Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist – Chapter 2

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 2

This time I woke up on a bed. It was a raised hospital bed, but still a bed. I smelled the spaghetti before I opened my eyes.

“I’m not tied up. You must trust me.” I just lay there trying my best to stop everything from spinning. “Can you ask the pilot to stop doing loop-de-loops?”

A laughing voice replied, “That’s not the ship. You’re having a bad reaction to the sedative. Did you know you have an incredible immune system?”

I risked opening my eyes as I replied, “Doc, I just met you and you’re already checking out my immune system?” I was rewarded by a great smile.

“Will he be able to work?” Diamond’s voice was tight and she sounded worried.

“He’ll be fine. He needs some food and drink, but by the time we get there he’ll be fine.” The doctor sounded protective.

“So, Garnet, are you up for the challenge of repairing a ship that doesn’t exist?” Diamond asked.

The smart answer when the galaxy’s greatest thief asks you something depends on who you are. If you’re into adventure, you answer yes, if you’re not, you don’t. I, well, I chose to not be smart. “Why do you need the ship?”

“You’re so clever, you tell me.”

Shoving a bowl of spaghetti and a fork in front of me, the doctor made an eating motion. Maybe he thought I needed time to think or that I needed food before I fell unconscious. I answered before my first bite. “You need to steal something.”

The spaghetti was amazing. It might have been the extra garlic, the side effects of the sedative, or that I was a crappy cook, but it was like pure love and joy in my mouth.

“That was an easy guess. Try again.”

“Doc, if you cook like this all the time, I might have to marry you,” I said, ignoring Diamond.

“My name’s Onyx, at least it is here. First time I’ve been proposed to over my spaghetti.” He was blushing.

Sighing, Diamond said, “Wait until he tries your cheesecake. Now, if we’re done flirting?”

“Fine. I assume you need the ship, which I’d guess is high military or Black-Sun to infiltrate a government facility and steal something. Since it’s a small ship, I assume military tech, probably the schematics and not the actual thing.”

Diamond nodded. “They’ve apparently created a  device that can use the atoms from waste matter and reuse it to create nearly anything.”

I had never heard of any such tech, even in my time with Black-Star. If what she said was true, this tech could help millions in the outer planets with medicine, food, construction material… The possibilities were staggering.

“What do you plan on doing with it once you have it?” I hadn’t meant to say it in a challenging tone, but there it was. 

Diamond walked up to me and she smiled. It was a predatory smile, a smile that screamed mischief. It was probably meant to scare me or intimidate me, but it actually put me at ease.

“I aim to make sure every server, every computer, every watch with a stars-damned chip in it has a copy of the plans. I want this information spammed across every world in the system and I want everyone to have one of these things by the end of the year. If every household can make its own food, building material, medicine, and weapons; the government and cursed Black-Star will not only be brought down a peg, but they might have to start respecting the people.”

I’m not sure if she expected me to demand payment or act impressed, but she seemed pleased with herself. I simply nodded and replied, “I’m in.”

Onyx whooped with approval and brought me a glass of milk. “Milk?” I asked.

He shrugged and said, “You need the proteins and sugars. Also, it goes great with spaghetti.”

Once I had eaten, showered, and gotten dressed in fresh clothes, I heard Diamond’s voice over the ships PA; “Garnet to the bridge.”

The bridge wasn’t much more than a four person cockpit with standing room, if you crouched and didn’t mind being jostled. I took the engineer’s seat which gave basic readouts from the engine room.

Out the viewports, I saw what looked like a massive debris field. I recognized the emblems and makes of a dozen ships, Black-Star, government, Independents, and Zombie Raiders. The last weren’t zombies, or really raiders, but rich hippy environmental activists that liked to think they were important. 

“Where are we? This looks like quite the battle.”

“We’re around Yreld, at what was the site of the largest inner ring battle that no one knows about. You probably heard that Yreld had been devastated by a mutant locust plague, but the truth is much worse. The Independents had a base there and the Government decided to make an example of it. The planet and its three moons are now lifeless. No one who’s gone down to salvage has come back. Looks like the Independents and the Zombie Raiders didn’t go down without a fight.”

