“So, do you think you can handle it, or if it even needs to be handled right now?”
Daniel went quiet. Then he said, “I just swept the area telepathically, and at least five of them are awake. Plus, even though my precognitive ability is pretty vague, I get the sense that the bomb’s going to take out the city if we don’t attack. Actually, I think it’s got a good chance of going off if we do, but it’s inevitable if we don’t.”
In the background, I heard Izzy say, “Have him call the Defenders.”
She was completely correct. This was exactly when we needed to call in the Defenders.
“Did you hear that?” Daniel spoke quietly.
“Got it. Just a second.”
I put him on hold, and called Ronin. I sent him their position, and told him what they’d be facing. “If you’ve got anyone experienced with demolitions or alien tech, bring them along. If you need help with that, call me.”
“We’ve got someone,” Ronin said.
And that was that. I took Daniel off hold, and let him know.
“I’m getting a contact from him now,” Daniel said as I finished. “I’ll call you back.”
With that I was back to watching Cassie, Camille, and Sydney destroy the neutron emitters and bombs.
“Jet,” I said, “how are we doing?”
Its response appeared under the readouts near the top of my vision.
[A sizable minority have been destroyed. 157 out of 352.]
“How many bombs versus neutron emitters?”
[11 bombs. The rest are neutron emitters.]
That was good news. We had a chance of surviving this.
“The bombs are still in sections of the warehouse Captain Commando hasn’t reached yet, right?”
[Correct. They’re in the middle of the building’s north side.]
I passed that along to Cassie.
“Greeeaat, Rocket. There’s a lot of chopping between here and there.”
“I know, but if you get the bombs, we really can hit the rest with the jet’s guns.”
In the helmet readouts, the word “Mystic” began to blink. “Sorry, Mystic’s trying to call.”
I opened the connection, and Daniel’s voice came in, breathless, and stumbling over itself. “They’re here, and we’re going in with them.”
Crashes and shouts overwhelmed his voice. Another voice, this one very, very deep, gave a wordless shout, followed immediately by the noise of concrete shattering. That was followed by Izzy’s voice amplified to a level that the Rocket suit actively suppressed.
Even more shouting, and the sound of cracking noises came across the connection.
“Bad news,” Daniel said, “the Defenders’ technical guy is down. We might need some help with that. The good news is that the True Humanity people are running. Ronin was amazing. Even with his people, we were outnumbered three to one, but he put everyone exactly where they needed to be.”
“I thought you said there were five people.”
Automatic weapons fire sounded over the connection. “That’s right, but I was talking about the people who were awake and in range. The grand total was more than twenty, plus normals.”
At that moment, Cassie shouted something as the discs flew out of the building, followed by Camille flying out after them, but not right after them. She knew the plan, and following the discs would be distinctly unhealthy.
Instead, she landed a little outside the door, and the discs began to slow down. They didn’t completely stop. They kept on flying out the building’s open door at a regular rate, but slowed to a crawl once they passed the doorway.
The growing cloud of discs unnerved me though. We only had until someone noticed that they were stuck, and tried to solve the problem by having the bombs explode or turning on the neutron emitters.
With luck, the person responsible was too busy fighting the Defenders.
Cassie and Sydney ran out of the open door, Cassie slicing through a few more discs before getting too close to the main group, and nearly falling to the ground.
Sydney, now completely encased in grey metal, took a few more down by firing slivers of metal out of her arms.
They crashed to the ground, but didn’t explode. This was great, but it still left hundreds in the air. To really deal with the problem, we’d have to move to phase two—which was going to be a little more chancy.
A disc at the front of the group edged forward. I glanced toward Camille. Despite the January temperature, sweat hung on her cheeks.
She wasn’t going to be able to get it. I wondered how much longer she’d be able to hold any of them.
The disc shot forward, free of Camille’s artificial gravity. It didn’t get far. Blazing light hit it, and it fell.
Haley had made it back inside the jet. Her voice sounded inside my helmet, and on all of our communicators. “We’ve got to move to phase two, right?”
“Yeah,” I said, becoming more aware of the sound of wind above me. Despite the winter, and the snow on the ground, it had begun to feel like tornado weather.
Off to my right, Vaughn stared upward.
I hoped this would work.