The flunky started hitting himself, and screaming, his voice reminding me again that this was Davis, the guy who’d made the offer to Courtney.
I wondered for a moment how much damage I wanted to do to him. I had questions for him, after all, but that didn’t matter as much as I’d have thought.
Rook’s suits were pretty well constructed.
The bots wedged themselves into cracks, but they did a lot more damage to the powered armor than the person inside. Plus, after the first wave, I brought in a wave of EMP bots.
The first wave withdrew as the second settled on him. He stopped hitting himself for a moment, and adjusted his footing, probably in preparation for attacking me—or possibly escaping.
Then the EMP bots exploded.
I’d done my best to design them to allow me to point the pulse in a direction I preferred, so the EMP centered around the armor.
Even so, I still backed up. I couldn’t back up much, of course. Travis was fighting the other guy behind me.
Fortunately, when the bots exploded, Davis fell forward, hitting the parking lot with a crash. He tried to push himself back to his feet, but couldn’t even push himself into a sitting position.
If he had more weaponry than guns, the EMP bots must have taken it out because he wasn’t using it.
I suddenly wished I’d done that when Rook showed up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have. The roachbot controls were too complicated to use in a fight if anyone was actually trying to hurt you.
I was lucky I’d managed to use them at all.
Deciding it was safe to take my eyes off Davis, I turned my head back toward Travis. He’d taken down the guy he’d been fighting.
The front of the man’s armor lay on the asphalt, and the man lay next to it on his back. The guns had been ripped from the armor. I couldn’t see either of them, but I saw the wires.
Travis stood above him, looking huge and muscular—exactly like the kind of guy who could rip apart powered armor. His clawed hands and fangs could only help.
Despite this, blood ran down his chest. It wasn’t squirting out, but dark lines ran across the wolf silhouette.
I wondered how deep the holes went. If I were him, I’d see a doctor. Haley and Travis regenerated, but not like Cassie. You could visibly watch her heal. They healed faster than a normal person, but not like that.
That thought nudged another one in my brain. Where was Cassie? And for that matter where was Marcus? They’d both said they were coming, and it sounded like Cassie had been been getting closer.
I checked the communicator’s GPS for their positions. They weren’t on it. The communicator showed them as “signal lost.”
From a few feet away, Vaughn, “Sorry I was so useless. Lightning doesn’t work on them, and I couldn’t work out a way to use wind that wouldn’t hit you guys too, you know?”
Travis began to shrug, and then stopped, grimacing. “No problem, we got them.”
“Guys,” I said, “we’ve got a problem. Captain Commando and Shift aren’t showing on the comms.”
Over the comm, Haley said, “Do you hear a jet?”
I didn’t, but Travis turned in the direction of the marina supplies store—Rook had fallen there, and the third flunky had flown up to the roof.
I didn’t see a jet either, but, I did see News 10’s helicopter, hovering in the darkness. How long had they been around?
“No jets,” I said.
Travis held up his hand, and I looked harder into the darkness, this time using the sonar.
I couldn’t see details, but a blurry, plane shaped object moved toward the marina supplies store, slowing as it came closer.
Rook flew toward it, helped by his henchman.
I thought about turning on the rocket pack, and trying to catch them. Even as I grabbed the roachbots’ controller (because bugging them might work), the plane’s wings shifted position, and it roared away.
None of us said anything, all of us coming silently to the same conclusion—Cassie and Marcus had to be on that plane.
I aimed a few roachbots at it anyway, but they weren’t fast enough.
I wished I had the full Rocket suit.
“Fuck,” Vaughn said, turning away from the jet to face us. “How are we going to find those guys?”
“We go to HQ, and grab our jet. If we’re lucky, they’ll still be in range of its sensors.”
“That sounds good,” Vaughn took a couple breaths.
Crap. His ribs. At this rate, all we’d have left to man the jet would Haley, Courtney, and I—not really enough people to go up against the Nine.
I sent out a red alert, thinking it might be premature, but feeling sure it wasn’t.
And then I heard Cassie’s motorcycle.
I turned my head toward the street. We all did.
Marcus drove it onto the parking lot. Huge chunks of red, white, and blue paint had been scraped off the side. One of the lights was missing.
He didn’t look his best either. Completely changed into a gray substance, he moved slowly, dragging his leg across the seat as he got off the bike.
He moved the kickstand into place, and turned to us. “They got Captain Commando.”