Cassie: Part 21

I didn’t even try to reply. The man with glowing golden spider legs had taken another swipe—only this time not at me.

He’d tried to stick a limb through the chest of the guy in the suit. He’d have succeeded too except that I saw it, grabbed the guy and jumped out of the way.

That put the two of us on the left side of the room with Sam, my lookalikes, and the kidnapped guys.

It left Rod alone in the middle of the room with glowing guy.

I pushed the suit toward Sam, and turned around with the gun in my hand, ready to fire. I didn’t just see glowing limbs reach out toward Rod. I also saw where the gun’s beam would go, the depth it would penetrate, and the distance it could go through air before becoming harmless.

I could fire at the speed of thought, and it wasn’t fast enough.

Before I’d turned completely around, glowing plasma hit Rod in the chest. He’d gotten off the desk, and had been putting his hand in his pocket when it hit.

He fell backward to the floor.

I expected to see burned skin or worse. Honestly, I expected to see much worse, but I didn’t.

He grunted, but pulled a handful of what looked like sand out of his pocket and threw it at the glowing guy.

It expanded, sparkling, and surrounding the guy in a glittering,dusty cloud.

The gun labeled it a “NON-RATIONAL EVENT,” but I didn’t pay a bit of attention to that. Sam must have enchanted his trench coat to be some kind of armor. It seemed rational to me.

Besides, the gun could fire at the speed of thought, and I was firing.

You know how the glowing guy’s weird, plasma legs held him above the ground? I widened the beam, and chopped through the legs behind him.

The beam burned through easily, and blasted a hole into the wall to his left. When he didn’t fall, I swung the beam downward, cutting through the limbs in the middle, aiming under his real legs, and ignoring the gun’s commentary.

He fell, plasma draining out and burning everything around him—melting the floor, and nearby metal table legs.

Rod backed away, turning back into troll-form.

NON-RATIONAL EVENT!

Thanks gun. Hadn’t noticed.

Limping, he still managed to move fast enough to avoid the expanding puddle. Then he grabbed the nearest table and threw it at glowing guy.

When he hit, glowing guy shouted and pushed the desk off himself. Cracks in the casing covering his body repaired themselves as I watched.

The holes I’d made in his artificially generated legs had closed, and a few of them looked like they were growing, but not as quickly as before. The guy moaned.

Meanwhile, the Nine’s soldiers were running out of the room. It figured. They had good reasons to run. We were beating their tough guy—who’d by the way, killed a bunch of them while fighting us.

The other good reason dripped from the hole the gun had made in the wall. Muddy water was slowly but steadily landing on the floor.

When the first drips touched the spots the plasma melted, it steamed.

We were right next to the Potomac River, we were underground, and the gun had a lot of power behind it. It kicked Nick’s guitar in the ass for sure.

No surprise if it had punched most of the way through to the riverbed. Not from what the gun’s specs said.

“Hey, everybody,” I said, “We better get out.”

Rod turned back to human, nodding toward the escaping soldiers. “Yeah, they’ve got the right idea.”

Sam said, “Are they really running, or are they waiting in the hall to ambush us?”

I used the gun’s senses, and answered. “Running. Some of them even left their weapons.”

She glanced back where the glowing guy lay on the floor. He’d rolled over, but he wasn’t trying to chase us.

“What about him? He looks… hurt. We should do something.”

I shrugged. “We leave him.”

She looked like she was about to argue with me, so I said, “He’s not going to die. The second he feels better, he’ll attack, and none of us can take him for sure. He even tried to kill that guy.” I indicated the suit with my thumb.

He looked like he was about  to bolt.

“Come on,” I said, and caught his eye. “I’ve got some questions I want answered.”

12 thoughts on “Cassie: Part 21”

  1. Heyla

    Hee, I continue to like how this is going. Cassie is entertaining like that.

    One note: “about about bolt”, right at the end. Darn typos, always messing about.

    -r

  2. Interesting! Not only does he have the power to change his form between troll and human, he also has the power to change the last letter of his name from ‘d’ to ‘n’… 😛

    Hg

  3. So I guess I’ll be the first to point out how the evil alien death machine was right, and Cassie’s unwillingness to shoot cost Rod his life. Except that it didn’t because of a karmic freebie.

