Holes: Part 10

Yoselin entered behind me, turning her head around as she entered, likely to make sure people weren’t following us. Seemingly satisfied, she turned her head back toward me, following me in.

It was bigger inside than I expected, not in the sense of being a timelord’s extra-dimensional space, but in the sense that a quarter of a big building’s basement turns out to be a large space anyway. That wasn’t all of it either.

If the outside reminded me of Higher Ground where we’d tried to understand the secrets of Abominator technology, this room reminded me of that combined with my own lab back in the Heroes’ League’s base. My gut feeling was that they weren’t just trying to understand Abominator tech. They understood some of it and they were making more.

It made sense. There wasn’t much of a reason to teleport troops into this building unless they had something to protect, something valuable enough that they wanted to make sure they evacuated or destroyed it even though the building had already been identified as one of theirs and its deepest sections penetrated by hostile forces (us).

That feeling was confirmed as I looked over the room in more detail.

Long, wooden counters stood next to tables where fabrication machines and 3D printers stood ready for use. Boxes of materials were stacked next to the wall. Flat, fingernail-sized discs lay on the counters many of them open with their internal circuitry visible.

On first look, it reminded me of work I’d been doing to connect my implant to my suit’s systems. Even as that thought went through my brain, my implant volunteered, “Low tech implant following an Abominator design for worlds disconnected from Abominator infrastructure.”

The implant then gave me an overview of Xiniti military campaigns on those worlds, adding that such implants were used to subjugate frontier worlds before adding them to the Abominators’ ansible network.

Behind me, Yoselin gasped, doubtless getting the same story from the Abominator perspective, “Do you know what we’re looking at?”

“A great way to connect the True and anybody else the Nine need working together,” I started walking around the nearest counter and then jumped on top of it, jumping from one table to the next, aiming toward the elevator I saw in the middle of the back of the room.

Yoselin jumped up after me and ran beside me as we jumped from one table to another, sometimes shattering the tables and equipment on top of them. It didn’t take long to cross the room at that rate.

We jumped off the table directly in front of the elevator and the door to the stairway off to its left. As I took a look at the elevator, which from the width of its double doors was sized like a cargo elevator, Yoselin said, “Stairway?”

Turning away and running with her toward the door to the stairwell, I heard Daniel’s voice over the comm, “Bad news. We won’t be able to keep all of them off you. Accelerando and Blue knocked out the teleporter down here, but there’s another somewhere else. They’re coming down from one of the upper floors.”

We entered the stairwell, letting the grey, metal door shut behind us.   I stepped through first, running up the stairs. Yoselin stepped in after me as we both heard a sizzling noise and saw a flash of light through the door’s window. Daniel had said that they were going to be fighting Rook’s henchmen. This was probably them.

I hoped they’d be able to keep them outside instead of letting them in to follow us.

Whatever would happen, that noise started us moving. We ran up the stairs, taking three or four stairs at a time, making it up to the second floor in seconds.

Not knowing what level Ana was on, I pushed the door open to take a look. My eyes widened as I looked around, not that anyone could see them through my helmet.

Much like the room below, it had waist-high counters, tables with machinery, and boxes full of parts. Here, though, the middle of the room had been cleared and a large object sat in the middle of the room. I didn’t need my implant to identify it. I’d seen other models—two at this point. Not to mention a human version of the same.

This was another.

Though it only had four human-sized tubes sitting on top of a platform, it was set of Abominator birthing chambers. In this case, it was based on the Abominator design, but clearly human-constructed—clearly because the sides of the platform were open, the machinery and electronics inside visible.

Aiming my laser at the electronics in the platform, I burned them black. Then I ran into the room, picked up the platform and threw it out through the plate glass window.

The window shattered, opening up half of that wall to the room outside. The birthing chambers fell, crashing to the ground.

Then I ran back to the stairwell, following Yoselin upward. Though she’d watched me destroy the birthing chambers, she didn’t ask me why, only laughing as they crashed through the wall.

7 thoughts on “Holes: Part 10”

  1. There are six more levels of this section of the building. We probably won’t go through all of them, but there should be a few more things of interest.

    On another note, the site’s been issue free for the last couple of days. I’m not sure why, but I’ll take it. That said, it’s quite possible that I’ll be removing and changing plugins some evening this week. Hopefully, I won’t mess anything up.

    Top Web Fiction

  2. A couple other missed bits:

    out through plate glass window.
    out through the plate glass window.

    she didn’t ask me why only laughing
    she didn’t ask me why, only laughing
    (I think it’s just a comma missing)

  3. I really enjoyed how Nick saw the birthing chamber and just went, “Nope.”
    No hesitation, just identified and yeeted. I appreciate that sort of quick decision making.

    1. Legion of Nothing is at its core a coming-of-age story. Nick might not have done that in the past, but he’s got the necessary experience now to know that those things mean nothing but trouble.

      One of the things that I’ve thought every now and then since starting the serial is that the moment that Nick gets as competent as a superhero ought to be the story will end shortly after.

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