Haley parked the car by the side of the road. As we got out, I couldn’t help but notice who wasn’t there–Jaclyn, Cassie and Julie. And that sucked because Cassie could have chopped them to pieces, Julie could have told them to stop, and had a pretty good chance that they’d listen, and Jaclyn…
Jaclyn could have done something. Physically, she was the only one of us who was in Prime’s army’s league. Plus she was a whole lot faster than any of them.
I couldn’t say that we were doomed, but part of me would have felt better knowing they were with us.
Not that rescuing the hostages wasn’t important.
Gunther waved us to stop as I shut the door. “Rocket, stay by the car. Night Cat, Ghost, over here. Everybody else, get into formation on the road. Mystic, how soon?”
Daniel stepped out from behind a couple trees. “They’re going to be a couple minutes. They’re waiting for the group that hit Camille’s anti-gravity wall to come down, and she’s letting them down one at a time. Also, if you can believe it, they’re scared. They know we’re herding them, and they don’t want to find out what’s waiting on the other side of the trees.”
“Good. What about Ray?”
“Can’t sense him or his people.”
“Figures. Kayla, do the roachbots have anything on Syndicate L?”
Her voice only barely modified by her armor, Kayla said, “Nothing yet.”
“Keep watching. Syndicate L’s coming. Everyone, remember to buddy up, and if I tell you to retreat, retreat, and make sure your buddy’s doing it too. Ghost, Night Cat, you’re together. Mystic, you’re with the Rocket. Everyone else, the way I said before.”
Sean, who had just gotten off the ground, followed Alex and everyone else into the road. He wore a black, basic, League uniform–same material as the stealth suit.
He looked over at me, his expression unreadable.
I heard Daniel’s voice in my head.
I gave them a choice–they could stay and help, but be blocked like Chris and Kayla, or leave, and have everything about our identities be mindwiped.
All of them, including Sean, had stayed.
That said something good about him, I supposed.
Meanwhile, our lines firmed up. Chris, Larry, and Marcus stood in the front. Alex, Brooke, and Jenny lined up next to them which seemed crazy. They were basically hand to hand fighters, and Brooke’s shining alien armor counted for something, but Alex would crumple after a hit from Prime’s Reserves, and I couldn’t think of anything he could do to seriously hurt them.
Haley, Rachel, Gunther, and Sean were in the next line. Daniel and I stood next to the car, and at orders from Gunther, Kayla and Carlos stood way behind everybody.
Carlos wore my armor–the one I designed with Chris? Even if I hadn’t figured it out by the process of elimination, I’d have guessed Carlos was inside from the way he kept on extending and retracting the laser, and the two goo guns.
“Hey Rocket, thanks for letting me borrow it. It’s so cool!”
So, yeah. There’s that.
I tried to work out a reply that didn’t sound annoyed when the final piece of our formation appeared.
At least thirty copies of Jenny appeared (all in her bright, red costume), and took positions on either side of the main group.
She carried a goo gun just like Future Knight’s, and aimed it toward the forest.
“Where’d you get that?”
“Your friend, Chris, brought one, but he only had ten shots in its size. Gunther told him to give them to me. That’s not really the same Gunther who served with our grandfathers, right?”
“Actually, yes. It’s kind of weird,” I began.
I didn’t get to finish.
Daniel shouted, “They’re coming!”
They burst out of the forest, knocking down trees that stood in their way, reminding me more of a barbarian horde than a Roman Legion.
A big one fell only ten feet from the car, which would have been a lame way for the car to get crushed, not to mention a lame way for me to get crushed.
I aimed the guitar at one of them, only to find he’d been hit three times with balls of gray goo.
Expanding, they covered his chest, and ran toward his legs, hardening. He tried to take another step, and toppled.
The other guys charging along with him didn’t do any better.
Unfortunately, the guys immediately behind them jumped, flying over, and landing directly in the road with all of us.
Ahead of me, Haley dodged a blow that could have killed her, rolled, and came upright as Rachel delivered a shock directly to a Cabal soldier’s eyeballs.
Behind them, Larry took a few steps, bringing the Rhino suit up to speed, and mashing a grey furred Reservist into a tree.
I heard cracking noises, but wasn’t sure whether they were from the Reservist or the tree.
Two more charged Alex and Brooke. The one going for Brooke simply disappeared. Water splashed across the ground where he’d been.
A massively muscled, red haired guy knocked Alex to the ground, holding him down with his left hand, and raising his right arm, ready–I assumed–to punch through Alex.
Except he didn’t.
Alex grabbed the arm on his chest.
It withered, and shrunk.