The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 10

“Wait a second,” Haley said, “I’ve got a better idea. Gravity Star, ramp up the gravity around you so that none of them can move, and then we’ll all shoot them.”

Sydney’s voice came over the comm. “And kill them?”

“That’s what they’ll do to you,” Chris’ grandfather sputtered over the connection.

Kayla checked the screen. He’d made it out of the complex, and was walking through the woods. Lucky him, she thought.

The screens showed the breach in one of the doors that blocked off the League’s own tunnels from the abandoned sewer lines that the League used to exit the complex. From what she was seeing, they’d found the exit in the concrete wall next to the beach where Nick sometimes exited the complex.

She couldn’t see where they were in the complex yet. The cameras weren’t showing them.

Knowing how they’d appeared on the beach, she guessed they couldn’t stay invisible while fighting, but maybe if they moved slowly they could?

“Control,” Haley asked, “can you tell if there are any more of them out there?”

Kayla had been looking away from the screen, trying to see if any of them were inside. She hadn’t seen any yet. She wondered if putting the base on lockdown would stop the aliens from getting in, or if it would only prevent help from getting in.

If anyone could help, she thought. She took a breath, and tried not to sound like she was panicking. “They’re coming in here. They broke into one of the tunnels. I can’t see where they are, but sensors say ‘breach’ and I don’t know when they’ll be here, but I bet it will be soon.”

She took another breath. The whole “not panicking” thing wasn’t working.

“Shit,” Haley said. “Okay, go to the hangar, get into your suit, and get out of there. Got it?”

“Got it.” Kayla logged out from the workstation, and got up, getting ready to run for the hangar.

She turned her head, realizing that someone was in the hangar. The dull gray armor seemed to take on a hint of the colors surrounding it. She wasn’t sure if it was really changing or if she was only imagining it.

She decided it didn’t really matter either way because it’d kill her just as badly.

Guessing that running might attract attention, she walked to the nearest wall, looking for a weapon. There had to be something. Trophies from defeated enemies hung from walls except for the trophies that were enclosed in cases.

The SS uniform outfitted with an enormous metal glove had always given her the willies, and she wasn’t going to touch it. Besides it was halfway across the room.

What was closer? Her eyes darted all over, finally settling on the wall she stood next to. Directly ahead of her lay the “Starplate” as Nick jokingly referred to it. Marcus and Daniel were the only ones who seemed to get the reference and think it was funny.

The metal circle on the floor could supposedly open a gate to another universe. Kayla didn’t even consider it. She wasn’t that desperate—not yet anyway.

Near it on the wall hung the Gender Swap gun. That’s what she’d been calling it in her head. She’d always avoided it, and told herself that she’d never touch it.

She decided she was desperate enough to go back on that promise. She lifted it off the hooks that kept it on the wall and checked the energy gauge.

It was fully charged. She didn’t waste time wondering why anyone would leave a fully charged gun capable of changing the target’s gender lying around.

Kayla had heard the story about how Nick had tested the gun on the family cat, inadvertently “unnuetering” it. Knowing him, it would have been stranger if the gun weren’t charged.

Pointing the gun toward the hangar door, she aimed for the spot she expected it to walk out of.

Its gun came through the door first, and she pulled the trigger. Strange music played, and a tinny, recorded woman’s voice shouted, “Death to the patriarchy!”

The alien’s gun swung toward her, and for a moment Kayla expected to die. It’s shot went wild, firing into the middle of the room. She only knew that it hit something from the smell of burning plastic.

Before it could fire again, it fell over, lying on the olive green carpet, unmoving.

The second alien burst through before she could react. Jumping over the body of the other, it landed twenty feet inside the room, twisting and pointing its gun at her in a blur.

She didn’t have time to move or even to be scared. She only realized how close she’d come to dying as it fired.

A yellow beam met a black object in the air while another black object hit the alien.

It moved too quickly for Kayla to recognize it while it was in the air, but it knocked the alien over, sticking to its armor, surrounding the alien. It only became more entangled in black goo as it struggled.

It continued to hang on to its gun, however, and started firing in the direction of its feet, and hitting a chair, severing the cylinder that connected the body and the wheels.

The seat fell over.

Not waiting for it to target her, Kayla shot it with the Gender Swap gun. The gun’s tinny voice said, “Learn the truth, sister!”

