The first time I’d ever fought him, I aimed the sonics directly at his ear, keeping them at a level designed to cause pain, but not trying to hurt him. I’d been trying to distract him from a couple of guys in a mini-van who were shooting video and got too close.
It had distracted him but hadn’t hurt him much.
This time I was going for more than a distraction. Kid Biohack wasn’t fighting rationally. He might die if he came back into the fight. If it was better to maim than to kill, I felt sure I could justify destroying the Grey Giant’s hearing and sense of balance if it kept Kid Biohack alive. Besides, if the Grey Giant’s weird, transforming grey goo body was anything like Marcus’, weird, transforming grey goo body, he’d fix himself turning back.
If destroying his sense of balance didn’t work, well, I still had killbots.
They weren’t my first choice, but if that was all that stood between Kid Biohack and joining his cousin, I would.
I flew toward the Grey Giant, staying on his left side, glowing with a blinding green light. Though he’d shielded his eyes with his arm, he hadn’t shielded his left ear. I narrowcast sound at it, using the sonics to give me an ultrasound of his head, and setting the sonics to concentrate on frequencies that got the strongest reaction from his eardrum.
He screamed as it broke, but that wasn’t all I did. I aimed myself downward like a missile toward his left leg. He’d lifted it to step forward. I hit it at nearly three hundred miles per hour. The inertial dampers I’d put inside my suit whined in complaint, but they also stopped me from turning into paste at the impact.
I still felt it, but not much.
The hit pulled his leg sideways, twisting his body. What momentum he had was pulling him to the right as he fell backward, sending him toward the right wall, but also in the direction he’d been walking—except now he was traveling on his back.
He wasn’t sliding as he would on a waterslide either. It was more the way he’d slide if he were a semi-truck sliding down a highway full of stopped cars. He crushed the work areas he landed on—computers, fabrication machines, metal cabinets, and office cubicles all at once, complete with sparking electricity.
The work areas he slid into turned a tidal wave of office equipment, mech parts, and machines.
To my relief, the wave of debris didn’t make it to Kid Biohack, stopping a work area ahead—though a printer tumbled down the middle of the row, stopping off to Kid Biohack’s side in the aisle. Kid Biohack raised his head enough to watch everything, but he still didn’t move except to give me a thumbs up.
In my head, I heard Cassie talking through my implant, Are you okay? We felt that.
That was the Grey Giant falling. I’m fine.
Her reply came in at a volume that would have caused me to back away if we’d been in person, Kickass! Give him a punch for me, okay?
I thought back, Are you done?
Done? She laughed, We’re on our way up the stairs. That’s why I was calling, but then I felt him fall. Sorry. We’re heading out the back as planned. In a few seconds, you can give this place a Viking funeral.
After I hit the giant’s leg, I’d used his weight to slow me down and turn me toward the back of the room again. The reduction in speed gave me time to flip over and fly back instead of hitting the wall with the dumpsters.
As Cassie talked about a Viking funeral, I was flying toward the Grey Giant and Kid Biohack. The Grey Giant tried to push himself up, but as he sat up, he wobbled and had to catch himself before falling sideways.
I flew over him, but he didn’t even try to swipe at me. To Cassie, I said, Tell me when you’re out.
From the amusement in her tone, I knew the answer before she finished, We’re out. Let ‘er rip.
Seeing that the Grey Giant was still having trouble staying upright, I landed directly in front of the table Kid Biohack was leaning on. Jumping over it, I grabbed him as I landed, saying, “We’ve got to go. Like, now.”
He didn’t resist as I held him next to my armor even if he did, “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. I’m healing.”
With my helmet’s 360 degree vision, I saw that the Grey Giant had managed to pull himself up even if he was keeping himself upright by putting his hands on the ceiling. “I’m going to kill you,” he growled, closing the distance between us with one step.
Even given his difficulty, I didn’t feel like waiting to see what happened next. I blasted off even as I heard the Grey Giant laugh. While that could have been a laugh about missing his chance to off me, it wasn’t.
He’d noticed what I’d noticed. Five mechs had run out of the cargo elevator on the end of the room I’d been planning to use as an exit. I asked Kid Biohack, “Can you make yourself tougher? Because that’s going to help.”
I didn’t wait for his answer, firing off a cloud of bots. There was no point in saving them for later. Roaring after them, I watched as goobots plastered them in grey goo, spreading to cover them and attach both to the floor and the nearest mechs. That wasn’t enough to immobilize them. They started pulling the gooey strands off themselves almost the instant they got hit. Two didn’t even get their arms covered. So they were already firing their arm cannons even as I rocketed toward them, firing off more bots.
Boombots hit the two with working guns, knocking them over and more goobots swarmed them. Ahead of me, more boombots hit the giant mech elevator, the one that stretched from the floor to the ceiling. I’d thought the doors were open earlier, but they must have closed.
The boombots blew a hole in them and I flew through the smoking, blackened remains. Stopping in the elevator, I watched as more bots blew a hole through the ceiling.
Turning around and hovering, I addressed the mechs on the ground outside, “You’re going to want to get out of your suits.”
Then I sent the bots the message I’d been setting up ever since I understood where Armory and his people worked. It wasn’t quite the Viking funeral Cassie imagined, being less fire and more electromagnetic pulse. I’d used the jet to store EMP bots along with boombots and sent them in throughout Armory’s offices and labs. I targeted the labs’ data center as well with the idea of leaving not a scrap of Armory’s data behind.
The boombots hit file cabinets to assure that even paper burned.
Unlike most people, I understood that it took more than plans to construct a piece of technology. Translating those plans into physical objects meant documenting hundreds of little details. Destroying those documents could put them back years.
As explosions went off behind me, I shot upward through the hole in the ceiling and into the elevator shaft. Seconds later, boombots blew a hole in the door to the outside and I was free.