  4. Hg/Alyxe: Typos for all, get them while they’re hot! Or something like that.

    Thanks for noticing. I hate it when I do that. I’m assuming the Ron came from knowing a guy named Ron who plays in a group that I’m also in.

    Mazzon: Yeah. Though I think of it less as karmic freebie as much as logical preparation if you’ve got magic available and plan to be in violent situations.

  5. ron wlaks into the bus and sitss down towtj donate blood. He tells the nurses nurses, “Dont’ worry, I’m typo’

  6. Maybe it’s just me, but this sentence confused me: “Before I’d turned completely around, a glowing line hit him in the chest.” After thinking about it, I realized the sentence was talking about plasma dude’s leg connecting with Rod’s chest. For some reason, I kept processing “the line” as a shot from the alien weapon (fired of its own volition). Did you mean “leg” instead of “line”? Alternatively, I’d appreciate it if you replaced “him” with “Rod.”

    Also, “nonrational” is all one word, but “unlogical” might fit better. If I had the power to bend the ear of the laws of physics, I’d be crazy not to whenever it suits me 😉

  7. Um: Fixed. I think. It may not be exactly as you suggested, but hey, close.

    PG: Ouch. That hurts my brain. Oh well, back to making typos.

    Captain Mystic: Coming soon to a website near you?

    Gavin: I don’t see a magical database as something they’d bother to program into the gun. Confusion felt like my only option there–even for an AI.

  8. I only did three parts and they were a week apart back there. Some things got left out that could have helped explain things, but they were getting big enough as is.

    For instance, the reasoning why he killed the guy that way was to discredit him as a hypocrite (helps if people picked up on who that was supposed to be), and the guards were most likely unwilling to tell the real story involving just how they got beat. And then I left out an implication that the whole origin story is made up anyway. Maybe I should sell a director’s cut.

    By the way, the gun’s logic problem is exactly the reason why alien invaders just don’t do well when invading Underland. Could probably blow up an entire fleet just reading “Jabberwocky” to them. Beware the Jabberwock, my son.

    Superman’s weakness has traditionally been magic, but I don’t think it’s necessarily because he’s rational. He’s not as dumb as people would imply by the fact that he’s just an overpowered bruiser, but he’s not as known for his mind as his other abilities. That said, that’s one reason why Captain Marvel has an edge on him with the power of Shazam!
    *gets struck by lightning, turning into Charred and Crispy Man!*

    Not sure if it predates kryptonite, as I’m a bit tired and my cognatious thunk isn’t working so well at the moment. Kryptonite itself was a mechanism to give Superman’s voice actor in the radio series some time off, which I think has been brought up before (See Amazing Legion Comments #357, Magnum edition, true believers!…just kidding). Most people don’t go for protagonists who are too good with magic, however, as they are even more overpowered than Superman, much of the time. There’s some leeway with, say, John Constantine who’s a regular human who knows a certain way of it, but when you get someone like Zatanna, who can pretty much do anything if she can say it backwards, and Dr. Strange, who was World War Hulk power class for a long time.

    It also starts edging into the realm of religion. In some cases, acts of magic are parts of religion, in others the implication is that if magic and demons and such are real, then the various deities are also possibly real. Captain Marvel himself draws upon the power of Zeus, so obviously he was a real being. As were the Egyptian deities who Black Adam draws power from. Think about how that would look to Westboro baptist, eh?

    I’m an atheist and not even near the agnostic line, but I’ll say that comic books and novels can afford to feature religion as technically the idea of some universal creator for whom time doesn’t matter is true for those. Yes, in a comic book, there was a creator. And he, or she, does write out the fate of what’s going to happen, with some wiggle room and the ability to change the past to reflect a new interpretation of the present. And this creator can experience their universe multiple times, or even read it going backwards.

    In the end, I think the thing we can take away from this discussion is that either I need to get laid, or I need to smoke some weed, because words like that aren’t supposed to come out of a sober person.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to put a heart attack curse on someone. *grabs a chicken and a knife and walks over to a hidden shrine featuring a giant bobblehead of the KFC Colonel and a deep fryer. Realizes a bobblehead of a deep fryer is just ridiculous though and gets a real one*

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