The alien’s gun fell to the floor.

Kayla stared at the black object that had trapped the armored alien, and then over at the other that had saved her life.

They appeared to be made of rubbery plastic, and were shaped like boxing gloves.

Boxing gloves? She shook her head.

A Battle Roomba hummed, moving over the carpet toward the bodies. For the first time, she noticed a hole in the middle of its body, and a trail of black slime that led across the top.

That was what they did?

20 thoughts on “The Battle of Grand Lake: Part 10”

  1. “If she anyone could help, she thought.” – not to sure what you meant that to say.

    You might wonder if the alien suit biometric feedback has gone bye-bye, or, the suits have identity-locks which just failed? Sexual dimorphism – it can be a killer?

    Speculations. [grin]

  2. If you think the “space boomerang” is bad, you might wish to consider the “Flesh to Plush” spell. And, though it is avian-specific, the “Pluck!” spell. [grin]

    Could be fatal to a penguin…

  3. So now the question is, is gender swapping killing them due to sudden hormonal shifts, the fact that opposite gender of their species dies younger, or maybe just not being recognized by their own armor anymore?

  4. Maybe it’s as simple as they don’t fit in the armor anymore, or the internal plumping really doesn’t fit. There’s a lot of species on earth with pretty big size and or shape differences between genders of the same species. Who is to say how big the difference might be for an alien species?

    Also the possibility that if said gun is meant to work on humans, it might just really screw up alien biology trying to rework it the same it would a human.

  5. Or maybe they are both genders already… If you switched that, would you become neither… ie dead?

  6. Or maybe the gun knocks the victims unconscious as a first step, seeing as such a massive shift would cause pretty impressive trauma.


    @Mazzon – being agendered is not dead. Sexual organs are in fact the only organs that it is possible to live without.

  7. Here’s something to consider- Catheters, or hard-molded “Plumbing” cradles. And even some of the small differences that Humans have between genders- If Nick were hit by that ray in his old Rocket armour (before it was all shape-shifty), the widening hips and narrowing shoulders, even if it’s no more than a half-inch, would cause some serious issues- possibly causing broken or dislocated joints. Maybe the Alien’s female gender is larger than the male, and so they’re getting squished.

  8. Yeah, lots of things could happen to hurt someone getting their gender swapped. Sudden change in musculature could knock you over on its own. For the one turned male, there’s the sudden influx of male balls being rammed into armor meant to accomdate female parts.

    In either case, the change could simply be drastic enough to a body that it knocks people unconscious.

  9. Well, with the example of Nick’s cat to go by, we now know that Nick will never be poor again.

    Think about all the various maladies that effect the private bits, not to mention straight-up battle damage to “those parts” that he could fix. (Think about getting kicked in the jimmies by Izzy)

    When exposed to the gun, you are changed, but you revert to a natural healed state. Heck, if it’s a full-blown molecular change across the entire body, it might even cure most cancers.

    People spend a fortune to keep the sexual bits working, Nick’s rich if he wants to be, above and beyond the trust fund. However, I strongly doubt Jim’s going to allow Nick anywhere near the sexual organ repair business. Not even with a ten foot pole.

    The possibility of friendly fire, however, could be hilarious. “Omigosh, Haley, I’m sorry! You and the alien were moving so fast, I shot and, well…” There was an awkward pause, then Kayla continued “It wore off Nick’s cat in a couple weeks…”

  10. Damn I wish I had that gun. That would be so much fun. Get to switch genders for a few weeks just to see what it was like. If I really liked it, bounce between genders frequently just for kicks.

    That would be awesome.

  11. Jim,

    You don’t need a justification for evil gorillas. In fact, I’m fairly certain that evil gorillas generally appear in comic books with the specific requirement that the writers are not *allowed* to justify them.

    Even One Punch Man had an evil gorilla. It was a cyborg too!

  12. If there’s a gun hanging on the wall in Arc 4, it will be fired in Act 6… Chekov’s gun, adapted? The random phrase was funny. (I wonder how it would work on a race without actual gender, like Xiniti?)

    Incidentally, possible continuity error… Kayla had brought her suit into the control room, meaning no reason for her to rush for the hanger here. Unless I misinterpreted earlier, and it wasn’t her suit or something.

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