Through my implant I heard Yoselin say, We’re here for your cousin. If you think you can draw their attention, I’ll try to get to her.
Sure, I thought back at her, wondering how she intended to do it.
Abominator tech, she thought back.
So it didn’t entirely surprise me when she then faded out of sight. To be fair, it wasn’t something I was expecting either.
Moments later, I heard her say, I’m out of your way. Go straight forward and I’ll follow.
I took a breath and walked fully around the corner, standing next to the wall and beginning to run down through the room. I didn’t run for very long, though. Activating the rockets on my back, I flew, passing above the tables covered with mech parts, dodging tall metal cabinets and mostly assembled mechs.
The True that had been getting into mechs as I initially looked around the corner shut themselves inside as I started flying. Then they started to move, acting with the same precision that I’d seen them use against Jaclyn.
They started with a barrage of burning bright light, whether it was laser or particle accelerator was something that I’d have to ask them. All that mattered was that it wasn’t powerful enough to take me out. It did damage the suit, though. For now, it was a negligible amount, but it would add up if they were anything like Tara.
As I neared the main group, though, they stopped firing and two of them began to step forward. Even though I noticed their movements, twisted, and did what I could to dodge, they seemed to anticipate all of it, running more quickly than a normal human could hope to, propelled by the power of their suits, jumping from table to table.
They caught me as I swerved to the right to avoid one. Then the other, who’d been behind the first one, jumped toward me, grabbing me. Meanwhile, the one I’d been trying to avoid turned and jumped toward me too, catching my right leg and pulling himself higher on my body.
The strength of his suit allowed his gloves to dig in, prompting low-level error messages. He wasn’t any danger of breaking through, but knowing how quickly the True learned, I couldn’t assume that he couldn’t figure out how if I gave him time.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noted that more of them were running in my direction. If I kept on flying forward, I’d go down in a pile of them. Worse, if their suits could take a beating from Jaclyn too, I might not be able to get them off me long enough for it to help.
I whipped around, not losing either of them, but dragging both of them against the wall, pulling away, and then hitting them against it a second time. They’d started trying to move away even before the first time they hit, but the beauty of having two people hanging on to one person is that there isn’t much of anywhere to move.
You can predict that I’m going to slam you into the wall, but if your buddy is taking up the space you need to move into in order to dodge, you just have to put up with it.
Better, if I then swerve in such a way that your body hits the nearest table and I don’t stop flying (or lose control due to the impact), keep on turning as you try to climb onto the back of your fellow True, and force you into another table because there’s nowhere to dodge? Well, then life sucks for you.
That’s what happened to one of the two. Either because he couldn’t hang on, or more likely, because he realized that one person would work better at this point. Why he didn’t figure that out earlier, I didn’t know. Maybe the True didn’t clone as perfectly as I assumed?
Either way, it didn’t matter because the remaining True was still hanging on me and punching at the rockets on my back. The first punch made the system status move from green to yellow. Even though it was already repairing itself, I had to bet that the next punch would damage it enough that it would shut down one of the rockets—which wasn’t the end of the world, but it would mean a loss of speed and maneuverability.
I twisted in the air, rotating fast enough that he had to stop punching and hang on.
With all the speed I’d been using it didn’t surprise me that I was nearly at the block enclosing the elevator and stairs and the entrance to the room.
Still twisting, I turned around again, shooting forward to realize that the one I’d scraped off my armor plus three more stood ahead of me, standing on top of tables, all of them ready to grapple me whichever side of the room I chose to use to get past them. Given the speed they’d shown, at least one would, maybe more.
Still rotating in the air, I loosed several boombots and hoped they’d blow the True out of my way.