike most of us, she started the month with a vacation, but she pushed through so far. Here’s hoping she gets to celebrate a victory.

The award is a little like a chain letter, but it’s from the heart and I’ve never gotten an award for my blog. So, I’m honored.



“The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster?  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn’t that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.”


  • Link to the person who nominated you
  • Answer their questions
  • Nominate new blogs for the award
  • Ask them 10 new questions
  • Let the nominees know they have been nominated

There it is: The Liebster Award. So, I have the link, and here are Becka’s questions for me:

1)What was the best thing that happened today?

My daughter hugged me.

2)Where do you find your blogging inspiration?

Hmmm…. my inspiration to have a blog or my inspiration for stuff to write about on the blog? Everything on this blog basically flows from my writing. I blog about everything that inspires me from Doctor Who to miniatures to events in my life that impact me. I don’t blog nearly as often as I’d like, and I usually have 5 or 6 drafts of posts floating around at any one time. The reason that I have the blog is to keep in touch with the amazing people that I’ve met in this life and to find others.

3)Do you consider yourself a glass half full or half empty kind of person?  Why?

I always consider myself a glass half full sort of person. Basically, if the glass is half full, there’s no sense in being upset because it’s all going to work out in the end. If the glass is half empty and things don’t work, there will be plenty of time to be disappointed later. Why let yourself be miserable beforehand? Furthermore, I never cease to be amazed at the power of positive thinking. We all have a great ability to create self-fulfilling prophecies. I think if you keep your mind open and realistic but allow yourself to believe, magical things happen.

4)What’s your favorite childhood memory?

This is a really hard question to answer. I have a lot of happy childhood memories. I’d probably put going to see Star Wars alone with my father at age 6 right at the top of the list. I felt grownup and important and that night I learned that I wanted to be a Jedi Knight. 🙂

5)Where do you want yourself and/or your blog to be a year from now?

I want another book published by a major publisher, and I’d like to have three more indie published books out. I want to have my first audio book down. As long as I keep writing and the numbers of people visiting my blog continue to increase, I’ll be happy.

6)What’s your favorite home cooked meal?

My wife makes a beef and cheese casserole which she created during our university days. As she invented it during some massive Vampire: The Masquerade roleplaying campaigns, it’s known in our house as “Diablerie in a Pan.” As it won the recipe won a cooking competition at our church, I’m not sure how much I’m going to spread that name. Basically, it’s meat with some chili powder, a few onions I think, some Emeril’s seasoning, and cheese and some kind of sauce and more cheese and more meat. I’m really not exactly sure, but I know that it’s good. I’m also sure that my arteries got a little more clogged thinking about it.

If I’m going to cook, I really like making Thanksgiving turkey and usually get rave reviews.

7)What is a goal that you have that may be hard to achieve?

I want to lose weight. I’ve struggled with my weight for years, and I’m tired of it. I’m going to try to apply the same standards to my waistline that I do to my word count during nano sometime in the new year and see how that does. In the meantime, I struggle every day to try and eat healthier.

8)Who do you look up to?

I’ve always wanted to inspire people the way that J.R.R. Tolkien inspires me. I also have a deep admiration for Stan Lee, for all the great comic book characters that he created. I look up to Daniel Greenberg, my mentor, who gave me a chance to be published. I have a friend, Cathy, who is pursuing her dreams overseas. My grandfather simply amazes me, both for his spirit of adventure and his intellect. I could write a long list, but generally, it’s filled with people who inspire me to dream of new worlds and have fun.

9)Why do you keep writing/baking/sewing/(insert hobby here)?

I’m going to cheat. I wrote a blog post about why I keep writing not too long ago. Here’s the link.

10)What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

This is another tough question, but I’m currently leaning toward Graham Central Station at Bruster’s. However, since I mentioned issues with my weight, I’ll note that there are very few flavors of ice cream that I can’t appreciate. 🙂

I’ll be nominating a few new blogs and asking them questions soon, but since I’m in the throes of Nanowrimo, I’m going to wait a couple of days. Freedom Squad needs me.

