Let’s hope this keeps up… more from my Nanowrimo novel…
Cori woke up the next morning and wished that she could have the day off. Her head hurt badly enough that it made her eyes ache. “I really overdid it yesterday with the fire. Maybe coffee and a hot shower will help.”
She rolled out of bed and telekinetically grabbed her yoga mat and unfurled it. “Morning practice first.”
After several sun salutations, the headache faded. By the time she got to the scorpion pose that she liked, it was gone completely. As she rolled up the mat, she contemplated her powers.
Using the telepathy always exhausted her, but she felt better after doing yoga. Maybe it was just a matter of readjusting her mind. Telepathy was reaching out, but perhaps concentrating on her muscles, her breathing and her body was like bringing her mind back home. It seemed like a reasonable concept.
Cori looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair was a mess, she had rings around her eyes and she was glistening with perspiration. She didn’t look much like Rigel of Freedom Squad, although she had to admit that they shared the same abs. That was something at least. Read the rest of this entry
Hi Everyone! I’m going to post my Nanowrimo entries on a regular basis as I try to fight my way to 50,000 words in one month. Here’s the start (and you choose the concept, Bill Kahn!):
Agent Erica Sampson felt her stomach twist. Although she’d been on plenty of dangerous assignments even to parts of the world where just being a woman put you in jeopardy, meetings made her nervous. The fact that her meeting was in a top secret bunker buried beneath Washington, DC only made it worse. She reminded herself that her invitation was a compliment.
A couple of guards, tough-looking men that stood at attention stiffly enough to proclaim themselves as ex-military, stood in front of what looked to Erica to be a vault door. They checked her badge, before letting her step over to the computerized handprint and retina scanners on the wall next to the door. Something about the men reassured her. Computers could be hacked; humans couldn’t. Or at least, far fewer people could hack them.
She placed her hand against the cool surface of the handprint scanner. Her hand seemed small compared to the large outline. After a second, it beeped, and a blue word displayed over her hand. “Authorized.”
She peered into the retina scanner and saw flashing lights. “Authorized.”
With a metallic clang and a whoosh of air, the door swung partially open. She stepped inside to find herself not in a meeting room, but in something that resembled an airlock or decontamination chamber. She faced another metal door, sealed shut in front of her. After the door behind her closed, the hair on the back of her neck rose slightly.
She was trapped. Read the rest of this entry
“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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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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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.
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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Uberdude had been the last of the super-villains to put up a fight, but it seemed to Cori as if the aftermath of the battle lasted forever. At some point, Protector grabbed her arm to help steady her. Now that the rush of combat had worn off, she wanted a pillow.
Instead, she had to spend her time talking with officials and answering questions. Poor Rockslide had nearly been locked up as somcame Homeland Security agents had confused him for a super-villain. She wasn’t sure exactly when the team got back to Freedom Squad Headquarters.
“Home,” Rigel breathed as she stepped out of the Freedom Flyer.
“I’ll take Nightstar to the med lab,” said Protector.
“I can walk. I’m just a little dizzy,” replied Nightstar. “I think the guy who kicked me used to trade martial arts bouts with Tiger Iron of the Wardens and Argent.”
“Then count yourself lucky,” said Protector.
“I always do, Alex, every day,” replied Nightstar.
Cori rolled her eyes.
Rockslide labored as he clambered out of the ship. He had several cracks and chips in his stony exterior.
“Rockslide, do you need anything to help you recover?” thought Rigel telepathically to the massive hero.
“Sleep,” he thought back.
She smiled at him in agreement.
The team went their separate ways once they were inside the base. Rigel decided that she better check the Monitor Room before retiring for the night. The Monitor Room door opened to reveal Starlight and several governmental-looking agents.
“Greetings, Rigel,” said Starlight. “These are official Terran authorities who needed to meet with you.”
An athletic brunette walked up to Rigel and extended one hand while flashing a badge with the other. “Rigel, I’m Agent Stacey King. We spoke briefly at the prison.”
