Alex pushed the man’s hand off himself, rolling his body to the right and standing up.
I didn’t get a chance to see what happened to him after that because the next group of Cabal soldiers had also jumped out of the forest.
One of them landed directly on the hood of Haley’s car–which didn’t dent, though it did bounce a little.
I didn’t have time to point and aim the laser in the neck at him, but I had been holding the guitar.
I pressed the button that set off what I thought of as the “light show lasers.”
The guitar blazed with blue and white light, and the Cabal soldier held his arms up to cover his eyes.
My helmet filtered out the worst of the light, but for a moment, the world turned white.
Then I saw people again, even if they seemed a bit washed out between the bright light and the filter.
I stepped back from the car, pointed the guitar’s laser at the man and felt a brief moment of indecision.
Could I shoot someone who wasn’t actually actively trying to harm me? But then it struck me that the only reason he wasn’t was because he couldn’t see.
That wasn’t going to last.
I fired the laser into his leg, making a deep gouge, burning the pants around the newly created hole, and cauterizing his wound at the same time.
The smell reminded me uncomfortably of barbecue.
And then because he hadn’t fallen over, and because the whole point of shooting him in the leg had been to reduce his mobility, I shot him in the other leg.
Maybe he hadn’t said anything when I shot him the first time because between the light, and the pain from being shot, and struggling to balance, he couldn’t handle screaming at the same time.
That ended with my second shot.
He tried to take a step, fell, and landing in the dirt road, he shouted in a language I didn’t recognize.
Then he pushed himself up with his arms, reaching out to grab the car, but didn’t make it.
His legs shot out from under him, and he flew feet first up into the air. Then, as if thrown by an invisible hand, he crashed into the trees, disappearing.
I turned to thank Daniel for the help, but realized that another one had just jumped out of the forest and landed on the other side of Daniel.
The guy had a knife.
It seemed redundant that someone who could probably generate tons of force with a punch would bother with a knife, but maybe he liked knives.
Whatever. I didn’t have time to point out the man’s inefficiencies.
He slashed at Daniel’s chest, and Daniel stepped back at exactly the right moment. Earlier, and the man would have been able to adjust the knife’s path. Later, and the knife would have been inside Daniel’s body.
He slashed again, and Daniel stepped away just in time.
The man grunted out, “Lucky.”
Except he’d made a mistake, because the pause was long enough for Daniel focus on the guy, and telekinetically hurl him into the trees after mine.
I was about to congratulate Daniel except…
Two more guys had landed in the corn field just past the road.
I raised my guitar to start firing at them when Daniel spoke into my head.
Nick, I’ll get them. Help Kayla and Carlos.
Glancing in their direction, I didn’t see a problem at first–well, in the first instant at any rate.
A short guy ran toward the two of them. I recognized him from earlier fighting, but I couldn’t place him at first.
Kayla went from doing nothing I could see to firing wildly, missing him. Grey goo flew past him–except for the one that hit him in the middle of the chest, dripping down, and hardening, but not slowing him down at all.
Kayla opened up with her paralysis guns, and my anti-sound device hummed, protecting me.
I didn’t fall over, but unfortunately neither did the short guy.
He jumped again, kicking Carlos in the chest, and knocking the power suit on its back.
The short man jumped on him, raining down blows on to the armor.
Carlos’ laser went off, not hitting anything, but that was only by luck. The beam burned a long line in the dirt before Carlos stopped it.
Kayla moved quickly, leaning in to kick him in the ribs.
It wasn’t a bad idea, but I would have gone for the head or tried to crush a knee.
It was moot point.
He caught her foot, pulling it sideways and she fell.
With both Carlos and Kayla on the ground and only the Cabal soldier upright, I felt comfortable taking a shot.
Putting the man’s right shoulder in my helmet’s crosshairs, I fired, and he shouted in surprise, letting go of Kayla’s leg.
Getting off Carlos, the man charged me.