There’s only one thing I’m better for in a fight than being a distraction, and that’s a weapon of mass destruction, but this wasn’t the time for a WMD.
I roared toward the flying dino, light flashing on my front to keep me in the air and from the bottoms of my feet and hand to keep me moving forward. With each flash of light came an accompanying pop or explosive booming noise.
I sounded like the Fourth of July—the end of the fireworks display when they’re sending off everything they have left.
From video footage, I knew what I had to look like—a vaguely human shaped being of blinding light. When I fly toward you, you’ll see me even if you shut your eyes.
The flying dinosaur flinched. Saddled on its back, one of the smaller winged dinos smacked the side of its neck. The flying dinosaur’s eyes glowed red, but it missed me.
I don’t think it even tried to hit.
The red eye beams passed below me, hitting the lake with a hissing noise and a cloud of steam that billowed upward.
I zigged and zagged, suspecting that my shields could handle its eye beams, but not wanting to test it. As soon as I was close enough that I had a good shot, I let energy build. Since I couldn’t do that and fly at the same time, that meant I’d begun to fall, but only grew brighter as I did.
Then I let a blast of energy free. It wasn’t precise. I don’t do precise. It was a blast of yellow-white light as wide around as a car, scorching its underside.
The dinos screamed—both of them—the flying dino because it had been hurt, the rider because one of his boots was on fire.
“Going in,” Blue said. In a flash of her namesake color, she appeared, grabbing the dinosaur’s tail and twisting it around, letting it go when it was above the nearest lake—Grand Lake, the lake the city had been built around.
“We’re in range. Blue, are you clear?” The Rocket’s voice came over the communicator in my costume.
The dinosaur flapped its wings, struggling to get control as Blue flew to the right and upward from the creature.
“Clear,” she said.
Hard to see in the sky, a bluish-white beam came from behind me, hitting the flying dinosaur from above, cutting it in half, burning it.
As cliched as this sounds, it did smell like grilled chicken.
Its rider managed to get free from the saddle, spreading its own wings and flying away, wearing only one boot.
I checked behind me. The League’s jet flew downward, turning toward downtown, not looking like it appears in old photos, a slim, silver/gray bullet-shaped plane with stubby wings. It looked like it did when the League fought aliens in the 1970s—the same shape, but surrounded by a darkness deeper than black.
“That’s one,” Night Cat said. “We’re not going to be able to get the rest of them this way—at least not quickly enough.”
My mind was still stuck on the words “one” and “the rest of them.” I turned away from the lake and back toward the city. In the time that we’d used to take out one of the beasts, six more had flown out of a hole in the sky.
As I absorbed that, one of them fired its eye beams. It hit a building on the edge of downtown, a church to judge from its steeple. Most of the steeple fell forward onto the lawn while the church’s roof started to burn.
C’s voice came over the communicator, “Push them away from people. The lake’s your best choice, but if they’re heading toward the suburbs, fight them downtown. Be aware of our people. They’re already fighting on the ground. Don’t drop a dinosaur on them.”
A lightning bolt hit the dinosaur that had blasted the church. It flailed in the air, nearly losing control and crashing into downtown’s tallest hotel. Somehow, it stretched out its wings and turned in time.
“Storm King,” C said, just a touch louder than before, “leave the flyers to the people who can take them on directly. You need to control the growing army on the ground.”
“Got it,” he said, “but he was close.” His voice was just barely loud enough to hear.
“I’ll strafe them,” I said, and let the explosions drive me toward them.
The winged giants had been beginning to spread out and fly toward the two gateways that the smaller dinos were pouring out of. There was no organization, just an endless stream, and unlike the first invaders, they didn’t seem to be carrying laser rifles.
I flew directly in front of them, diving lower than I thought they’d be comfortable with bending to aim at me. As I flew, I sprayed a few shots up at their bellies. They wouldn’t be enough to take them out, but they would burn enough to hurt them.
I guessed right and wrong. Most of the dinos couldn’t bend their necks far enough to aim without accidentally changing direction, so they barely fired at me. The ones on the far end only had to bend a little to fire.
I felt the hit, but my “shields” aren’t just shields. The absorbed the blast, not all of it, but enough. I expended a little of their energy to fly.
Blue flew after me, drawing some of their fire, but giving her own blast of sound.