I muttered a few words that would have gotten a look from Mom if she’d been there, and leaned over the edge. The first wave of frog monsters hung halfway up the wall. They’d reeled in whatever line they’d used, and were hanging by their claws.
I hadn’t seen them holding a rope or anything. What were they using? A suspicion passed through my brain, and I watched as they opened their mouths. Their tongues shot out, sticking to the wall above them, and they yanked themselves upward, steadied by their hands and feet.
I knew what I’d have to do even though the idea made my stomach knot up.
Aiming the gun downward, I swept across the wall from the left to the right, the blazing, white beam cutting tongues in two, and cutting arms, legs, or any other body part that happened to be in front of the beam.
The lucky ones fell, wailing as they hit the ground, but crawling away.
I tried not to look at the other ones.
Since I stood near the corner, I took a few more steps to look down the front of the building. The frog monsters were two thirds of the way up, the sloped front and the balconies making it easier for them to climb.
I pointed the gun down at them, and hesitated, remembering how I punched through to the river through the basement wall. What if the brick supports in front did more than hold up the balconies and make the building look cool?
I asked the gun, Can you put the beam on a setting where it will take out the frog-things, but not hurt the brick?
Do it now.
Then I opened up on them. The beam didn’t cut through the brick. Almost surgical shots scattered across the front of the building, cutting through the creatures’ tongues or hands, guiding me to aim for the spot that would make them let go.
For them it must have seemed like a hail of white light fell from the sky.
They fell, some of them knocking others off on their way down.
I didn’t get to take a break after that.
Rod cursed as the sounds of webbed feet hit the roof, and I could hear them running in our direction. I stepped away from the side, turning toward the sounds.
While I’d been blasting away at the sides nearest me, they’d come up the other two.
I pointed the gun at them, not knowing if I could burn them all down before they reached this side of the roof. Part of me wondered if I should. I knew the Abominators’ weapons might have been made to corrupt people. I knew that people in the government wanted me to work for them like Dad had—not just as a member the Heroes League, but in the murky, behind the scenes missions that ultimately killed him.
This would be a step in that direction.
Yeah, part of me thought that.
The other part of me—most of me—didn’t hesitate. White light poured out of the gun, burning, searing, changing the creatures from living things capable of achieving happiness by (I don’t know) chasing fish in the deeps, to ash, and blackened, burnt bodies.
And I was okay with that for now.
Because it wasn’t as if I had options, you know? In a choice between letting innocent people get eaten, and possibly, maybe, getting corrupted by an alien weapon, I’d say that it was time for the frog-monsters to burn.
So when the League jet appeared, here’s what they found—the group of us waiting on the roof like we’d said, sitting in the one small section not covered with ash or dead bodies.
Frog monsters lay in piles on the ground, and on the sidewalk in front of the building, some of them still burning a little.
As for me, I’d been thinking, and I had some questions. Here’s one: who called the frogs in anyway? Creatures that got scared of light wouldn’t decide to invade the surface on their own. They had to have been duped, and whoever had done that was responsible for thousands of pointless deaths.
Definitely a name to add to my list of people I needed to find someday, somewhere under the guy who’d killed Dad.