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Nanowrimo – FS Vigilance Chapter 7

So, I’m burning through words here on the last couple of days in hopes of still completing Nanowrimo. Currently, I’m just over 44,000 and still writing. If I get a chance, I’m still hoping to write a few regular blog posts. On to Freedom Squad…

Chapter 7

Erica Sampson sat in a small hotel room in the Superior City suburb of Appleton. It was a medium quality room in a medium quality hotel. Her cover was that she was in town visiting her mother. Her mother’s home was a safe house filled with normal looking people who would protect her and smuggle her back to Washington, DC at a moment’s notice.

Of course, they didn’t know anything.

Erica stared at her smartphone. She needed to make one call and then report to Director Lieber. She hated this assignment, which impressed her, since it was going well.

She understood the importance. One of her mentors had told her that the difference between an upstanding citizen and a criminal was only a few seconds and opportunity. Anyone could lose their temper or fly into a rage. If they had a weapon and a target, someone could get hurt. The problem with metahumans was that they always had weapons, and not just pistols, but powers capable of causing widespread collateral damage. Read the rest of this entry

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Nanowrimo – FS Vigilance Chapter 6

As I struggle at 37,000 words to reach 50,000 by Sunday night, I thought I’d post Chapter 6 for anyone who wants to do some long weekend reading. Look for a few more posts in the next couple of days, especially since Happily Never After has been released (written with my co-author John Peck under the penname Jack Heckel). Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the U.S.!

Chapter 6

Less than an hour later, Rigel was in the monitor room, scanning through images of women that fit the mental picture she had obtained from Snowfall, when Nightstar arrived with Protector.

“Since it was the woman who spoke to you and Snowfall, Protector, can you help with the identification?”

“Sure,” he said. His tone made Rigel stop her scan.

“It wasn’t your fault.”

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Nanowrimo – FS Vigilance Chapter 5

Here’s a new chapter. It’s interesting to me how many mistakes I make writing at this pace. I keep reminding myself that there’s plenty of time to edit, add descriptions and even change whole scenes around. This isn’t the final version, but I like seeing how things develop. 

Chapter 5

A few moments later, Rigel carefully lowered two slightly melted battlesuits onto the street next to the Freedom Flyer as she landed back at the Diamond Exchange. She began carefully peeling off the armor.

“We were awesome,” said Solaria, beaming with pride.

“Nice job controlling the heat and just melting their weapons. Good flying too.”

Solaria gave Rigel a high-five.

Nightstar ran over and immediately the mood changed. His face was ashen. Cori had never seen Nightstar look so upset, and when she realized that he was going over to Solaria, her heart stopped. “We don’t know exactly what happened,” he said.

“Where is Kyle?” said Solaria, her voice catching.

“Ion’s got him, and he’s taking him back to Freedom Squad Headquarters. Dr. Lord is already at the med bay and Starlight says with his technology…” Read the rest of this entry

Nanowrimo – FS Vigilance Chapter 1

More fun from the fast paced writing world of Nanowrimo…

Chapter 1

Rigel would rather have been fighting a dozen supervillains instead of facing the high-rise inferno in front of her. Flashing red lights and sirens surrounded her as dozens of firefighters worked together. The police were on the scene as well, keeping crowds and the press back. There were so many distractions, but she had to keep working.

She closed her eyes and focused, using her yoga breathing to stay calm, breathing in through the nose and out through the nose. As she relaxed her body, her mind continued to race.

Using her telepathy, she was trying to coordinate her team amidst the flames and smoke while attempting to locate the minds of anyone trapped inside. Protector was staying close to a group of firefighters inside the building, using his shield to protect them not only from the debris, but from the heat and even the poisonous gases. She shook her head slightly, as she recalled him telling her that he had no powers.

Nightstar had teleported to a higher floor where Rigel had sensed a mind. Although he appeared human, Nightstar didn’t need to breathe the way most people did. She vaguely wondered about what his world must have been like, before returning to her focus. He was almost in the right place.

Nightstar, the person should be through the next door on the left.

She felt more than heard his response. He was on his way. Read the rest of this entry

Chapter 26 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo

Chapter 26

“How could you?” shouted Cori’s dad. “You let all those people in the mall die.”

Cori looked around. She was at home in Australia, a place that she hadn’t lived for years, but she was Rigel and in costume. “No, Dad, this isn’t you. I’m in my own mind being attacked.”

She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned. A black-gloved fist slammed into her jaw. She fell to the ground with the taste of blood in her mouth.

The Ace of Spades stood over her.

“You think I’m afraid of a fistfight?” she asked him.

“No,” he said, drawing a pistol from his belt, “but you’ll be traumatized by this.” He pointed the gun at her father and fired three times.
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Chapter 23 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo

Chapter 23

Time.

Cori felt as if she were running out of time.

She tried to tell herself that the mayor was the Ace of Spades, and that he had been hiding in front of her eyes. She tried to believe that the Ace felt that by being close to Freedom Squad that they would never suspect him. She tried to believe that it was possible that the Ace hadn’t considered the physical danger posed by walking around next to superheroes.

