Breaking & Entering: Part 1

Jaclyn punched too quickly for me to see her arm move, but the dome dented. She struck a second time as I registered the dent, and that time her hand went through.

She put both hands into the hole, and pulled back, tearing the roof like I might tear fabric.

I thought about reaching in to help, but I didn’t get the chance. Izzy reached in and tore it from the other side.

In seconds, they’d ripped a hole large enough for all three of us to jump through at the same time.

Izzy stared down into the gap, undoubtedly listening.

“They heard the roof tear, and they heard the jet. They’re sending people up.”

I stepped closer, and looked down. The room below looked like it belonged in a stereotypical lab—white walls, and tile floor. It this case, it would have to be the storage room for a lab because boxes filled it from one end to the other. They were stacked in rows with aisles, but aside from the aisles, boxes covered every available spot.

“We decided the cells were on the first floor—one ring out from the labs, right? I guess we’ve got to keep on going down.”

Jaclyn gave me a look. “And?”

“And what?”

“You’re running this, right? Time to lead. Make a decision, and if you don’t know what to do, ask for help. I’ve got opinions.”

Telling people what to do obviously came a lot easier to her.

“Ok,” I took a step closer to the tear. “Let’s go down and rip through this floor too.”

“See? That wasn’t hard.” Jaclyn took a step, and dropped into the room.

Izzy stepped out, and hovered over the hole. “Don’t worry about it. You’re doing fine.”

The fact that she’d even said that made me wonder if maybe I wasn’t doing fine at all. I didn’t have time to think about it though, and stepped forward, dropping into an aisle.

Only as I landed did it occur to me that Daniel might have told her I had mixed feelings about being in charge.

Jaclyn had already punched through the floor once, and gave it a rapid fire series of punches as I watched. Izzy landed next to her, giving the floor a kick that knocked a big chunk of it downward.

Dust that used to be concrete floated back up through the hole.

If I were the kind of guy whose masculinity was wrapped up in being stronger than women, it would have been really demoralizing.

As it was, I was beginning to wonder if I was in any way useful.

Izzy said, “We’re just above a hallway, and I tried, but I still can’t see where Captain Commando is.”

Remembering that I was supposed to be the guy providing the plan, I said, “Let’s try all the cells once we get down there.”

“I didn’t need you to tell me that,” Jaclyn said.

As I chewed through possible replies in my head, she grinned and said, “Kidding.” Then she jumped.

Izzy and I followed her down.

The first floor looked like the storage room, but without the boxes—all white walls, tiled floor, and very clean. Well, clean everywhere but where chunks of concrete had landed.

We’d all shared Izzy’s mental picture of the dome. The doors for the cells were all in the next hallway over. So, when Jaclyn said, “Over here,” and waved a purple suited arm, Izzy and I followed her.

We turned a corner, ran down a short hallway, and stopped in front of a door that had actually been labeled, “Authorized Personnel Only” in black lettering against an orange background.

A big metal door, Jaclyn rammed it with her shoulder, bending it, and ripping it out of its metal frame.

It crashed to the floor.

Izzy and I followed her in to find a hallway with several cells. Remembering what Isaac had said about the Nine kidnapping people who looked like Cassie, I wondered how many had been sent here.

The cell in the middle was different though. Its door was open, and not in a “mistakenly left open” sense. The door itself was still in one piece, but the motion sensor above it had been shattered.

Plus, blood had been smeared across the front of the door, and there were indentations, showing it had been hit hard by something.

“Totally figures that she wouldn’t wait to be rescued,” Jaclyn said.

My eyes settled on the blood. “I wonder how long it’s been?”

“No idea,” Jaclyn said. “Wish we had the Mystic or Night Cat.”

“Yeah,” I said. Optimizing this group for fighting might not have been a good idea.

Izzy cleared her throat, and we both looked at her. “They’re coming.”

As I was about to ask her how close they were, the door on the far end of the hall, the one Jaclyn hadn’t destroyed, opened.

Robot birds flew through, followed by men in Rook’s style of powered armor—complete with wings, and four claws.

17 thoughts on “Breaking & Entering: Part 1”

  1. “Remembering what Isaac had told Cassie had said about the Nine kidnapping people who looked like her,”

    Maybe “had told us and what Cassie had said.”

    Glad Nick doesn’t feel his masculinity threatened. Sean once again shows why no one is amused by him. I can’t wait to see the girls cut loose! Though I wonder where Cassie went, and how much damage she’s done.

  2. hey sorry i had ont commented in a while. i hope tha that blood on the door is a good sign. i hope Cassie knows what she is doing. if i were you Jim what I would do next is go back and write an arc from cassie’s perspective from the moment she got kidnapped un until now.

  3. Even if the Rocket armor isn’t strong enough to punch through concrete in two blows, he could probably hit a resonant note with the sonics that would grind the floor into dust, so unless he’s worrying about Izzy’s superhearing, he could probably tunnel through the base himself.

    It just occurred to me that even though Cassie can heal herself as she goes, if she left enough blood behind she should eventually run out of mass to close her wounds. Would she collapse, start to shrink or pull mass out of the neter spaces,so to speak?

  4. “If I were the kind of guy whose masculinity was wrapped up in being stronger than women, it would have been really demoralizing.”

    Classic!

  5. The story has mentioned the possibility for regenerators to run out of fat cells to draw energy from, at which point their body would start cannibalizing muscle tissue and other stuff in order to get enough energy to regenerate. Since the energy required to grow cells at that rate is enormous, well beyond what’s normally stored in human fat cells, we have to assume that there’s some sort of “pulling energy from the ether” going on. Either that or regeneration comes with the ability to store extremely large amount of energy in the body’s fat cells. We do know that Cassie eats two to three times a normal diet, and that’s when she hasn’t recently grown back a leg or a liver.

