Here We Come: Part 4

Well, the gun shouldn’t become a problem, I told myself, not if Cassie’s around to control it.

On the other hand, I thought, you could argue that it might be even less of a problem if Cassie and every one of us completely ignored it forever. In fact, thinking about it abstractly, you could argue that Cassie’s very existence was a problem. If (as government scientists suspected) spliced in DNA caused the Abominator citizen’s mark to be written as a structure in her brain, reverse engineering it would open up the possibility of humans using truly horrible technologies.

Plus, what if aliens wanted it too for some reason? If anybody, they ought to have access to Abominator technology and the ability to remake it, right? On the other hand, Grandpa had implied that outside of their appearance on Earth, the Abominators had been gone for a while.

Then I remembered that Bullet said that the Nine had been infiltrated by aliens.

That put everything in a new light, and one I didn’t have time to examine. I wasn’t sure I wanted to either because if everything I’d just connected in my head connected for real, we were on the edges of something really big.

And I had no idea what.

“Nick?” Haley spoke quietly.

I turned toward her, wondering if she felt like I was ignoring everyone, or if she wanted an answer to a question.

I didn’t get to ask her though. Daniel sent me a message telepathically.

We’re back.

I turned my attention to the instrument panel, turned off the shield near the door, and let it open.

Daniel and Izzy floated in, and the door shut behind them.

Flick gave them a smile. “How are things looking out there?”

Daniel said, “Don’t ask me. They had psi-blockers of all kinds—telepathy, clairvoyance, and judging from the static I sensed, that’s not all. Mentally, the whole place wasn’t much more than a blur, but fortunately Izzy got a lot more than that.”

Flick nodded. “Could you tell if they were blocking teleportation?”

“No idea. I can’t do that, so I couldn’t test it.”

Next to Jaclyn, Rachel muttered, “What do you want to bet they’re blocking me too?”

“We’re going to want to knock that out if we can,” I said.

“All it’d take is one EMP,” Sean said.

I turned toward Sean. I didn’t want to go through all that again, but, “Look, I don’t mind EMP’s. I’m planning on using a few small ones myself, but if you use it on the whole base, it might not work out. Lots of security systems are triggered when something gets cut off. So what if your EMP takes out the sensor that detects a laser, but not the device that goes boom if the laser’s shut off? What if it’s nuclear?”

Sean didn’t back down. He looked me in the eyes (to the degree he could through my helmet). “No one is stupid enough to rig up a nuclear bomb underneath their base.”

Flick’s grin seemed a little tired. “Rook’s done it before.”

Sean’s jaw dropped a little. “Are you kidding?”

“Sorry hon, no.”

Daniel took advantage of the silence that fell after that to say, “Izzy used sonar to build a decent picture of the base. It’s not perfect. I’m sure we’re missing a lot, but it’s better than nothing. We ought to be able to plan based on this.”

I felt mental contact with Daniel, and a more distant contact with the rest of the the group. Interesting. He was shielding our thoughts from each other. I didn’t remember him doing that before.

I’ve been practicing. Plus, I’m growing stronger.

Izzy’s presence became more noticeable in the link.

“I’ll show you what I saw when we looped around the dome. It might seem a little strange to you, but I’ll do what I can to explain it.”

At first, it looked like any other dark spot in the wilderness—stars and clouds above, but near complete blackness near the ground.

Then I could see Rook’s base—except “see” wasn’t the right word. Izzy could see with sonar. Theoretically, I ought to have been used to that, but while some versions of the Rocket suit could do the same thing, the computer processed it instead of my brain.

Here, I saw a dome, but the edges of whatever spot I was directly looking at were fuzzy. Weirder, when I looked at any spot, I saw more than the outside. I could tell the shape and size of the rooms behind it.

It was a lot to take in.

I could go into detail, but this was the gist of it: It was a dome. The heaviest objects clustered around the middle. The power, the labs, the psi-blockers, and probably Cassie’s cell were all there.

I’d assumed they’d have a collection of buildings, and that we’d be able to distract with one group, and get Cassie out with the other. Maybe we still could, but all the most important targets were in the middle.

