Off to my right, I heard a crackling noise. A glance showed Cassie standing on top of a cabinet next to a group of cubicles, using the height to shoot over a big bluish-grey block that my implant labeled as a “dark matter converter” and into the Abominator energy generator.
The Abominator energy generator burned where she hit, throwing glowing bits of whatever material the case was made into the air, some of them hitting the dark matter converter.
Recognizing, now that I had a few years of experience with it, that even wondering what the dark matter converter was would cause a massive download into my brain, I chose not to even try. I could do that later.
Still, the question of what dark matter was and what the converter changed it into was the kind of thing that would change people’s understanding of the universe.
I ignored that, setting a trigger in the implant to remind me of it tomorrow.
Then I landed in front of the glass-walled stack of platforms, noticing a glass door to the right side—which had to be where Ana had gone inside.
I ran for it, letting everyone know over the comm that, “I’m going in to get Ana.”
“Do it,” Izzy said, diving down into my field of vision, aiming herself toward what was now a surge of henchmen in Rook suits coming out of the teleporter rooms, all of them flying, many up toward her.
Izzy moved more quickly than I could see, turning into a blur of blue, knocking the first eight or so of them in all directions. At least three hit the walls, others were thrown to the floor. Another hit a cluster of cubicles, smashing through walls, throwing office chairs in all directions, shattering computer monitors, and moving the entire group a few feet down the floor.
The terrifying thing? Not one of them stayed down. The ones that hit the walls some 40 feet above the ground, hit, but pushed themselves away from the wall, spread their wings, fired off their jets, and flew back up at Izzy. The ones that hit the floor rolled up and to their feet.
She’d either been too worried about killing them to take them out, or their armor could take her punches without issue. If so, that wasn’t good news.
Worse, most of them, both the ones she’d hit and the others following behind them, targeted her all at once. Beams of white light from cylinders below the Rook suits hit the silvery shield that appeared around her, some of it reflecting off her and burning bits of wall and shattering glass walls higher up on the stack above me.
It wasn’t a bad technique. In fact, arguably it was brilliant. It used the fact that Izzy didn’t have infinite reserves of energy to keep that shield going to make the only kind of attack that could work for them. Nuke her shield and all that was keeping her safe from either lasers or particle accelerators would be her costume—which wouldn’t last too long.
The bigger danger was that if they damaged her anti-voice buzzer in the process, they had a very strong ally.
Of course, Izzy wasn’t an idiot, she didn’t just sit there and take it. She kept on flying, letting the beams touch her for no longer than an instant.
Jaclyn wasn’t an idiot either. She blasted through the group of Rook henchmen while they fired at Izzy. Here was the crazy thing, though. In the moments before she blew through, they began to back away from each other and spread out.
They didn’t spread out enough. Jaclyn knocked them down like bowling pins. Just like before though, they let themselves be knocked over but rolled back to their feet and fired back at her. Not a shot hit, of course. Anyway, her suit was made to resist lasers and particle accelerators.
Over the comm, Jaclyn said, “Go. Find Ana. We’ll keep them back. Besides, the Probationers should be here any second now.”
In my head, Daniel said, I’m going to stay to take Cassie, Jaclyn, or Izzy down if they get controlled. Yoselin just decided to go with you.
All of that had happened in seconds of time. I reached the door, hearing Yoselin say over the comm, “You shouldn’t go alone.”
I didn’t even try to argue with her. She was right.
With a look through the windows with the suit’s sensors, I decided that I didn’t see any people inside, and I opened the door—or tried. It was locked.
Taking a couple of steps backward, I smashed into the door with my shoulder, crashing through the glass in the door, but hitting the metal handle on the inside of the door. It didn’t break at first but held long enough that the metal doorframe warped and twisted.
One step later, I’d broken the door handle, pulled the door out of its hinges, and walked out of the shattered glass and twisted metal and into a room.