I knew all this. I was there. It was where I decided to defect from the Black-Star and fake my death. The ship flew into a hard to navigate section and through the view ports I saw my old 16-19 Rainbow, the ship that shouldn’t exist.

I was so fixated on the ship that I didn’t see the salvage ship with the big red crossbones painted on it’s hull. 

“Well shit. Looks like the Mountain made it here before us. Alright folks, get ready for a fight.”

Read Next Chapter (March 2020)


While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:

Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist – Chapter 1


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 1

The blindfold was soft and smelled vaguely of strawberries. I could tell I was on a ship from the vibrations I could feel through my hands and feet, which were tied to a heavy metal chair. The smell of strawberries from the blindfold wasn’t strong enough to cover the smell of cooking. 

“You’re obviously not Galactic Police or Army,” I said wishing I was back on Viol. I had come to think of the backwater planet as home.

“Why would you think that?” The question was asked by a woman; she had a deep voice and sounded amused. 

“From the vibrations of the engine this is a Raft class ship with augmented long range engines.”

“Impressive.” The voice didn’t sound impressed but gloating.

“Also the police and military don’t use that much garlic in their tomato sauce.”

The woman laughed and so did three others. So there were four of them. From the laughter, the woman was joined by a young girl, an older man, and a younger man.

“If you aren’t military or police and you’re certainly not Black-Star, who are you and what do you want?” If they’d been Black-Star, I’d be already dead.

I’d figured out the knots on my hands but didn’t want to release them without knowing more of the layout and where everyone was. 

“If you had access to a 16-19 Rainbow that was broken, could you fix it?” The Rainbow was treated as a myth but I’d not only seen them, I’d piloted and fixed them.

“They don’t exist, but if they did, I could,” I lied. Never admit you know a myth really exists, it only leads to more questions.

“Cocky. Fine. There is a problem with this ship. What is it?” She asked the question with conviction, but I knew it was a trick.

“There’s nothing wrong with this ship. It’s purring great.” I paused before adding, “However, in order to add augmented engines on a Raft ship, you’d have to rebuild the engine hold. I’m going to guess that whoever did it was more concerned with speed. If you tried to activate your aft or fore thrusters for an emergency turn while in a jump, the entire ship would shut down.”

Another voice, the old man, “Well shit, that’s what happened?”

This was the point where I had to make a choice. It seemed like they wanted me because of my mechanical knowledge and experience. Did they know who and what I was before? Did they know the things I’d done? If they did, I’d have to kill them all and hope I could cover the traces up well enough.

“Can we trust you?” asked the woman.

I tried not to laugh, but I failed and it came out as a choked giggle. “I’m tied to a chair, I think you drugged me, and the only thing that smells stronger than the garlic in that sauce is the smell of ozone from your laser rifles. I’m the one who should have trust issues.”

“You can’t fault that logic. Although I’m a little offended at the shots about my sauce.” There was the younger man, he had a wonderfully light voice, like he didn’t have a care in the world. I wondered if it was an act or if he was genuinely that innocent.

“Fine,” the woman said and took off the blindfold. It took me a little longer than I expected for my eyes to adjust, maybe that was the sedative they gave me. When they did, in front of me were two older men, a young man, and a teenage girl.

All but one of the men were dressed as delivery people. The one who wasn’t wore silver tight pants with a shiny black shirt and a domino mask. I recognised him from the films and novels. It was the galaxy’s most notorious thief, Diamond Stars.

“So Diamond Stars is a woman,” I said, seeing the faint glow of the holo-emitter around the man. 

She turned off the holo and shook her head, “You saw the glow or you counted voices.”

“Both. What does Diamond Stars want with me?”

“Well you see… that’s kinda my fault.” The old man looked sheepish but I recognized him as one of the landowners on Viol. “I heard your reputation and sent a friend over with a puzzle for you.”

“The jump limiter. I thought that was odd. Wouldn’t tell me what ship it was for. It’s definitely not this one.” I took a few moments to pretend I hadn’t already guessed and then added, “Oh you’ve found what you think is a 16-19 Rainbow and want me to fix it.”

“Damn, he is good.” My eyes turned to the man who I’d deemed the young man; he was in his early thirties like me and was standing at the galley kitchen with an apron and a chef’s hat. The hat had the words, Kiss the Chef written on them in permanent marker.

