Trees & Shields: Part 6

They poured over the shields, throwing themselves over by pushing off from the trees standing outside of the ring.

The only good thing that could be said is that this time they were all coming from the back half and left side of the shelter. That wasn’t good by itself, but it meant that Jaclyn and Tikki were cutting off routes past our defenses.

I aimed the sonics up at the Ascendancy soldiers. The smart ones were crawling down the trees in front of or between the ends of two shields. I didn’t dare aim the sonics there. They destabilized Kamia’s Abominator shields and I didn’t want to take down one of ours.

I aimed the sonics at the soldiers who were less smart or more confident—the ones who swung over the shields without aiming at a specific tree. Knowing Travis and Haley’s abilities, they probably planned to turn the downward momentum into forward momentum through acrobatics or use some kind of grapple to swing to the ground.

I used one arm to hit them with a piercing scream that would especially hurt beings with genetically modified hearing. I set my other arm to try frequencies that would damage their tech. I’d used my Xiniti implant to find out common materials for Ascendancy armor and device construction, narrowing the probable frequencies.

There are those who would regard my choice as half-measures that made the sonics less effective than committing to one or the other, but I’ve never liked putting all my eggs in one basket.

I can’t deny that my hypothetical critics might have a point, but the soldiers didn’t appear to be having an easy time of it. The soldiers who got hit with the sonic scream (which pulsed to help defeat their helmet filters) became distracted as the sound hit and it hurt them.

They pulled into themselves when the sound hit, missing the tree they must have been hoping to grab and hitting the ground or the roof of the shelter like very heavy raindrops. Some of them even hit trees.

If it had just been noise, they might have handled it, but their armor had stopped bending in one limb or their helmet might have begun to spark or smoke. Sometimes the clear material over their eyes went white. From the ones that tried to rip the helmet off, I guessed I might have triggered some kind of noise from filters that filtered out enemy motivators, but I didn’t know for sure.

The sonics didn’t hit all of them, but I wasn’t the only person aiming for the sky either. Many of the hand to hand fighters were also backup gunmen for those manning the shields. They fired upward with the enthusiasm of people who are finally in a position to do something instead of watch.

Dalat and Geman were among those firing upward and not, so far as I could tell, doing anything but help defend the shelter.

Next to me, Kals kept up a stream of commands that made the damage I’d caused to the soldiers’ helmets even more effective. The last thing a soldier falling through the air needed while trying to snare a passing branch was a motivator shouting, “Stop!”

It tended to make them miss the branch and hit the ground without even trying to stop themselves.

Now if all you paid attention to was our efforts to defend ourselves, you’d think that whoever had thrown soldiers against us had made a catastrophically stupid mistake.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that simple.

There were a lot of soldiers coming over the top and while we hit a lot of them with sonics, motivator commands, or lasers, we didn’t hit all of them. To put it another way, if you have a whole lot of people jumping over your shields and you shoot three-quarters of them, you’ve still got a whole lot of people coming over your shields.

Worse, when the ones that didn’t get shot hit the ground, you’re still firing at the ones in the air and if you don’t fire at the ones in the air, you’re letting more hit the ground.

That’s the point where you become grateful that Captain Tolker was actually good at his job. He’d placed people on the roof of the shelter before the fight even started. Even though some of them were busy killing whatever landed on the roof, the others were firing down at the soldiers on the ground.

He’d placed a few in trees as well. So even as the soldiers hit the ground, they’d sometimes have their heads explode.

Of course, that wasn’t always his snipers. Sometimes that was Rachel.

They couldn’t get everyone though. Two got over, landed and ran toward the nearest shield. I saw it in my HUD, but couldn’t move before one of them leaped over Dalat, landing next to a shield generator pole—which he then smashed, opening ten feet of our front line to the world.

3 thoughts on “Trees & Shields: Part 6”

  1. Well if the rest of the trees go down you have a real choke point to fire upon. . .
    Part of me thinks now would be a great time for the ship to do a strafe on the enemy position to thin the advancing ranks. . .

    Come on Nick, trained in strategy since you were an infant. You can do it.

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