All the best,



Chapter 13A – Freedom Squad Defiance

Chapter 13

Protector was asleep. More importantly, he was alive.

Rigel knew that Dr. Lord was going to stay at his bedside, and that whatever the Ace of Spades had done, Alex’s mind was doing its best to heal. She wanted to try and go into his head, but she convinced herself that she needed to trust that the best thing for him was to let him heal.

Whatever the Ace had tried to do, it had failed.

There were other matters that Cori needed to address. She was determined that she was going to redo the code on the Freedom Squad servers and create the world’s greatest firewall. The Ace of Spades wasn’t going to get into their systems again. Afterwards, she was going to check every log file imaginable and determine how the Ace had accessed their systems. She sat at a keyboard with her hands folded under her chin as she watched code flash by on the monitor. The keyboard beeped as it tried to keep up with the speed of her telekinetic typing.

Daniel Hunter came up behind her. She mentally sensed him before she saw him. He seemed a little shaken by the attack, but he was otherwise okay. Like everyone else, he was more concerned with Protector. Though, at this point, she knew that he was worried about her. He had been a team leader in the past, and he had been the one who had supported her when she decided to join Freedom Squad.

Daniel put a hand on her shoulder. In a gentle voice, he said, “I can do that.”

“No,” she said. “This is my responsibility. The mayor even told me to do it. There was an error with our security system before the cameras showed Protector convulsing. I should have taken care of this. Someone’s been accessing our systems. I’ll let you follow up and check the log after I’m done. If there’s another crisis, I’ll even let you take over, but for right now, I’m going to catch the person who’s been causing all the trouble.”
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Nominated for an Award and some Updates

Hi everyone,

I’m still chugging along in Nanowrimo, running over 34,000 words. Charming, my fairy tale fantasy novel with the amazing John Peck, is still being considered by a major publisher. HeroNet Files looks good to be published before the end of the year, although I’m feeling guilty as the one who has slowed the project down. I’ve still got some roleplaying stuff going as well. For Crimson Hawks fans, the second book is still really close. I’m hoping to have it out first quarter next year.

I want to say that I’m really pleased that another blogger, Becka, nominated me for an award. I’ll do a full post on that as I want to do it justice, but I want to say thank you. I’ve added a link to her site on the links on my sidebar. She’s a very nice lady, and I encourage everyone to cheer her on as she tries to complete Nanowrimo.

All in all, things continue, and I’ll be trying to post on a regular basis. With all that said, there should be a new Freedom Squad post up in a short while.

All the best,


Part 12 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo (long one)

Okay, this is a long section and my personal favorite part of the book so far. Like everything else, it needs a solid rewrite and I’ll work on getting it polished for publication later. As always, I’d love any comments, thoughts, feedback, etc. I’d especially like to thank my old Champions groups with an extra shout to Wayland Smith, Mr. Gambino and Jeff Smith for some of the inspiration.

Chapter 12
Protector had run all the way to the Monitor Room. When he sat down in the central chair, he felt strangely tired. His skin seemed warm, and he felt flushed. Maybe Dr. Lord had been right to keep him off duty.

He watched the Freedom Flyer take off on the roof camera. Despite how he felt physically, he wished that he could be with the others. It was what he was supposed to do.

He was the Protector.

With a heavy exhale, he tried to replay the battle in the park in his head. He considered how he might have been able to stop Defiance. Perhaps if he had maneuvered in front of a shattered statue of one of the heroes of the original Freedom Squad, it might have triggered something in Defiance’s mind. There was a hero still inside that angry caped man in red and white. He had ordered the villains not to kill Freedom Squad. He had tried to talk to Alex about the Protector, Defiance’s Protector.
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Part 11 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo

Chapter 11

“Touchdown!” said Ion. “This is your captain speaking, the Freedom Flyer has landed. Please return your tables to their upright positions and deplane before the bad guys get here.”

Cori breathed a sigh of relief. The jolt was from the landing. The doors of the Freedom Flyer opened and the team quickly disembarked.