Other things were said at that time that I didn’t hear, when my eyes fixed on his face everything else became noise. He had a little black stubble on a strong jaw but what made him truly handsome were his eye crinkles and smile lines. He was a man who’d laughed and smiled a lot, his deep hazel eyes and perfect bronze skin didn’t hurt.

The man suddenly dropped his knife and ran around the little kitchen island. He grabbed a bag from beside me and I was vaguely aware of a loud thumping. Was it my heart or my ears? I wasn’t sure.

He mouthed something about a sedative and I did something I had never done before, I said the first thing that came to my head, they came out slurred,  “You’re pretty… Pretty good looking… I like your smile… well, not that one… it’s much too upside down for me.” My perception tilted wildly as if the ship were being thrown around but no one else moved and then the world became all bendy and I lost consciousness.

Read Chapter 2


While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:

Serial Story 2021 – Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist

Hello My Imaginary friends and readers,

I asked you what you wanted for this years serial story. You were very clear in what you wanted.

What should be the genre of the 2021 Serial Story?

Romance 42.31%

What should be the setting of 2021’s Serial Story?

Future Science Fiction (Star Trek, Firefly, etc.) 33.33%

What should the main character be?

Regular Human 37.50%

What should be the conflict?

Character vs. Self 44%

With that I give you this year’s serial story blurb:

Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist

Garnet never expected he’d be kidnapped, especially not by the System’s most notorious thief Diamond Stars. He was supposed to be in hiding from his previous life and employers, living quietly as a glorified spaceship mechanic. Diamond wants him to join a heist; it’s a bad idea but there’s something enticing about the offer and it’s not just the handsome Doctor. 

Can Diamond’s crew pull off the greatest heist in the galaxy or will they be sidetracked by what they discover along the way?

This should be an interesting and fun year.

Thank you,

Éric

Resolution Review 2020

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

What a year this has been. I’ve been extremely lucky overall, but it’s been an emotional rollercoaster.

I made 13 resolutions last year and then this summer I checked in to see how I was doing.

Calvin and Hobbs reading a newspaper. Calvin says, “These are interesting Times”.

Writing

1. Finish Writing The Dancing Lights (Failed)

Well this failed completely. I’ve had a really hard time writing this year. I need to find a way to force myself.

2. Finish Writing Paragenesis (Failed)

I’ve decided to rename this one… again. Other than that, I haven’t touched this since early in the year.

3. Write a Monthly Serial Story (Success)

Yay I did it. and I think it’s pretty good: Read this year’s serial story

JenEric Designs and Coffee

4. Ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs (Success)

It’s a year of change and there will be more in the new year.

5. Design and Produce 2 new coffee flavours (Success)

We released Apple Pie and a new branding for our unflavoured medium coffee. I’ll take that as a win.

6. Print, Package, and Sell Oneshot – The Simplest RPG (Fail)

I really think this will sell better at conventions if I can keep the price down. It’s on hold until the world is more vaccinated.

Editing and Marketing

7. Finish Playtesting the higher levels of Fadds (Success)

We tested the higher levels and it was great. I have a really good group at the moment and they’re finding all the loopholes and issues. I’ll hopefully keep going in the new year.

8. Figure out how to market my books better (Fail)

This is a great goal and a great idea… I wish I had something beyond this… I’m not great at pushing my stuff.

Personal

9. Read 20 books (Failed)

I managed 11 books this year. It’s not as much as I’d like, but like writing, I’ve had a hard time finding time to read.

10. Don’t Burnout (Success)

November almost killed me after some health issues. I came very close to a total burnout.

11. Be More Patient (Partial Success)

I’ve lost my temper a lot more than I should. I hate yelling. I hate that sometimes it’s the only way either child listens to me. I think I’ll say I half succeeded.

12. Play Some Video games with Dragon (Success)

It’s been ridiculously busy but we’ve played a few times. It’s fun and I hope we can manage it more in the new year.

13. Play Some Board Games with Dragon (Success)

We’ve played a few times and the holidays will hopefully lend themselves to some more games.


Looks like 7.5 successes out of 13… That’s 58%. For 2020, I’ll take it.

Here’s to hoping 2021 is a better year, for everyone.

