Haley looked the newly formed full Rocket suit up and down, but only glanced over at Camille, “Drop me off on the edge of the crowd. I’ll look for people who are too close.”
Vaughn turned to me, “You want to take Eagle suit? I think I can take force field guy.”
Out on the street, the Eagle suit had smashed one of the two Rocket suit clones into an Escalade. “Why not? She’s probably looking for a rematch.”
“We’re going,” Haley stepped off the roof with Camille and they floated across the lawn. Camille dropped Haley at the edge of the knot of stopped cars.
It was a mess. Many of the cars were empty. Some of them had been abandoned on the lawn or partially over the curb. Even as I watched drivers left their cars to run across the grass, stopping to watch the fight from a safe distance.
I couldn’t blame them, but I didn’t have any more spare time.
Giving the rockets thrust, I shot off the roof, seeing the grass blur, as I aimed for the Eagle suit. When the targeting program had locked on, I fired off a goobot.
The bot activated its own rockets, accelerating toward the Eagle suit and blooming into a flower or maybe a web. Either way it didn’t quite work.
The goo didn’t stick. Its threads covered the entire suit, but instead of attaching to the nearest chunk of the road, car, or enemy, the goo slid off and hung, partially on and partially off the Eagle suit.
That was a new thing. How annoying. How interesting.
I couldn’t know without testing, but I suspected the finish on her armor played a major role in making it nearly frictionless, and thus goo resistant.
She’d been in the midst of fighting one of the two Rocket clone suits. The goobot hit the side of her suit, the goo splashing across the back and the front. As the Rocket clone armor pulled it’s punch to avoid hitting the mess of goo, the Eagle suit fired of a giant ball of goo at the Rocket clone.
I curved around for another pass, flying over the traffic jam, followed by the lawn of the nearest factory, and then I was pointed toward the Eagle suit.
This time I aimed the sonics, narrowcasting sound that was pitched to destroy electronics. That’s what I should have started with. The only thing that sucked about that particular attack is that didn’t necessarily destroy anything quickly. If there was too brief of an exposure, all I did was “stress” whatever I was aiming at.
Sure, it would break soon after that, but not instantly, and there was a lot to be said for instantly.
Just like the other passes, I eventually had to let go and turn—and that’s when things got complicated. Eagle suit had handled the Protection Force Rocket suit she’d been fighting. Now she only had to deal with me.
As I began to turn away, the Eagle suit jumped. Never mind that suit’s wings were damaged, it still had jets to assist.
If I’d been on the ground, I’d have called what happened next a tackle, but technically it probably wasn’t one. The Eagle suit hit my suit in the stomach and the operator had enough presence of mind to wrap the suit’s claws around to my back and hang on.
“You upgraded your suit,” she said. “Nice. Does it break?”
She started squeezing with the right claw. Notifications appeared in my HUD. The claws weren’t like Cassie’s sword, but they were piercing the armor—just not all the way, and the suit was repairing the damage as it went.
“Oh my god,” she said, “it fixes itself before I’m even done breaking it. Rook would pay good money for a piece of that. Nice job, kid. You’re going to impress the psycho someday. For now though, it’s time to stand down. I’m going to get through your fancy self-repairing armor sooner than you think.”
The crazy thing about training with Lee is that you eventually cover even the strangest scenarios—flying while someone hangs on isn’t that strange by comparison to some.
I’d actually practiced a move to deal with it. It amounted to beginning to spin and then to make an unexpected turn. Timing the spin and the turn was hard because you were trying to get maximum momentum without blacking out.
Between Lee and Grandpa teaching me how to use the Rocket though, I’d practiced that move.
I made the spin, and the Eagle suit flew away, plowing into the lawn in front of a company across the street from where we’d originally entered the fight.
When I stopped spinning, I saw that the Eagle suit was standing up. This was good. I hadn’t killed her.
I was beginning to ask myself how far I was willing to go to take her down, when a voice came over the comm, identified as Kid Biohack. “Hey, I’m here. Where do you need me?”