Free for some value of free—which in this case meant not fighting someone that could potentially kill me with a punch or, more likely, kill Kid Biohack.
I took a moment to orient myself. There’s no point in getting out only to fly into the path of a Mack truck. I’d come out on the side of the arena where I thought I would, a side with no obvious doors or windows except, of course, for the hole my bots blew in what would have otherwise passed for a wall. Continue reading Rematch: Part 20
Len nodded at them, “I assume you’re delivering the new artifact. If you’re here for the next delivery of mechs, I told your… owners… that they’re going to be late due to certain parts being unavailable.”
As he’d said, owners, he’d grinned at them and not a nice grin. It was more of a smirk. The Tara twin gave no reaction, an expressionless dark blond woman in a black business suit. By contrast, Captain Clone’s eyes narrowed and his mouth widened in an expression that in my life meant that Cassie’s next punch was going to hurt. I’d mostly seen it after a hard punch while training, or when we were playing Monopoly.
The less said about that, the better. Continue reading Rematch: Part 11
Turning off the TV and leaving the remote on the chair, Cassie walked over to the table in the middle of the room, asking, “From what little I’ve heard of Kid Biohack from you and the rest of the team, he loves any camera he can find, but he’s on the right side. From what I’ve seen from your recording, Yoselin might be trustworthy for what we’re doing, but she’s probably got plans for Armory’s stuff that we might not like.”
Daniel put his phone in his pocket and joined her at the table, reaching it at about the same time I pulled out a chair, “You were saying we might want to blow up Armory’s stuff. With the Nine there and Yoselin likely to grab what she can for Cuba, it makes even more sense. It could make for a good distraction on the way out.” Continue reading Rematch: Part 10
A thud came from over the radio, followed by the sound of rushing wind.
Through the haze of the explosions’ smoke, the elemental’s tentacles swung upward. They’d hit something in the air. Larry had a good guess as to what.
“Hey, are you okay?”
Alexis’ said, “Give me a second.”
He gasped for breath, then seemed to catch it. A series of popping noises followed, and the earth elemental turned toward the jungle, standing and flailing its arms at something it couldn’t seem to catch.
Alexis said, “Your companions, they can escape now!” A strong wind blew in the background.
He had a point. Larry turned back toward the hangar. This wasn’t a good place for them to be. They didn’t have armor. They shouldn’t be in the middle of all this, and a hangar wasn’t the place to hide. The creature could crush it without thinking. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 21
The security guard’s helmet tipped downward toward his leg. It was completely exposed from the front, displaying his brown jump suit. A pile of sparkling dust lay around his foot.
Lim aimed the gun toward the guard’s helmet, and the man pushed him backward and ran away. Lim landed on his back, but didn’t drop the gun. He kept it pointing upward at the security guards, not firing, but ready.
Larry, meanwhile had a security guard’s helmet in the Frog suit’s front claw. Since the guy had dropped Cheryl, he didn’t see any reason to keep hold, so he let go of the helmet, punching the guard’s armor in the abdomen at about the same time. The guard slid across the runway, and into the hangar’s open door. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 20
Armory met them in front of the hangar. He had Lim and Cheryl with him, each one guarded by a security guard in armor.
More armored security guards stood around Armory, all of them in silver except for a couple whose armor had referee stripes on the top. Larry wondered what it would be like to be those guys—dealing with a real security problem while dressed to manage a game.
Standing behind all of them, Neil Sloan stood just to the side of the hangar. Larry mentally marked the spot, and checked his helmet’s panoramic vision of his surroundings. The earth elemental had followed him and stood behind him on the runway. It wasn’t close, but it was close enough to strike if it came to that.
So basically Armory had taken hostages to encourage his good behavior—except he didn’t realize that all Larry had to do to even the odds was wait. He had six minutes before the Rocket showed up. He could figure out a way to kill six minutes. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 19
It was bigger than before, and creepier by far. Before it had been a mixture of dirt, rock, concrete, and asphalt. Now it was almost entirely asphalt with bits of the other materials mixed in, but that wasn’t the creepy part.
Before had been shaped like a humanoid. Now its legs and arms had been replaced with tentacles of asphalt. Its face was still shaped roughly like a human’s, but when Larry zoomed in, he saw that even its face was now made of thousands of slender asphalt threads. It writhed, and moved.
It looked like something that ought to be on the cover of an H.P. Lovecraft book. Larry took a picture with the suit’s camera. Joe would probably know a wizard who’d want to see it.
Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 18
Bounding through the doorway and into hall, Larry kept control of the suit, stopping from sliding across the concrete floor. The Frog suit’s claws left scratches, but Larry doubted that anyone would care.
Assuming he survived and got away, the worst the arena’s management could do would be refusing to return his room deposit.
He accelerated and the Frog suit moved, lifting a few feet into the air with every leap. Larry kept it at a steady pace, expecting to face the security team at any time.
They didn’t appear.
He met up with Alexis a few hallways down. Alexis wore his armor—red, white and blue. It could have passed for a odd version of the Rocket suit except that most of the chest was red with a single white star. Blue and white stripes alternated to the right of the red section.
Alexis said, “I expected them to be chasing you by now.” Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 14
A man opened the door. He didn’t give Larry the impression of being a brilliant inventor, superhero, or villain.
Len’s combover was painfully obvious, and his small moustache reminded Larry of Hitler’s. It was wider, but had a similar look. Larry pegged the man as being in his mid-thirties, and guessed that his clothes dated from the late 70’s. His shirt’s collar seemed a little too wide.
Len looked up at Larry, and tried to close the door.
Larry didn’t let it shut. He put his foot in and pushed forward, stepping into the room.
Len’s room was a bigger version of Larry’s suite—except Len’s main room included a hot tub. Plus, a significant part of Len’s workshop had migrated inside. Most flat surfaces held tools. A mech’s arm lay across the coffee table.
Len let go of the door as Larry pushed his way in, beginning to turn, and probably to run. Larry grabbed his arm. Continue reading Enter the Larry: Part 13