  6. Ah, so the Rookettes show up…and they’re dealing with Jaclyn and Izzy.

    Poor bastards, they walked right into it.

  7. Alright, so the Rook Jrs. and the roboRooks have been sent in. They’re gonna need more theme minions.

    Get me the Jackson 5000 out here! We’ll even let them bring their space-capable mechas, the Moonwalkers. Someone else, go lock up all underage males on the base. Officially, I never gave that order, since the rich, well-loved entertainer they’re based on could never, ever be guilty of such a thing since he’s got so many admirers. But lock up the damn children.

    Then we’ll bring in the Coven of the Eastern Moon. They’re a bunch of modern witches. Actually, they’re middle-aged women who run around throwing crystals at things, but everyone needs cannon-fodder. Unfortunately, they’re attempts at merging homeopothy and poison gas is more likely to lead to water intoxication than anything immediate. Plus, they’re easy prey for the simplest of diseases due to the lack of vaccinations.

    Also, don’t forget the Militant Pastafarians. They believe in the holy struggle to establish the supremacy of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If you’re not careful, they’ll take your eye out with a well-placed meatball and then garrote you with a noodle. They’re not afraid to die either, as they believe in a paradise after you die as long as you’re faithful. I mean, who would possibly be afraid of death if they knew in their hearts that such a paradise was waiting for them?

    We should be able to slow them down with some Randroids too. They’re suicidally overconfident, sure of being able to handle whatever they face right up until the moment they’re unable to help themselves and cry out for aid, though they’re programmed to never offer any to anyone. They wield sledgehammers where the head is made of a copy of Atlas Shrugged. Don’t worry about having to provide medical care. They’re either on their parents’ insurance, rich, or on Medicare.

    We’ll see if we can dig some Feminazis out from the bunker. Careful, the vast majority will woo you into thinking they’re harmless, with their calls for equal rights, equal pay, and less sexual harrassment, but if the internet teaches us anything, it’s that any woman who dares to suggest that such sexism may exist is secretly…a FEMINAZI! I haven’t substantiated this, but many trolls claim that a rape is capable of defeminaziing them. Luckily, such a thought is abhorrent to the good guys. After all, if you’re on the side of good, you’d never do or say such a thing.

    Which reminds me, someone drag the CommuNazis out of stasis. Some deranged lunatic decided to merge these two adamantly opposed sides together. They can be quite deadly, but when not faced with a common enemy the two sides attempt to destroy one another based on their deep ideological differences. All rumors of them being present in the United States appear to be exaggerated, since if you leave them alone and it could become as terrible as the Battle of Kursk in which millions of men and thousands of tanks and planes of the Nazis and the Soviets fought each other viciously in the largest battle of WW2, the first in which a blitzkrieg was ever turned back, so strong is their mutual hatred of each other.

    See if you can scrounge up some members of the Family. No, the ones that are all about the values. They can be absolutely brutal, but undisciplined. No boss likes their minions getting arrested for the kinds of screwed up things those guys get caught doing. I swear, next time an article for an arrest starts off talking about one of these Family values guys, you can expect it’ll be something about playing with themselves at a playground or liking pictures of dead-looking kids or running off to Argentina for their soulmate and leaving their wife behind.

    Oh, and since they’ll have some teen guys with them, maybe we can call in NAMBLA. I just think it’d be funny to see them get knocked around for awhile.

  8. ” I didn’t have time to think about though”
    I might be wrong but shouldn’t it be “I didn’t have time to think about it though”?

    Poor Nick.He doesn’t really want to lead, but he’s got the best sense of tactics and strategy and the others recognize it even if he doesn’t.

  9. Lead how? Tell the superstrong, superfast girl to destroy a few hundred metallic creatures? A bit useless, isn’t it? By the time you finished to speak the creatures will already be in tiny little pieces and she will be doing a new sculpture of modern art with the larger parts.
    Nice question is: did Cassie escape or she is being evacuated from this base right now (after a fight)?
    They have to destroy the psy blocks.

  10. Amaral/Bill/Piccolo: What I would assume is that the sonics would do is at most weaken the floor/wall, allowing Nick to punch through easier–though that depends on the amount of power behind the sonics, and the material attacked. It’ll probably do more against less flexible materials.

    Captain Mystic: We may learn enough about what happened to Cassie that writing an short story about it might not be worth it.

    PG: The fact that NAMBLA even exists as an organization is something I find bizarre.

    Andrul/Eduardo: Tactics matter less when you’ve got overwhelming force on your side, but things always have the potential to go horribly wrong…

    Asmora/Amaral: I don’t remember where it is in the story that you’re referring to, but you’re right. Basically I assume that she would first go muscle and fat, which she would need for material. As for getting energy… Many (most? all? superpowers require more energy than a human being could reasonably ingest. I’m not going to go into what my thoughts are on that, but I have thought it through.

    Jeff: Using the gun could be problematic.

    Rain/Silas: Yep.

  11. Regeneration based on human normal metabolism would probably to exactly what happens in Ketosis.

    First, sugars in the blood are used up, then sugars stored in the liver. Then the body will start going after fat and protein elsewhere in the body, cannibalizing from muscles for protein tissue repairs and growth if there is no protein in the digestive tract, but otherwise using fats as much as possible for energy.

    The energy requirements for large scale rapid regeneration though would have to be explained by something well outside human normal metabolism.

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