Taking a risk, but not much of one, I switched the view from sonar to computer enhanced night vision. That gave Haley and me an excellent view of the dragon running down a street in between big suburban houses, unknowingly tearing up flowerbeds, and smashing a Volkswagen Beetle.
As Artaxus smashed a silvery, reflecting ball on a pillar, the air in front of him began to shimmer.
In the next moment, the shimmering had spread across the road, and solidified into a half circle. The dragon blocked much of the view, but I could see a grassy field and a castle wall towering over it.
It was day there, and the grass seemed somehow greener or more lush than anything I’d seen in the real world.
A few lawn gnomes that must have been real gnomes ran for the opening and stepped through, one of them pausing to give the finger to the house he’d been standing in front of.
If I remembered correctly, that house had a dog.
Then Artaxus turned and shouted words in a language I didn’t know—Dragon, maybe? Whatever it was, winds blew and faerie creatures began appearing on the ground near him. Most of them were hurt—broken arms, legs, and bloody gashes. A few were sleeping or somehow unconscious. Their eyes widened as they appeared. A few stumbled.
Trolls, goblins, elves, and unrecognizable fae, they ran for the castle after reorienting themselves.
When they’d all crossed, the dragon followed. The opening shimmered, shrunk, and finally disappeared.
I don’t know how many it was, but it seemed like a lot, possibly hundreds. I didn’t count.
Haley put down her rifle. “I can’t believe it’s over.”
She stared down the street. Nothing remained of the gateway, and so she turned back to me. “Can you fly? We need to get you to a healer. Me too, but you’re doing worse.”
“Yeah, I guess.” I still couldn’t move my fingers while Haley’s broken arm was still in the bandage Samita made.
Thinking about it more, I said, “I wonder if maybe someone could come here? It hurts around my wrist, but I can’t feel my hand and fingers at all.”
Haley gave my hand a long look. “Maybe we should talk to Amy. She said that whatever she can do would work better on her, but even if it worked a little on you now, it might help. I don’t want to scare you, but your hand smells cooked. I don’t know how the different kinds of healing work, but part of your hand has to be dead. I don’t know what they’d do about that.”
I pressed the button that opened the hatch, letting it open all the way this time. The spots that had blackened and burned in the face of the dragon’s fire had already repaired themselves. A glance toward the cliff as I stepped out showed the missing leg on one of the mech’s screens. It was moving slowly toward the mech, getting ready to reattach itself.
I could only wish my hand worked as well.
Not completely paying attention, I stumbled on the lip of the hatch and nearly fell. I tried to grab the mech to steady myself, but missed. Haley grabbed my arm, so I didn’t fall.
“Are you alright?” She asked as I finished steadying myself.
“I think so. It was just a mistake. I don’t feel like I’m confused or anything.”
“Good.” She followed me out. “Could you maybe take off your helmet? I’m still worried about shock.”
I almost said no because I didn’t feel that bad, but taking off the helmet sounded good. A few taps later, the helmet melted into the suit.
It felt good. The night was cool, but not cold, and the slight breeze felt better than a helmet no matter how well the suit’s life support systems worked.
Haley’s hand touched my cheek. “Your skin feels normal. That’s good. Um… I’m going to call people.”
She pulled out her League phone.
Glad that she had the presence of mind to do that, I wondered if maybe I was little off.
Amy and Lee turned toward us. The red veins in Amy’s armor glowed red in the night. She’d taken her helmet off too. Lee looked me over, his eyes stopping on my hand.
Amy met my eyes. “Your hand is in terrible shape. I wish I could help, but that’s beyond me.”
Lee, still appearing as Gunther, shrugged, “It will work out. Whatever happens, it’ll work out.”
Haley put her phone back into her pocket. “It will. Daniel woke Alex up, and he’s sending him down.”
Not much after she said it, Alex floated down the side of the cliff. He wasn’t under his own power. Daniel stood at the edge of the cliff, watching, and telepathically told me, Sorry, I’d come down except that Samita and I are tag teaming everybody’s wake up right now.
It was okay, and I told him so.
