Victor held his head in his hands, screaming as if in pain. I guessed it might be feedback from his connection to the birthing chambers.
Rook, meanwhile, began screaming at him. “Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!”
Even before he’d finished, I fired another boombot at him and aimed a narrow beam sonic attack at Victor because with all the energy flowing through me I could handle that and still have time to adjust the sonics.
Rook saw the boombot, tried to stumble out of its way, but it curved and exploded against his chest, throwing him back into the wall. The expanding ball of fire also knocked over one of Rook’s henchmen who’d just pushed himself off the floor. It missed Victor and the other henchman.
As for Victor, I’d set the sonics to vibrate at the most resonant frequency they could find, but I’d targeted an inch of his chest. I had a theory that the ten-foot tall, purple-tinged body wasn’t him. It was some kind of projection. If he only absorbed energy on the electromagnetic spectrum, he wouldn’t be able to absorb sound and the most resonant frequency might disrupt whatever was keeping it together.
A pipe dream? Maybe, but, around that spot, Victor flickered. Overall, it didn’t do any good because it firmed up again in an instant. Still, if I put more power into it, I might be able to take it all down.
Before I could up the power and hit him with sonic blasts from both arms, he disappeared, reappearing next to the nearest corner of the shattered birthing chambers. Cassie had been coming around the corner. As she jumped toward the top of the shattered birthing chamber, he pointed his hands at her and a pulse of purple energy as wide as his chest hit her.
She didn’t disappear. A white glow appeared around the costume I’d made for her, but whatever protection the gun had given her, it wasn’t enough. Purple light appeared on the other side of the white glow, blackening spots on her costume.
Remote damage notifications ran across the bottom of my HUD. I ignored them as she fell, activating the rockets and blasting in their direction. Rook and his henchmen all fired on me then, sending another round of notifications through the HUD. These showed that the armor had taken another series of hits, but that we were closer to the point where shots might start to damage pieces of the suit that couldn’t be repaired in the field and also me.
I ignored that too, aiming myself straight at Victor. Cassie’s healing factor was one of the highest anyone had cataloged. Unless Victor took the time to burn her to cinders, she’d be up again. I had to give her the time.
If I got the chance, I might even blow through the wall and leave.
She’d destroyed the birthing chambers. We didn’t have any reason to stay. Sure it might be nice to take Rook down, but we’d won already. It was time to go before Victor cremated Cassie and my armor reached its limit.
So I flew through the air, pulling back my right arm and throwing the punch as I came toward him. Victor stood over Cassie. His skin and body glowed with a faint purple light.
Without slowing down, I hit him in the back of the head, throwing him into the birthing chambers. He hit hard enough that the cylinder that met his head cracked and the birthing chambers scraped over the concrete floor enough to hit its other half. Small bits broke off the birthing chamber and hit the floor.
I landed and used the momentum to give my steps a little more distance as I moved to stand between him and Cassie, putting me about four feet from the end of the birthing chamber. This meant that Rook and his henchmen were out of my view and behind me while Victor was in front of me.
He pushed himself back from the birthing chambers and turned toward me, firing a wide purple beam out of his chest, much like the one he’d used on Cassie. I thought about dodging and then thought better of it, guessing that it might hit Cassie if it didn’t hit me.
Instead, I concentrated on keeping the energy flowing through me and hoped it would counter whatever he was shooting me with.
Then it hit and for a moment all I could see was the color purple as it hit my head and chest. A burning heat seemed to surround me, but as more energy flowed through me, it seemed to take the edge off.
At the same time, I could feel that I was hitting the limit of what I could handle controlling at once. Then it ended. The beam stopped and for a moment, I blacked out.
Except even that wasn’t simple.
It wasn’t just that I couldn’t see, it was also that I felt that I was in a big, dark place, one that extended forever. I felt that there were presences in the darkness and that they were very big. Then I noticed pinprick dots of light. Stars?
Whatever they were, I felt that I didn’t want the presences to notice me and I knew I didn’t want to be there.
Without warning or an obvious reason why, I snapped back to reality. Victor stared at me. Damage notifications ran across my HUD, telling me that the next shot like that would go through my armor. It was that thin now. Also, there was damage to the laser.
If that weren’t enough, I could hear Rook shouting and people running toward us. They’d be around the corner all too soon.