Breaking & Entering: Part 7

I’d have gone for the gun except it had no trigger, and so far as I knew fired at the mental command of only one person on the planet—Cassie.

Instead, I raised my arms, targeting Rook’s arm. Knowing that someone’s about to kill your best friend, your sister, and your girlfriend doesn’t make for clear thinking.

I fired off the roachbots, not paying attention to what I was firing or how many, aiming at his arm.

The roachbots hit, knocking his arm sideways while simultaneously exploding—again and again, like popcorn.

I’d set high explosive bots as the default, and according to the suit’s inventory, I’d fired off more than twenty—closer to to fifty, in fact.

Chunks of armor, and possibly his forearm flew sideways, and landed on the floor.

When the explosions stopped, he had no forearm or hand.

Bluish liquid sloshed out of the armor to cover the arm’s stump, and black goo followed, covering the blue goo.

Rook, who had been screaming, mumbled something I couldn’t understand, and slumped into the chair.

The screens in the console in front of him had shattered, and the plastic of the console had cracked, melting in spots.

While I stared at the damage, and absorbed the fact that I’d blown away half of Rook’s arm, the two guys in the heavy armor fired at me.

I didn’t even realize they’d done it until I fell backward. I felt the hits too. Whatever they were using, it was high caliber.

I began to push myself up, but was only halfway when one of them ran toward me, hitting me in the side.

The seals didn’t break, but yellow warnings scrolled across the top of my helmet readout.

I didn’t pay much attention. I was too busy rolling across the floor.

The person in the Rook armor didn’t let me go either. He dove toward me, landing on top of me, and squeezing.

That told me a little about him—he expected to be stronger than I was. All else being equal, wrestling favored the stronger guy.

He (or she) might be strong outside the costume too.

I pressed the button on my palm that started the rockets, and shot across the floor, flying sideways, knocking over a couple of Rook’s control room people.

The person in the Rook suit wasn’t letting go either. He hung on even as I gained altitude, and began to fly.

I gave the suit a little bit of spin, changing my orientation to the floor so that he was on the wall side.

Unfortunately for me, he wasn’t a complete idiot.

He tried to climb, and adjust where he was on me.

Unfortunately for him, he only had normal human reflexes. Not that I had any better, but we were traveling through the air pretty quickly, and while I’d intended to knock him into the wall, I smashed him into one of the TV screens hanging on the wall before I intended to.

I don’t think either of us realized it stuck out as far as it did.

He hit its side, letting go.

What sucked is that I didn’t expect it either, and didn’t adjust. The force of him hitting the screen, and hanging on for the brief moment he did, caused me to veer right, smashing into it, and then tumbling into the TV’s guts and across the wall without going through.

I smashed the other big screen on the way, both devices dying in a spray of sparks, shattered glass, and plastic.

I didn’t have time to regain control before I hit the wall on the far end.

Too disoriented to do anything else, I cut the power to the rocket pack, and fell to the floor.

On the bright side, the suits seals were still holding.

I tried to stand, but spinning around had left me a little confused. I reached out for the wall, missing it at first, and finally falling into it.

Hitting the TV might have surprised him, but hadn’t left him as badly off.

He ran for me, claws outstretched to grab.

I pointed my right arm at him, and considered firing off roachbots, but I couldn’t.

I used the sonics. They weren’t as directly effective, and I knew it, but I could still see blood from Rook’s arm in my head.

I didn’t want do that again.

Both of the eyes on the man’s powered armor broke. Smoke came out.

It didn’t take him out. They weren’t his actual eyes, after all. The mask was shaped like a bird’s head.

Still, he hesitated, and in that moment, I got enough of my wits about me to press the button that started the rocket pack.

As I left the ground, I heard a distant boom, and the sound of metal tearing. An even louder tearing noise followed.

The dome shook.

23 thoughts on “Breaking & Entering: Part 7”

  1. Damn, clipped his wings… Also I guess that’s that lethality breaking point Lee was talking about. Not that he’s dead… but I think Rook is the first enemy Nick has felt threatened enough by use lethal force on a regular basis.

  2. Meanwhile, off in the bathrooms, Psycho Gecko was on the toilet, cursing up a storm.

    “Hoo boy, goddamn taco shitstorm in this bitch. If I ever find the son of a bitch who seasons these pieces of cr-” but he is cut off by an explosion in the toilet bowl on which he sits that proceeds to rock the hidden base. As he listens to metal tearing in the distance, he can’t help but say, “Damn…that…that almost makes you feel proud to know-,” An even louder tearing noise followed and he could tell the dome shook from that one.

    “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ah, ew there’s a fire in my asshole and it’s not even gay pride day…that’s it, I’m going to start using tacos on heroes from now on. I swear, that didn’t even feel like anything solid that time. How can something so crunchy be so cruel to my butt?”

  3. Blowing dude’s arm off is going to give Nick something to think about for quite a while. I imagine he’ll be rather torn up about it for months… until Rook comes after him with his new bionic talon hand that shoots lasers and cuts through schools.

