Stickmaker

Masks 8 - Love is a Mask - Now on Kindle

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As I walked towards the deceptively simple cabin my hackles rose. There was a strange vehicle parked in front of it, a ridiculously oversized SUV. Before I could decide what to do about it, though, I saw someone. Someone familiar. I felt an odd mixture of relief and aggravation.

Masks 8 on Kindle


by
Rodford Edmiston

Masks 7 - A Super Summer Vacation featuring Energia on Kindle

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Interning with a real adult Superhero team for the summer? Sign me up, thought Energia. The Planetary Guardians have their own superbase hidden in a mountain and everything!

And one of her friends from the super-school she attended would be interning too. It would be the coolest summer ever!

A super special Masks adventure at a super special price! 99 cents!

Masks 7

Masks 7 on Kindle

Masks 6: Some Assembly Required -- Now on Kindle!

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"I know, you were told to come here to see if I could help you with a problem," said Piano, gently ushering her into a chair. "I believe we can help you while you help us do something good for the world."


Some Assembly Required
by
Rodford Edmiston

 

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Click on the cover to buy!

Masks 5: Energia - Out of Template's Shadow - Now on Kindle

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The Leader narrowed its pupils, just a bit... the equivalent of a slight smile for its species. The most important of the group were already supporting the plan. The others would go along, eventually. It sat back and let them plot and scheme, only occasionally asking a question or making a suggestion. Yes, this would work well...

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Masks 5

Energia

Out of Template's Shadow


by
Rodford Edmiston

Masks 3 - Template and Energia - published on Kindle

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A school for superheroes seemed like a good idea at the time. Template is on the faculty and her niece, Energia, is a student when they find out that not everyone agrees on the wonderfulness of education.

High level conspiracy? Alien technology? Is someone trying to kill off the superschool? And the supers with it?

It all started with someone launching a killer missile at Template's secret identity, Jenny’s aunt-er-uncle, Randy...

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Now on KIndle...

Template The Intrepid: A Learning Experience (Masks Book 2) Kindle Edition

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A school for superpowered children seemed like a good idea and definitely a change from fighting mad geniuses and superhuman brutes. But who knew that helping set up a school for super-powered teenagers would be so challenging? Not to mention dangerous and exciting...


Masks 22 Notes

I'm reviewing some of the previous stories before I get into the meat of Masks 22. I am distressed to note the number of typos in Masks 21. I do remember that I wrote it in a hurry. So, will take my time with 22.

BTW, my photos of NASFiC 2019/WesterCon 72/1632 MiniCon/MantiCon 2019 can be found at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/116299515@N07/albums/72157709761755531

Angel of Haven: Part 17

Part Seventeen

"Hints and rumors," said Aaron, with an aggravated sigh. "Freeze Frame hasn't helped much; he can't find the Emergent any more than we can. After several subjective years of effort he left a note on my desk this morning that he was moving on to other pursuits."

"Wait," said Blackpool, alarmed. "He was here?! In the compound?!"

"At my office in Haven, actually," said Aaron, a bit amused at this near panic. "I don't think he knows where the redoubt is. Though he could probably find it given sufficient motivation."

Angel of Haven: Part 14

Part Fourteen

Malak flew down towards the green of the roof garden on the Chicago City Hall. He was planning to land where he could see many emergency responders waiting on the cordoned-off street. However, the sound of breaking glass diverted him. He saw a fire axe come out of a window on the top floor of offices, which was shortly followed by a woman. This was definitely not the Mayor; in fact, the window was on the county offices side.

Angel of Haven: Part 12

Part Twelve

"I hear you've been taking lessons," said Melody, raising an eyebrow. Thanks to Blackpool providing transportation, she was currently spending several hours a week at the repository. This wasn't helping her writing productivity, but the inside information she got - even just what she could share - was invaluable. Right now, she was in the small office Aaron had recently been assigned at the repository. "Couldn't you find a better teacher than Mannequin?"

Angel of Haven: Part 11

Part Eleven

"Can you go back to just before he landed?" Melody asked the projectionist, before turning around to again face the screen.

"You can't see anything," said Horvat, irritated. "It's all backlit by the fires started in the first part of the attack. Our best film processors and analysts have already been over and over it, trying to extract more information. There just isn't any."

"You wanted me here for my insight. Well, I have one. Just go back to that, please."

