Celice looks out for her father and the Paragons.

Celice: Reluctant Protector

Continuing a short series looking at the starring characters in The Hero's Code. The series final two novels will be launching this fall, and in a bid to catch people up on the who's who, here are some swift blurbs about the bunch.

If The Hero's Code means nothing to you and you'd like to fix that, you can snag the series starter, Paragon's Fall, just about anywhere for free (in ebook).

If there's a problem with the Paragons, it's that they don't take in many normals. Anomalies might have world-bending abilities, but power doesn't always come with common sense, doesn't always come with competence. Celice has both of those and more, and she's out to find a place for herself in her father's world.

Who's that dad? Just Aegis, Paragon leader and the original Champion.

Talk about a tough shadow to live under.

Celice rolls with it, though. She's grown up enmeshed in the Paragon system, living in her father's Manhattan fortress. When her teens passed without powers popping up, Celice went hard in other directions, picking up logistics, spycraft, and the ins-and-outs expertise required to keep the Paragons running when her father was out bashing in heads with his fists.

For a while there, Celice had her adventures behind the screen. Calling in assignments, directing missions, and helping advise bigger operations across the globe, she filled her days with work advancing the Paragon mission while her nights and weekends gathered dust. Dating, friends, all those things tended to wither under her father's demands and his reputation.

Facing a choice of either wallowing in her own despair or owning up to what life had dealt her, Celice went for the latter. That philosophy drives her ever further towards the Paragons, or at least it has until these last couple years. With Aegis showing signs of slowing a step, a new complication's entered Celice's calculus: what happens after her dad's not leading the show? Will the Paragons still have time for her, a normal, without her father's cover?

And, even if they do, is this what Celice wants for herself? To burn away her life for an organization that will never see her as truly one of them?

Those questions linger, even as Celice takes the next alert, a high priority call about gunfire in an abandoned building in Jersey. Aegis wants to take this one personally, a chance to stretch out after a long winter's day stuck in meetings. He doesn't want Celice to come along herself, no, but she can coordinate, be ready to dial up the reinforcements.

Always secondary, always watching, waiting. Someday she might get a chance to take the lead, but if that chance comes, would she even want to?

A.R. Knight

A.R. Knight