I asked the first question that came to mind, “Aren’t you supposed to be in a prison somewhere? You got caught by the Defenders six years ago and with as many deaths as you have on your record, I have a hard time believing they’d ever let you out again.”
The Grey Giant frowned down at me, reminding me of just how much bigger he was, “Not my fault! I didn’t try to kill any of them. They didn’t have to get close to me. Heroes that fragile should know better.”
Hearing the tone of his voice, it made me think he might feel guilty about it. That was a mark in his favor. From the snarl on his face as he stepped toward me, though, I got the feeling that he handled negative emotions by hurting people.
Doing my best to channel my dad, I lowered the volume of the music and said, “From what you said just now, I’m getting the impression that you regret hurting them. If you think about it, hurting me because you feel bad about hurting them can only cause a self-reinforcing spiral of shame and guilt. Uh… What do you think about that?”
He froze, his face turning a darker grey as whatever he used for blood-filled it and he started screaming at me, “I hate therapists! I’m not going to feel bad about killing you at all.”
Then he ripped an arm off of one of the mechs lying on the ground and rushed me—which, given his size, meant that he was within arm’s reach in two steps.
Note to self? Leave therapy to therapists. Also, try to warn Dad off from counseling supervillains if it ever came up.
Jumping sidewise, I shouted, “You need to work on a better way to process your negative emotions!”
The bicep of the mech’s arm hit where I’d been standing, bending, but also throwing chunks of the concrete floor in the air. One passed halfway through a laptop’s screen, the momentum carrying the laptop off of the table it had been on and dropping it on the floor in front of a row of metal cabinets.
Using the implant to control my suit, I pumped up the volume on the music (“Froggy Went a Courtin’”), sent Cassie and Daniel a message that I was calling in reinforcements and to let me know the second I could leave, and then sent a text to Kid Biohack saying, “help!”
The comm would give him location details. I was going to be too busy trying not to die for that.
I landed next to the elevators, the normal human-sized ones were on the wall around the corner and to the right of the giant mech-sized elevator. For a moment, I considered taking one, but even if the door opened, the Grey Giant could punch through the wall and into the elevator shaft.
Besides, the whole point was delaying and distracting Armory’s people so they couldn’t protect him.
I jumped into the air, giving the rockets fuel to send me deeper into the room. I landed in the aisle in the middle. Fabrication machines and massive 3D printers stood on either side of me.
I could do this. I didn’t really even have to fight the guy. I just had to keep him mad and keep moving. When Kid Biohack got here, we do it even better. Kid Biohack’s speed might not be as fast as Jaclyn’s, but he could adjust his body to get more out of it.
Back at the front of the room, the Grey Giant had just realized how far my jump had carried me. With a scream, he threw the mech’s arm at me. Recognizing that it angled rightward instead of straight, I jumped to my left, feeling the wind of its passing as part of it hit one of the larger machines, swinging around it to hit another.
I decided to try another tack, “Are you sure you want to fight? If you keep on damaging his stuff, Armory might fire you. You want to play poker or something?”
Glancing at the machines’ wreckage, the Grey Giant’s eyes widened and for a second I thought he might stop. He might not want to play poker, but maybe he’d want to talk—which would be okay. I had no idea how to play poker and even less of an idea of where I’d find a deck of cards.
He stared at me, “He knew what he was getting when he hired me. Are you going to run or are you going to fight?”
Then he grabbed one of the metal cabinets, ten feet wide and almost that deep, throwing it at me. The cabinet flew faster than the mech arm. I saw only a dark blur heading in my direction.
I tried dodging right and almost got out of the way, but it hit my left side, knocking me off balance. I landed on the floor, seeing the cabinet tumble down the aisle until it hit the far wall. Thanks to the suit’s peripheral vision, I also saw that the Grey Giant was running straight toward me from the front, covering the distance far too quickly.
Trying to ignore thoughts along the lines of, “So this is how I die,” I gave the rockets fuel and shot sideways and upward, avoiding the ceiling and walls only because of reflexes developed over years of flying.
That kind of flying didn’t fit the frog theme, but I wasn’t willing to die from going hand to hand with this guy. I’d improved on my original Rocket suit’s strength, durability, and weapons, but I wasn’t confident I’d improved them enough.
All the same, if Kid Biohack didn’t arrive soon, I’d have to stop fighting to delay and start fighting to win.