“We should hire a pilot,” suggested Ion.

Rigel was busy trying to watch the top of the Megalopolis Tower, seeing if she could spot Nightstar. There was a light flashing, which had to be his sword. The light suddenly faded as what appeared to be smoke billowed around the base of the restaurant.

Nightstar’s thoughts filled Cori’s mind. “Death Queen and lots of baddies… slicing out of here with Polt, hope he’s ready… oops… park’s a bit out of my range.”

Rigel saw Nightstar appear in the sky holding on to Daniel who was now in his gray and white Poltergeist armor. They were hundreds of feet up. Nightstar thought, “Need to adjust for altitude when I’m figuring out distances… Daniel!”

Poltergeist grabbed Nightstar by the arms and was carrying him through the air. A bright red and white comet streaked toward them.

“No!” she said and launched herself in the air, hoping she could get close enough to telekinetically stop Defiance before he hurt Nightstar and Daniel. Unlike Nightstar, she didn’t have any issue calculating speeds and distances, and she knew that she wasn’t going to be anywhere close when Defiance hit them. Mentally, she yelled to them, “Activate Daniel’s force field or teleport or something… Defiance is coming!”

Nightstar’s thoughts flew back. “Not enough power. He’s going to hold me and I’m going to try and swing. Maybe my sword can take him out.”
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Part 10 – Nanowrimo Freedom Squad

Chapter 10

An afternoon of concentration had yielded nothing on Defiance. Cori sat in lotus position on the floor of her bedroom and continued to project her mind, attempting to sift through the thoughts of thousands of people at a time without disturbing any of them.

In many ways, the experience was similar to diving to the bottom of a pool and holding her breath. She would concentrate, telepathically send her thoughts out, shift through as many minds as she could, brushing against them ever so gently. When too many thoughts touched her mind, she’d have trouble sorting and discerning them. It would feel like she was drowning, so she’d come up for air and open her eyes.

A picture of Melbourne hung on her wall, or rather the Puffing Billy Steam Railroad, outside of Melbourne. Nightstar had once asked her why she didn’t have a picture of the Sydney Opera House on a wall or Uluru if she wanted something to remember Australia. She had finally purchased and framed a picture of the Sydney Opera House and put it on the opposite wall.

The truth was that though she had spent a lot of her life growing up in Australia, she was an American. Her father had gotten worried that one day his enemies might find out that he had a daughter, so he had spirited her off to Australia. She learned later that she had almost grown up in New Zealand instead, but apparently as a toddler had gotten very excited when she saw a kangaroo at the zoo.

Little Cori liked kangaroos, therefore, she had to grow up in Australia.

However, she had her US citizenship and had certainly spent a lot of her time in the States growing up at her dad’s house in San Francisco. She had always wanted to go to university at Stanford or Berkeley. Being a child genius, she had attended both by age 16. Now, all she had of Australia was a slight accent that she cultivated and the occasional “G’Day”.

She wondered if she sounded more like an American steakhouse commercial than an Aussie.

The picture of the railroad caught her eye again. It wasn’t really a picture of Melbourne or beautiful Victoria (because she would have chosen the beaches), but it was a picture about her father taking her to celebrate a day about a kid’s tank engine and riding on the train with his little girl. She loved her dad, and she missed him.

She was thinking about calling him and waking him in the middle of the night, when Starlight contacted her on the communicator.

“Rigel, I have received a strange message. Could you please come to the monitor room?”

“No worries, Starlight. On my way.”

She found herself wondering if Starlight was misinterpreting a news broadcast or possibly a mockumentary. She imagined that it would be hard to be an alien surrounded by modern American media sources.

Strangely, she decided that Starlight was growing on her.

When she reached the Monitor Room, she said, “So, Starlight, what is it?”

“That,” he said simply and robotically, pointing at a large monitor screen with the image of a playing card showing on it… the Ace of Spades.

“It appears to be a malfunction. I am unable to remove the image.”

Rigel felt her blood run cold.

