I pulled out the controller, opened the pouches, and started by turning on a scout bot.
It crawled to the edge of the pouch, extended its wings, and then the rocket in its abdomen ignited.
The controller’s monitor gave a blurry view of trees, branches, and then the roof as it ascended, passing the edge of the flat roof, shutting off the rocket, and gliding to a stop.
A few small, rectangular windows hung open near the top of the wall.
I guided the bot down to one of them, and sent it inside.
Once on the ceiling, it gave me a view of the factory floor.
In one sense, it looked like almost any other factory in the world — a big room with concrete floors, and plain, grey walls. At the same time, it looked different from most other factories. That came from the sleeping bags, air mattresses, the microwave, the pile of canned food, and the refrigerator.
Not to mention the guns and ammunition lying next to some of the sleeping bags.
If the guns weren’t enough, there were the people, and the only big machine in the room.
There were at least thirty, all of Prime’s reserves, plus some gang members, plus Ray, Gina and the other two guys.
Half of them lay on sleeping bags, and some of those who weren’t sleeping seemed unsteady on their feet.
I wondered how many people Ray had already run through the Impregnator.
Then I turned the bot to look at the Impregnator itself. Their version looked bigger than ours. All curves and chrome, the League’s version reminded me of a 50’s style, futuristic, electric chair.
The version Russell Hardwick had had constructed put me in mind of a tanning bed designed for Frankenstein’s monster.
All white with comfortable looking cushions, the bed would have looked inviting except for the heavy straps for the legs, arms, and body. A white, rectangular object as long as the bed hung above it, attached (like the bed) to an almost six foot tall, white box. A man sat on a stool next to the box — which appeared to have a monitor and keyboard built into it.
I didn’t recognize him.
Given that our Power Impregnator only worked on people with similar powers to Red Lightning, and theirs worked on all powers, it made sense that theirs would be different.
It would be interesting to find out how effective it was by comparison. Every so often, supers discovered a latent power after some trauma. Could this unleash them all at once?
With luck, we wouldn’t find out the hard way.
As I checked out the room, I also noticed four black boxes near the middle of the factory floor, and guessed they might be telepathy and clairvoyance blockers.
I added them to my target list.
After a few minutes of dividing the bots into swarms, I turned them on, let them out of the pouches, and sent them off.
The EMP bots flew in in the first wave.
At first no one noticed, but as they crossed the room, staying close to the ceiling, a few heads turned, and people started shouting.
I couldn’t make out what they said.
Not that it mattered. The bots dove toward the Power Impregnator, aiming for the big white box, and the flat, rectangular object hanging above the bed.
The bots identified vents in the box and crawled through, exploding inside. The monitor stopped glowing, and the box began to smoke.
As the man fell off the stool, and began to back away, the second wave flew inside.
One of Prime’s people, jumped up, successfully catching a bot in his right hand. He tried to catch another in his left, but I’d guessed that someone might try something like that, and sent the second wave in with a looser, more distant formation.
As he landed, the bot exploded in his hand.
I’d set them to explode if they were caught, but I hadn’t thought about what they’d catch them with.
Even as he screamed, the exploding bots turned the Impregnator, and the telepathy blockers into smoking ruins.
I put the controller back into its pouch, started the rocketpack, and flew upward, dodging tree branches.
Below me, I heard a roaring noise, and when I looked down, I saw two shapes hurtling upward at me.