Stickmaker

Young Titans: A World Too Small

Young Titans: A World Too Small

by

Rodford Edmiston

(Note: This is a sequel to my unsold novel In Myths and Dreams. It was inspired in large part by the music video for "Your Love is Strong."

(In the novel, creatures from ancient Greek myth - including some of the gods - have been reborn on Earth and are recovering their identities and powers. This includes several gender changes. In this tale - set several years after the novel - there's only one.)

Masks: Rite of Passage

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This is a crossover story, between my Masks universe and the Whateley universe. This uses material created by others with no intent of commercial gain; it's strictly for the fun of it. :-)

This was originally written in 2011.

Rite of Passage

by

Rodford Edmiston

Masks: Rite of Passage Part 2

This is a crossover story, between my Masks universe and the Whateley universe. This uses material created by others with no intent of commercial gain; it's strictly for the fun of it. :-)

Rite of Passage

by

Rodford Edmiston

Part Two

The next two days were busy for Jenny. She ate, slept, was tested and kept herself busy so she wouldn't have to think about being stranded here. Finally, the powers people called a halt. A temporary one, only, though. They needed time to digest - and report - what they had already learned.

Masks: Rite of Passage Part 1

This is a crossover story, between my Masks universe and the Whateley universe. This uses material created by others with no intent of commercial gain; it's strictly for the fun of it. :-)

This was originally written in 2011.

Rite of Passage

by

Rodford Edmiston

Part One

Masks: Hard Lessons

This is an excerpt from an uncompleted novel. That work actually predates my Masks universe, but is being rewritten it to fit into the history of those stories. The style is meant to recall the pulps of the Thirties.

Hard Lessons

by

Rodford Edmiston

Downtown San Francisco, a cool Summer's night in 1937.

Masks 17: Part 4

Masks Seventeen: Part Seven

by

Rodford Edmiston

Template was on her way out of the administration building when the school's primary sex-ed teacher matched course with her.

"Hey," said Binary, who was in transition from female to male. Hir voice cracked. "*AHEM* Excuse me. Will you be back before tomorrow? I'm supposed to give a presentation at the Venus Plus X symposium in San Francisco ten AM, their time."

Masks 17: Part 3

Masks Seventeen: Part Five

by

Rodford Edmiston

"Yeah!" shouted Hickham, raising his arms and shaking his fists as the results from the election returns continued to come in. Responding cheers rang through the Structural Party hall. Objectively, Great Britain hadn't done badly in the Shilmek War, but the events had unnerved enough people to result in a vote of no confidence in the previous government and a call for elections. "Another win for our side!"

The party leader was a big man, much - but not all - of his size coming from a large amount of fat.

Masks 17

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This story is partly a catch-up with folks and events in the Masks universe following the War and partly the culmination of a subplot which has been brewing for several years in both real and story time. There will definitely be more on this in later stories.

Masks XVII


by
Rodford Edmiston

Masks 17: Part 1

Masks XVII: Part One

by

Rodford Edmiston

Fallout

This story is partly a catch-up with folks and events in the Masks universe following the War and partly the culmination of a subplot which has been brewing for several years in both real and story time. There will definitely be more on this in later stories.

Part One

Masks 16: Part 4

Masks Sixteen: Part Seven

by

Rodford Edmiston

"This is more private?!" said Gadgetive, as they seated themselves around the weathered picnic table. "There's dozens of folks watching us!"

"You'll notice, though, that they're keeping their distance," said Energia. "That's an unspoken rule; if folks come out here that means they want privacy, and that means they get it. That includes folks keeping their distance, too. It's sort of a school tradition. So, what's going on?"

"You checked for bugs, right?" said Ike.

Masks 16: Part 3

Masks Sixteen: Part Five

by

Rodford Edmiston

"Why would someone say that?! I mean, yeah, Maldren and I are lovers, but so what?! We both fought to defend Earth!"

She was sitting in the office of President Sievers' assist Gompers, a few blocks from both the White House and the Capital. He had personally invited Energia to stop by later in the day as she was making ready to leave the awards ceremony.

