I can't live without the sun shining down on my face, and I can't dream without the stars kissing me goodnight.
Very possibly this was the night my white-knight complex, as Solange put it, would get me killed. Someone had better write a poem about it. It was only fair.
Find Sam Temple. Tell him you escaped.”Jack gulped and bobbed his head.“Better yet, find that girl, Astrid.” Diana recovered some of her mocking attitude. “Astrid the Genius. She’ll be desperate to save Sam.”“Okay. Okay.” He steeled himself. “I better go.”Diana touched his arm. “Tell them about Andrew.”Jack froze with his hand on the key. “That’s what you want me to do?”“Jack, if Sam blinks out, Drake will turn on me, and Caine won’t be able to stop him. Drake is stronger than before. I need Sam alive. I need someone for Drake to hate. I need balance. Tell Sam about the temptation. Warn him that he’ll be tempted to surrender to the big jump, but maybe, maybe, if he says no…” She sighed. It was not a hopeful sound. “Now: go.
Drake's whip hand spun Diana like a top.She cried out. That sound, her cry, pierced Caine like an arrow.Diana staggered and almost righted herself, but Drake was too quick, too ready.His second strike yanked her through the air. She flew and then fell.“Catch her!” Caine was yelling to himself. Seeing her arc as she fell. Seeing where she would hit. His hands came up, he could use his power, he could catch her, save her. But too slow.Diana fell. Her head smashed against a jutting point of rock. She made a sound like a dropped pumpkin.Caine froze.The fuel rod, forgotten, fell from the air with a shattering crash.It fell within ten feet of the mine shaft opening. It landed atop a boulder shaped like the prow of a ship.It bent, cracked, rolled off the boulder, and crashed heavily in the dirt.Drake ran straight at Caine, his whip snapping. But Jack stumbled in between them, yelling, “The uranium! The uranium!”The radiation meter in his pocket was counting clicks so fast, it became a scream.Drake piled into Jack, and the two of them went tumbling.Caine stood, staring in horror at Diana. Diana did not move. Did not move. No snarky remark. No smart-ass joke.“No!” Caine cried.“No!”Drake was up, disentangling himself with an angry curse from Jack.“Diana,” Caine sobbed.Drake didn’t rely on his whip hand now, too far away to use it before Caine could take him down. He raised his gun. The barrel shot flame and slugs, BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM.Inaccurate, but on full automatic, Drake had time. He swung the gun to his right and the bullets swooped toward where Caine stood like he was made of stone.Then the muzzle flash disappeared in an explosion of green-white light that turned night into day. The shaft of light missed its target. But it was close enough that the muzzle of Drake’s gun wilted and drooped and the rocks behind Drake cracked from the blast of heat.Drake dropped the gun. And now it was Drake’s turn to stare in stark amazement. “You!”Sam wobbled atop the rise. Quinn caught him as he staggered.Now Caine snapped back to the present, seeing his brother, seeing the killing light.“No,” Caine said. “No, Sam: He’s mine.”He raised a hand, and Sam went flying backward along with Quinn.“The fuel rod!” Jack was yelling, over and over. “It’s going to kill us all. Oh, God, we may already be dead!”Drake rushed at Caine. His eyes were wide with fear. Knowing he wouldn’t make it. Knowing he was not fast enough.Caine raised his hand, and the fuel rod seemed to jump off the ground.A javelin.A spear. He held it poised. Pointed straight at Drake.Caine reached with his other hand, extending the telekinetic power to hold Drake immobilized.Drake held up his human hand, a placating gesture. “Caine…you don’t want to…not over some girl. She was a witch, she was…”Drake, unable to run, a human target. The fuel rod aimed at him like a Spartan’s spear.Caine threw the fuel rod. Tons of steel and lead and uranium.Straight at Drake.
Has Orc shown up here?” But neither Caine nor Diana answered. Both were staring at Drake, who sauntered toward them, all his cockiness restored, no longer the ragged scarecrow who had wept when he saw the melted stump of his hand lying on the tile floor. “Drake,” Caine said. “We thought you were dead.”“I’m back,” Drake said. “And better than ever.”The red tentacle unwrapped itself from around his waist, like a python releasing its victim.“Like it, Diana?” Drake asked.The arm, that impossible bloodred snake, coiled above Drake’s head, swirled, writhed. And then, so fast that the human eye could barely register the movement, it snapped like a bullwhip.The sound was a loud crack. A mini–sonic boom.Diana cried out in pain. Stunned, she stared at the cut in her blouse and the trickle of red from her shoulder.“Sorry,” Drake said with no attempt at sincerity. “I’m still working on my aim.”“Drake,” Caine said and, despite the blood, despite Diana’s wound, he grinned. “Welcome back.”“I brought some help,” Drake said. He extended his left hand, and Caine shook it awkwardly with his right. “So. When do we go take down Sam Temple?
He didn’t mind Drake so much. Drake was a creep.It was the girl who made Orc want to cry.She was a monster. Like Orc. Begging for death. Begging for someone to let her go to her Jesus.Kill me, kill me, kill me, she begged every day and every night.Orc took a deep swig.Tears seeped from his human eyes and fell into the rocky crevices of his face.
More than two dozen kids lined a low railing around the gazebo. They were all tied to it by a rope leash that gave them no more than a few feet of movement. Neck to rail, like tethered horses. Each of the kids was weighed down by a concrete block that encased their hands. Their eyes were hollow, their cheeks caved in.Astrid used a word that Sam had never imagined coming from her.“Nice language,” Drake said with a smirk. “And in front of the Pe-tard, too.”A cafeteria tray had been placed in front of each of the prisoners. It must have been a very recent delivery because some were still licking their trays, hunched over, faces down, tongues out, licking like dogs.“It’s the circle of freaks,” Drake said proudly, waving a hand like a showman.In a crusty old wheelbarrow to one side, three kids were using a short-handled shovel to mix cement. It made a heavy sloshing sound. They dumped a shovelful of gravel into the mix and stirred it like lumpy gravy.“Oh, no,” Lana said, backing away, but one of the Coates kids smashed her behind the knee with his baseball bat, and she crumpled.“Gotta do something with unhelpful freaks,” Drake said. “Can’t have you people running around loose.” He must have seen Sam start to react because he stuck his gun against Astrid’s head. “Your call, Sam. You so much as flinch and we’ll get to see what a genius brain really looks like.”“Hey, I got no powers, man,” Quinn said.“This is sick, Drake. Like you’re sick,” Astrid said. “I can’t even reason with you because you’re just too damaged, too hopelessly messed up.”“Shut up.