Metawars: The Complete Series: Trance, Changeling, Tempest, Chimera

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Contents

T
RANCE

Acknowledgments

Chapter One: Central Park

Chapter Two: Portland, Oregon Fifteen years later

Chapter Three: Cipher

Chapter Four: Specter

Chapter Five: William Hill

Chapter Six: Flex and Onyx

Chapter Seven: Angus Seward

Chapter Eight: Tempest

Chapter Nine: Meltdown

Chapter Ten: Medical Ward

Chapter Eleven: Medical Ward II

Chapter Twelve: MetaHuman Control

Chapter Thirteen: Interlude

Chapter Fourteen: Demolition

Chapter Fifteen: Demolition II

Chapter Sixteen: Dahlia Perkins

Chapter Seventeen: Frost

Chapter Eighteen: Medical Ward III

Chapter Nineteen: Regroup

Chapter Twenty: Filter

Chapter Twenty-One: Exploration

Chapter Twenty-Two: Epiphany

Chapter Twenty-Three: Missteps

Chapter Twenty-Four: Channel Nine

Chapter Twenty-Five: Inferno

Chapter Twenty-Six: Psystorm

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Medical Ward IV

Chapter Twenty-Eight: The Blue Tower

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Marcus Spence

Chapter Thirty: Retreat

Chapter Thirty-One: Regroup II

Chapter Thirty-Two: Alicia Monroe

Chapter Thirty-Three: Vanished

Chapter Thirty-Four: Specter 2

Chapter Thirty-Five: Rescue

Chapter Thirty-Six: Recovery

C
HANGELING

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Chapter One: Settling In

Chapter Two: Sunset and Laurel

Chapter Three: Weatherfield

Chapter Four: Scott & Sons

Chapter Five: Noah Scott

Chapter Six: Crystal Street

Chapter Seven: Aftermath

Chapter Eight: Surgical Floor

Chapter Nine: Arnold Stark

Chapter Ten: News

Chapter Eleven: Wild Cards

Chapter Twelve: Simon Hewitt

Chapter Thirteen: Mallory’s Table

Chapter Fourteen: Nadine Lee

Chapter Fifteen: Abram Kinsey

Chapter Sixteen: Comprehension

Chapter Seventeen: Leads

Chapter Eighteen: Glamour

Chapter Nineteen: Coming Clean

Chapter Twenty: Getaway

Chapter Twenty-One: Hideout

Chapter Twenty-Two: Boiling Point

Chapter Twenty-Three: Century City

Chapter Twenty-Four: Changeling

Chapter Twenty-Five: Revelations

Chapter Twenty-Six: Home Invasions

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Duality

Chapter Twenty-Eight: Chessboard

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Checkmate

Chapter Thirty: New Game

T
EMPEST

Chapter One: West Hollywood

Chapter Two: Greens

Chapter Three: Rangers HQ, Sixteen Years Ago

Chapter Four: Altitude

Chapter Five: Manhattan Island Penitentiary

Chapter Six: Common Ground

Chapter Seven: Ghosts

Chapter Eight: Shifting Sands

Chapter Nine: Fractures

Chapter Ten: Belvedere Castle

Chapter Eleven: Wreckage

Chapter Twelve: Wounds

Chapter Thirteen: The Warren

Chapter Fourteen: Crisis Point

Chapter Fifteen: Field Trip

Chapter Sixteen: First Steps

Chapter Seventeen: Departure

Chapter Eighteen: High Pressure System

Chapter Nineteen: Phantoms

Chapter Twenty: Identity

Chapter Twenty-One: Rangers Redux

Chapter Twenty-Two: Apocalypse Now

Chapter Twenty-Three: Assistance Plan

Chapter Twenty-Four: Sacrifice

Chapter Twenty-Five: Family Ties

Recovery Efforts

Acknowledgments

C
HIMERA

Chapter One: New Game

Chapter Two: The Ante

Chapter Three: House Rules

Chapter Four: Play the Board

Chapter Five: The Flop

Chapter Six: The Turn

Chapter Seven: The Call

Chapter Eight: The Bet

Chapter Nine: The River

Chapter Ten: Positional Awareness

Chapter Eleven: Community Cards

Chapter Twelve: The Bluff

Chapter Thirteen: Burn Card

Chapter Fourteen: Two Pair

Chapter Fifteen: Dead Man’s Hand

Chapter Sixteen: The Odds

Chapter Seventeen: Hero Call

Chapter Eighteen: Dirty Outs

Chapter Nineteen: Dark Tunnel Bluff

Chapter Twenty: Wild Card

Chapter Twenty-One: Freeroll Hand

Chapter Twenty-Two: Raised Stakes

Chapter Twenty-Three: Raw Business

Epilogue

Acknowledgments

Praise for Kelly Meding and the Dreg City novels

“A fast-paced adventure.”