All she did believe was that somewhere, the Ace of Spades was escaping.

Her communicator buzzed. A text message came from Starlight. “I will be delayed in my return. What is the situation?”

Rigel used her telekinesis to text back. “Fusion defeated. Return to Headquarters when possible.”

She had let her team head back to base. Everyone was hurt, and they needed treatment. Jake Lord had returned to Freedom Squad Headquarters and was ready to help. The Homeland Security Ultra Task Force had people in radiation suits sweeping the area with Geiger counters. Rigel wanted to leave, but someone from Freedom Squad should be present. She was team leader, so she was the choice.
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Chapter 22 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo

Chapter 22

The mayor watched as the university’s reactor moved closer and closer to meltdown. One of the screens in the Monitor Room showed a white ace on a black background.

His hand flinched toward his own Freedom Squad communicator, but he didn’t know why. Everything was set in motion. There was nothing that anyone could do to stop it. Once again, the Ace of Spades had manipulated everything to his advantage.

Within a few short minutes, victory was assured.

An alert flashed on the Monitor Room’s internal security system. Someone was trying to break in, but he had changed all the codes.

“It will take Homeland Security hours to get in, and no one strong enough to break through those doors is around. Pity that I was trapped in here. Maybe I’ll blame it on Rigel and forgive her during the funeral,” he said.

With a whoosh, the security doors to the Monitor Room opened. A burning smell floated inside the room, as a man in a black bodysuit with flames on it walked inside. “Sorry, Mr. Mayor. I’m not a full-fledged member of the team and Rigel didn’t give me the security code. I’m supposed to make sure that you’re safe. I’m Velocity.”
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Chapter 20 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo

Chapter 20

The mayor rubbed his temples. He couldn’t believe what had happened. He was inside Freedom Squad Headquarters in Protector’s room sitting in a chair. Protector was lying in a bed only a few feet from where he was sitting, and Starlight stood over him.

“What just happened?” asked the mayor. “Defiance was about to crush me. Now, I’m here?”

“As mayor of this fine city, you should know that you are in safe hands. The noble heroes of Megalopolis are currently outwitting the foul villains outside,” stated Starlight flatly.

The mayor stared blankly at Starlight.

“Mr. Mayor?”

The mayor stood up. “Starlight, how did I get here and please use standard English?”

“My apologies, sir. Velocity brought you. I am to defend you if the battle goes poorly, however, it appears that Freedom Squad has triumphed.”

“Who is, no, wait, by Velocity are you being scientific or… never mind, I need to make a call. Afterwards, I want a full explanation from Rigel,” he looked over at Protector. “What happened to him?”

“I believe it was the work of a super-villain known as the Ace of Spades.”

“Fine, Starlight, stay here with Protector. I’m going to have a talk with Rigel.”

The mayor stepped out into the hallway and began walking toward the front. As he walked, he typed a single word text into his encrypted phone. “Nuclear.”
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Chapter 18 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo

Chapter 18

Defiance turned his head toward the mayor.

Telepathically, Rigel contacted Matt, “Get the mayor inside the base, now.”

Defiance flew over to the mayor. “You are the one who did this to me! You can’t hide anymore!” he shouted.

The mayor’s eyes widened. He looked utterly terrified for a split-second, but then, there was a blur or a shadow, and the mayor was gone. Only a few singed grasses on the lawn indicated what had happened.

“That was Velocity,” whispered Rigel.

Defiance screamed incoherently and slammed a fist into the ground, shattering concrete and throwing everyone off their feet. “Where is he?” he said, turning to glare at Future Soldier/Nightstar. “I’ll tear you and your team apart if you don’t turn him over.”
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Chapter 17 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo

Chapter 17

“Last night, Freedom Squad may have been saving lives, but this reporter wants to know where Protector and Rockslide were? Are they recovering from injuries in their battles with Defiance, Death Queen and the other villains rampaging through the city? And in the meantime, progress continues slowly on cleaning up the monument to the original Freedom Squad. But first, news from the Northwest, where the hero team Vanguard defeated one of our escapees…”

Click.

Rigel turned off the morning news broadcast and put her boots up on one of the consoles in the Monitor Room. She groaned softly. “Why does the press have to be so difficult?” she asked no one in particular.

Rockslide rumbled beside her. He sat down heavily on the floor.

“I know,” Rigel thought to the massive stone superhero, “And I’m sorry, but you are a little hard to disguise.”

“I know,” he sadly thought in reply.

“Besides, you’ll have Starlight around if things get out of control, and you know what you need to do,” she thought back to him.

“Protect the Protector,” he thought back. “And put on a good show.”

“Right,” she responded. “Now, remember, what we are about to do is rather mad, but I need you to make it look good. I’d also like you to trust me with something. I want to alter your brainwaves slightly. Basically, I’m trying to make you less susceptible to mental attack. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Ace of Spades tries to do something to you once he figures out my plan.”
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