47. Spider Sense

47. Spider Sense

This is bizarre.

Lance’s life had taken many strange turns since the crisis that had stranded him in San Lazaro. But this – riding his horse, Charger, around the First National Bank – was perhaps the strangest of them all. After he and his fellow Peacemakers had successfully defended the bank against the Red Dragons, Buck and the others had left him to keep an eye on things.

46. The Research Console - Part 1

46.  The Research Console - Part 1

To: Interested Parties

From: Friends

If you are receiving this transmission, you clearly possess specialist equipment and knowledge. We are exploiting a weakness in the communications blackout surrounding San Lazaro but only have a short window of time to communicate. We are contacting you to present an offer that can benefit both sides. We do not currently wish to identify ourselves but please be assured that our intentions are good. Our aim is to cooperate with individuals and groups such as yourselves and work towards solving this crisis.

45. The Hacking Contest

45. The Hacking Contest

‘Are we ready, Winston?’ 

As usual, Mr. Arcadia was dressed in skinny jeans, button-up shirt and blazer. Winner had made an effort today by donning a jacket; partly to impress his boss but also because of the visitors. It was an important occasion; and he had to clear something up before they started. 

44. First National Bank Heist

44. First National Bank Heist

Buck was on afternoon patrol with Lance when the message came in from Flash. He was actually quite glad of the interruption. Lance was a nice enough guy but he did talk a lot about how the Regal Canadian Cavalry was the best police force in the world. Buck was less pleased when Flash explained the reason for his message:

43. What Do Animals Eat? Part 2

43. What Do Animals Eat?  Part 2

The herd of buffalo charged away across the paddock then gathered nervously on the far side. Walter found them impressive creatures, with their powerful bodies and thick brown fur. Some did look rather thin though.

That’s your fault, Bob, said Howl as he sat on the grass.

42. What Do Animals Eat? Part 1

42. What Do Animals Eat?  Part 1

Walter ran along the fence and dropped down beside Jugger. The elephant was standing on one of the main zoo paths, stripping bark from a tree with her tusks then eating it.

I didn’t know you liked that stuff.

It’s not bad, replied Jugger miserably. And there’s nothing else left.

Walter had done his best to help the group find food but it was especially difficult for the larger animals. He thought chimpanzees ate a lot but their appetites were small compared to Jugger or Bob the bear.

40. Spar Wars

40. Spar Wars

Lady Rose led ‘Little’ Jenny into one of the gym’s practice rooms. They hadn’t sparred like this for months but she could tell the bodyguard was unsettled by the recent promotion of Gudu, Rose’s chief enforcer. Now was the time to spend some time together; boost her confidence and perhaps improve her fighting skills. Rose had Jenny, Gudu and others to protect her but she was also a capable martial artist herself. She felt that someone of her diminutive size had to compensate with superior skill. The bodyguard was very strong and powerful but she needed to work on her agility.

39. The Showman

39.  The Showman

Most residents of San Lazaro had no idea that the Cistern Club even existed. It was an exclusive venue which showcased cutting edge music, film, virtual reality and art. The performances and creatives on show were unusual, yet few were as unusual as the venue itself. After the Great San Lazaro Fire of 1903, huge cisterns had been created below the city to store water in the event of another conflagration. Many had since been filled in but the club was housed in an accessible example close to the surface. Converting the underground space into a luxurious club hadn’t been cheap but the owners had wanted something unique.

38. To Kill, or Not to Kill...

38. To Kill, or Not to Kill...

Karina ‘Bolt’ Ivanova walked out of the silent apartment block and sat down on a nearby bench. She was glad that Aunt Nadia had been relocated to a safe zone but disappointed that she wouldn’t get to see her. Hopefully the phone networks would be restored before too long and they could at least talk.

37. Go Nuts for Donuts!

37. Go Nuts for Donuts!

The Hungry Donuts store was on fire. The flames seemed to be emanating from the kitchen and some kind of blast had blown out the windows. Lucky happened to be passing by and he realized this was a chance to grab some complex carbs for his ever-hungry group of friends. Armed as ever with his recurve bow, he approached carefully, worried that the noise might draw CyMS or other dangers.

36. The Secret Agent

36. The Secret Agent

Walking home from work, eating an apple. Nice weather. Warm, no clouds. Tough shift at the hospital. Didn’t sit down all day. Really need a good sleep tonight. Oh, at least my coms implant updated …

I’m a secret agent on a secret mission. I have to get the package to the top of the building; then I can escape on the helicopter. The package is in my hand. Can’t let go.

35. The Shopping Trip - Part 2

35. The Shopping Trip - Part 2

‘That’s close enough,’ said one of the guards when they were within ten feet. The trio stopped and Gadget spoke up.

‘We’re here to trade. We need some trans-lithium Mark Five power cells by Excelsior Power.’

‘Haven’t seen you three around here before.’

‘We live some distance away but we heard about the store. We’re unarmed.’

33. Simple Business Meetings

33. Simple Business Meetings

Rose Lin – aka ‘Lady Rose’ – thought her crew had done a decent job of transforming a SUPER BUYS storeroom into an office. She took care not to spend too much time in one location and it was always useful to have another secure meeting place. As well as a large mahogany desk and numerous chairs, the office was furnished with a state-of-the-art computer and a few potted plants (all fake). The other essential she had insisted on was a small but well-equipped bar. Lady Rose only drank Taiwanese whiskey. She poured herself a good measure, added some ice, then sat behind the desk. It was to be a busy night and she wondered which of her subordinates would arrive first.

32. Save the Seals!

32. Save the Seals!

Walter awoke to the sound of Jugger’s roar. He swung down from the branch he’d been sleeping on and dropped to the ground. Even though he could now sleep anywhere in the zoo, he liked his old home in the ape house, especially the outside section. Looking at the sky, he reckoned the sun hadn’t been up long. He expected Jugger wanted him to do something; she usually did.

30. Curiosity... and the Cat

30. Curiosity... and the Cat

Jane knew she had to leave.

It wasn’t just because she felt sure her owner, Howard, wasn’t coming back; something had changed and she felt different now. Though she’d spent much of the last few weeks inside the house, she had also patrolled along the walls, watching what was going on. She had seen many of the human craft with flashing lights; and many people wearing green and black carrying weapons. She had also seen others fighting and three different groups trying to get into the house. But Howard had always been careful to keep it very safe: the walls were high and the doors were strong.

29. The Daring Escape

29.  The Daring Escape

Fei had to search three cabinets before she found it. With the metal drawer open, the narrow beam of the flashlight illuminated a black, rectangular object that looked very much like a DNA drive. But Fei had memorised the images Lady Rose had sent and she knew what this was. By lifting the object and clicking a button hidden within a cavity, she activated the prototype

28. Fly Like an Eagle

28. Fly Like an Eagle

Athena was tired. She had been up patrolling the skies for much of the previous day and was now resting on her favorite perch – a metal strut close to the elephant enclosure. Below, the other animals were gathered, eating from a box of fruit that Walter had found somewhere.