Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lockdown by Augusta Li and Eon de Beaumont

This is exactly what they all said would happen, Invinci-Boy thought as he sailed across the cavernous, octagonal room. His back collided with a window-sized monitor and his tailbone landed hard on the control panel perpendicular to it amidst a shower of sparks. Burning wire smell filled his nostrils. His head throbbed to the rhythm of the blinking amber warning lights. Blood clotted in his dirty-blond hair and streamed into his blue eyes. Before he made it to his feet, the dark-haired man he struggled against coiled him in the smoky tendrils -- the physical manifestation of his power and pinned his arms to his sides. The insubstantial, charcoal wisps with dragon heads wound around his legs and lifted him into the air. Invinci-Boy writhed, his shiny yellow boots dangling two feet above the floor.

"Don't try to do this by yourself," his colleague The Lumberjack had said over his communicator a few hours before. A call had come in to headquarters that a new nuclear power facility had been breached by an intruder. The plant, hidden on the northernmost tip of Hokkaido, Japan, had been designed to run strictly through the use of sophisticated robots and computers. No human staff needed risk their safety. Scientists bragged that the self-contained industrial unit couldn't be penetrated by any of the various terrorist groups plaguing the world. In five years, they said, similar plants would provide perfectly safe, pollution-free energy to the human race.