Angel of Haven: Part 10

Part Ten

Later, as they lay together after their lovemaking, Melody put a hand on John's chest.

"Does it bother you that I still think of her?"

He took her hand, pulled it to his lips and kissed her fingertips.

"Honey, I still think of her. She's the kind of person who is difficult to forget."

"You're very good at that," said Melody, amused.

"Eh?"

"Speaking the language of a man trying not to offend a woman."

"Heh."

She settled in closer to him and closed her eyes.

* * *

Angel of Haven: Part 9

Part Nine

Malak needed little exploring to find the control room for the operation. It was the second largest chamber in the building, after the internal garage. While most of the building was nearly empty, this place was full of people busy doing things which at first glance would not have been out of place in any modern office. At the far end from the double doors of the main entrance was a large desk, on a low dais. There sat someone Malak was surprised to see. Though he was not nearly as surprised as the occupants of the room were when he became visible.

Angel of Haven: Part 8

Part Eight

His name was Hiram Ledbetter. His wife Constance was also his chief partner in this project. Blackpool and Aaron already knew this, as well as that she was his largest source of investment. Though there were many other investors, some of them rather surprising.

"The most telling of the items are in the vault," said Ledbetter, ushering all of them in that direction. "That's one reason I rented this building! This stuff is valuable and needs protection!"

Angel of Haven: Part 7

Part Seven

The next morning everyone at the repository was still buzzed about the rescue. Including the federal employees working to destroy the chemicals, even though they hadn't been involved. Melody managed to get several interviews with various participants in the operation, as well as updates on how the refugees were faring. Then she just hung around the computer room, where the performance of the new device in planning the operation was being evaluated.

Angel of Haven: Part 5

Part Five

They were walking in roughly a half acre of grass and young trees. There were picnic tables, permanently emplaced grills and even a small gazebo. This was on land which was part of the property belonging to the chemical storage and disposal project, but outside the walls of the compound. It also all looked very new. There were a few other people in the area, and almost uniformly they were smiling.

Angel of Haven: Part 3

Part Three

As he rose invisible into the sky, Aaron was tempted to fly the slow way back to Haven. The weather was that nice. With a resigned sigh, he flew high enough to be above airliner traffic and applied his quick travel power to head west.

* * *

Melody was sitting, staring unseeing at the far wall of her office, when her boss stopped by later that afternoon.

"You look busy."

"I am, actually," she said, raising an eyebrow. "Deep in thought."

Angel of Haven: Part 2

More talking heads, I'm afraid. This novel will have a slow build to action.

Part Two

Melody looked up as Aaron approached her open door, seeing him even before he knocked on the frame. She rose, smiling, to welcome him.

"I am very glad to see you. I've tried to keep up with what's happening to you and your town and clinic, but you people are all pretty quiet."

Angel of Haven

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This is a sequel to The Angel of Chicago, which can be found at: https://bigclosetr.us/topshelf/book-page/72883/angel-chicago

Sometimes your own worst enemy is yourself. This can apply to groups as well as to individuals. Mannequin is learning and growing, and Aaron/Malak is pleased, both with Mannequin's progress and how several of his other projects are going. However, there are empowered in the world who aren't content with the slow, corrective and additive route.

Angel of Haven: Part 1

The Angel of Haven

by

Rodford Edmiston

Part One

Malak walked around the grounds of the clinic slowly, in a deeply contemplative mood, as well as simply enjoying the weather and scenery. Normally, Aaron kept his wings in unless "on the job" or actually flying. However, he was usually in his alternate form when at the clinic, even for a quick visit. He was essentially on the job whenever here, actually, since both staff and patients were reassured by having someone with an angelic appearance being around.

Non-Masks Anthology

I'm thinking about stories to include in a non-Masks anthology. So far, my own ideas include rewritten versions of several stories which have been posted here, including Unwanted Child. I have rewritten versions of stories which appeared in fanzines and on TSA and TG Stories. As well as some which have never appeared outside my computer and head.:-)

What do you folks suggest?

Angel of Haven

I just passed 30k words on the next Angel story. I'm aiming for 50k.

Note, though, that my writing schedule is irregular just now. I went to ConGlomeration last weekend (will post a link to the photos after I upload them to Flickr) and my sister is currently in town visiting. I will be at MarCon next month. Also, it's (shudder) yardwork season. :-)

Next Story (March, 2019)

I am about a third to a half finished with my next story, which will be _The Angel of Haven_. Here are a couple of excerpts:

"I don't like the fact that Mannequin keeps hanging around here," said Blackpool, scowling through his mask.

