Category Archives: Book 5: Freshman Year

Enter the Larry: Part 22

The seat must have been designed assuming that the Frog suit would have a load of missiles on board when it blew up because it shot him far into the air. He found himself far on the other side of the hangar as the Frog suit exploded.

Because it was behind him, he didn’t see the explosion directly. The afternoon became brighter, giving a reddish-white tinge to the hotels, sidewalks, and palm trees. Black smoke followed—along with flying debris.

Larry felt something small hit the back of the ejection seat, but managed to keep control of the seat’s flight. He redirected the seat lower, and flew down toward the hangar, landing in front of it.

He gave a passing glance to the earth elemental’s body as he got out of the chair. It covered the runway in a pile of smoking rubble—dirt, rocks, and gravel. Its head and limbs were still intact even though its body had lost its shape. That bothered Larry, and he stopped to make sure that it wasn’t moving. After a moment, he was satisfied, and he stepped toward the hangar.

He couldn’t see much inside. It was dark, and the black smoke made it appear even darker. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 22

Enter the Larry: Part 21

A thud came from over the radio, followed by the sound of rushing wind.

Through the haze of the explosions’ smoke, the elemental’s tentacles swung upward. They’d hit something in the air. Larry had a good guess as to what.

“Hey, are you okay?”

Alexis’ said, “Give me a second.”

He gasped for breath, then seemed to catch it. A series of popping noises followed, and the earth elemental turned toward the jungle, standing and flailing its arms at something it couldn’t seem to catch.

Alexis said, “Your companions, they can escape now!” A strong wind blew in the background.

He had a point. Larry turned back toward the hangar. This wasn’t a good place for them to be. They didn’t have armor. They shouldn’t be in the middle of all this, and a hangar wasn’t the place to hide. The creature could crush it without thinking. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 21

Enter the Larry: Part 20

The security guard’s helmet tipped downward toward his leg. It was completely exposed from the front, displaying his brown jump suit. A pile of sparkling dust lay around his foot.

Lim aimed the gun toward the guard’s helmet, and the man pushed him backward and ran away. Lim landed on his back, but didn’t drop the gun. He kept it pointing upward at the security guards, not firing, but ready.

Larry, meanwhile had a security guard’s helmet in the Frog suit’s front claw. Since the guy had dropped Cheryl, he didn’t see any reason to keep hold, so he let go of the helmet, punching the guard’s armor in the abdomen at about the same time. The guard slid across the runway, and into the hangar’s open door. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 20

Enter the Larry: Part 19

Armory met them in front of the hangar. He had Lim and Cheryl with him, each one guarded by a security guard in armor.

More armored security guards stood around Armory, all of them in silver except for a couple whose armor had referee stripes on the top. Larry wondered what it would be like to be those guys—dealing with a real security problem while dressed to manage a game.

Standing behind all of them, Neil Sloan stood just to the side of the hangar. Larry mentally marked the spot, and checked his helmet’s panoramic vision of his surroundings. The earth elemental had followed him and stood behind him on the runway. It wasn’t close, but it was close enough to strike if it came to that.

So basically Armory had taken hostages to encourage his good behavior—except he didn’t realize that all Larry had to do to even the odds was wait. He had six minutes before the Rocket showed up. He could figure out a way to kill six minutes. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 19

Enter the Larry: Part 18

It was bigger than before, and creepier by far. Before it had been a mixture of dirt, rock, concrete, and asphalt. Now it was almost entirely asphalt with bits of the other materials mixed in, but that wasn’t the creepy part.

Before had been shaped like a humanoid. Now its legs and arms had been replaced with tentacles of asphalt. Its face was still shaped roughly like a human’s, but when Larry zoomed in, he saw that even its face was now made of thousands of slender asphalt threads. It writhed, and moved.

It looked like something that ought to be on the cover of an H.P. Lovecraft book. Larry took a picture with the suit’s camera. Joe would probably know a wizard who’d want to see it.

Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 18

Enter the Larry: Part 17

Before he could move out of the way, it pummeled the armor again.

Warning messages rolled across the bottom of the HUD while the armor slid down the runway. Larry decided he didn’t want to get hit like that again—not when he knew Armory and half of Metafight Games’ security team was on its way. He set the suit to stand upright and jump backwards, further down the runway.

It did, moving too quickly for the elemental to hit.

The creature’s punch plowed into the tarmac, and lost its balance. That at least was the same as last time. It was strong and fast, but not light on its feet. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 17

Enter the Larry: Part 16

Larry zoomed in on Lim’s feet, and realized why Lim and Cheryl hadn’t run away. Their feet were surrounded by the concrete.

He supposed that qualified as earth somehow. Could be elementals weren’t fussy about the difference. He shook his head. It didn’t matter. What mattered was that Lim and Cheryl were hostages until he took Sloan down.

He was about to tell Alexis more when a deep voice from behind them said, “Rhino. Come down to the hangar, and bring your friend.”

Larry checked the helmet screen. The creature behind him appeared to be made of concrete, and vaguely human-shaped.

As he watched, it sank into the sidewalk next to the hangar, leaving an odd indentation that reminded him of a face. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 16

Enter the Larry: Part 15

The beauty of the panoramic view in his helmet was that he didn’t have to turn around to check—just let his eyes dart to the edges of the screen. He didn’t see anyone, and decided not to wait. Having your enemies too far behind you to see them was a good thing.

At the moment he stepped inside the hall, he did see them—a security guy followed by one of the black and white striped referees.

He’d suspected that the ref models were more than just protection, and hoped that Armory hadn’t put as much work into them as he had in his own suit. Otherwise this might be a short fight.

He took a few steps down the hall, Alexis close behind him.

“Turn!” Alexis said, and whipped around, assisted by the jets built into his armor’s arms and legs. The Frog suit didn’t let Larry turn as quickly, but he came around as the person in security armor stepped through the door.

Each of Alexis armor’s arms made popping noises, and the security armor fell backward into the ref. Larry hit them both with the black goo, covering them and sticking them to the armor, and the doorway. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 15

Enter the Larry: Part 14

Bounding through the doorway and into hall, Larry kept control of the suit, stopping from sliding across the concrete floor. The Frog suit’s claws left scratches, but Larry doubted that anyone would care.

Assuming he survived and got away, the worst the arena’s management could do would be refusing to return his room deposit.

He accelerated and the Frog suit moved, lifting a few feet into the air with every leap. Larry kept it at a steady pace, expecting to face the security team at any time.

They didn’t appear.

He met up with Alexis a few hallways down. Alexis wore his armor—red, white and blue. It could have passed for a odd version of the Rocket suit except that most of the chest was red with a single white star. Blue and white stripes alternated to the right of the red section.

Alexis said, “I expected them to be chasing you by now.” Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 14

Enter the Larry: Part 13

A man opened the door. He didn’t give Larry the impression of being a brilliant inventor, superhero, or villain.

Len’s combover was painfully obvious, and his small moustache reminded Larry of Hitler’s. It was wider, but had a similar look. Larry pegged the man as being in his mid-thirties, and guessed that his clothes dated from the late 70’s. His shirt’s collar seemed a little too wide.

Len looked up at Larry, and tried to close the door.

Larry didn’t let it shut. He put his foot in and pushed forward, stepping into the room.

Len’s room was a bigger version of Larry’s suite—except Len’s main room included a hot tub. Plus, a significant part of Len’s workshop had migrated inside. Most flat surfaces held tools. A mech’s arm lay across the coffee table.

Len let go of the door as Larry pushed his way in, beginning to turn, and probably to run. Larry grabbed his arm. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 13