Courtesy: Part 53

Unless I chose to fly upward, I had nowhere to go to dodge the shot. Even if I wanted to, that went against the whole point of being first. This was the kind of shot I was here to take so someone squishier didn’t have to.

Of course, Katuk was right behind me. His armor was every bit as good—which turned out to be important because the Guardsman’s rifle turned out to be automatic and not every shot hit me even if a lot of them did.

They hit hard. I could thank the alien materials I’d modified for my survival and couldn’t be confident that previous versions of the Rocket suit would have done as well.

With each hit a damage report appeared in my HUD along with the repair status. Meanwhile, I stumbled backward, figuring out my next move as a second soldier in powered armor stepped in behind him.

We wouldn’t be able to do anything with them blocking the way forward.

Hoping it would be enough, I fired off a series of goobots. I had plenty. I’d spent the day fighting things I could kill.

The bots exploded into webbing, coating both of the opposing Rocket suits and hardening as the soldiers tried to escape. They couldn’t, but a soldier behind them leaned in, pointing a rifle around the corner. 

I fired off more goobots, watching as they turned the corner, zeroing in on the next two soldiers and exploding into ropey, gray strands.

Four soldiers were now ensnared and as much as they pulled and strained, they couldn’t pull out of it.

Now though, we couldn’t get through that corridor without risking becoming stuck to them. On the bright side, the same problem applied to them. I fired off a few more goobots, targeting soldiers behind the ones I’d hit.

There were five of them. One had reached in to try to free the ones I’d stuck together and become stuck himself. The rest were beginning to back up and go in the other direction.

I didn’t get all of them. Two were out of the area of effect, but the gooey strands splattered across three of the five, solidifying and pulling them together.

“This way,” Daniel pointed backward and we went that way, putting Amy and a group of Jennys in front of the group.

Not meeting any resistance, we ran down the corridor, finding another opening and using it to turn and go in the original direction we’d been heading. On this side of the mound, though, I could see more light and a rainbow of colors further down the row.

The bad news was that the color outlined two figures walking toward us, both in Rocket suits and pointing big barreled rifles at us.

I couldn’t use goobots or I’d close off another route to our goal. I couldn’t use the laser without jumping or firing off the rockets to get a shot because I was at the back.

The great thing about being part of a team though is that it’s not all on you.

Kals shouted, “Stop!”

It didn’t work as it should have. They should have stopped, and they did—kind of. They stopped and then started moving again, dragging one foot after another as if forced. At least they began to. Kals shouted, “Dive!”

They halted completely. I could feel their confusion and indecision in the way they stared at the floor as if trying to decide where they could dive.

In that moment Amy threw the Bloodspear and it hit the nearest one, symbols in the metal shaft glowing a dull red until Amy pulled her hand back and the Bloodspear flew into it.

The second one fumbled to pull up his rifle and point it even as the first Guardsman fell to the ground. He never got to fire a shot. Before he had time to get it level, the Bloodspear was already sticking out of his chest.

Amy pulled her arm back and he fell too. Then she turned back to look at me and said, “They’re still alive, just tired.”

“Great,” I said, noting that the red gem on her chest which had been duller than normal was now a touch brighter.

Then she started walking forward again, spear in hand, stepping over the Rocket suits when she reached them. I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for them. It wasn’t their fault they fought us. Plus,  I could remember the coldness setting in when I turned the Bloodspear on myself in order to save Amy’s life.

They were lucky she had control over the spear’s hunger right now.

Memories of Lee saving both of us from a situation neither wanted ran through my mind as we reached the mound Daniel had been leading us to.

“There,” Daniel said and no one needed clarification about what “there” meant. 

This mound didn’t look the same as the others. It wasn’t just the variety of bioluminescent colors.  It was the intricacy of the strands that composed it, some larger, some smaller, some in bundles like cables, others interweaving with each other in matrices made of thin lines.

The colors made individual cables stand out, sometimes because the colors changed in order.

So, we had a target. Now Amy, Kals, a bunch of Jennys, and Daniel had to get out of Alex’s way so that he could touch whatever it was and tap the metaphorical domino that would start the process of tipping them all over.

5 thoughts on “Courtesy: Part 53”

  1. “They were lucky she had control the spear’s hunger”

    I think that was meant to be ‘control over the spear’s’

  2. Weird. Disregard my post on part 50. I’d opened up a new window and didn’t get the next chapter link and no posts showing on the right after that day. even cleared cache. Then when I posted my inquiry suddenly it was pulling up correctly. Glad it was needless worry!

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