I’d have gone for the gun except it had no trigger, and so far as I knew fired at the mental command of only one person on the planet—Cassie.
Instead, I raised my arms, targeting Rook’s arm. Knowing that someone’s about to kill your best friend, your sister, and your girlfriend doesn’t make for clear thinking.
I fired off the roachbots, not paying attention to what I was firing or how many, aiming at his arm.
The roachbots hit, knocking his arm sideways while simultaneously exploding—again and again, like popcorn.
I’d set high explosive bots as the default, and according to the suit’s inventory, I’d fired off more than twenty—closer to to fifty, in fact.
Chunks of armor, and possibly his forearm flew sideways, and landed on the floor.
When the explosions stopped, he had no forearm or hand.
Bluish liquid sloshed out of the armor to cover the arm’s stump, and black goo followed, covering the blue goo.
Rook, who had been screaming, mumbled something I couldn’t understand, and slumped into the chair.
The screens in the console in front of him had shattered, and the plastic of the console had cracked, melting in spots.
While I stared at the damage, and absorbed the fact that I’d blown away half of Rook’s arm, the two guys in the heavy armor fired at me.
I didn’t even realize they’d done it until I fell backward. I felt the hits too. Whatever they were using, it was high caliber.
I began to push myself up, but was only halfway when one of them ran toward me, hitting me in the side.
The seals didn’t break, but yellow warnings scrolled across the top of my helmet readout.
I didn’t pay much attention. I was too busy rolling across the floor.
The person in the Rook armor didn’t let me go either. He dove toward me, landing on top of me, and squeezing.
That told me a little about him—he expected to be stronger than I was. All else being equal, wrestling favored the stronger guy.
He (or she) might be strong outside the costume too.
I pressed the button on my palm that started the rockets, and shot across the floor, flying sideways, knocking over a couple of Rook’s control room people.
The person in the Rook suit wasn’t letting go either. He hung on even as I gained altitude, and began to fly.
I gave the suit a little bit of spin, changing my orientation to the floor so that he was on the wall side.
Unfortunately for me, he wasn’t a complete idiot.
He tried to climb, and adjust where he was on me.
Unfortunately for him, he only had normal human reflexes. Not that I had any better, but we were traveling through the air pretty quickly, and while I’d intended to knock him into the wall, I smashed him into one of the TV screens hanging on the wall before I intended to.
I don’t think either of us realized it stuck out as far as it did.
He hit its side, letting go.
What sucked is that I didn’t expect it either, and didn’t adjust. The force of him hitting the screen, and hanging on for the brief moment he did, caused me to veer right, smashing into it, and then tumbling into the TV’s guts and across the wall without going through.
I smashed the other big screen on the way, both devices dying in a spray of sparks, shattered glass, and plastic.
I didn’t have time to regain control before I hit the wall on the far end.
Too disoriented to do anything else, I cut the power to the rocket pack, and fell to the floor.
On the bright side, the suits seals were still holding.
I tried to stand, but spinning around had left me a little confused. I reached out for the wall, missing it at first, and finally falling into it.
Hitting the TV might have surprised him, but hadn’t left him as badly off.
He ran for me, claws outstretched to grab.
I pointed my right arm at him, and considered firing off roachbots, but I couldn’t.
I used the sonics. They weren’t as directly effective, and I knew it, but I could still see blood from Rook’s arm in my head.
I didn’t want do that again.
Both of the eyes on the man’s powered armor broke. Smoke came out.
It didn’t take him out. They weren’t his actual eyes, after all. The mask was shaped like a bird’s head.
Still, he hesitated, and in that moment, I got enough of my wits about me to press the button that started the rocket pack.
As I left the ground, I heard a distant boom, and the sound of metal tearing. An even louder tearing noise followed.
The dome shook.