Firefight (Reckoners #2) - Brandon Sanderson Page 0,1

often they were random. You had to research an Epic’s history, the things they avoided, to try to figure out what substance or situation might negate their powers.

This balloon contained our best guess as to Sourcefield’s weakness. I turned, hefting the balloon in one hand, rifle in the other, watching the doorway and waiting for her to come after me.

“David?” Tia asked over the earpiece.

“Yeah?” I whispered, anxious, balloon ready to throw.

“Why are you watching the balcony?”

Why was I …

Oh, right. Sourcefield could travel through walls.

Feeling like an idiot, I jumped backward just as Sourcefield came down through the ceiling, electricity buzzing all around her. She hit the floor on one knee, hand out, a ball of electricity growing there, casting frantic shadows across the room.

Feeling nothing but a spike of adrenaline, I hurled the balloon. It hit Sourcefield right in the chest, and her energy blast fizzled into nothing. Red liquid from the balloon splashed on the walls and floor around her. Too thin to be blood, it was an old powdered fruit drink you mixed with water and sugar. I remembered it from childhood.

And it was her weakness.

Heart thumping, I unslung my rifle. Sourcefield stared at her dripping torso as if in shock, though the black mask she wore kept me from seeing her expression. Lines of electricity still worked across her body like tiny glowing worms.

I leveled the rifle and pulled the trigger. The crack of gunfire indoors all but deafened me, but I delivered a bullet directly toward Sourcefield’s face.

That bullet exploded as it passed through her energy field. Even soaked with the Kool-Aid, her protections worked.

She looked at me, her electricity flaring to life—growing more violent, more dangerous, lighting the room like a calzone stuffed with dynamite.

Uh-oh …


I scrambled into the hall as the doorway exploded behind me. The blast threw me face-first into the wall, and I heard a crunch.

On one hand, I was relieved. The crunching sound meant that Prof was still alive—his Epic abilities granted me a protective field. On the other hand, an evil, angry killing machine was chasing me.

I pushed myself back from the wall and dashed down the metal hallway, which was lit by the mobile I wore strapped to my arm. Zip line, I thought, frantic. Which way? Right, I think.

“I found Prof,” Abraham’s voice said in my ear. “He’s encased in some kind of energy bubble. He looks frustrated.”

“Throw Kool-Aid on it,” I said, panting, dodging down a side hall as electric blasts ripped apart the hallway behind me. Sparks. She was furious.

“I’m aborting the mission,” Tia said. “Cody, swing down and pick up David.”

“Roger,” Cody said. A faint thumping sounded over his communication line—the sound of copter rotors.

“Tia, no!” I said, entering a room. I threw my rifle over my shoulder and grabbed a backpack full of water balloons.

“The plan is falling apart,” Tia said. “Prof is supposed to be point, David, not you. Besides, you just proved that the balloons don’t work.”

I pulled out a balloon and turned, then waited a heartbeat until electricity formed on one of the walls, announcing Sourcefield. She appeared a second later, and I hurled my balloon at her. She cursed and jumped to the side, and red splashed along the wall.

I turned and ran, shoving my way through a door into a bedroom, making for the balcony. “She’s afraid of the Kool-Aid, Tia,” I said. “My first balloon negated an energy blast. We have the weakness right.”

“She still stopped your bullet.”

True. I jumped out onto the balcony, looking up for the zip line.

It wasn’t there.

Tia cursed in my ear. “That’s what you were running for? The zip line’s two apartments over, you slontze.”

Sparks. In my defense, hallways and rooms all look very similar when everything’s made of steel.

The thumping copter was near now; Cody had almost arrived. Gritting my teeth, I leaped up onto the rail, then threw myself toward the next balcony over. I caught it by its railing, my rifle swinging over one shoulder, backpack on the other, and hauled myself up.

“David …,” Tia said.

“Primary trap point is still functioning?” I asked, climbing over a few lawn chairs that had been frozen in steel. I reached the other side of the balcony and jumped up onto the railing. “I’ll take your silence as a yes,” I said, and leaped across.

I hit hard, slamming into the steel railing of the next balcony over. I grabbed one of the bars and looked down—I was dangling twelve stories in the