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.
And that was good. It made the Frog suit almost the perfect suit to fight it. Well, except that the Rhino suit had more protection, and sheer power. He could have used some of that.
He fired off a grenade.
The explosion enveloped the entire creature for a moment. As the fire and smoke cleared, the earth elemental stood, and gave itself a shake. Bits of the asphalt on its body smoldered, producing thin, wispy smoke.
Its eyeless face stared at Larry. Then it bent over. For a second, Larry thought it might fall, but it didn’t. It stuck its hand into the runway, pulling a line of black out of the asphalt. It pulled its hand back over its head. The line curled over its head like a whip.
Larry set the suit to jump. Two jumps later, he stood behind it. As the elemental began to turn, he fired another missile at it. The missile exploded. Larry hadn’t expected to take it out, and he didn’t. More rock and dirt exploded outward, and it fell over.
The asphalt whip swung sideways, hitting the ground.
Larry let another missile, one of the heavy duty ones, fly as the earth elemental began to pull itself up. The missile hit the creature’s right arm, shattering it. Chunks of concrete scattered across the runway. The elemental’s body hit the ground again, landing next to its hand—which still held the end of the whip.
Larry fired two more missiles, not sure he could hope that he’d really be able to destroy it. He hadn’t destroyed it last time around. In the heat of the fight, he’d knocked out Sloan, causing him to lose control of the elemental, allowing it to do whatever it wanted to do. It had wanted to hurry up Mt. Saint Helens’ eruption.
Better to destroy it if he could. He didn’t think this island had been formed by an eruption, but it wasn’t something he wanted to be wrong about.
Despite its namesake, the Frog suit didn’t do very well in water.
When the brightness of the missile’s explosions faded, Larry saw the elemental’s remains. Nothing larger than a softball had stayed connected.
Damn, Larry thought, he didn’t expect to win—not that easily for sure, and not without help from Alexis.
Where was Alexis? It took a moment, but he found him. Alexis was in the air fighting what appeared to be a cloud—a roiling cloud the size of a small house.
An air elemental, Larry guessed. He hadn’t thought Sloan could control more than one at a time. That wasn’t good news.
On the other hand Alexis seemed to be doing more than holding his own. As Larry watched, Alexis punched one hole and then another directly through the cloud with the guns under his arms.
The cloud contracted into itself as Alexis continued to fire, but when Alexis shot another hole straight through the middle of it, the cloud dissolved, fading into grey wisps, and reforming over the trees.
Larry took a leap, and landed in front of the hangar. Sloan took a look at him, and ran out the hangar’s back door. Larry thought about giving chase, but decided not to. What would he do if he caught the guy? It wasn’t as if there were police to hand him over to.
He turned toward Lim and Cheryl. Their feet were still encased in concrete.
He thought about that. Hit too close to their feet, and he might crush them—too far away, and he wouldn’t do any good.
Raising Frog suit’s arm, he aimed a blow at the floor near Lim’s feet. Lim managed to get out, “Are you sure—“ before Larry hit the floor.
A spiderweb of cracks appeared in the concrete, and before Lim could say anything else, Larry hit the floor near Cheryl.
After a little more work, they were out.
Cheryl laughed, looking down at her tennis shoes. They were gray with concrete dust. “I’m so glad I took off the heels. They’d still be stuck in there.”
Lim frowned. Nodding toward the plane’s pieces, he said, “You had a backup way to get out of here? We’re going to need it.”
“Yeah,” Larry said. He used the League’s distress call, sending a red alert. Best case scenario, Joe would pick them up with the League jet. Worst case, Guardian would open a portal home and he’d have to put up with snide remarks for a while.
Larry let the signal continue, but turned off the beeping. “Alright, I sent it. I’m sure they’ll be here soon. As long as you guys are near me, you’ll be fine. The League will be homing in on me.”
Lim said, “The League?”
When Larry just nodded, he said, “How long do we have to wait?”
“I don’t know, man. Probably ten minutes. The Rocket told me that somebody would be prepped to go, but it could be anybody.”
“Ten minutes?” Isaac took a breath. “I hope we can make it that long.”
“I think we’ve got a good chance,” Larry said.
Larry recognized Alexis’ voice, and looked toward the hangar’s wide doorway. Alexis stared out at the runway, and Larry followed his gaze.
The earth elemental was reforming. Shattered stone mixed with asphalt from the runway, growing larger moment by moment.