In the middle of all the teleportation, Cassie connected via implant. “I’m behind the birthing chambers. Can you keep them off me while I take them out?”
I didn’t see her drop through the hole, but my implant reproduced an image of her swinging across the birthing chambers and dropping to the far side next to the wall.
“I can try,” I told her, beginning to try to figure out how.
Even though implant-based exchanges were near-instantaneous, I found myself having to make some quick decisions. Unless I was willing to fly with my body upright, making myself a slow target, I had to stay at the minimal speed to stay airborne.
Not having a better idea, opened up with goobots in three-shot bursts, setting all of them to area of effect instead of single target.
Spider-man might have been proud if he’d existed. The bullets exploded into gooey grey lines that resembled off-brand Silly String more than spider webs, but it wasn’t much different in the end.
Victor, Rook, Rook’s henches, and the crowbots had appeared in a cluster. Russell Hardwick, Ryan, Art, and Zola appeared together in the next cluster—the one good point of your enemy using teleportation. I’d been moving quickly enough toward them they didn’t have time to spread out or even recognize that they needed to.
Mind you, Art and Zola had noticed me. They’d been tracking me with their eyes even as they began to howl, readying themselves to leap.
The goo left them trying to pull themselves free. Zola yanked her arm back twice without success and then pulled it toward her mouth to gnaw on one of the lines with a growl. Art watched her with a frown appearing to show on his face.
Vaughn’s Uncle Russ stared at me. If his lightning worked like Vaughn’s or even his son Lucas’ power, he didn’t need to aim his hand at me to fire off lightning. He didn’t even try. I could only guess that he knew that the Rocket suit was practically invulnerable to the stuff.
Ryan, meanwhile stood behind Russ, struggling to pull his arm free without tearing his silk shirt and nearly falling for his trouble—nearly falling because he did trip. The goo had not only attached to his arm but also the back of his shirt and his pants. So after he fell, the goo pulled him around, holding him about two feet above the ground. “Uncle Russ” turned to scowl at him. Zola hissed.
I passed them, dodging and weaving to make it hard in case anyone tried to shoot me.
None of them even tried. Victor, Rook, his henchmen, and the crowbots were trying to cut their way out of the goo, and with the killbot cutting tech in their claws, it was working. Even the best of them could only cut one strand at a time, though, so as I passed they were too busy getting out to shoot at me.
This was not true of the first people I’d seen when I entered the room though. The True in armor including the one firing purple-tinged shots had been behind everyone who’d been teleported in.
Worse, they acted like all the other True I’d ever heard of—they weren’t stupid. They were already spreading out before I came near them. Because they could only move so far though, they weren’t so spread out than I couldn’t fire at them.
I made the guy with the purple-tinged gun the highest priority on the grounds that he was most likely to kill me, hitting his general area not once, but twice. Grey strands of goo spread all around him, hitting not just him, but three out of the four soldiers near him—kind of. Purple gun guy managed not to get entirely wrapped up in the stuff. I hit his left leg and the gun—which was great. He couldn’t shoot at me.
The two guys next to him couldn’t either, but since the fourth guy, a male True based on Cassie or if I thought of it differently, a male True based on her father, the original Captain Commando. He did what either of them would have done.
He blasted away at me with his gun, aiming white laser beams in my direction while I was getting closer to the far end and trying to figure my next step.
Turning had to be part of it because I didn’t want to hit the rapidly approaching wall. The one on this end had a garage door sized such that a pickup truck or van could go through. I decided to keep it in mind if I needed an exit later.
In the meantime, despite getting hit a couple of times by the True, I flipped over and found myself facing another run down the middle of the room, or taking cover next to the birthing chambers while Cassie trashed them.
Even better if that could be soon, we’d be able to leave before everyone got out of the goo. The alternative would be to start shooting everyone since I’d stuck everyone to the ground or each other.
I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to kill anyone, but it struck me that if I were going to kill anyone, I should probably prioritize the people with guns that could phase shots through my armor—the True with the purple beam, Rook, his henchmen, and probably Victor.
Aiming for the nearest corner of the birthing chambers, I decided to take cover there and start firing. Concentrating on the energy reserves that the Ghosts had taught me to access, I noted that I’d absorbed almost no energy since I’d last pulled some in.
I decided I’d better hope the birthing chambers offered protection against out-of-phase shots or start being extremely ruthless.
Near the middle of the room, the True with the purple beamed gun ripped the gun loose from the strands of imprisoning goo.