Courtesy: Part 57

That knowledge gave me the confidence to let “Amy” and Kals protect Alex while I did my best to protect Daniel and the various Jennys.

Her ability to duplicate herself made it worse when every copy represented a tunnel into her brain.

I fired off a series of armor piercing bots. They weren’t as effective as killbots, but they were simpler and faster to produce. Plus, they didn’t have monomolecular blades constantly sucking energy until they dulled.

For fighting animate fungus creatures, they were arguably better. Where the killbots cut cleanly through, the armor piercing bots splattered innards outward, carrying more with them than they hit directly.

I aimed for the legs, taking them off more often than not. If there weren’t so many of them, it would have been easy. I blew the leg off one to realize that another had grabbed one of the copies of Jenny and was about to carry her off. I shot the legs off that one only to see another diving for Daniel. 

I punched through that one’s chest to find two more humonsters grabbing copies of Jenny, one for each.

I sent bots through the heads off of each one and then fired off a boombot to explode in the middle of a humonster cluster looking over the top of the mound to my right.

They disappeared and the top of the mound near them blackened and burned.

After that, I didn’t see as many, but also, they stopped clustering. They dropped from over the side of the mounds four at a time, one going for Daniel and the other three for copies of Jenny. I sent armor-piercing bots through them, noticing as their legs exploded that two more had dropped down, grabbed a Jenny together and were pulling her up the side of the mound to my right—30 feet down the row.

The bots under my control were in the other direction and I couldn’t fire off more without transferring the bots from individual control to group control. That would have taken longer than I felt I had.

I fired off myself with the rockets, pulling Jenny out of the humonsters’ grasp and flipping around to go back to my position.

I expected to find that more humonsters were dropping down to grab Daniel and copies of Jenny. I’d prepared to drop them with armor piercing bots but that’s not what happened.

I saw one of the Guardsmen in Rocket suits spray a cluster of goo-covered Guardsmen and the goo drooped, turning to liquid and dripping onto the floor. A quick check behind me showed that the same thing was happening there.

We were about to be attacked by 102 Rocket suits, all of them worse than mine, but containing people who didn’t deserve to die for this. If goobots no longer held them, I might have to kill them in order for us to survive.

Part of me knew that would be a small price to pay to save the city and arguably the world—not to mention my parents—but it still didn’t feel good.

In my heart, I doubted that either Kals or whoever controlled Amy’s body right now would hesitate and part of me was thankful for that.

At least it wouldn’t be entirely on me.

Even though I wasn’t optimistic about it, I sent off a volley of goobots at both the people that were being freed and the ones freeing them. Despite my worse fears, I hit all of them and saw grey goo spread across the group and pull them toward each other as it tightened.

Fulfilling my worst fears, as the ones that had already been sprayed were pulled close, the newly applied goo began to liquify. It didn’t everywhere, but even one spot was enough for them to get enough space to push away from each other. 

Even the ones that couldn’t push themselves away were sprayed by sprayers Rocket suited Guardsmen pulled from their belts. Behind them, Guardsmen who hadn’t been hit sprayed themselves preemptively.

Though part of me noted that this meant that the local National Guard had prepared to fight me specifically, most of me knew that goobots were now not an option.

As a last ditch effort to be nonlethal, I fired off the sonics down the row at the Guardsmen, using both arms, and watching for sparks.

It didn’t stop the two in front from pulling themselves free and running down the row toward me followed by the whole mass of those behind them.

More than one hundred boots hit the floor. Objects on their utility belts shattered, but the sonics didn’t slow the suits down.

Behind me, I could see “Amy” turn to face the row of Guardsmen running toward her while Kals shouted something at them and then Alex.

I readied my remaining killbots and aimed my armor piercing bots at the Rocket suits.

As I did, I heard Sean’s voice say, “We’re here!”

All of the Rocket suited Guardsmen found themselves hurtling sideways toward the middle of the room—the direction we’d come from. Stopped only by the mounds next to them, they couldn’t move anywhere.

Sean’s form appeared, stepping out of one of the passageways between rows as Jody blurred down the row. Reaching Daniel, the Jennys, Kals, and “Amy,” Jody cut humonsters to bits with his dagger as Dayton jumped over a mound, using his own daggers to do the same.

My relief at not having to cut down the Guardsmen was mixed with surprise and annoyance at how they’d prepared to face me, but hadn’t worried about Sean’s magnetism at all. Despite his improvement, it still seemed like misplaced worry.

Next to Kals, Alex pushed himself to his feet.

9 thoughts on “Courtesy: Part 57”

    1. Which one of those?


      Guardsmen who hadn’t been it sprayed themselves.

      I guess they were playing tag after a fashion. Goo tag, kind of like freeze tag.

  1. I saw one of the Guardsmen in Rocket suits spray a cluster of Guardsmen I’d hit with goobots

    Not a typo, but the first time I read it my brain told me that the Guardsmen were wildly shooting (spraying) goobots at each other. It might be worth rewording it a bit.

  2. Just a thought, if the locally present Jennies are expendable and became a liability, why not just kill them off?
    Possible answer, the monsters will just use the bodies like they did with that A-hole head? But are these body copies real or will they discorporate when killed?
    Or is Nick still too soft for that (but not for preparing to kill soldiers he doesn’t personally know)? 🙂

    1. I thought about that though I didn’t go into Nick’s thoughts. It’s more difficult to take her out than it’s worth. She’s wearing armor designed by Nick—which means that the most recent monomolecular blades won’t work and that blows, explosions, and bots will take more than one blow.

      By the time he takes one out, they could steal a body. If he had more time, it could work.

      1. Maybe for next time, instead of trying to make her copies discorporate using magic or psychic triggers, just give them a bomb collar?

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