Gompers paged through the folder on his desk until he found some loose cards. He selected one and handed it over the desk to the upset super.

Masks 16: Part 2

Masks Sixteen: Part Three

by

Rodford Edmiston

"Could you do some narration, please?" said Schmidt, still recording as he walked at the rear with the camera, which now had the large, top-mounted lamp turned on. "I am not a veteran videographer, and wish to concentrate on this process."

Masks 16

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"I know, we're all tired," said the President, in a sympathetic tone. "I think the worst part of this recovery is the people who feel honor bound to take advantage of all the problems, rather than to help with them. Hell, this afternoon I have to meet with a member of Congress who thinks that an alien invasion and a war which cost tens of thousands of lives and caused billions in damage is no reason for him to stop advancing his personal agenda. Which is to fight against everything I do."

Masks XVI


by
Rodford Edmiston

Masks 15: Part 8

Masks Fifteen: Part Fifteen

by

Rodford Edmiston

Suddenly, Energia collapsed. Not because she had failed; because she had succeeded. There was Zeep, casually taking the load which had almost killed her. The President quickly moved to help the girl.

"Sorry to take so long," said Zeep, looking at Energia. He turned to the President. "I am limited to the speed of light in traveling."

He turned towards the trio of scientists.

Masks 15: Part 7

Masks Fifteen: Part Thirteen

by

Rodford Edmiston

"How's Moldaria doing?" I asked, tiredly, of both Gazer and the masterminds, once Rocker was back with us. Like most of us in this little task force I had created, he was wasted from fatigue, but exultant. Six times in six hours had stressed him to his superhuman limit, but each foray had been a major success.

He wasn't the only one feeling upbeat over our work. All of us were surprised at both how much need there was for it, and how much it was helping.

Masks 15: Part 4

Masks Fifteen: Part Seven

by

Rodford Edmiston

Pine Island was among the few places on Earth with a force field which was holding.

"We are getting pounded!" said Lori Savage, looking at the large video display of the attack. She turned to Junker.

Masks 15: Part 3

Masks Fifteen: Part Five

by

Rodford Edmiston

"Congratulations!" said Brade, when she encountered the President the morning after the election.

"Thank you," said Sievers, with little enthusiasm.

"What's wrong?"

"Oh, she's just now realizing this means she has to keep working here," said Howers, with a laugh. A few of the others in the room gave tired laughs or chuckles.

Masks 15: Part 2

Masks Fifteen: Part Three

by

Rodford Edmiston

Besides the President and her staff, others were also planning for the upcoming attack. Many of them were nowhere near Earth. Some of them were currently in a cavernous storage chamber which was part of a research and development facility on a major asteroid in the Shilmek home system.

"This device interferes with graviton manipulation," said the Shilmek scientist, gesturing with pride at a construct about the size and shape of a large locomotive. "That will greatly reduce the ability of their flying supers."

Masks 15

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Randy sighed and stretched as he entered the shower. These days, he was Template more than Randy. If he hadn't retired the Revolutionary he might even be spending more time as her than himself.

Myself, he thought, as he washed. Why is that pronoun so complicated for me?

Masks XV


by
Rodford Edmiston

Masks 15: Part 1

This story takes a very different tone. It is also fairly short.

Masks XV

by

Rodford Edmiston

Part One

"Some things carry over," Randy muttered, as he examined his bruises in the bathroom mirror of the island bungalow. "This would be one of them."

In a very real sense, they were actually Template's bruises.

Masks 14: Part 8

Masks Fourteen: Part Fifteen

by

Rodford Edmiston

"We have gadgeteer and mastermind inventions," said Dr. Device, chatting with Energia as he worked on the old computer tape drive. "We have things reverse-engineered from alien technology, and gadgeteer and mastermind inventions. We have things developed through standard research... these are generally less capable but more reliable, and we have a lot more of them, since they're more easily reproducible.

Masks 14: Part 7

Masks Fourteen: Part Thirteen

by

Rodford Edmiston

Deep under a low mountain, in one of the most secure sections of the Assembly's base, a bizarre ritual was performed. A ritual days in the making, due to the esoteric and unusual preparations involved. The participants were both serious and uncertain.