A soft male voice spoke, “Hello, Rigel.”

“Fascinating,” stated Starlight. “The auditory message was timed with your arrival.”

“I don’t think it was timed, Starlight… G’Day? Is this the Ace of Spades?”

There was silence for a second.

“Such a poor question from such a brilliant mind. I suspect that you had quite the experience with our friend, Carlos,” said the voice.

Rigel tried to mentally contact Starlight, but she didn’t seem to be able to link with him. His alien thoughts were too strange for her. She wondered if he might be a robot of some sort or at least, some type of artificial being. She reached out to Nightstar.

“Nightstar,” she thought, “the Ace of Spades is talking to me in the Monitor Room. Make sure the team is ready.”

“Sure, JR was helping me with some engineering issues with the Night Cycle. We’ll contact Rockslide and Protector,” he thought back.

“Not Protector,” she responded. “Doctor’s orders for Alex.”

“I hope this will be the first of many talks for us, Rigel,” said the Ace of Spades. “But you need to leave soon.”

“What? Why do I need to leave?” she asked.

“Oh, I think you are going to want to visit your friend Daniel Hunter before Defiance gets to him. After all, maybe he’s me. Oh, but as Daniel says ‘The Ace of Spades doesn’t exist’, so I suppose you can ignore this warning if you’d like to… Cori. Goodbye.”

“Wait!” Cori said, but the image on the screen fell backwards and began spinning, flipping and growing smaller until it became a point of light in the center of the monitor. A second later and Doppler radar scans from the Megalopolis airport appeared on the screen.

“Excellent,” said Starlight. “I was hoping that a flying villain, such as Defiance, might display on your Terran radar systems.”

Rigel was barely listening. She knew Daniel. She could reach him telepathically. “Daniel!” she shouted.

“What is it?” came the return thought.

“Defiance is coming. Get your suit on. Now! We are on our way.”

“I’m at the Top of the World restaurant on the Megalopolis Tower having a late lunch/early dinner.”

“And I know you have your suit in your briefcase. Go. You don’t have much time,” she thought.

Telekinetically, she hit the alarm. Setting her communicator on full broadcast, she announced, “This is Rigel. Protector to the Monitor Room. Everyone else to the Freedom Flyer. Hurry!”

As she ran to the Freedom Flyer, she contacted the Megalopolis police. “This is Rigel of Freedom Squad, please evacuate the Top of the World restaurant. We have reason to believe that a team of super-villains is about to attack.”

As the team got into the Freedom Flyer, a terrible thought struck her. What if they were being set up and the real attack was coming to Freedom Squad Headquarters?

“Here we go. Hang on!” shouted Ion and they launched.

They soared across the city. “Using the hovering engines so we don’t crash into any skyscrapers,” announced Ion.

Nightstar activated his psychic blade. “So, how do we know there’s an attack coming?”

“The Ace of Spades informed Rigel of the attack on Daniel Hunter,” stated Starlight.

“Who’s Daniel Hunter?” asked Ion, as he made a left turn past a bank.

“He’s Poltergeist,” said Rigel.

Nightstar stood up.

“Nightstar,” said Starlight, “I wish to advise you, old chum, that you should remain seated while the Freedom Flyer is in motion and wear your seatbelt. I understand that they may be inconvenient or uncomfortable but they are one of the greatest safety inventions in the modern era.”

“Thanks, Starlight,” said Nightstar nonchalantly. “I figured it was the conversation with the Ace of Spades. Cori, how do we know that we aren’t being manipulated?”

Rigel stood up to face Nightstar. “We don’t, but how can I take that chance, Nightstar?”

“Excuse me, Rigel, but as I advised Nightstar…”

“Not now, Starlight,” said Rigel and Nightstar in unison.

Nightstar adjusted his mirrorshades. “Okay, we are about to engage in battle on top of the highest building in the United States.”

“My apologies, Nightstar,” said Starlight, “but both the Willis Tower Building in Chicago and One World Trade Center in New York are considered higher…”

“Understood, Starlight. Nightstar, what are you thinking?” Rigel asked.