"When Mannequin stares into the Abyss," said Aaron, sagely, "the Abyss quickly looks away, mumbling excuses about how it has something important to do elsewhere."

And:

"Why is she even here?" said CornFed, obviously not happy about the empowered woman's presence.

Magic Revealed Excerpt 1

The Magic Revealed: A Gifted Saga Story

by

Rodford Edmiston

An excerpt from a novel in progress. I would love comments, especially on the medical matters discussed herein.

The Gifted Saga is a long-term project (stories here: http://www.dcr.net/~stickmak/Transformation/GIFTEDSA/ ). The idea is that unexpectedly several thousand people spread around the Earth have their secret wishes and desires fulfilled. Though some receive apparently random powers and transformations.

Masks 21: Part 11

Part Eleven

Blue Impact ran into the equipment chamber just as Energia finished cooling the thermite charges below the combustion point. There was some damage, but she thought that most of the equipment would be fit for study. The place was half full of smoke and completely full of odd odors, but an air current from somewhere was already moving all that out.

"Hopefully there's enough left to tell us how to reverse the effects on Stone's test subjects," said Energia.

"Did you see Stone?"

"The only person here ran down that way!"

Masks 21: Part 10

Part Ten

Blue Impact was actually dozing at her private work carrel in the main room of the old bakery when she was woken by fulminous swearing. From Gadgetive.

"What's going on?" she said, shaking her head to try and clear it more quickly as she hurried to the lounge area.

"There's a seismic disturbance at the Adirondack Anomaly!" she yelled.

"What?!"

Masks 21: Part 9

Part Nine

Vic woke slowly, which was odd. With her level of regeneration, even a powerful narcotic should have worn off quickly once her body began eliminating it. To her alarm, she discovered that she had been stripped and dressed in a paper examination gown. Even her ear bud was gone. She wasn't certain, but from the condition of her hair suspected she'd actually been washed.

"Someone was being thorough," she muttered, her voice hoarse.

Masks 21: Part 8

Part Eight

"You just know they're gonna ambush us," said Energia, as the four of them entered the flyer. "That note with the address was left there for us to find. These are all professionals; they're not likely to make such a mistake."

"Then let's turn it around and ambush them," said Blue Impact. "I think we'll also bring help."

* * *

Masks 21: Part 7

Part Seven

"While you were gone we gathered a lot more data on the New Breed," said Blue Impact, once Energia had returned to the old bakery and briefed the others. The team leader was looking very serious. "Turns out they are responsible for at least twenty deaths. The various law enforcement agencies are accused of not hunting them as diligently as they should. That they are holding back because the New Breed has gotten rid of so many costumed villains. However, that lack of attention is now changing.

Masks 21: Part 6

Part Six

The next day was a Saturday, and supposedly a day off for Tricorne, at least as far as giving lectures was concerned. However, they were still cleaning their breakfast dishes when they got an emergency call from Ma. Blue Impact took the call, then quickly put it on speaker, while Ma did the same. The bakery quartet gathered around the kitchen phone.

"Go ahead," said Blue Impact.

Masks 21: Part 2

Part Two

"Good afternoon," said Energia, to the group gathered in the meeting room. "I'm here to give you some practical information on super costumes."

This time she was more at ease. Perhaps because the subject was more focused, as well as more familiar. Energia noted that two of The FX team members were in attendance.

Masks 21: The Musty Museum Murder Mystery

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Tricorne + Vic are back in town, preoccupied with the lectures they're giving at the headquarters of a new super team, The FX. However, some of their prior cases are far from over. New evidence and new events connected to their Spring Break adventure keep turning up. Soon, they find themselves involved in something much bigger - and far more sinister - than museum thefts. Then it turns personal for one of the four.

Masks 21: Part 1

Masks XXI: The Musty Museum Murder Mystery

by

Rodford Edmiston

Part One

Energia was flying. There was no set pattern to her movements, and the only limitations were her physical ability to take the gee loads and wind speed, plus the occasional beep her earbud gave to notify Energia that she was nearing a boundary of the safe volume. Propelled and supported by graviton manipulation, she could pull turns which would have shredded an aerobatic plane. She performed a freeform dance in three dimensions, barely constrained by gravity or even inertia.

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