“G’day, Agent King,” said Cori, “sorry to be direct, but my head hurts. What are you doing in my base?”
“We are fully authorized to enter this base. Your mayor himself…”
“Yes,” interrupted Cori, “he sometimes has a tendency to try to impress people by letting them run around Freedom Squad Headquarters. But why are you here?”
“I wanted to talk to you about what happened tonight and who escaped.”
“We got a lot of them.”
“Please, Rigel, sit down. Let me explain why I’m concerned. It has to do specifically with one prisoner. Have you ever heard of the hero Defiance?” asked Agent King.
“Of course, everyone has. He went mad, and they had to arrest him. It started a whole round of Congressional hearings in this country of yours.”
The agents paused and exchanged glances.
“You are the daughter of an American citizen and have a US citizenship yourself, despite the time you spent in Australia,” said Agent King.
“Country of ours,” said Rigel, “I just try to distance myself from Congress when I can.”
Stacy King smirked. “Understandable. Please sit down. I want to go over everything, but I’ll try and make it brief.”
Cori sat. She really didn’t want to deal with whatever this was until after eight hours had passed under her covers. However, these homeland security agents were serious. Certainly, anything this important would keep her awake long enough to hear it.
“Defiance, also known as William or Bill Hudson, was a trained archaeologist who gained metahuman abilities through unknown circumstances. For his own reasons, he named himself Defiance and became well-known as a superhero. Largely impervious with super-strength in the upper measurable limits of our scales and the ability to fly, he began dispensing justice while having several run-ins with the law. Defiance often clashed with law enforcement as he didn’t always feel the need to build a case or collect evidence before taking action. As a result, several criminals that he brought in walked out of courtrooms only a few months later. Despite that, we feel that he tried to do the right thing.”
“Unfortunately, he chose to attack a cosplay group who had decided to attend a comic book or sci-fi convention dressed as the villain team, the Destroyers. He put three college kids into ICUs. In the aftermath, he was confronted by a hero team-up of convenience, including Psionicist, the former Protector and your old friend, Poltergeist. You might hear it referred to as the ‘P’ team. Psionicist remains in a coma to this day. It was the Protector who put an end to Defiance’s rampage.”
Cori thought back to her father’s crime files. She remembered all the coverage of Defiance’s trial. After some crazy rantings at the beginning, he had said nothing, just stared blankly into the cameras.
Rigel raised a silver glove, “Wait, didn’t he rant about being set up, claim that Psionicist was a super-villain who was mind controlling him?”
Agent King nodded. “Actually, he claimed that Psionicist was the crime lord known as the Ace of Spades, an individual rumored in certain circles to manipulate criminal activities across the country for his own purposes. There’s no evidence that an Ace of Spades exists or has ever existed, but there are plenty of people who believe in him.”
“What about you, Agent King?” asked Cori.
She said nothing, but she thought loudly enough for Cori to hear. “He absolutely exists, and one day, I will find him, Rigel.”
“My concern is with Defiance,” answered Agent King in her regular voice. “There’s a good chance that he may go after Poltergeist, and I understand that you and he are close. He’s your godfather, isn’t he?”
“He is,” said Cori. She felt a pain in her chest. Daniel Hunter, known to the world as Poltergeist, was like an uncle to her, or probably more like a big brother. He was the first person that she had told when she decided to take on the costumed identity of Rigel, even before her father. He was the one who had provided her with a psychically reactive neospandex costume which could change color, texture and shape at her mental command. Daniel relied on technology for his invisibility and magnetic powers, but without the suit, he was a normal human.
“We will be watching him, but you may want to reach out and make sure that he’s taking appropriate measures to stay safe. “
“The other likely targets for him are Psionicist and the current Protector.”
“But why would he go after them?” asked Cori.
“He believes that they all have connections in some way to the Ace of Spades.”
Cori didn’t think she was going to be able to get to sleep.