Off to our left, bright red beams lanced the ground, and then raked across the building I’d been in. It didn’t look like much–a concrete block with brown, wooden siding on the edge of farmland.
When the beams hit the back of the building, it exploded. I wondered if Travis had hit a gas line or if they had had an armory back there.
“Oh my,” Rachel muttered. Haley glanced toward the noise, but kept on driving.
The car’s windows darkened, sparing us the pain of too much light. Simultaneously, sonic dampers muted the explosion’s noise.
Grandpa had figured that Night Wolf didn’t want to be overwhelmed with light or sound.
Almost unaffected by the light, I followed the beams back to their source, discovering the League jet hanging in the air. Not much more than a dark shape, Travis kept it floating too high for Prime’s men to jump to.
Travis didn’t stop firing either. Big beams normally meant for ships, and thin lines meant to hurt people rained down on the empty field behind the smoking remains of the radio station.
A small hill behind the radio station blocked the field from easy view of the road, but since we were on a dirt road that ran parallel to the field, we could see everything.
I couldn’t tell what the equipment in the field behind the radio station had been, except to guess that they’d been using it for training.
The remains of another small building smoked there with the equipment. Travis might have blown that up when Ray and Allen were talking to me. Something had pulled Ray out of the room.
Was he directing the people in the field? I didn’t see him, but that didn’t mean much. We weren’t close.
A bunch of them had been behind the radio station when it got hit, but now they were running away from it as that whole end of the field experienced a rain of lasers.
On the far end of the field stood a forest–not a huge forest, but big enough to make it harder for the jet’s lasers to target anybody.
If they didn’t make for the forest, their only other option would be to run through fields of corn which lead them toward us, or in the exact opposite direction.
Later in the summer, they might have been able to scatter and hide in the corn, but if corn was supposed to be “knee high by the fourth of July” (or so the saying went), we were still nearly two weeks short of that.
Not even hobbits were going to be hiding successfully in the corn we had.
Well, okay, maybe hobbits could, but these guys were too big.
So the obvious thing to do would have been for the whole group of them to run into the forest, but these guys weren’t just soldiers, they were old soldiers.
Even with death staring them in the face in the form of the jet’s lasers, they must have guessed on some level. They didn’t simply run away.
Someone had to be organizing them because they assembled into three roughly equal groups, two heading into the cornfields, and one heading into the forest.
I’m sure that seemed like a brilliant idea to somebody, but it turned out otherwise.
The winds began to roar, and a tornado began to form, blocking the cornfields on the opposite side of the field because this tornado lay practically sideways, running the distance between the radio station and the forest.
Dirt and young cornstalks flew into the air, making its shape clearer.
When one of the soldiers tried to jump over it, the tornado simply sucked him in, and threw him back into the middle of the field.
The rest of them fell to the ground, and started crawling away, trying not to get sucked in themselves.
Vaughn’s powers and control had evidently been progressing. I was pretty sure he couldn’t have done that last fall.
The group running in our direction didn’t do any better.
They barely made it to the corn before the three in front started floating straight upward. The others changed direction, but didn’t get far before they started floating upward too.
I wasn’t sure whether it was Daniel or Camille, but Camille seemed more likely.
I wondered how long she could keep them up in the air, but didn’t get to find out. Haley turned down another dirt road, bringing us behind the forest.
Ahead of us, our people stood at the edge of the forest–Larry in full Rhino suit, Gunther/Lee, Alex healing Sean, Kayla in her powered armor, and I assumed the trees hid everyone else.
If Lee’s plan went as he intended (and it seemed to be), we’d be engaging Prime’s people in hand to hand combat within seconds.
Hopefully it would go better than every other time we’d tried.