Of course they were. I’d tested how the suit worked while exposed to electromagnetic force, figuring that someday I might have to fight Sean in it. Despite the shielding I’d put in, self-repair didn’t work well, so I’d designed it to shut off when exposed to enough electromagnetism that there might be problems.
And here we were.
The suit’s artificial muscles released energy as part of a chemical process however, so there wasn’t anything stopping me from what I did next—rushed them, reaching Blue Mask in one long jump.
One nice thing about sliding down the hill earlier was that Sean’s dust hadn’t kept up with me, and now that he was attacking the suit directly, he wasn’t worrying about it. The result? I could see my opponents.
As my foot hit the ground, Blue Mask moved quickly, stepping out of my way, and slashing at my legs with his sword. The sword either couldn’t penetrate the Rocket suit or didn’t need to.
It was almost certainly the latter in fact, because he struck my left leg as it touched the ground and my right leg was in the air.
The technique had good chance of pulling my leg out from under me and making me fall—except it didn’t work that way.
I had tons of force to work with. Beyond weighing more than five hundred pounds in the full Rocket suit, I could lift trucks. So when my leg came down after my jump, it had already shattered the stone as it sunk a few inches downward.
Even though I could tell Blue Mask was stronger than a normal person, he wasn’t strong enough to knock my leg out of the hole. All the same, he tried, and I leaned forward, my right leg touching the ground before I fell, and giving a push. It was enough to throw my entire body into the air.
I aimed myself at Sean, and started firing off goobots.
He did a better job of protecting himself than I would have expected, surrounding himself with enough dust that when the goobots exploded, they never touched him.
He launched himself backwards into the air almost at the same time, getting out of my reach even as I landed next to the flag.
A notification ran across my HUD.
Self-repair processes enabled
I probably could have grabbed the flag then except that I hadn’t taken Blue Mask out, and honestly, grabbing the flag wasn’t part of the plan.
I barely turned in time to face Blue Mask as he ran up the hill to face me, sword still in his hand, cape billowing out behind his back, and his wide brimmed hat only still attached because of the string under his chin.
He’d shown his ability to knock bots out of the air before, so I blasted away with the sonics. At first he grinned, and I noticed that he was wearing earplugs. They all probably were.
Sonics were the Rocket’s signature weapon.
Stopping him in his tracks with noise probably wasn’t going to work, but that was OK. I didn’t really want to hurt him. I aimed the sonics at his chest and let loose with a frequency that induced nausea, and intestinal discomfort.
I could have gone further than that, but I didn’t.
He bent over, sword held at his side and covering his mouth.
Out of the other side of my HUD’s peripheral vision, I saw Sean’s cloud begin to expand in my direction.
With my other arm, I aimed more of the same at Sean. I wasn’t sure whether the sound would even get through Sean’s dust cloud, but soon enough, the dust cloud dropped to the ground, still shrouding Sean in a cloud of gray, but I could see through it.
He stood in the middle of gray swirls, bent over, both hands on his face.
That left me trapped in my own actions. The moment I turned off the noise, they’d be able to concentrate again, and it would be two on one against me. Meanwhile, Amy still hadn’t taken their flag.
Where was she anyway?
I barely had time to wonder, standing there with both hands out, each pointed in different direction.
I began to touch my tongue to the mouthguard that acted as a backup control set.
On the other side of the arena, Tara fought Slugger one on one in front of our flag, using two short sticks against his wooden bat. Meanwhile Gordon, still covered with goo, fought Rod and Samita.
Despite Sean’s control over magnetism, and by extension iron, Rod had changed into troll form, and it hadn’t worked out for him. However it had occurred, Gordon had caught Rod’s eye with the glowing moon symbol on his chest. Now Rod stared up unblinkingly at Gordon.
Samita held a staff in her hand—the kind of gnarled wooden staff that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the cover of most fantasy novels.
Electricity danced around the top end, and every time Gordon tried to fly closer, possibly to help Slugger fight, she loosed a small bolt of lightning.
As I looked in that direction though, something else caught my eye. On the black and white screen that was my HUD for the moment, I thought I saw a gray shape on the other side of the arena, just past where Samita had pointed out the wards.
The sonics only reproduced it in a shadowy way, and the thermal imaging didn’t detect it at all, but if it were real, it was big. Elephant sized, maybe.