Alex touched down as I did. Tall with sun bleached hair, Alex generally exuded a relaxed surfer attitude, but not right now. He stared at my gauntleted hand. “Holy shit, Nick. It’s mostly dead, and I can’t raise the dead.”
I didn’t have words at first, but I managed to say, “So, you can’t do anything? We… amputate?”
“I didn’t say that. Could you hold your hand out?”
I did, and he took my arm. “Your armor looks perfect. You’d never know you’d been in a fight. Was it off when this happened?”
“No. The armor fixes itself.”
Alex nodded. “Well, let’s see if we can convince your hand to do the same thing. I’m going to reconstruct it.”
13 thoughts on “Faerieland: Part 45”
As ever, I failed to notice this, but did you know that Legion’s now eight years old as of November 8? That’s pretty crazy.
On another note, Legion’s first book is now available in print on Amazon again. I set it to be sold at the lowest price I could since Amazon basically determines the minimum that they’d accept. All the same it’s there.
Additionally, I’ve now received the second Legion ebook cover’s final version, and I’ll show it to you all on Thursday. I’m still waiting on the printed version’s cover, but that will come soon.
Anyway, here’s the link to Top Web Fiction:
Now that I think of it…is it me or does Nicks suit look alot more like the description Lee gave of the future Rocket that was fighting besides him ?
Could be that knowing futureNick suite’s design is influencing currentNick suite design decision.
Well Now it’s over, Atraxus packed up his army and went home…Tail between his legs, this ought to have some consequences on Faerie politics and on the Dragon’s own standing, especially if some people(guess I can call them that)there learn about Lee being on earth, some might have a bone to pick with the guy and might not be as easily cowed as Atraxus..And if those come over things might not end well for humanity.
What will also be interesting shall be the other consequences involving Adam and Hunter: Now that the Faeries went away they are on their own and most people who were under the faerie’s sway might want to have words with them…Of course Kid Nilbog might still have resources to defend himself(I mean the guy’s power, and his mother’s which are the same, are quite broken if I understand them correctly. Of course Hunter himself might just have been controlled too in that clusterfuck).
heh a funny thing would that Adam was right all along and that the Nine have people in the defenders and Stapledon and that he TRULY wanted to help and that things went out of hand because he got conned by the Dragon and the faeries.
Concerning Nick’s hand I truly hope Alex will be ble to do something about it, either on his own or with some Magical help from Amy and Samita, true neither of them can do something about it on their own, but enhancing whatever Alex’s doing might be possible.
As for Nick’s suit looking like the one Lee saw in the future, I kinda got that too but that makes sense as I think the Tech Nick’s currently working on is the foundation for all his future improvements which will less and less rely on his Grandfather’s legacy tech.
The Lizard’s Tail solution should be applicable. Heck, in the real world people have been able to isolate compounds that cause a cut-off fingertip to grow back, fingernail and all.
Is anyone else thinking about a robot hand? He could make it out of suit material. It would be awesome, he could morph it into whatever he wants, or store some goobots or killbots for emergencies. Ooh, it could be a hand phone. I really want to see a robot hand.
Nick is Skywolking (or Lukeing) the Force is already strong in him!
I certainly was thinking that.
This seems too easy. I can’t shake the feeling that there’s another shoe poised that they’ve forgotten about.
The Turkmenistan shoe, perhaps? They’ve been so busy locally that the actions of the info-stealing group trying to overthrow the regime fell off the radar. (I seem to recall that was a deliberate distraction so the faerie folk could gate in, but maybe I’m misremembering. That wasn’t why all the teachers were pulled away, was it?)
Incidentally, the bit with the lawn gnomes… that was funny. Nice to still have those funny moments.
Turkmenistan’s definitely currently undropped, but invading the compound certainly does effectively distract the inhabitants from worrying about it.
The teachers are currently in Denver protecting the Senator who observed the demo from supervillains.
Mostly dead is not all dead. If it were all dead… Well, the only thing you can do then is go through his pockets and look for loose change.
Oh, wait, it’s just his arm. It might not take a full miracle, then.
I *LOVE* thst fils!