Izzy hit the dome fist first, obviously expecting it to work like a force field and shatter with the strength of her blow plus her momentum. It didn’t. Through my HUD, I saw the spot where she hit give but turn into a kind of tunnel through the dome, adjusting her course to slide her out the side before she had time to adjust.
Not anyone could have done that. Gish either had Daniel’s prescience or practiced adjusting his shield a lot.
At the same time that Izzy had tried punching the dome, I’d tried my own experiment with punching it. As I did, I saw through my HUD that rather than moving out of the way of my punch, the shield darkened around my hand, becoming denser and holding it in place. I hadn’t been hovering as I did it either.
I’d slowed down, but I was flying, held up by the anti-gravity with the rocket pack providing momentum. The force around my hand tried to pull me down and my gut reaction, trying to pull my arm away, pulled me closer.
I realized it before I pulled myself into the roiling mass of dome-shaped force, which was good. What was bad is that I was now facing the same problem that the Cabal was when facing Daniel. I could move tons of force, but I had nothing to push against and the suit’s rockets weren’t as strong as the suit’s artificial muscles were. The same could be said of the suit’s anti-gravity modules, but they at least helped.
I increased the anti-gravity, giving me a constant upward force.
Knowing that the sonics had worked against force fields on Hideaway, I activated the sonics on my right arm, the one held in the dome. Through the suit’s sensors, I could see that it was resonating and that some threads of force were breaking, but that it wasn’t reacting the way a force field with a rigid structure would—shattering.
New threads of force were forming even as the old ones fell apart. At the same time, I felt my hand slip upward. I narrowcast sound from my left hand, aiming at the space around my right even as the force began to tighten again.
It hit and I felt its hold give as I gave the rockets and anti-gravity units more power and fuel respectively. While the Cabal psychic’s hold held long enough for the rockets to make me think I might be about to dip into the dome of force, I adjusted and the suit’s path pointed upward as the last bit of Gish’s hold on me broke.
I shot away, flipping around to give myself a view of the scene and figure out what I was going to do next.
As I came around, my implant gave me a flash of what had been happening when I was too busy to pay attention. After Johnny Destruction had shot through the barrier, he’d aimed himself straight at Travis and Haley, burning all the way.
With reflexes faster than any animal, they’d both jumped out of his way as Cassie fired her gun at Insurgent, the Cabal speedster. He fell, still caught in strands of the goo grenade that Travis had thrown at him.
The moment Insurgent fell, dirt and grass shot upward from the ground, making the dome impossible to see through—except that light from Johnny Destruction’s fire shone through the cracks.
As of that moment, I’d caught up to the present and was about to tell Izzy to use her sonic yell—except I didn’t have to. Whether she’d come to that on her own or Daniel sensed how I’d solved my problem and passed it on, she screamed. If my sonic weapons were a Swiss Army knife, Izzy’s scream was more of a nuclear bomb.
My sensors showed the dome wobble and then break, dirt clods, and bits of grass dropping to the ground. On the edge of where the dome had been, Gish stood there, eyes wide and body tense as if he were in pain—except then a purple blur ran through my field of vision and Gish wasn’t anywhere to be seen.
Izzy dove toward Johnny Destruction, who had turned to aim his body and its surrounding massive ball of flame toward Travis and Haley. They were running toward the forest where they’d at least have a chance to avoid him even if he did start parts of it on fire. Thanks to my implant and suit’s sensors, I knew that he’d catch up to them before they could make it.
I flew after him, firing my laser because it was the only thing I had that could reach him soon enough and hoping that with Gish gone, Daniel might be able to break into Johnny Destruction’s mind or whack him with telekinesis.
We needed some kind of game changer now because there wouldn’t be a later.
Travis changed course, turning to the right. I thought for a second that he was trying to sacrificially draw Johnny Destruction after him by splitting up. It wasn’t a bad idea, but I was only half-right. He’d chosen a different form of self-sacrifice.
He turned right, but then completely around, jumping into the ball of fire surrounding Johnny Destruction, claws out and aimed at the man’s throat.