Underground Tower: Part 4

Looking at the group of mechs ahead of me, I had to ask myself the next question, “How?”

I didn’t have a pile of plastique bots and while they’d worked on one guy, they were designed with unmoving objects like walls in mind. I had a few killbots, but the last time I’d fought people in Rook’s armor, the killbots didn’t work. Plus, I didn’t want to kill them anyway.

So, I decided to target their faceplates with boombots, figuring that killing them wasn’t possible, but it’d at least be a distraction. The only problem was that I’d just done it and bearing in mind that I was fighting True, they’d anticipate it.

They already were, and not just the ones in front of me. Spreading out as if they could read each other’s minds, some of them moving deeper into the room so that even if I got past one of them there would still be more, they began to fire at me as one.

I dipped and weaved in the air, doing best to evade, but I still got it—a lot. In seconds, weaponized particle accelerators dropped my suit’s protection by 25%.

Diving nearly to the floor, I shot under the tables as I flew toward the group of them, hopefully making it harder to hit me, but also shattering any chairs in my way.

I also had a better idea. Noting that one of the big mechs (around 10 feet tall) had started moving toward the right side of the wall, I changed my mind, aimed for the middle, and rather than aiming at their helmets, I aimed at the ceiling directly in front of all of them and then at the helmets of the ones in the center of the room.

It wasn’t cheap in terms of boombots, but it was all I could come up with. Besides, I wasn’t out. I was just getting lower, and it was worth it.

Chunks of concrete fell from the ceiling—more than I’d expected. The way they’d spread out made it worse as the explosions didn’t just blow holes in a line on the ceiling. A jagged hole opened up and not only concrete but also tables, chairs, and a tank filled with some kind of yellow liquid fell through the hole, shattered, and spilled on the floor, hissing as it came in contact.

A glance ahead showed that Ana and the people with her were gone, hopefully upward. I didn’t have time to ask. I shot upward through the shattered floor, ignoring the clouds of yellow in the air below me.

My implant identified the water and gas as a waste product from an Abominator armor creation process. It was dangerous to humans with the potential for long-term lung damage among other issues. I wondered how the Nine planned to dispose of it but decided not to think about it.

When you were a multi-national criminal organization, illegal toxic waste disposal might be the least of your crimes.

I left waste disposal issues behind the moment I flew through the hole into the next floor. The tank of yellow liquid wasn’t the only one in this room. Longer than the building above us, tanks of liquid-filled this floor, most of them with objects in the flat, multi-level tanks. Though I couldn’t see it happen, my implant uploaded details of Abominator manufacturing processes, informing me that the objects inside were forming by means of nanomachines in the liquid.

As tempted as I was to trash everything in the room, it seemed like a bad idea.

Not seeing anyone on the floor, I ran for an aisle. The tanks rose to the ceiling. I knew I wasn’t flying over them. As I did, I pinged Yoselin, Where are you?

Her reply came back with a stronger accent than she normally had along with pauses that I assumed came from running, They’re running up the stairs on the far end of the room. They’re moving quickly. Hurry. By the way, your cousin seems very comfortable in a suit.

That was not good news. It made her situation lean farther in the direction of mind control or honest agreement with the Nine’s goals and away from unwilling hostage.

Reaching the aisle along the right side of the room, I activated the rockets and shot away, reaching the far end of the room in seconds, hearing thumping noises from behind me. The True had to be jumping up after me.

I whipped around the corner, disappearing behind crates of material, probably material for whatever process they were using. I spotted a doorway halfway down the wall and ran to it. There was no reason to stick around long enough for the True downstairs to catch up.

Passing crate after wooden crate on one side and grey concrete wall on the other, I concentrated on running only to find Daniel’s voice in my head, We’re coming up to join you. We’ve done what we can, but they keep on getting up. Blue’s getting tired, and Accelerando’s suit’s in danger of burning away.

I checked the group’s status in my helmet. Daniel was right. Jaclyn’s suit’s status had turned red.

Okay, I said, but go straight for at least the fifth floor. There’s toxic waste below that.

8 thoughts on “Underground Tower: Part 4”

  1. It’s looking like my wife and I may go to India for a couple of weeks in November. I’m not sure what that means for this serial in that period, but I hope to figure something out. Even assuming I had decent internet access, I think my wife would be annoyed if I wrote during vacation.

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  2. “I dipped and weaved in the air, doing best to evade, but I still got it—a lot”
    I suspect ’it’ should be ‘hit’…

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