Éric

2021 Serial Story Voting

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

You made it quite clear you wanted to something completely original this year. I’ll do my best.

Now you get to choose the details of what you’d like to read. These polls will close at 11:59 on December 31st.

This poll is no longer accepting votes

What should be the genre of the 2021 Serial Story?

This poll is no longer accepting votes

What should be the setting of 2021's Serial Story?

This poll is no longer accepting votes

What should the main character be?

This poll is no longer accepting votes

What should be the conflict?

Thank you for voting,

Éric

Point Zero – Chapter 12

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 12: A Road Trip and Rescue Mission

My best friends, the only people I had left, were being held by a government organization that wanted to use their powers to fight a war; or something. I’m not really sure what they wanted. I only had the word of my first love and crush, turned super-villain, for what they wanted.

We needed to make our way to CPL headquarters. The Canadian Protection League made their home in a familiar place: Point Zero. The place it had all started, a small town in Northern Ontario that had been wiped off the face of the map by aliens, sparing only the five of us and giving us ridiculous powers.

I thought my life was a bad comic book, but the more I spent time with Frank and realized he was the same man I’d loved, the more I was starting to think it was a bad science fiction television show from the 1990’s. 

How do two known super powered people get to Northern Ontario without raising suspicion? We weren’t sure, I couldn’t fly us there, driving would get us caught at the roadblocks, same with airplanes or busses. After lots of discussion we decided the best thing to do was go north into Quebec and then cross the border. 

We bought a used car from a sketchy dude and drove it to Montreal. Frank was chatty but very jumpy. He’d definitely changed from the carefree theatre major-to-be, but I’d changed too. We talked about everything and he apologized excessively.

In the middle of a conversation about our old communications tech teacher, Mz. Coderre, I interrupted him and said, “I don’t understand something. Mel had perfect control of her powers. How did she lose control of the storm?”

He smiled, “I thought the same thing. Mel doesn’t do anything until she’s sure it’ll be perfect, except pun.” He paused while we laughed. “I think there was a storm already starting and when she drew hers, it accelerated the pace. I looked at the data while you were in the hospital—” He made an apologetic face. “and when she tried to dismiss it, the storm weakened severely, but then picked up power naturally.”

“So she didn’t cause it?”

“She made it worse… I think you did too.”

“Great, so we’re both to blame?”

“Only a little…”

I sighed.

In Montreal we sold the car and bought another one. I was shocked at how easy it was to find illegal car vendors.

We took the back roads as far as the border and then traded the car for a motorboat. The Abitibi Lake and River got us close and the rest we could walk.

We walked, doing our best to survive on old beef jerky and canned food. Most of the water was drinkable, but we boiled it first just in case. 

Finally after what felt like weeks but was really only three days, we made to the same clearing where we first got shot at by the RCMP helicopter.

“How do you think they prevented Jane from teleporting?” I asked.

“Probably knocked her out and then…” he trailed off.

We both finished the sentence, “James.”

“So Jane is probably isolated or knocked out. Will they keep Mel and James in the same place?” The only answer to my question was his shrug.

We had a plan. It was a terrible plan, but a plan. Frank created two puppets of us and a few large scary orks. They appeared at the nearest town and started making a fuss.

We waited in the thickest part of the trees for the soldiers to leave. He held my hand and the electricity from that simple gesture had nothing to do with my powers. I was conflicted and worried about what he’d become and how we’d manage after all this was over. 

Four helicopters and several personnel carriers exited the base. We waited five minutes and I hovered us to a section of fence and used a concentrated arc of energy to cut through it. We walked into the base and tried our best to be stealthy. I had expected a highly protected complex, but this was more of a large tent city with some cabins. It was all built on the glass plateau created during the Point Zero incident.

Frank seemed to know where he was going and led us towards a series of cabins with reinforced doors. The lock on the first cabin fell off easily. Inside were Mel and Jane. 

Mel looked at me with wide eyes. “What are you doing here?” Then at Frank. “You’re alive.”

“Yes, he’s alive and we’re here to save you. The storm wasn’t completely your fault but more of team effort and bad luck. Please come with us,” I said it pleadingly. I was terrified she’d say no.

“Okay. Nothing I’ve done is as bad as what these people want me to do, so I’ll punish myself another time.”

