Flick threw a ball into the main group of heavy bird bots as they began to run across the floor toward us.
The ball punctured the bird bot’s chest, coming out the other side, and continuing through each bot behind it.
I’d never known for sure what her power was, but it had something to do with controlling mass and momentum. I’d heard that there were very specific rules about how it worked, but I’d never seen her in action, so I didn’t know what they were.
The ball didn’t stop until it reached the wall behind the bots. It didn’t instantly destroy them, but it helped.
It did destroy the one it hit in the chest. It stopped running, fell backward, and didn’t move again. The ball hit the one behind it in the arm, twisting it. The arm stopped moving.
I didn’t see exactly what happened to each bot behind them, but the screech of tearing metal argued it wasn’t nice.
She kept on throwing, ripping holes in the yellowish-white animal constructs too. They might absorb some kinds of energy, but concussive force apparently wasn’t one of them.
From that, you might think Flick could have destroyed them all herself.
There were too many for that, but she wasn’t alone either. Sydney jumped out of the Jet, covered in gray metal, and huge—much bigger than she was normally.
She landed a little too close to a group of flying bird bots, and they swarmed her.
They pecked at the metal around her, something that would have punctured most people’s armor, but not hers. She flailed around with her hands, trying to hit or grab them, but missing.
Then one went for her eyes.
She held up her hands, finally connecting, and the bird bot dissolved, absorbed into her body. Bits of wire and less recognizable bits of the inside fell to the floor.
She hit the next one by firing a chunk of metal out of her body.
I wondered if she’d turned herself into a rail gun.
If she had, I hoped she didn’t turn out to be as screwed up as Sean.
In the middle of all that, bird bots would randomly spark, seize up and fall over.
The first time, I thought we might have unintentionally discovered some design flaw.
The second time, Rachel became visible as she pulled her hand back. She’d been letting the tips of her glove become tangible inside the bird bots, and then activating the taser.
That left Cassie and I, and we were protecting the civilians.
Cassie used her sword to chop bird bots into pieces while I shot off a series of explosive roachbots. They took out the flying birdbots every time. The heavier, walking ones sometimes needed two, or the addition of a punch.
Not that I spent much time down there.
Daniel contacted me only a few seconds into the fight, sending me the message, I’m taking them up now.
The injured civilians floated upward, and Cassie floated with them.
I started the rocket pack, and floated up with them, trying to stay between them and the birdbots.
We were floating our way upward when the bots noticed. The flying birdbots changed course, and started flying toward us.
I thought about firing EMPbots at them, but couldn’t because I was out.
I fired off explosive roachbots, noting that I couldn’t do it for much longer. Numbers were low—less than ten.
A series of explosions took out half of them, but the rest aimed themselves straight at all of us.
I couldn’t take all of them one on one, and sure, I wasn’t completely alone, but Cassie couldn’t take them all either.
We tried. I opened up with the sonics, and a few of them veered off and crashed. Cassie didn’t get the chance to pull out the gun, swinging with the sword, but that could only go so far.
With a roar of wind, Izzy appeared, turning the bots into a shower of parts.
Almost at the same time, Jaclyn ran across the now open second floor, jumping into the hole into the center we’d left by.
As the civilians floated into the hatch, she reappeared, jumping toward the Jet carrying Flick and Sydney.
They weren’t quite on target, but Daniel pulled them in.
Rachel floated up after them, and as she did, a new alarm began to sound below us.
As she floated inside, she said, “Planning to get in before it explodes?”
I gave the rockets some thrust, and landed inside—just before Sean streaked through the door.
Where had he been?
I didn’t get to ask. Haley, didn’t even give us time to take our seats as she said, “Hang on.”
We couldn’t see it through the windows because of the shields, but on the screens, Rook’s base disappeared in blinding flame.