Even though I had no time to process it, my implant told me what the purple shot meant. Some Abominator guns had been given the ability to attack out of phase with reality, passing their victims armor. The technology turned out to be related to FTL technology, teleportation, and Abominator intangibility tech. Rook must have reverse engineered it or been inspired by what Jared’s device did.
Either way, it wasn’t Rook firing at me. It was one of the True, a male version of Stephanie wearing silver-tinged Abominator designed armor. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 25
Aiming for the Hardwick Industries lab building, I half-expected that what was left of Protection Force’s team would be waiting in the air or on the roof.
They weren’t. I couldn’t see them anywhere.
Had they left or had they gone inside? I didn’t have time to find out. It was enough that we had to get in there and destroy the birthing chambers. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 24
I didn’t have time to ask Cassie how her gun had stopped the shot because the next flash of purple targeted me.
Keeping myself in phase took everything I had. By the time that the purple glow around me disappeared, I knew that everything I’d pulled out of whatever power reserves I could access was gone. I wasn’t going to be able to prevent that if he did it again—not for a little while, anyway. All I could do was hope he didn’t realize it.
Thinking about it, I didn’t fall over, but I wobbled. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 23
Of course, maybe I’d get lucky and a killbot would work. The way the night had been going, that was nothing to count on. Also, given that purple glowing tinge to Victor’s skin, I had no idea what he could do, but if he existed out of phase, the only way I’d be able to touch him is by using what the Cosmic Ghost’s taught me to power up the killbot somehow. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 22
Not seeing anything appear yet, I directed one of the spybots to fly ahead of us and sent Cassie a memory of the last few seconds along with directions for how to see the spybot’s video.
She sent back the words, “If everyone on the team had implants, it would be so much easier.”
Then she spoke over the comm, “Ronin, remember when Rook captured me? If I get the chance, I’m going for him.”
Speaking without inflection, Tara’s high pitched voice seemed lower than it was, “I know.” Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 21
I felt her queasiness as her words echoed in my head. “No, I don’t remember you ever saying, ‘Hey Cassie, the True have your face.’ I think I’d have remembered that.”
“We just found out. I thought we passed it on. With everything going on, I really don’t remember. It’s not just you though. They also based them on Emmy, the receptionist, and also Stephanie. She was at Stapledon.”
Stepping over to the body and staring down at it, Cassie held up her hand as if waving my comment away even as my implant reminded me that I had passed it on. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 20
Cassie and the gun’s arrival had distracted me from the Rook’s final killbot, something I realized as a wave of fear went through me.
The emotional push from knowing that my life could end at any moment left me scanning my HUD only to have the implant draw my attention to the small yellow glow behind the bot. It had flown past me in my moment of inattention and, contrary to its previous behavior, it wasn’t adjusting its course.
Then, a few hundred feet ahead of me the light winked out and the HUD’s sensors showed it falling into the woods. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 19
Then the word, “Breach” appeared in my HUD along with, “Stopping bleeding. Repairing suit.”
By that, I understood that that the bot had made it all the way through both the full Rocket armor and the stealth suit. From the pinprick of pain and the fact I could still move my arm, I guessed that it wasn’t that bad.
Then I felt a cool sticky liquid hit and solidify as the padding around my bicep exuded a substance that coated my arm, preventing more bleeding. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 18
Part of me wondered if telling the truth would help. In this case, that would be something like, “You know what? I didn’t see it coming. I’ve been instructed by aliens in how to make myself and my armor extend outside our reality, stopping your weapon from going through it like it didn’t exist.”
For one thing, that speech would have gone way too long. Beyond that, I couldn’t help but wonder if his fascination with Grandpa, and by extension myself, was a kind of competitive thing. He might stop caring if he knew I hadn’t out-thought him.
Also, he might figure out a way to tweak his tech so that it worked. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 17
For the crowbot, it turned out that even that brief contact could take it down. The beam didn’t cut the wing off, but it cut through far enough that the wing broke because of the stress that flying through the air put on it.
If it had been further down the wing, maybe it could have kept on flying, but it broke off near the body. The crowbot flipped over a few time and then disappeared into the trees below.
As it disappeared, I turned off the laser beam, knowing that running it sucked power and might start fires. I’d turn it on when I had another good shot—assuming that the I was able to. It felt like whatever I’d done to hit Jared had sucked the power out of me. Continue reading Mere Anarchy: Part 16