Jane had been quietly watching us when I looked at her she shook her head, “They have James. I’m not leaving him.”

Mel, Frank, and I all responded the same way, “Of course not.” It felt nice to be on the same wavelength.

“Where are they holding him?”

Jane shook her head. There were four other cabins like this one but only one of them had a hose going to it. It was the most obvious place and thankfully he was there. James and Jane kissed for a long time and I was starting to get worried.

We checked the other cabins and found them empty but prepped for more people. Had they discovered more like us? Captured some from the other countries?

When we left the last cabin, Frank asked, “Shouldn’t we destroy this place?” As he said it a loud alarm went off and I heard the cocking of guns.

“DON’T MOVE A MUSCLE. Or do, I’d love to find out how fast your powers really are.” The one speaking was a bad stereotype of the military; the kind of man you found in really old movies.

I didn’t know what to do, there were fifty guards with guns pointed at us. Could I raise a big enough shield? Could Jane get us out quickly?

The alarm sirens were joined by a familiar green glow. It came from beneath us, the glass itself was glowing. It got brighter and brighter until I could barely see. Then it stopped and it was complete darkness. 

This time I looked up. I didn’t see the spaceship but I did see the green beam come towards us. I grabbed Frank’s hand as the searing pain hit me again. The last thing I heard was the soldiers’ screams.

The End?


While you wait for 2021’s Serial Story, catch up on last years

Serial Story 2021

Hello Readers and those that like to vote on stuff,

This is the 8th year that I write a serial story. I’m very proud of how they’ve all turned out and despite the mad dash to finish them, I really enjoy writing them. It’s nice to start and finish something in a year.

For those who don’t know, when I write these stories I write them by the seat of my pants at the last possible moment. I write a 1000 word chapter every month and at the end of the year you somehow have a wonderful story full of twists and turns that I really didn’t plan ahead for.

Previous Serial Stories

Previous Stories

Novels

This year I’m giving you the choice as to what directions we’re going.

Please vote and comment if there’s something specific you want.

This poll is no longer accepting votes

What should I do for 2021's Serial Story?

Thank you,

Éric

Point Zero – Chapter 11

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 11: Mama certainly didn’t say there would be days like this. 

I heard Frank’s voice and I thought I was dying or hallucinating. It had been a really long day and that day had started with me recovering from being a human lightning rod and gone downhill quick.

That’s kind of a good description of my life for the past year and a half. That’s saying something, considering it started by being abducted by aliens who played with my DNA and turned me into a superhero.

My vision was blurry, but I could see the Toronto skyline plummeting towards me… or was it the other way around?

“Frank, you’re dead,” I managed to mumble.

“No, I’m not, but you will be soon if you don’t snap out of it.” 

All I was able to do was give a weak, “Okay.”

Somehow despite the pain, fatigue, and exhaustion, I managed to use what little energy I had to slow myself down at the last second. I landed comfortably in a dumpster and fell asleep.

If you’ve never slept in a dumpster, I don’t recommend it. It’s stinky and filled with both sharp edges and gooey bits. For me, the awkward part was that I wasn’t alone. I woke up snuggling a raccoon who, thankfully, didn’t mind the attention. 

My mouth tasted funny, I ached, and worst of all, I was naked. I climbed out despite my muscles’, and bin-mate’s, protests. It was early morning and I had no idea how long it had been since the storm. I looked around and saw I was near the comic book shop. I ran through some back alleys, but this early no one saw me. 

The back door was locked, but I forced it open. I felt bad, but could pay for it later.

My first week on the job I had a disagreement with the iced coffee machine. I wanted to stay clean and give a customer their order, it wanted to splurt iced coffee everywhere and give me a bath. Between that and the busses in slush season, I had learned to keep a spare set of clothing in my locker. The good thing about where I worked was that the uniform was a geeky t-shirt with clean pants. I would have taken anything at this point.

I snuck into the break room, grabbed my bag of clothes and locked myself in the washroom. No one saw me since they were getting ready for the early morning coffee rush.

Halfway through a sink bath I remembered what I’d done in the fake hospital and put my clothes as far away as the washroom allowed. I increased my inner temperature and watched as all the literal garbage turned to ash on me and fell to the floor. I felt cleaner but the floor was now covered in ash and had two footprints burned into a tile. I wiped the rest of the ash off me and washed with soap any smelly areas.

