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Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2014 - Firefight Reading


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Oh my, what is this? A recording of the Firefight reading Brandon gave at SLC ComicCon back in April?  Egads, and is that a transcription? Thank you Inquistor-Santa it's a Christmas in July miracle!


...didn’t exist, I love that story. I just absolutely loved it, and after that I began branching out into comics. And I’m a mega-nerd, right? I love all this stuff and I wanted to start doing a superhero-themed story and this idea of a world where people started gaining superpowers but only evil people got them. That was really fascinating to me, because it became this question, right, was it that evil people were getting the powers or was it the powers, once you had them, corrupted you, to the point that it was impossible to use them without being-- turning evil? Does absolute power corrupt absolutely? And so I ended up writing this book-- Well I ended up writing a prologue, to this book that I named Steelheart but I didn’t have time to write the actual book because I had the Wheel of Time on my plate at that point. So a little bit of a big project. And so after finishing the Wheel of Time, the first thing that I jumped back to doing was the end of Steelheart. That book came out last year and the sequel is coming out-- I think they scheduled it for January 6th or 4th, or something like that. [TN: It is scheduled for the 6th] And I will read a little bit to you right now.

I watched Calamity rise. I was six years old then, as I stood in the night on the balcony of our apartment. I can still remember how the old air-conditioning unit rattled in the window next to me, covering the sound of my father’s crying. The overworked machine hung with its rear end out over a plummet of many storeys, dripping water like perspiration from the forehead of a suicidal jumper. The machine was broken, it blew air but it didn’t make anything cold. My mother had frequently turned it off, after her passing my father left it on. He said he felt cooler with it running. I lowered my half eaten popsicle and squinted at that strange red light which rose like a new star above the horizon. Only no star had ever been that bright, or that red. Crimson. It looked like a bullet wound in the dome of heaven itself. On that night Calamity had blanketed the enter city in a strange warm glow. I stood there, popsicle melting, sticky liquid dripping down around my fingers, as I watched the entire ascent. Then the screaming had started


“David?” The voice came from my earpiece. I shook out of my reverie, I had been staring at Calamity again thinking about the past. But over twelve years had passed since Calamity’s rise, I wasn’t a kid in my father's apartment any longer. I wasn’t even an orphan working in the munitions factory in the Understreets. I was a Reckoner.

“Here,” I answered, shouldering my rifle and crossing the rooftop. It was night and I swore I could see a red cast to everything from Calamity’s light, though it had never again appeared as bright as it had on that first night. Downtown Newcago spread before me, surfaces reflecting starlight. Everything was steel here, like a cyborg from the future with the skin ripped off. Only, you know, not murderous… or, well, alive. At all. Man, I thought, I really do suck at metaphors.

“I don’t see anything,” I whispered, kneeling beside the edge of the rooftop. I wore an earpiece that connected wirelessly to the mobile that was stuck to the upper left sleeve of my jacket. A small camera on the earpiece allowed Tia to dial in a view of what I was seeing and the earpiece was sensitive enough to pick up what I said, even when I spoke very softly.

“Keep watching,” Tia said, over the line, “Cody reports Prof and the mark went your direction.”

“It’s quiet here,” I whispered, “Are you sure?”

The rooftop exploded right beside me.

I yelped, throwing myself backwards as the whole building shook. The blast spraying bits of broken metal across me. Calamity, those shots packed a punch.

“Sparks,” Cody yelled over the line, “She got around me lad, coming up on your north side.” His voice drowned out as another glowing pulse of energy shot up from the ground below and ripped off the side of the rooftop next to where I hid.

“Run!” Tia yelled. Like I needed to be told. I dashed away. To my right a figure in black materialized out of light. Dressed in a dark jumpsuit and sneakers, Sourcefield wore a full face-mask, like a ninja might wear, and had on a long black cape. Some Epics bought into the whole inhuman powers thing than others. Honestly? She looked ridiculous, even if she did glow vaguely blue and crackled with energy spreading out across her body. She could travel through solid matter, it wasn’t true teleportation but close enough. If she touched something she could transform into energy and travel along it, the more conductive the substance, the farther she could travel. So a city made of steel was kind of like Paradise for her, it was actually surprising it had taken her so long to get here. And if teleportation weren’t enough, her electricity abilities made her impervious to most weapons and let her throw out energy blasts. The light shows she gave off were famous, I had always wanted to see her work. Just not from up so close.

“Scramble the plan,” Tia ordered, “Prof, John report in. Abraham?” I listened with only half an ear as a globe of crackling electricity whizzed by me. I skidded to a stop and dashed the other way as a second globe passed right through where I had been standing. That one hit the rooftop, causing another explosion, making me stumble. Broken bits of metal sprayed my back as I scrambled to the side of the building. Then I lept off.

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