The burrito hit it in the middle of the chest, sticking there. The burrito dripped cheese, beans, and a glowing green sauce across the creature’s body.
The alien looked down, staring at the mess, sniffing once.
Then the burrito exploded, spreading the contents in all directions–except strangely enough, toward Kayla.
The green sauce stayed mostly on the alien’s body, glistening on the creature’s hair. The cheese had spread into gooey strands, half covering the alien’s chest, but the rest stuck to the tree branches, the ground, and the rocky outcropping. The shell had broken into triangular shaped bits. The ones she could see were embedded in tree trunks.
The alien tried to pull its way out of the cheese, but the cheese strands had less give the more it struggled. Using the claws on its left hand, it tried to cut through a strand on its right arm, but only became entangled.
Soon it found itself standing in the middle of hardened cheese strands, left hand immovably stuck to its right arm, twisting and straining but not moving.
This was good. She’d managed to do something right for a change. Now she had to figure out what to do next.
She didn’t want to stay here. The battle was far too close. The jet’s anti-personnel lasers were firing, and the aliens were shouting.
They had to want to hide, and they’d probably try to hide here.
That’s when Kayla realized that she was stuck. The bushes cut off escape behind her. Ahead of her, the forest held the alien and lines of orange cheese.
It didn’t look sticky anymore, but she wasn’t sure she trusted a guess in the dark.
The only openings left that she thought she might use to escape were the space between the bushes and where the splattered cheese began. If she went that way she’d have to run into the woods unless she felt brave enough to go toward the battle.
The other option was climbing up the rocks, and staying on top of the tunnel’s entrance.
She could be a sniper.
A burrito sniper.
Aside from the sheer ridiculousness of the idea, she’d draw more attention than she wanted. Plus, it might draw attention to the tunnel door, and that could be a complete disaster not just for her, but for the world.
With a sinking feeling, she realized that staying where she was might be the best thing she could do.
She didn’t have time to resign herself to the decision before the alien she’d cheesed into immobility started shouting for help–at least that’s what it sounded like.
As he became louder, she tried to think of something that might make him stop. The first idea she had was to simply shoot him in the face with an extra cheesy burrito.
She didn’t want to kill him. She didn’t want to kill anyone, and she doubted that he’d be able to breath through the cheesy goo–whatever it was.
What she wanted didn’t matter as more came to help.
The first came over the top of the rocks. Kayla only heard it because it drew a breath as a claw scraped a rock as it tried to find a handhold.
She fired, aiming at it as it jumped for her. This time she only held down one button–the extra beans. She wasn’t inside, and it had to be powerful if C told her not to do it inside.
The burrito hit the creature mid-leap, exploding, and sending it high into the air.
It came down with a thump far on the other side of the hill.
The hill was coming to smell more and more like a Mexican restaurant. Kayla crouched, checking around herself for more attackers.
Marcus’ voice came over her earphones. “Do you have the Burrito gun? That’s amazing. I always wanted to pick it up when I was a kid and visiting HQ, but everyone was always like ‘Don’t touch that!’ and ‘Don’t press extra beans!’ and ‘Did you spray cheese everywhere?’ You know, silly stuff.”
Haley broke in, whispering, “Shift, I could use some help here. Are you ready?”
“Still ready,” he said, “but we’ve got a second. Control, they’re coming your way to help that guy. If you can get out, get out.”
Kayla tried to keep the fear out of her voice. “I can’t get out. I can’t go anywhere.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Haley said. “You’re doing great, and we’re coming to help you next. Shift? Now.”
Gerald Cannon’s cough came over the channel. “You want to help? Here’s what you do. Yellow Burrito made every damn thing glow and then the League could shoot them in the dark. Get up on the hill, light them up, and we’ll take them out.”
“Grandpa,” Chris said, “she doesn’t even have armor on. Control, don’t worry about what he said, but if you do get the chance, making them glow would make the shot easier.”
The sounds of fighting got louder. Even through the alien’s calls for help, she thought she heard Haley cry in pain, followed by a louder, longer cry from a voice she didn’t know.
Chris’ voice came over her earphones again. “Eyes open, Control, the AI says a bunch of them should be crawling up the hill any minute. Watch out–”
She barely had time to aim, pushing down the buttons for green sauce, extra cheese and extra beans.
Three of them crawled over the hill only to be caught in a greenish-orange explosion as the burrito burst halfway up the hill.
One jumped to the side, but the other two received a full spattering of cheese goo.
They tried to pull away from the hill and each other as the cheese hardened.
Flashes of light from the sky hit the forest floor near the alien she’d entrapped earlier. The alien who’d avoided getting hit on top of the hill was dodging laser blasts and strands of cheese goo.
A spot of green sauce on his shoulder glowed brightly.
Kayla didn’t manage to get the gun completely up before it made its final leap toward her.