I was now just missing my cell, ID, and shoes. I went to my boss and told him, “Hi Jon. I’m in some trouble and I lost my phone and don’t have any cash. Can you lend me some money?”

His red eyebrows raised and he looked around dramatically before he took me into the back office. “Sam, you shouldn’t be here. Everyone is looking for you. You need to lay low.” He then gave me a suitcase. It was my GTFO (Get the F out) suitcase. I looked at him with confusion and he replied, “Did you think you’d fooled a comic book store owner? I’ve known for months. Mel dropped off your suitcase just after the storm. She looked terrible; the storm killed over a thousand people and caused billions in damage. She said she was going to take responsibility for it and then this morning the Thorns were taken by RCMP.”

“How do I know you’re telling the truth?” I asked.

He stroked his red beard and nodded sagely before saying, “I listen, I watch, and I make friends with people much smarter than me. Trust me when I say they’ve all been taken and I know where.” He gave me an envelope and finished by saying, “You’d better go out the back. Don’t worry about the door.”

I left the same way I went in, only this time there was a shadowy figure watching me. I walked a few blocks and through the back alleys and busy streets, but I couldn’t lose them.

Finally I turned and said, “Who the hell are you and what do you want?”

Frank, looking older in the way a soldier looks older coming back from war, the way the rest of the group looked older, walked forward with a fast food bag and tray. “I got you a coffee and a breakfast sandwich. Can we talk?”

“Hash brown?”

“Four, and a donut.”

I took the bag and leaned against the brick wall next to me. I inhaled the first two hash browns. Have I mentioned that our metabolisms had increased? Frank chuckled in a way that made me want to run over and hug him.

“You were dead.”

“Mostly dead. They were able to restart my heart and bring me back.”

I sighed, “Who are they?”

“Shady government organization, calls itself CPL, Canadian Protection League. They pretend to be RCMP. They trained me to use my powers and used me to run operations all over the world. When I figured out they weren’t cool, I escaped.”

I threw myself at him and hugged him. We’d never been huggy before, but that was because I didn’t want to give away how much I liked him. “I’m sorry we left you. I had no idea you were still alive.”

“If you hadn’t I wouldn’t be. I’m not sure I deserve that apology after everything I’ve put you through. You know I’m…”

I stepped back and punched him harder than I should have. “You’re an idiot. What the hell was that all about?”

“I was sure they were watching me and this was the easiest way for me to see you…” He trailed off and gave me puppy dog eyes. 

“That’s messed up. You killed people.”

“The moment that happened I stopped. It went too far.”

I sighed and finished my meal. I was still hungry. Mel would say that I needed to recharge. “I have to save them. They don’t deserve to be locked up.”

“I know. That’s why I’m here. I want to help.”

What could I say. My dead crush was my enemy but not really and now wanted to help. His powers would make the difference between succeeding and dying trying, I couldn’t say no. Hopefully he wasn’t planning on double crossing me. I did have another issue, “What about drone-guy?”

“I figured out who he is. His name is Bruce Gordon and he’s the one who trained me. It was all a ploy by CPL to have us expose ourselves.” 

My day started naked cuddling a raccoon in a dumpster and now I was going to team up with a supervillain to save my friends from an evil government organization. I’m not sure this was an improvement in anything but smell.

Read the Final Chapter


While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:

Point Zero – Chapter 10

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 10: Another day another TRAP!

I was lucky that when I exploded with electric energy I was able to control where it went and that behind me was just an old warehouse dressed like a hospital. I didn’t think that as I stood in front of the impaled corpse of the most realistic puppet the Puppeteer had made so far. 

The Puppeteer spoke through his puppet, “You didn’t think I’d make it that easy for you? Did you, Sam?” The puppet collapsed but my ears still rang with the sound of my name.

I didn’t wait to see what happened next. I just threw myself into the sky flying as high as I could. The warehouse was just outside of town and it was a quick flight back to Toronto.

I tried my coms but they must have been fried in the storm or Mel had dismissed it. I was thankful she hadn’t dismissed my costume or I’d be as naked as I felt.

