Holes: Part 7

Izzy turned her head to look at me, “You’ve said Abominator technology is based on Artificer technology that corrupts the user. I don’t see a reason to keep any of it.”

Inside the helmet where, unlike anyone else, she still might see it, I smiled, “I… can think of a few, but they mostly amount to ways they could help me understand both species’ tech. I want it, but I think it’s going to be easier to get things done if we break things.”

Daniel nodded, “I feel like it’s going to be harder if we try to preserve the equipment and I don’t need prescience for that.”

“Yeah,” Cassie said, “I think you’re right and I think we’d better get moving. If they nuked the Rocket’s bot right here, it’s not going to be long before they see us if they haven’t already.”

Through her helmet, I could see Yoselin frown, “I’d like to take the equipment, but I think Captain Commando is right. We need to go now.”

Jaclyn pointed down toward the window from our position on the stairs above it. “That’s what I was saying. Shatter the windows and we’ll drop through. You can follow. Everyone okay with that?”

We all nodded or muttered our agreement.

“Before you go, I’ll take out the lasers,” I said, pointing down toward the rectangular boxes on the ceiling.

Cassie shook her head, “Save your bots, I’ve got this.”

Then she pulled out her gun, pointing it down the stairway and releasing a bright, white light, hitting one box and then the next, sweeping across each one. The beam’s heat cut through the green painted metal, leaving melted, molten metals and plastic on the floor along with shattered bits of concrete that had seemed to explode from the ceiling as the beam hit.

With the destruction of the weapons finished, she said, “What the hell,” and aimed the gun at the windows, melting a long hole across them and cracking the glass at the same time. Streaks of liquid glass ran down the side. Given how the gun’s shimmery, blue-grey metal made it look like a children’s toy, the average person probably wouldn’t expect the destruction it could unleash. Of course, it was an Abominator weapon.

Yoselin’s eyes blinked and widened, reminding me that she might not have seen what it could do in whatever intelligence reports she’d seen.

“That’s our cue,” Jaclyn took a few steps further down the stairs and dove through the window with Izzy flying after her, big chunks of the window falling after them.

“My turn,” Cassie said and jumped after them.

Daniel, Yoselin, and I looked at each other. Daniel shrugged as Yoselin shook her head and jumped out the window after them. Daniel and I followed with Daniel flying out the window first.

At first, it looked easy, even as Cassie dropped, she targeted the Abominator energy generator with her gun, burning a strip of glowing, red metal across its black, rectangular body. At the same time, she was doing that, Jaclyn had turned on the rockets on her costume, diving toward the floor of the room and aiming herself to land on a pathway through the middle of the room. As she became parallel with the ground, she let one-foot touch and then the second, matching the speed of her rockets in a blur and running across the ground punching and destroying five mechs as I glanced in her direction.

At the same time, Izzy flew straight toward a turreted gun large enough that I’d have expected to see it on a battleship or maybe a tank. It hung above the ground on the top of a small tower. As much I found the idea of keeping a large gun underground and then firing it inside questionable, I had to admit it was a potential defense against Izzy—assuming they didn’t also destroy any of the supports that prevented the building above us from falling into the hole.

The gun only fired once, aiming a blast of its white beam at Izzy and hitting her full on. I didn’t doubt that it would have turned a normal human into cinders, but it didn’t do that with her. The air distorted around her as it and a silvery shield became visible over the front of her body where she’d been hit.

It never got a chance to fire a second time because she hit it in the next instant, turning the gun into smashed and shattered metal and electronic parts. Then she curved to the left, flying across the room too quickly for me to see anything but a flash of blue.

Only noticing an identical tower and gun on the left side of the room as she flew over to it, turning it into metal confetti. That one hadn’t been firing, but better safe than sorry. The first tower’s beam had seemed similar to Cassie’s gun’s beam.

All this had happened in less time than it would have taken to fall five stories to the floor. I’d taken it in as I activated the rockets and aimed myself across the room toward the far wall—mainly because Daniel had thought there at me as I’d noticed the spot.

On the bottom floor in the middle of that wall, light shone out from two double doors, both of which were open.

People on the floor, most of them dressed like office workers, were running toward them. They were blocked from getting in by men in blue security uniforms, all of them carrying what appeared to be automatic rifles.

Automatic rifles didn’t cause me much worry while wearing the Rocket suit, but what I saw next did. A blue-white flash came from inside whatever room I was seeing and the room stopped being empty. Instead, it now contained bird-themed mechs, their glossy black paint bringing back a few memories.

Back when we’d rescued Cassie from Rook’s base, there’d been a teleporter there too.

8 thoughts on “Holes: Part 7”

  1. I’m running a D&D campaign and the group meets on Sunday afternoon–which means that I go from running that to writing this with a short break to make and eat supper. I often wonder if I’m going to be too tired to get things done on time after that. Today though, there weren’t any issues.

    I sometimes think I might write a novel set in the campaign world I created for that. Don’t know if I ever will, but the idea of using the same work twice appeals to me.

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    1. I think that’s what the Malazan guy did, he said he didn’t write and run at the same time but a number of the characters, plot beats, and background events are from GURPS campaigns.

      1. I’ve heard of Malazan but haven’t read it. I should probably look into it. That said, I can’t say I’m surprised in some ways. A lot of writers that I know also play tabletop RPGs.

    2. There’s a number of good books which are at least partly inspired by the writer’s tabletop games, and (following Sturgeon’s Law) a much larger number of terrible ones. I suspect that with more than a decade’s experience writing The Legion of Nothing yours wouldn’t be one of the cruddy ones though.

  2. [Izzy turned her head to look at me, “You’ve said Abominator technology is based on Artificer technology that corrupts the user. I don’t see a reason to keep any of it.”]
    [With the destruction of the weapons finished, she said, “What the hell,” and aimed the gun at the windows, melting a long hole across them and cracking the glass at the same time streaks of liquid glass ran down the side. Given how the gun’s shimmery, blue-grey metal made it look like a children’s toy, the average person probably wouldn’t expect the destruction it could unleash. Of course, it was an Abominator weapon.]

    Hmmmm, mmmmm. Always been a bit of contradiction on the pass they give that gun because it’s useful. Which is exactly how the Artificer traps are supposed to work, isn’t it?

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