I watched the beast walk up to one of the force fields, bat at the downed force field pole, turn, and follow the wall back the other direction.
It didn’t strike at the force field wall even though it did watch the workers behind it, throwing a few glances in our direction.
It had large teeth and a lot of them. How many pounds of force could it bite with?
I didn’t know off the top of my head but used the HUD to take measurements of its mouth and head and the underlying muscle structure.
The fact that it didn’t bother to strike at the force field argued that it might understand that it couldn’t get through.
As I thought, Jaclyn asked the question that I’d just begun to consider. “How did the pole go down?”
Geman didn’t say anything, giving Cassie time to say, “I guess he doesn’t know.”
Katuk walked toward the edge of the shield and the beast stopped, watching him.
Geman’s voice came over the channel. “It sounds like they didn’t configure it right. I think it got a paw under the force field.”
Interesting. I wasn’t sure how smart that made it, but it was at least kind of smart. I zoomed in on the pole with my HUD. The pole was bent and a thick section near the bottom looked like it had a chunk missing. I doubted that I could repair it, but it might be worth looking at later.
“Okay everybody,” Jaclyn said over the channel we’d been using. “We’ve got to make some decisions. We’ve got to figure out how we want to rescue these people.”
“Easy,” Marcus grew wings out of his back. “All we have to do is have Nick and I fly over the top of the force fields, grab them, and fly back. Problem solved. No fighting. No risk. Everything’s good.”
Katuk looked away from the beast and back toward us to send the word, “Sensible,” in our direction.
Cassie looked the beast up and down. “I’m almost disappointed, but let’s not fight it if we don’t have to. That thing looks like it could do some damage.”
“It sounds like a good plan from this end,” Geman said. “They get crazy when they smell the blood of one of their own.”
“Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen then.” Jaclyn waved over at the workers by the wall. “Geman, tell them we’re coming.”
Deep voice rumbling, Geman said, “It’s done. I told them what you’re doing.”
“Great,” Marcus said and took a great flap with his wings. A few more flaps took him up and over the top of the force fields. I turned on the rocket pack and took to the air. The force field ended around one hundred feet up. I slowed my ascent very nearly to hovering in place and then gave myself enough forward moment to float above the separated section of the force field and the wall.
It took a moment to get the Rocket suit to hover in place, but once it did, I took a look over the wall and noticed that Geman had been correct. My HUD showed four more of the beasts on the other side of the wall, none of them moving, waiting for anything that chose to escape around the corner.
I sent the picture over to everyone and let the suit lose altitude. I came to a stop next to Marcus and the three workers (two men and a woman).
The group of us stood right next to one of the floating cargo platforms. If they’d been planning to use it to escape, it wasn’t a bad idea. Depending on how high and how quickly it flew, they might not need us. On the other hand, I’d never seen them higher than twenty feet or so.
“Hey everybody,” I said, letting the implant translate my words into their language. They grunted greetings as the implant informed me that they were from a gene line that emphasized strength and were used to breed warriors. Looking them over, I could believe it. They were all about my height while wearing the Rocket suit—about seven feet. At the same time, they all could have passed for bodybuilders, even the woman.
If they were like the other people, they might not officially have powers, but I would have bet that they were stronger than a normal person.
I looked over at Marcus. “How many can you take?”
He looked from one of them to the other. “Two, I think.”
With me taking one, that would be the end of it in one trip.
“So who wants to fly with me?” I looked over the group. One of the men made a short bow in my direction. As I reached out to him, the shields stopped glowing. A second look made it clear to me that they were off, leaving the workers and us standing unprotected in the dark.