War: Part 9

Bluish sparks surrounded Rachel’s gloves, and the man let go, trying to grab her, but only passing through her body without touching anything.

Knowing that he was strong, and guessing he might be able to rip my armor off, I gave the rockets some fuel, and shot into the air, hovering forty feet above the ground.

The light behind the barn left half the crowd in shadow, but I could see enough. Jaclyn, Marcus, and Cassie were doing well.

A blur of hands and feet, Jaclyn had taken over my position as well as her own. More than twenty people lay in a half circle around her. Marcus and Cassie hadn’t taken down as many, but they were close. Marcus had morphed into a form that reminded me of an armored bear. Cassie whipped her staff around, hitting one man in the stomach hard enough that he fell to the ground, and getting enough of an upswing on another guy that he actually flew over the person behind him, convulsing the whole way.

Both ends of her staff glowed with electricity. I’d upgraded it during a break from working on my armor.

I couldn’t see it well, but from the movement and the shouting, I could tell that Lee (or Gaius, whatever…) was still fighting.

Below me, the man had stopped trying to hit Rachel, and crouched as if he were about to… jump.

And then he did, shooting straight up at me.

I couldn’t think for a second. Think at Daniel for help? Except that wouldn’t work because Prime’s people always set up telepathy blockers, and even if they didn’t, just being near Lee was like standing in the middle of a psychic thunderstorm. Call Vaughn over the communicator? Start flying in a new direction?

It ultimately didn’t matter.

Even as I began to give the rockets juice, the man’s massive body shot sideways, much like it would have if it had been hit by a giant, invisible, baseball bat.

His body arced upward, sailing over the crowd, landing on the roof of the barn, and crashing through.

Over the communicator, I heard Daniel’s voice say, “Got one. You okay?”

“Fine. Weren’t you supposed to wait longer?”

“Not if you needed help, and you can’t tell me you didn’t.”

“Cool. Think you guys could make it easier to get through to Lee?”

“On it. Storm King?”

I felt the change in the wind immediately.

It didn’t hit me directly, but I felt it tugging at my feet, and I heard the roar.

It reminded me of what a giant leaf blower might sound like if there weren’t any motor, just wind, and if there weren’t any leaves, just people falling over each other, rolling, shouting, trying uselessly to grab at weeds and rocks, and finally smacking into the side of the barn.

The boards cracked, and broke as person after person piled up.

And it wasn’t as if Prime’s people stood and dared Vaughn to knock them over too. No, they ran.

The professionals ran away from the wind, some standing off to the side of the Lee vs. Prime fight. With a few exceptions, the gang members ran away entirely. Sensible ones ran to their cars. Less sensible ones ran out into the fields.

Between wind and irrational panic, Vaughn had cleared a path through to Lee in less than five seconds.

Jaclyn shouted something to Marcus and Cassie, and they ran toward where Lee stood, except it wasn’t really Lee. He still looked like Gaius.

He’d done better without us that I would have done alone.

Of the people Prime had broken out of prison, only the guy whose leg Cassie had cut off still stood. His new leg didn’t seem quite as muscular as the old one, but it probably would in time.

Assuming Cassie didn’t need to cut it off again.

He and Prime both held swords, circling around Lee, and jumping in to attack only to find Lee had moved.

Despite his freakish ability to avoid swords, Lee didn’t look good.

He’d told stories about being burned at the stake and walking away as a skeleton after the ropes burned away. I’d always wondered if he was exaggerating, but now I believed it.

He’d been cut to the bone on his right cheek, the inside of his right arm, and the hole from Prime’s sword still hadn’t healed up. He’d taken it out though.

His left arm had been charred to a point that I didn’t want to look at it.

Strangely, none of it slowed him down. He moved as quickly as he had at the beginning of the fight.

Jaclyn, Cassie and Marcus made it to the edge of the fight, and stopped. I flew down to join them.

“Nice of you to drop in,” Jaclyn said. “We’re trying to decide whether we should help ‘Gaius’ or go after them.” She nodded toward the other side of the fight where the professionals stood.

“I don’t think Gaius wants or needs the help,” Cassie said.

“I think we’d better decide now. Look!” Marcus pointed at Prime’s men. Some of them were sneaking into the darkness.

“My bet is that they’re coming for us,” Marcus said.

Cassie watched them go. “Could we have scared them off?”

Our communicators beeped. “Bad news,” Daniel said. “Storm King and I aren’t the only ones in the air.”

19 thoughts on “War: Part 9”

  1. He’d done better without us that I would have done alone.

    He’d done better without us than I would have done alone.