  4. Moral codes are housed in the higher functions of the fore brain. Protection of friends and loved ones is buried deep in the lizard hind brain and when activated will override anything the fore brain has to say about it. And I don’t think his G-Pa would have anything negative to say about him using deadly force in this situation. And even if he’d had sufficient goo-bots left it may not have neutralized Rook fast enough to save his friends. I do believe Lee will approve of his action, but not of his reaction to the results.

  5. Am I the only one that thought, “Hmmm… The Rook Henchman’s protective eye coverings are gone. Toss in a couple of exploding roachbots. Problem solved.”

  6. @ The Evil Twin
    Actually, my though was “HenchRooks suit is compromised. I wonder how dense the nerve gas is in this room.”

  7. @Luke: I had a similar thought re: nerve gas. However, nerve gas doesn’t go BOOM. Besides, if Nick blew off the henchman’s head, the other guys would probably take off running.

  8. Ps you can come clean now Psycho Gecko you fought Nicks science instructor from the program and you now have a burrito S***storm…..And you thought he would be a pushover.

  9. I don’t think Rocket I would take issue with Nick’s handling of the scenario, except that he’s not using enough lethal force. Remember, the original served in WW2, fighting the Nazis. I bet Rook would have lost more than an arm if he had been threatening to nuke Grandpa Rocket’s friends and family after capturing Captain Commando.

    And that’s right! I am not above toilet humor!

    *sits down on the john as the bathroom wall swings around, leaving him on a stage in front of a crowd while in such a position*

    Wow, nice crowd here tonight. I just flew in from Pensacola and boy is my butt hair singed. *rimshot*

    By the way, I brought my throne with me. I call it the Emperor Gecko 3000 since you can downright govern in this thing. Not as gaudy as the solid gold one with inlayed designs of Greeks cavorting that Alexander the Great used, but not as crude as the one Genghis Kahn made out of the skulls of thousands of defeated enemies. Julius Caesar’s wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t built for privacy. Always had to have a slave hold his toilet paper while whispering “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi” into his ear. Wouldn’t that be awkard? “RRrrrrrrrrragh!” ‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’ “Nnnnnnngh!” ‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’ “Can you shut the hell up, I’m pushing out a bleeder here!”

    Yep, this baby’s great. Turbo-injected, 6 cylinder, with a spoiler on the back and neon lights under the bowl. Heated leather seat that molds to your contours. You can even deploy a pair of metal handrails for those times you squeeze out a hip bone. Style and comfort.

    Quite a bit different than George R. R. Martin’s, I’ll tell you that much. An entire toilet made out of iron swords. Horribly uncomfortable, but everyone’s fighting over it. Loses some appeal to have a whole lot of people playing musical crapper, I think. Got some epic bathroom readers in there, though.

  10. About the hench suits and the gas, they seem to all be flight capable given Rook’s theme. If any rooms are tall enough and if the gas itself is dense enough, it would be possible to escape it by staying higher up. This would be a great way to escape if one room included a giant dome, which would serve for an even better escape from the gas if it was broken open.

    The density of some gasses is what made them so much worse during World War I. They would settle into the trenches or into dips and other cover in no man’s land. The effect in wide open spaces is generally lessened, but an area full of holes in the ground where it can’t spread too thinly and that soldiers rely on for cover is a pretty good spot to use that on.

  11. My point was more ‘Is there enough nerve gas in the room to kill the Henchrook whose helmet Nick has just put 2 gaping holes in?’ since we were discussing Nick’s use of potentially lethal force.

  12. I don’t think breaking the eye lenses would be considered lethal force. Rocket has repeatedly shown the sonics are intended for nonlethal pacification of combatants. It’s not his fault the goon’s bossman filled the room with nerve gas.

  13. Ok, Nick gets serious for 1 sec and dude losses an arm. Note to self don’t piss Nick off.

    So true Rain. Although, in an earlier serial where Nick went to LA, he used his Guitar Hero controller for the first time and messed up a Mecha pilot pretty bad.

    Also, let’s not forget, this is the guy who electrocuted Ray. As in superhero assassin and feared villain Ray.

  14. You, sir, have an impressive way of raising the stakes when I think they’re already at maximum. Nick’s already stuck in the control room, plus nerve gas, how could we OH MY GOD so that happened. I think it speaks a bit to his training that even under impulse, without really being able to think, Nick still only targeted Rook’s arm, rather than Rook himself. A twitch either way and things could be very different.
    Also, congrats on netting the review, as per your prior post there! Seems you’re breaking barriers.

  15. I would really love to know what his kill conditions are since apparently someone who; has captured and probably tortured one of his friends, is actively trying to kill him, has already released nerve gas for use against two of his friends(that will probably do bad things to Cassie as well) and was in the action of launching a nuclear missile at the entire rest of his friend group and his girlfriend, apparently still isn’t enough to trigger them. Either I am just a callous rat and am perfectly willing to kill someone in those conditions or he is significantly less attached to his friends than I would be.

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