If the Puppeteer knew who I was, he knew who the rest were. I was so caught up in my own mind that I didn’t hear the police helicopters. I blame the rushing air, fatigue, and distraction. Either way, two RCMP attack helicopters flanked me out of the clouds.

Over a loudspeaker I heard, “Electric Knight. You are under arrest. Follow us quietly or we will open fire.”

“We’re over the city. That’s way too dangerous.” My words were lost to the rush of air and the thrumming of their propellers. 

I didn’t want to go with them, I didn’t want to be responsible for them opening fire in a residential neighbourhood, and I didn’t want to hurt them.

That left me no other option than to follow. In theory they should have taken me to a police station or the RCMP headquarters in Etobicoke. I half expected to be escorted to another abandoned warehouse. Instead we went higher and over the clouds I saw a floating battleship like something out of Marvel Comics or Doctor Who.

The bow said HMS Joe Clark. I couldn’t help but wonder, Joe Who.

Although the ship looked impressive, the proportions were off and I could feel almost no electricity use. “Please land on the carrier,” the voice from the helicopters said but they didn’t move towards it. 

I looked closely at the helicopters and concentrated on the pilots. I waved to see what would happen. They didn’t react. Their heads didn’t move. 

This was a trap… another one. 

I focused what little concentration I had left and looked at the helicopters. They were well built replicas but the power source was all wrong. It was electric. Which was a good thing for me. I tugged with my powers and took all the electricity from the batteries without changing speed or course. 

The ‘copters fell from the sky and a megaphone from the carrier screeched, “You think you’re so smart! Each of those had a chemical based bomb that will level half of Toronto. You’ll never get all three in time.” The screams were followed by what sounded like a bad cartoon villain laughing. 

The fact that he said three only clicked when the carrier started to fall. I flew as quickly as I could and grabbed the carrier. It was lighter than I would have expected; I threw it as hard as I could and when it was as high as possible I shot it with a bolt. 

The voice hadn’t lied, the explosion threw me down faster than I could have gone on my own. Between the push from the blast and my own power I flew fast enough to catch the first ‘copter. I hadn’t considered what to do with it. If I detonated it at this height, it would devastate whatever was below. If I didn’t, the other one would hit the ground before I had a change to get to it. 

I had only one choice, I had to pull this one to go catch the other. I grabbed the blades and pulled it along with me. It slowed me down and hurt my arms but I was catching up to the second one. I’m not sure what was scarier; holding a bomb, chasing a second bomb, or the sight of downtown rushing toward me at mach speeds.

I thought I wasn’t going to make it but I did and with less than a metre to spare I managed to grab the second ‘copter. I was now on Bay street with two bombs.

“You think that catching them will stop me?” the voice asked. I sighed as I realized he could detonate it remotely. I tightened my grip and pulled as fast as I could, straight up. I could feel my muscles fighting not to let go. I was also fairly certain I wasn’t going to get high enough.

Stopping my ascent, I thought about everything I knew about electricity. Then I remembered Frank filming a movie for one of our classes. He somehow talked all our teachers into letting him make a movie instead of another boring oral presentation. He had wireless microphones and whenever we were too close to anything electronic, they recorded this horrific hum. We had to build a barrier of metal and electricity to block the effect. He’d called it a Faraday cage. 

It wouldn’t stop an explosion… but it just might block a radio based transmission. 

Again I concentrated on my powers and created a bubble around myself and the helicopters. I went as high as I could before my hands gave out and tossed the helicopters as far as I could.

It was far enough to protect the city, but the blast hit me like a car. I was thrown back and the strength plus speed of it made my vision blur. 

I felt numb and despite the ground quickly moving up, my eyes felt heavy. I started to hallucinate and I heard Frank’s voice, “Don’t you dare give up now, Sam. I need you to live. I need you to open your eyes.” The clouds raced away from me and I wondered if I’d said something to offend them.

“Sam. Stop falling, I can’t lose you again.”

Read Chapter 11


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Point Zero – Chapter 9


Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 9: Motivation, Mysteries, and Melting

The man pretending to be a doctor smirked as he waited for me to explain how I’d figured out who he was. “It’s not that hard. Your mask didn’t cover that chin. Put together with the fact that Animator isn’t here to help and my suit is still attached to me, that means this isn’t a real hospital. Plus this place smells like old paint and dust.” It was a smell I was so familiar with because of helping Frank in the theatre at school.