“If they are after Daniel, we need to get him out and let them know about it. You locate him mentally, project the location to me telepathically, and I’ll teleport in, grab him and get out. I’ll head to the roof so the bad guys can see me. It won’t do us any good if the villains think he’s inside the restaurant. In the meantime, Cori, since only you, Starlight and Ion… wait, Ion, do you fly?”

“Only Freedom Flyers,” he said. “I can’t fly.”

“Right,” said Nightstar. “Everyone else, land in the… park I guess. I want to avoid as much collateral damage as possible. I should be able to teleport that far, though it will be a strain. Cori, make sure Daniel knows I’m coming too.”

“Talk time is over,” said Ion. “I’m hovering outside the restaurant.” Ion waved through the front windshield.

“Ion, waving is illogical. The windshield is tinted,” said Starlight.

Rigel sent out her thoughts to Daniel, explaining the plan as quickly as she could. He was in the men’s room trying to get his costume on. She projected the location to Nightstar, who wasted no time cutting a hole in reality with his psychic blade. In a flash of yellow and red light, he vanished.

“Don’t say anything, Rigel. I’m heading to the park,” said Ion.

Rockslide made a rumbling noise that sounded distinctly like a groan.

As Ion banked the Freedom Flyer, Rigel nearly lost her balance for a second. She telekinetically caught herself and levitated off the floor.

“Again, I recommend seatbelts,” stated Starlight.

Rigel shook her head as she watched the green of the park fill the windshield. She telepathically projected. “Nightstar, you will let me know what’s going on and if you and Daniel get into the least bit of trouble.”

“Will do,” responded Nightstar. “I’ve got him. We are outside. He’s getting his power packs activated, and I’m waving this brightly colored psychic sword of mine around and making it flash rainbow colors. Defiance is bound to see us.”

Cori felt a sudden chill. Something bad was about to happen. Nightstar sensed it as well.

“Something bad is about to happen,” thought Nightstar.

Rigel felt a sudden jolt.

A very dated picture of Rigel :)

A very dated picture of Rigel 🙂

Part 9 – Nanowrimo Freedom Squad

Chapter 9

When Rigel arrived at Freedom Squad Headquarters, she quickly checked the Monitor Room. Starlight stood in the middle of the chamber, his featureless white facemask reflecting the colors of the different screens.


“Greetings, Rigel,” he said without turning toward her. “I have something that I would like to say to you.”


Starlight made a strange noise. It took Rigel a second, but it seemed that he was imitating someone clearing there throat. “Rigel, with all due respect for the noble efforts of yourself and the rest of Freedom Squad in protecting the good citizens of Megalopolis, I believe that the vile stench of evil has arisen in this fair city and I wish to assist in refreshing it with the clean scent of justice.”

“What?” she asked.

“I’m sorry,” said Starlight. “I probably need to watch more television. The Protector has led me to believe that other television programs would help me assimilate Terran culture. Perhaps I should try another set of colloquialisms. Captain, despite my alien outlook and lack of emotions, I feel that it is only logical that I assist in the retrieval of super-villains from the planet.”

“Are you asking to join Freedom Squad, Starlight?”

“Affirmative, Captain.”

Cori bit the inside of her cheek to avoid laughing. Starlight’s alieness somehow seemed much less threatening when he was trying to sound like a cartoon hero or a starship science officer. He had been the only one standing in the park after the fight, and the mayor had told her to augment the team.

“Starlight, welcome to the team.”

“Thank you, Cori,” he said flatly. “Live long and…” Starlight paused as he attempted to position his fingers.

“You are welcome, Starlight. Is Protector in the medlab?”

Starlight lowered his hand. “Yes, he is being treated along with Rockslide and Snowfall.”

She thanked Starlight and headed down to the medlab. She wished that she knew what to do. She wasn’t sure where Defiance could be. The team could go out on patrol, but she wondered if a team of villains would just attack Freedom Squad Headquarters.