"Frankly, this is beyond me," said Sharma, finally. She looked over at Dr. Piano.

"It's a god complex," he said, nodding. "Rather, a demigod complex. Indeed very much like a Gift, as Paula guessed."

Masks 14: Part 6

Masks Fourteen: Part Eleven

by

Rodford Edmiston

The two men were long-time friends, though they were normally separated by an ocean and a continent. It wasn't often these days that the Guardsman - who was based in California - and the very British Walrus met in person. This was one of those times and they were putting it to good use.

Masks 14: Part 5

Masks Fourteen: Part Nine

by

Rodford Edmiston

"Ugh," said Energia, as she considered the problem one more time. Then, more loudly, "Anybody here able to help me with an electronics question?"

"I thought you were electrical," said Alex, smirking, as she looked away from the wide screen TV in the common area towards the young super.

Masks 14: Part 4

Masks Fourteen: Part Seven

by

Rodford Edmiston

"That is one slick looking bike," said Mel, more than a bit envious. Coming from a super inventor type, that was quite a compliment.

"Yeah. The guys in the engineering college really did a good job on this. The design of the suspension and gearing and such are fairly conservative - and very reliable - but the materials..."

"Carbon fiber, most of it," said Alex, rapping the structural tubing.

Masks 14: Part 3

Masks Fourteen: Part Five

by

Rodford Edmiston

The return of Monstro from its trip for maintenance attracted a small audience. The car was actually a bit famous around campus. Most of those interested, of course, were simply checking up on their favorite way of bumming a ride.

"Ooh, shiny," said Alex, when Vic got back from her maintenance trip.

Masks 14: Part 2

Note that Masks 14 follows the characters through about a year, skipping long periods of time.

Masks Fourteen: Part Three

by

Rodford Edmiston

"'Teen defenders'?" said Energia, after hearing a local news segment that evening on her team's work at the factory complex. "I'm the only member still in her teens, and that just barely."

"Yeah, but I'm only twenty, and teach has regeneration, so we all look like we could be in our teens."

"Could they have confused us with another team?"

"Not likely," said Blue Impact.

Masks 14

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"Well, it's official," said Energia, sourly, as she and the others managed to enter the upstairs hall at about the same time on the way to breakfast. "I'm a C-cup. Knew things were getting tight around the chest, so I measured, first thing this morning."


Masks 14


by
Rodford Edmiston

Masks 14: Part 1

A partial timeline for the Masks universe:

http://www.dcr.net/~stickmak/Stories/MasksTimeline.html

This story runs around 50k words. As with Masks XIII I will post two segments per submission.

Masks XIV

by

Rodford Edmiston

Part One

Masks 13: Part 21

Masks Thirteen: Chapter Forty-One

by

Rodford Edmiston

Vic sat on the bleachers pretending a calm she didn't feel. She knew what Dorton looked like, of course, having seen photos of him. Vic was surprised, though, when he came on stage; he seemed older, more worn. Less energetic. Less there. Once he started talking, though, those changes seemed to reverse. He was one of those speakers who was energized by an audience, even an unfriendly one. This one started mostly neutral, but soon warmed to the speaker.

Masks 13: Part 20

Masks Thirteen: Chapter Thirty-Nine

by

Rodford Edmiston

"Looks like you got hit here, too," said Doro, removing the wire from Vic's costume while Ray bandaged her leg. "Here and here, too."

"Thought those were punches or something," said Vic, poking the holes with a fingertip. "They were all into the composite plates, fortunately."

"Those guys must have been shooting center of mass," said Ray, nodding. "Just like they're trained. Which is why trauma plates are put there."

Masks 13: Part 19

Masks 13: Chapter Thirty-Seven

by

Rodford Edmiston

Vic popped out of the hatch onto the roof of the dorm and took off running, quickly gathering speed. She leapt, pitching forward and straightening until her fingers pointed to her landing spot and her toes pointed towards the sky. At impact with the lower roof of the Hall Classroom Building she went smoothly into a tuck and forward roll. This was as much to prevent damage to the roof as to prevent damage to her.