    I AM LOVING THIS!!! 🙂

  2. Ooooohhhhh, so much want to read more RIGHT.NOW. 🙂

    I’m picturing a tornado stricken field with people strewn around rather than buildings, and chaos everywhere. This is Epic.

  3. Of the people, Prime had broken out of prison, only the guy whose leg Cassie had cut off still stood.

    Shouldn’t have a comma there.

    Thoughts on the professionals sneaking away: they want to be away from whatever’s coming down from above, and then come back to attack our heroes while they’re distracted. That’s my guess, at least.

  4. At least the others are there watching, and that cleaned them out of the way pretty quick. And seeing someone take that kind of damage would prove they are immortal, anyone else would either be screaming in pain or have a harder time moving.

  5. –He’d told stories about being burned at the stake and walking away as a skeleton after the ropes burned away. I’d always wondered if he was exaggerating, but now I believed it.–

    My jaw literally fell off reading that.

    So can we all agree that we have another nominee for “Best Episode EVAH”??

  6. Oh well, I figure Nick’s doing better in combat than the others would do in the armoury. Nobody’s the best at everything except Mary Sues.
    And maybe Batman.

  7. Come on, Lee, you gotta know there’s one spot to hit even a regenerator that’s still going to disable them for awhile. Well, as long as they’re male.

    Permission granted to target the cojones!

    In the words of the Cobra Kai, “If they can’t have kids, they can’t fight.”

    …maybe that part was cut from the movie, but you get the idea.

  8. ” Permission granted to target the cojones!”

    I formally nominate Psycho Gecko for membership in the Grand Lake Heroes League.

  9. Damn, the worst part of any story for me; the part where I catch up to the author writing it.

    Love you work, can’t wait to see what happens next.

  10. Psycho Gecko lays his hand on a scanner and pushes his face into a specially molded facial reader that scans his DNA, facial features, and retina. The large, cog-like door pulls inward and slides to the side. He enters, closing the door behind him, and makes his way to his private sanctum, robotic guards taking their positions at the door.

    As he sits down, a large computer screen emerges. He enters a 147-digit code directly from memory, which activates the red phone sitting on the desk. Gecko picks it up and makes two calls. The men in the hidden bunkers that he called then appear on his screen. Though many miles apart, they insert their unique keys into a slot on an old mainframe in each of the bunkers. They turn the keys simultaneously, activating the wailing alarm and flashing red lights.

    The wall behind Gecko’s desk opens up, revealing two standing mannequins holding swords and featuring large, red buttons at their crotches. Gecko stands, fixes his Armani suit, then proceeds to punch one of the buttons while hitting the other with a kick.

    ………..

    Lee’s cellphone beeps that he has a message.

    It reads simply “Permission granted to target the cojones!”

    1. Came here after rereading Worm, with comments this time, where I’ve learnt of LoN and had the unique experience of PG comments, rewrites, puns and welcomes (too bad I was late to get one there, some are true masterpieces; Gecko, do you do welcomes here too? I guess I will find out when I catch up…).
      I’ve had 2 goals here: reading LoN, obviously, and I’ll be savoring it for a while still – and learning how was PG comments style born. Looks like this is it! The 1st 3rd person PG comment I’ve found. I feel part of a written history now.
      Now, to the rest of LoN and the comments; nice to see more of the active Wormers and later Wildbow works’ commenters that came from here, feels like looking at old friends’ photos from when they were younger 🙂

      1. Alas, the hazard of writing a serial that goes on for 14 years is the rotating cast of readers. The group of people reading this serial changes over time. Old readers drop out and new readers appear. PG stuck around for a long time but dropped out around the time he started writing his own serial.

        I’m glad you’re here though. You’ll find a few comments by Wildbow now and then too—much as you’ll find my comments on Worm.

        1. Wow, an undeserving and unexpected personal welcome from the author on a super-necro (and rather lame) comment. Now I have something to frame 🙂

          I did see your comments in Worm, and the mutual respect I saw between you and Wildbow, plus the fact that you’ve influenced him to start his work to begin with caused me to put LoN on top of my reading queue.

          I’m amazed at your patience not just with great writing (and I haven’t even seen the most part of it yet), but with comments (and some commenters!) too, even after all these years.
          Thank you!

  11. He’d done better without us that I would have done alone.

    this sentance seams irritating (it is something obvius so i assume you mean something else?)

  12. just noticet that i read “than” while there is “that” if that is ment that way –> i dont get it at all

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