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.
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
Once Rigel and Protector returned to Freedom Squad Headquarters, Cori wanted to do all she could to try and forget the press conference. As they walked in through the roof entrance, they found Solaria, arms folded across the yellow sun symbol on her chest.
“Rigel, you may be the boss, but you two were slow.”
“Maybe a little,” Cori agreed.
Solaria unfolded her arms and walked over. “Hey, Cori, I’m still sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it. I understand why my powers might bother people.”
“Yeah,” said Solaria, “but I can set the whole city on fire if my powers go wrong.”
“More importantly,” said Protector, “it’s time for you to head down to the pool. Our enemies will certainly try to douse you and drown you at some point, so we need to work on your swimming. I’ll meet you down there.”
As Alex took the stairs down to the lower levels of Freedom Squad Headquarters, Solaria looked over at Rigel. “Who put him in charge of our training?” Read the rest of this entry
More fun from the fast paced writing world of Nanowrimo…
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
Welcome to my first guest post! I’m honored to have my friend and co-contributor to HeroNet Files, Wayland Smith visiting. Without anything further, here’s Wayland.
Howdy. I’m very excited to be a guest star here on Harry’s blog. Harry, in addition to being a good friend of many years, is one of my co-writers in HeroNet Files Book 1. HeroNet is a concept I created years ago in the process of fleshing out a shared world of superheroes that Harry and I have worked on together. HeroNet is an online database that heroes can access for information on various villains, groups, ideas on how to fight bad guys, and even ways to contact friendly scientists, gadgeteers, and medics.
Argent, one of the two main characters in this story, has a long history in many different incarnations reaching back to 1988. I guess that means he can vote and legally buy a drink now. He’s a highly skilled fighter with a major attitude problem. In fact, his brief time on a hero team came to an end because of that, but that’s another story. While he’s very rough around the edges, Argent is definitely a good guy. He’d laugh at being called a hero, but he’s on the streets almost every night, fighting the good fight and protecting the innocent. The fact that he happens to really enjoy a good fight is just a bonus.
Cobalt Rose is a novice hero, and Hunt the Tiger is mostly from her viewpoint. She’s something of an action junkie, and accidentally discovered the rush from protecting people. The story opens with her debut in costume, which, in the grand tradition of heroic first appearances, doesn’t quite go as planned. It’s a fun story, or at least I think so, with some twists and turns along the way.
HeroNet Files, Book 1, is just the beginning of stories set in this world. There will be a Book 2 at the very least, which Harry, Dara, and I are already planning, possibly with some new authors contributing. I also have at least one novel finished about Wildside, Inc, a band of superhuman mercenaries (don’t call them heroes!), and we’re looking into additional projects.
For myself, I have a novel out called In My Brother’s Name, about a terrorist attack on Washington, DC, that comes about because of a mistake someone made that they just can’t admit to. Things take a series of dark turns from there. I also have stories in a few different anthologies: This Mutant Life: Bad Company, another collection of superhuman stories, and Memorial Day – my story in that one shares the world of Wildside and Argent and Cobalt Rose. I also have a story in SNAFU: Tales of Military History, which is coming out later this year.
As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of heroes. I write reviews of comic books for DCCollectors.com, and post about more general heroic topics on my website, watchtowermansion.com. I occasionally contribute to unleadedwriting.com, a group blog about writing in general.
Thanks to Harry for letting me come by and talk a bit, and thanks to you for reading.
Nothing but Epilogue left after this. Thanks for coming with me on the Nanowrimo journey. I know the writing’s rough, but I hope everyone’s enjoyed. I especially want to thank all the new visitors who’ve come from the various WordPress.com sites. I wish you all the best in your writing. – Harry
In another section of Ace’s under-mall base, Defiance was struggling to defeat his invisible foes. A metal wrap surrounded him and it was being using to spin him around while thousands of volts of electricity surged through him. He couldn’t keep himself oriented enough to find a way to fight back.
Nightstar watched Defiance spin even as he dodged energy blasts and missiles. Fortunately, he had a psychic sense that made him aware of dangers and tended to have an unnatural luck in these matters.
Coupled with the ability to teleport and lots of combat training, he was still standing.
Velocity had been the first victim of invisible electrical enemies, smashing into an invisible force field at full speed. Nightstar had gotten him out to the parking lot via psychic sword teleport. Solaria had fallen to a sonic blast next, but Nightstar had retrieved her as well. The only other member of his team standing was Defiance.
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.
Read the rest of this entry
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.