24 thoughts on “Here We Come: Part 4”

  1. First! It’s been a while.

    You know, I get that Sean is trying to be helpful, the EMP idea was a good one, but the guy really has to accept that people who know better….know better.

  2. I was wondering, does Cassie have the citizen’s mark because captain commando did or was it added in the cloning process, and in either case why don’t the other clones have it?

  3. WA_side: Oops. Fixed that now. As for the new characters, yes, that ought to be interesting.

    Phizle: I don’t know if I’ve ever had that directly come up in the story, but it’s not supposed to be a big mystery. Basically, the original Captain Commando didn’t have a mark. When Dr. Mind cloned him, the clones didn’t have it either. Dr. Mind cloned him to create an army. Cassie, so far as anyone knows, is the only (partial) clone of Captain Commando that is 1) female and 2) contains DNA that produces the citizen’s mark and possibly other things too. After all, by the time you splice in alien DNA, who knows what else you’re splicing in.

    Where the DNA came from is anybody’s guess. Might be Dr. Mind. Might be that he had help.

    Captain Mystic: Am I missing a reference here?

    Bill: And the funny thing is, this is the most cooperative we’ve probably seen Sean yet.

  4. @Phizle
    It has been implied, if not stated outright, that the tinkering that was done to Cassie’s genes added certain abominator bits, though it is likely that the original Captain already had a bit of alien DNA to start with, as that’s the ‘default’ origin of superpowers here.

  5. You know, I’ve never been a big fan of a “load bearing villain” whose defeat somehow causes the whole base to be destroyed, but I can see it in this context. Plus, with nuclear weapons, you get the added bonus of an international crisis while the various countries try to figure out who pressed the big shiny red button.

    Just because I wouldn’t use a nuclear bomb to take out a few enemies in the middle of a city doesn’t mean I’m against nasty surprises for anyone invading my space. In fact, a good nuke would have made Space Invaders a lot easier.

    Now if you’ll excuse me… *cloaks and points a red light at an old arcade cabinet. A few seconds later, a woman’s voice makes an announcement* “Nuclear Launch Detected.”

  6. @Luke – Well, that can’t be right cause then anybody meta-human in the Legionverse would be able to work abominator tech.

    @Jim – Question, why is it that Vaughn is just a big a hardhead as Sean, and yet we all (I believe) like Vaughn infinitely more? It can’t just be the cool lines..

  7. PG: For the most part, including a nuclear bomb as part of your defenses would be pretty crazy. Rook may not be doing it here, but they can’t assume that he’s not.

    Bill/Luke: DNA that the Abominators modified is the major reason for powers. It’s not necessary alien DNA (though it can be). When alien DNA, it’s not necessarily Abominator DNA. In the case of the citizen’s mark, it’s DNA that produces a system that allows Abominator tech to recognize it as a citizen’s mark and communicate with the person with the mark. Hypothetically speaking, it doesn’t even have to be Abominator DNA. It’s just got to have all the features of the Abominator citizen’s mark.

    Again, this is one of those things I’ve never explained directly. It’s all indirectly there.

    Bill: I think the fact that Vaughn’s generally nice to people, hasn’t ever been a bully, and has tried to make up for the things he has done wrong helps make up for being impulsive.

    WA_side: Things are now de-edged. I think.

  8. @Jim: Ender’s game !
    I really like how this is evolving. I’m just waiting for Sean to mature, hope I don’t have to wait long :p…

  9. I was talking about captain mystic’s reference. It’s one of Ender’s stock phrases in the mock battles: without gravity, your goal is to “fall” to the enemy’s gate. Bean mentions it in the final battle, and it makes Ender think of a plan.
    Our team just has to go down, easy-peasy 🙂

  10. Except in both the mock battles and the final battle, the plan involves having no regards for friendly casualties. It’s purely about accomplishing the goal no matter the survival of one’s own forces.

    Like investment banking.