Masks 13: Part 18

Chapter Thirty-Five

Monstro wasn't all that badly damaged, but it was ruled by both one of the FBI men and Vic herself to be unsafe to drive until repaired. Vic was pretty sure her insurance wouldn't cover that. She didn't regret her actions. She'd stopped the man who was stalking her!

Oddly, now that the van had lost its cameo pattern it appeared to be a sort of light gray.

Masks 13: Part 17

Masks Thirteen: Chapter Thirty-Three

by

Rodford Edmiston

The insurance agent replied in kind to Joline's texted message, saying he was glad they weren't hurt. He told Joline to bring the car by his office the first working day. That was one concern dealt with, at least partially. Meanwhile, Vic called Agent Gordon, who set up a conference call with Ray. Vic's call took a little longer than Joline's texting, but was still completed quickly. Another concern partially dealt with.

Masks 13: Part 16

Masks Thirteen: Chapter Thirty-One

by

Rodford Edmiston

"Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays!" Vic sang, as they walked towards the rear entrance to the mall.

"I swear, if you sing that the whole two weeks until Christmas - like you did when you were twelve - I will smother you in your sleep," said Joline, direly.

"Sorry. Forgot how much you hate that song."

"I don't hate that song. I hate hearing it over and over. So don't play it, either!"

Masks 13: Part 15

Masks Thirteen: Chapter Twenty-Nine

by

Rodford Edmiston

Vic was rather surprised when contacted by Dr. Feldman just before lunch on Sunday.

"I apologize for the lack of notice," he explained, "but I only found out an hour ago, myself. An old colleague who is an expert in certain areas of powers - she developed some of the tests I've given you - called to let me know she could be here today. If you can be in my office at One, she will be glad to spend the afternoon with you, testing and analyzing."

Masks 13: Part 14

Masks Thirteen: Chapter Twenty-Seven

by

Rodford Edmiston

As they rode along Ray called ahead. Vic was directed to an isolated townhouse in a failed subdivision. She drove the Corolla up the drive and around back, into the two-car garage built into the basement. By the time she shut off the car people waiting in the garage had hit the button to close the door.

Masks 13: Part 13

Masks 13: Chapter Twenty-Five

by

Rodford Edmiston

Vic wasn't surprised to be called out of her first class the next morning. Physically, she was feeling fine. All her injuries from the fight were healed, and she had actually slept well. Until the call, though, she had heard nothing from the school administration. Both the delay and the call - when it finally came - gave her some cause for anxiety.

Masks 13: Part 12

Chapter Twenty-Three

by

Rodford Edmiston

Vic wasn't surprised to see light coming under the door to her room as she approached. She was surprised to find more than Alex waiting for her.

"Well?" said the youngest of the three all-too-eager inquisitors.

Vic looked between her, Candy and Melanie. She sighed, stepped in, and closed the door behind her.

"Let's make this quick. I really, really want to take a shower."

"Wow," said Candy, shocked.

"Was it really that bad?" said Melanie.

Masks 13: Part 11

Masks 13: Chapter Twenty-One

by

Rodford Edmiston

Not surprisingly, the whole campus we still in a slowly diminishing uproar hours later. Those who had actually been at the scene of the fight were especially affected by the excitement. Though one of them for reasons not immediately obvious.

"This is so weird," said Vic, a bit frightened, as she sat on her bed, rocking back and forth a bit. "Standing there, with Cosmic Ray, talking to him, I was feeling all those girly things from the romances. I even felt my heart flutter."

Masks 13: Part 10

Chapter Nineteen

by

Rodford Edmiston

"Rex, just because you're strong that doesn't mean you can ignore proper technique," said Trujillo, firmly, and not for the first time. Not even the first time to Rex. "If you're fighting someone with matching or superior strength, you need superior skill to win. Now, get in a proper horse stance and let's see your reverse punch again."

"Yes, sir," said the large young man, a bit of surliness in his tone.

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