“Nightstar,” she thought, “I’m back at the base. Any ideas on how to find Defiance?”

“Hi Cori,” he thought back. Nightstar had a natural affinity for telepathic communication even though he couldn’t initiate it. “I do have an idea.”

“Great! What is it?” she thought back with a touch of excitement. Nightstar did have the most experience of anyone on the team, she reminded herself.

“Orion, your father, was known as the greatest tracker of villains that ever lived. I’d have you reach out telepathically until you found him.”

Cori felt deflated. “Nightstar,” she thought, “I’m not as good as Dad. He had years of experience.”

“So,” thought Nightstar, “Hmmm… Death Queen would need bodies… oh, sorry, studying some crime files while I’m thinking with you. Anyway, you need to get years of experience yourself. It can’t hurt to try while we are waiting for something to happen.”

“You are right. Okay, I’ll try, but first, I’m checking on Alex, Rockslide, JR and Snowfall,” she thought.

“Who’s JR?” he asked.

“Ion. JR is his real name, remember?” she replied.

“Oh. I like Ion better.”

Cori shook her head as she ended her conversation with Nightstar as she walked into the medlab. Dr. Jake Lord, a middle-aged former superhero once known as Dr. Hurricane, was monitoring a console next to a clear tube filled with red liquid. Alex floated inside.

Although she knew about the healing tubes, it still surprised Cori to see one of her team members suspended inside one. Ion was sitting on a metal table, shirtless, with white medical tape wrapped around his torso. He was watching Alex’s tube, but also kept checking another one which was filled with stones. Cori realized it was Rockslide.

Ion looked over at Rigel, “Hey, Cori, isn’t this alien tech cool? Apparently Starlight’s predecessor gave it to us before he went loopy and got recalled. It’s like a bacta tank.”

“Yes, JR, it is.” She tried not to sound worried, but she didn’t like this. They didn’t fully understand how the healing tubes caused cellular regeneration. “How are they doing, Dr. Lord?”

“They should be fine, but I’m ending Protector’s session,” he pressed a button and the red liquid drained out of the tube. Cori could see that Alex was held in a harness and had a breathing mask over his nose and mouth. “Starlight said that he was concerned that a normal human might not be able to endure the process.”

“Why?” asked Cori.

“He couldn’t explain, but he told me that he would watch some medical shows on television to help him with the language. He kept quoting or paraphrasing DeForest Kelley while we were talking. It was amusing.”

Ion hopped off the examination table. “I’m going to have so much fun with him. Can you imagine him going up to a villain and saying ‘Make my day?’?”

“No, I can’t,” said Cori, trying not to even smile at the thought, “And we need to make sure that he doesn’t do that.”

“Okay,” said Ion sulkily.

“How are you doing?” she asked Ion.

“I’m fine. Doc Ex-Hurricane thinks I should find some time to rest. He says the ribs are bruised, but otherwise, I’m okay. I’m staying on duty.”

Cori smiled. “Thanks.”

“I’m staying on duty too,” gasped Protector as Dr. Lord helped him out of the tube.

“I don’t think so,” said Cori, walking over to him. “I saw you after that fight. You took on Defiance, and you have no powers, remember?” Her voice softened. Alex needed to be okay.

“But I’m the Protector,” he coughed.

Dr. Lord stood between Rigel and Alex. He guided Alex over to one of the examination tables. “I’m the team doctor, and I will decide who is cleared for duty and who isn’t. Ion is fine. Rockslide is fine as far as I can tell. Furthermore, he can stay in that regenerative fluid longer than a human.”

“Am I cleared? I need to help stop Defiance. The last Protector did,” said Alex.

Cori folded her arms across her chest and waited. Alex had been the first person that she had met when she had joined Freedom Squad. She guiltily remembered thinking that since he had no powers that he’d be a liability. Of course, that wasn’t exactly true, even if he believed it.”

Dr. Lord pressed a stethoscope against Alex’s chest and made him take several breaths. Cori watched Dr. Lord shine a light in Alex’s eyes. The pupils dilated.