  11. Wasn’t Sean in the league headquarters when the league security system levelled a building and collapsed an entrance tunnel with them narrowly outrunning the blast. If the good guys are willing to risk that much destruction then it stands to reason the bad guys would be willing to do more. I wouldn’t expect Sean to be stupid enough to find it so unbelievable.

  12. Jeremy glad you caught my reference. lol i was jus thtinking fo Nick as Ender directly launching his ship at the base.

  13. Jeremy/Captain Mystic: Got it. It’s been a really long time since I read Ender’s Game.

    Ewan: A good point. That said, finding out that you’re walking into a situation that may involve nukes isn’t something you do casually the first time. Possibly not ever.

  14. Jim said: “That said, finding out that you’re walking into a situation that may involve nukes isn’t something you do casually the first time. Possibly not ever.”

    This lol.

    I guess this is Sean’s chance to see what it takes to be a hero in the “real” world. Up until now his involvement has been with 2nd tier villians (IMO anyway). This time there’s no room for screwing up. I can see something bad happening to someone here.

  15. Are you sure that you meant bemused here? “Flick gave a bemused grin. ‘Rook’s done it before.'” Bemused doesn’t seem to fit, but I don’t know that amused is any better. We are talking about somebody willing and able to use nuclear weapons on his own stuff.

    “It might seem [a] little strange”

    This sentence came across awkwardly: “If, as she’d told me government scientists suspected, her DNA caused the Abominator citizen’s mark to be written as a structure in her brain, she opened up the possibility of humans using truly horrible technologies.” Maybe consider splitting the sentence in two.

  16. Exasperation is overcoming diplomacy – which is completely understandable.

    Though, another way Nick could have said this if he was feeling diplomatic: “Not a bad idea! Can you narrow-beam your EMPs so that you don’t take out the whole base?”

    “Why’d I want to? Knock em’ out in one shot.”

    “Because of the bomb.”

    “What bomb?” … leading to the rest of the conversation.

  17. It kind of reminds me now of my days playing Evil Genius. Ah, the fun of having a tiki statue open up to shoot investigators with a machine gun. The thrill of chasing down a tourist who wandered into the freezer room full of dead bodies with the symbols of the various allied countries that were after you. Sending a morning-star wielding granny and a possessed butcher to take down the Bruce Lee lookalike who just blew up your generator room.

    When it came to deathtraps, I preferred simplicity itself. For instance, a pair of laser tripwires that opened a hidden pool under the victim’s feet, plunging them into a piranha tank. If they survive that, then the giant sawblades coming up from the floor would likely get them. Of course, there were the pressure pads at this one corner that would drop a big covering over intruders and proceed to gas them.

    The interrogations were so fun. Not that there was anything to learn. It was just funny watching a jumpsuited minion crash cymbals into the head of a secret agent, then proceed to further torture them by doing a Michael Jackson impression. Or having an enemy special forces soldier led to the cafeteria so that they could be dumped into the giant mixing bowl and scrambled for a little while. Then again, there was alway some appeal in using the library’s rolling book shelves to smash them up a little. While the laboratory was filled with death traps, you really couldn’t go wrong strapping someone to the sniper’s training range for a little live fire exercise.

    Makes me feel like going out and feeding false-positive sonar signal devices to dolphins during the Cold War all over again.

  18. Um: Errr. Nope. I did not mean bemused. That’s changed now.

    Lingy: Yeah. it’s always nice when the characters are out of their depth–for the author anyway. For the characters, not so much.

    Parahacker: Related to my response to Lingy… Conflict is good for stories. It makes life easier on the author.

    PG: There may be room for a minion doing a Michael Jackson impression in this story. You never know.

  19. Jim: please let it be a moonwalk retreat whilst shooting at the heroes with a machine-gun! Add a little “Woo-hoo!” and a spin as the minion ducks through a door and you’ll win the Intarnets!

  20. Was gone on vacation, but I agree with the Muse “It might seem little strange to you” is probably missing the word “a” before “little”.

    Now to enjoy catching up!

  21. With all the telepathic machines around, and all the sensory powers, you’d think a hardware/wetware link for situations like this would be more common. I’m sure the jet AI could mediate the transmission.

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