—Charlaine Harris, #1
New York Times
bestselling author

“Gritty, imaginative, and a terrific read.”

—Patricia Briggs, #1
New York Times
bestselling author

“Action-packed, edgy, and thrilling…. You won’t want to miss this one.”

—Jeaniene Frost,
New York Times
bestselling author

“A phenomenal story… utterly addictive.”

—Jackie Kessler, critically acclaimed author

“Thrilling…. Especially impressive are her worldbuilding skills.”

—Romantic Times

“[An] excellent series.”

—Bitten By Books

“Will keep you on the edge of your seat.”

—Book Lovers Inc.

For all the girls who ever closed their eyes
and dreamed of being a superhero.

Acknowledgments

T
his book is the culmination of more than sixteen years of work—from the first inkling of an idea to the final product in your hands. A lot of people touched this manuscript over the years, and I’ll probably forget to thank someone, but here goes.

Mega-hugs to my fabulous agent, Jonathan Lyons, for believing in a trunked manuscript and helping me smack it into submission shape. More hugs and chocolate to my editor, Jennifer Heddle, for falling in love with my take on super-heroes and making this book even better than I imagined.

To the amazing peeps who read this book in its various stages: there have been a lot of you, but especially to Melissa, Sassy, and Nancy. You three were troopers. A special thank-you to Jeaniene Frost for seeing something special in my query and first pages, and for offering some amazing advice to a novice.

And even though they don’t know me, thank you to Marv Wolfman and George Pèrez for creating a comic book series that captured the imagination of a preteen and launched her obsession with superheroes. This book wouldn’t exist without your Teen Titans.

Finally, thanks to my dad for having that copy of
The New Teen Titans
#9 in your box of comics, and for letting me swipe it.

One
Central Park

T
he bronze man’s head was melting. It oozed fat splats of liquid metal and swirled down the front of his old-fashioned suit jacket to puddle at his feet. Some of it hit the bronze duck below him, adding layers of new metal that mutated it into a nightmarish goose. The molten metal cooled and hardened as it hit the sidewalk. Mayhem’s heat blasts were concentrated above the statue, and metal needs a constant heat source to stay liquid. I learned that in class.

Gage had told me the statue was of a once-famous man who wrote stories for kids. I don’t know for sure, but if Gage says so, it must be true. He’s in charge while the adults are fighting for all of our lives, and he kept us quiet and hidden. For a while.

Until Mayhem found our hiding place.

“We have to run for it,” Gage said.

I didn’t want to run. We’d been running for hours, from the southernmost point of Central Park to where we were now. I don’t know how many blocks, but a lot, and it was raining, too—light, chilly rain and heavy, splattering rain.
Sometimes it stopped and just blew cold wind; then Ethan would use his Tempest powers to try to redirect it so we didn’t freeze.

Hours of it, and I was exhausted. We all were. Each time the Banes gained ground and pushed the last of the grown-up Rangers north, we kids ran ahead and took cover. We were there to fight if we had to, but the grown-ups didn’t want us to—not until absolutely necessary. At fifteen, Gage was the oldest; I’m the youngest at ten-almost-eleven. He says we’re the last line of defense for the city of New York.

We’re the last line of defense for the rest of the country.

And we’re just a bunch of kids.

Mayhem kept blasting.

Ethan stepped out from the shelter of the stone wall, all wiry and red-haired and cocky thirteen. He raised his hands to the sky. A blast of wind shot away from him and swirled toward Mayhem. She was a good hundred yards away, across a cement hole that had once been a lake or something, near a statue of a bronze girl on a mushroom. The statue was losing shape, turning into goo from her being so close to it.

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