“He’s not cleared. I want him to wait a few days.”

“I feel okay, Doc,” said Alex.

“His medical readings look fine,” offered Cori, who immediately regretted speaking up.

“He looks fine, but he’s only fine because of this technology which Starlight told me was risky for normal humans. I want to reassess him after a few days, Rigel. Protector, that means no crime fighting and light workouts only.”

“Alex, you should listen to the doc. I saw how you looked at the end of that battle. Those zombies the cops shot looked healthier. Please,” said Ion.

Alex shrugged. “I’ll obey doctor’s orders,” he said reluctantly.

“Good,” said Dr. Lord, “Now I only have one patient to worry about. You two can go.” Ion and Protector got up and left. Dr. Lord turned to face Cori.

“Me?” she asked, pointing at herself.

“No,” he said, shaking his head. “Rockslide. I want you to telepathically check on him to make sure that these readings showing me that he’s getting better are telling me the truth. Quite honestly, there was nothing in my anatomy class to prepare me for him, and I didn’t take geology.”


Cori concentrated. She could feel Rockslide’s thoughts. He seemed quite happy. “Are you doing well in there?”

“Oh, yeah. This is wonderful!” he thought.

Cori chuckled. “He’s fine, Dr. Lord.”

“Good. I’m going to let him out. Oh, and Rigel?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Call me Jake. I was a big fan of your dad in my hero days. That and Daniel Hunter always spoke highly of you.”

For the briefest of instants, Cori wondered if Dr. Lord could be the Ace of Spades. In the next instant, she decided that she was getting way too paranoid for her own good. And in the instant that followed, she had an idea.

“Sure, um, Jake, do you mind if I ask you a question?”

“Rigel, you are the team leader of Freedom Squad. I’m the team doctor. You can ask me anything you want.”

“Did you know Defiance?”

“Sorry. I knew of him, but I never met him. Why?”

“Just hoping that I can learn more about him, possibly telepathically locate him.”

The healing tube containing Rockslide swung open, and the hulking member of Freedom Squad reassembled himself. He took a few steps and looked around the medlab. “Better,” he rumbled.

“Wonderful,” said Rigel. “Well, if you gentlemen will excuse me, I’m going to be concentrating on finding Defiance.”

Halfway to the End of Nanowrimo (and I’m behind)

Congratulations to everyone doing Nanowrimo! We made it to the halfway point.

Halfway to the End!

Halfway to the End!

As everyone who has been watching the blog knows, I’ve mostly been posting chapters from my current Nanowrimo effort. I’m torn about whether I should continue or if it’s just distracting. Please feel free to comment and chime in.

I’m currently behind (22,007 words vs 25,000 target), but not terribly so. In fact, I’m usually much further behind at this point in November. Here’s what I do to get back on track:

1) Outline – make sure I know where I’m going. I write much faster when I don’t have to think about what to write.

2) Go Back – I know, this is anathema to Nanowrimo, but sometimes, it helps me with my word count and my focus to go back and add a description to a chapter or flesh out or even add a scene.

3) Commit to 1,667 words a day – Basically, I make sure that I will not fall any further behind. I’ll write at lunch. I’ll write in an email and send it to myself. I’ll take full advantage of everything that modern technology has given us.

4) Get some sleep – This may sound counterproductive, but Nanowrimo is a long race. Without sleep, I’m not as creative and it doesn’t work as well.

5) Ask for feedback and/or encouragement – It is amazing how much a support group can do for you.

6) Go out of order – A good friend of mine, author Wayland Smith, once told me, “Write what inpsires you.” If you have a scene in your head, go and write it even if it’s not time for it. We are writing 50,000 words, but there’s going to be a lot of work to turn this into a finished product.

7) Finally, don’t worry about the word count. Just write and have fun. If you get into your story, words will take care of themselves.

Good luck to all! Meanwhile, I’m going to see how close I can get to 25,000 words before midnight. After that, I may work on the other superhero story I’m doing, several things that I’m editing and/or some Mummy stuff…

All the best,


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