Roll The Dice: Part 7

A few of the bullets shot away from his hand toward Gordon as Gifford shouted, “No!”

The Rocket suit’s sensors showed the air in front of Gordon becoming more dense, maybe not to force field levels, but enough to matter.

The bullets hit the barrier and began to be blown to the left when they discorporated.

Bullet pulled more bits of force together and then they transformed, surrounding him in a bullet-shaped container that shot forward toward Gordon even as Gordon and Gifford bodies’ tightened up, pointing their arms toward Bullet.

We felt the ensuing blast of wind. It pulled us forward and a few of the Coffeeshop Illuminati tumbled.

More of the Coffeeshop Illuminati jumped in after him. A big guy in a purple costume styled to resemble plate armor landed on top of Bullet’s force field, punching it, and leaving visible waves in the field, almost as if it were liquid.

Another big guy, this one with horns on his head and wearing blue armor jumped up and started fighting the first guy, both of them balancing on the top of the bullet.

Bullet himself ignored the both of them as he struggled in the wind.

Jaclyn turned to the rest of us, “I don’t want to, but we might have to stop it.” 

If she didn’t worry about what happened to them, she could probably take down everyone. Assuming she wanted to avoid breaking bones or even killing people, she needed us.

Meanwhile, in the background one of the Coffeeshop Illuminati, a woman in a gold costume, whose long hair coiled in the air like snakes, shouted at all of them, “Stop fighting each other!”

At the same time, two of the Coffeeshop Illuminati stepped away from what remained of their half-circle (now a string of random dots) and stood in front of the group of us.

Both were maybe five and half feet tall and wore blue costumes. Live electricity traveled all over their bodies. If I remembered correctly, they called themselves Live Wire and didn’t have individual names.

I wasn’t sure of the practicality of that, but they didn’t seem in the mood to discuss it.

“Don’t move,” they said in stereo.

“I’m not trying to challenge you or anything,” Vaughn said, “but did you check out our known powers before coming over here? We’re not trying to leave, but lightning isn’t a huge threat.”

“Look behind you,” they said, one of them pointing past us.

There wasn’t anything behind us, but in the next moment humanoid figures grew out of the ground. If anything, they reminded me of sped up film of mushrooms growing. They had the grey color and skin texture of mushrooms combined with almost human features. 

They didn’t scare me. I knew what they were. Hunter had run off to help Gifford, his best friend, and apparently left seeds for his fungus creatures behind us. In general, they weren’t terribly tough, but he did have tough ones and had been known to include tough features even in weak ones.

Ahead of us, another seed blossomed into another creature. This one grew 50 feet to tower over everything but the trees. It had mushroom-like skin as well, but this one was shaped like a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

It roared and went after Bullet and the people defending him. At that, Theo, one of the few remaining Illuminati turned to me and said, “You can take these guys,” and flew toward the Tyrannosaurus, blasting superheated plasma at it.

It fell over, smashing into the swing set, but then the T. Rex pushed itself up despite its teeny mushroom arms.

Though the plasma had burned it, it was still in one piece. Hunter’s skills had improved since the last time I’d paid attention to them. That wasn’t good.

“I’m taking down the T. Rex and getting Bullet out of here,” Jaclyn said, running forward and past Live Wires before they even had a chance to register her.

Unable to stop Jaclyn, they threw lightning at us. Amy dove behind me, pulling out the Bloodspear to fight the mushroom zombies behind us. 

They shrieked and didn’t stop shrieking when Cassie started firing her gun at them.

There were more of them than I’d realized. When I’d first noticed them, I guessed there might be 20. Now I was thinking more than 100.

Guessing that taking lightning blasts wasn’t included in a Bloodmaiden’s basic power set, I kept myself between her and the Live Wires’ bolts. Electricity hit the Rocket suit and traveled down the outside into the ground.

I blasted Live Wires with my sonics, causing them to stop throwing bolts as they fumbled to adjust their helmets. Vaughn, meanwhile simply redirected the lightning bolts into the ground or into the mushroom zombie army behind him.

I was about to rush them when Stephanie stepped forward, the plates on her armor glowing. Remembering that she’d told me not to trust her if I saw her, I knew what was coming next—we’d be experiencing one of her visual brain stem hacks.

I didn’t need the automated text from our private channel that said, “Take me out. I don’t care how,” but it made what came next easier.

In the pause where Live Wires’ lightning bolts stopped, I opened up on her with a barrage of goobots.

10 thoughts on “Roll The Dice: Part 7”

    1. I’ve seen the concept of mushroom zombies (tho’ more usually fungus-infected zombies; there was a video game & miniseries on that, and at least 2 separate books) before, but a mushroom t-rex zombie is new.

      1. Ah yes, The Last of Us. The woman who played Ellie in the show gave off a pretty strong psychotic serial killer vibe that didn’t sit well with the fans of the game. Pedro Pascal was great but it felt to me that the writers made him a little too unsure of himself.

  1. Theo, one of the few Illuminati turned to me and said, “You can take these guys,”

    Theo turned to Nick and said that? Whose side is he on? Also, is he one of the few remaining Illuminati perhaps – there were quite a few originally if I understand correctly.

    1. Considering he went after the T-Rex mushroom zombie immediately after saying that, I’d say it’s pretty clear he’s siding with Bullet in the Bullet vs Gordon fight.

      It’s interesting that Stephanie is siding with Gordon, but at the same time apparently wanting to lose. Has she managed to trick the Nine into thinking they’ve brainwashed her to their side, and thus is fighting the Heroes League to maintain her cover? Or maybe they actually have done so, but she’s set up some counters to give herself a modicum of control.

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