“Well done,” he said as he dramatically clapped. His facial expression and tone made it clear that it wasn’t a compliment. “Now. Tell me what you can about those abominations.”

“You know more than I do. They melt in water and have tech inside.” I wanted to see where this went.

“And the storm?”

I’m not sure why I lied there. I was worried for Mel. I hoped she was okay and took comfort in the fact that my suit was still on me. It meant that Mel was alive. “I did that. Sorry I got a little over zealous. You understand that right?”

His eyes flashed with anger but he just smiled smugly. He stayed that way, almost preternaturally still as I tried to figure out how to get out of the restraints. 

The mechanical sound next to me reminded me that I was attached to an intravenous drip. I sent a small electric bolt through my body and into the machine. The fizzing noise and the smoke rising from the top were satisfying.

The Puppeteer was still standing watching me, but it felt less like he was watching and more like a blank eyed stare from a video game character.

“Why gold?” I asked and he seemed to wake up.

“I really don’t need anything but the dance we’ve been doing. Villain versus hero, good versus bad, we dance you and I and it’s wondrous.”

“You don’t care for the gold or money?”

“I’d only make an army of golden children. Goldilocks with lazers.” He shrugged and smirked and it looked completely wrong on his face. Like a bad actor or maybe a bad mask.

The thing about restraints is that there isn’t a material on earth that doesn’t melt eventually. Tungsten melts at 5410 Celsius and boils at 5930 Celsius. A lightning bolt at full force can heat the air around it at temperatures hotter than the sun itself; that’s in the high 20,000 Celsius. They weren’t using tungsten.

“So all you want is to fight us with more and more ridiculous puppets?”

“No. I like the dance. I live for the dance. But I have a bigger goal—”

I didn’t let him finish. A concentrated blast of electricity around my wrists and ankles at the restraints was enough to make them evaporate. The room was filled with a black smoke and the smell of burning tires.

It was as good a smoke screen as I could have expected. I jumped up out of the bed and landed on my feet. The world tilted sideways and and then so did I. The floor was kind enough to catch me… specifically my face. I tasted blood and tried again to stand up. The world shifted a little again and I realized what was going on. 

“You drugged me?”

“I’m evil not stupid,” he said through coughs. The room was clearing of smoke but my mind and equilibrium were still terrible. 

I’m not sure what gave me the idea but I figured that if the heat from my lightning could melt the rubber, maybe it could burn the drugs out of my body. 

“Seeing as you’re not stupid, I think you might want to leave the room, maybe the building.” It sounded cooler in my head but I blame the drugs. At least it wasn’t a pun, Mel would be disappointed.

I started building the lightning inside of me but it wasn’t enough; I was tired and had already used a lot of my strength on the restraints.  I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I looked around and found nothing to help me but I felt electricity buzzing in the walls. I reached with my mind or powers towards it and felt a rush of relief as I drained the energy.

The Puppeteer was still standing there with a disinterest look on his face. “Get out of here!” I screamed and he didn’t even flinch.

I knew that he wasn’t going to move and I tried to redirect my energy and heat. Finally I literally burst with energy. My last thought before it happened was that this could burn my insides along with the drug. It was too late to worry about it at that point.

I was drugged, tired, recovering from burns, and being the focal point for a supernatural storm and I still managed to save the man in front of me when I exploded. The room behind me and in a large arc was destroyed and on fire. Thankfully the room had been a set built to look like a hospital and not a real one. Another thing I hadn’t considered.

Feeling better and still crackling with energy I stood up and said, “This ends now.” Forming a sword with low energy I hoped it would be enough to knock him out not kill him.

“I’m sorry but it really doesn’t. You’re showing some incredible control. I’m impressed. I’ll have to up my game… After I take out the imposter.” He pulled out a gun.

I kicked the gun out of his hand and he jumped at me like he thought he had a knife in his hands. He impaled himself on my sword; it should have just been enough to disrupt his heart, but instead it burnt a hole through his shirt and sand started to fall out of the wound.

The Puppeteer spoke through his puppet, “You didn’t think I’d make it that easy for you? Did you, Sam?”

Read Chapter 10


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