I’d deliberately chosen to be our right flank, knowing that I’d be in the front line. As they came toward us, I opened up with sonics, trying a medium width beam and aiming for their legs.
My plan? Slow them down.
While imperfect, it worked okay. Though a wider beam might not do as much damage as a narrow beam, it allowed me the luxury of poor aim. I wasn’t terrible at aiming, but I was running, trying to keep aware of my teammates’ positions, and also trying to point the sonics under each arm at something useful. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 31
You know how I’d said that a mass attack from all directions would be a bad thing? That’s more or less what happened.
The smaller room where we’d met Bouman had been the point where the parking garage under City Hall connected to the basement levels of the parking garage next door that were reserved for staff of the city, county, and federal buildings.
With more understanding of our psychology than I’d realized they had, they’d filled the smaller room with a mix of tendril monsters and office workers from City Hall and maybe other buildings too. I could tell from the business casual slacks and button down shirts combined with name tags hanging from lanyards. Between the name tags and the film of mushroom skin over their bodies and faces, I understood the whole situation.
If we wanted to escape by way of City Hall, the way we’d come, the most efficient methods to use would be Izzy’s scream, my bots, and Sean’s buzzsaw of ball bearings. All of those would straight out murder other human beings now. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 30
“I stopped it!” Bouman shouted back, his TV host handsome face showing more emotion than I’d ever seen on it.
I used my implant to think through to the League channel, “Portal, you should be able to get through now.”
“I know,” Brooke said, her voice a little louder than I’d expected. “I’ve been watching you. Give me a second.”
That made sense. In her position, I’d have been watching my camera stream too. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 29
It was good that I’d improved the Rocket suit since we’d first faced the Cabal because if I’d been wearing the old suit that hit would have killed me.
As it was, I still saw a slew of error messages run through my HUD, but not the kind that told me to expect an imminent systems failure—the kind that meant that the suit was repairing itself, but still intact. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 28
That was not something I wanted to hear in that moment. He sounded angry and I could guess why. Since we’d defeated them, we’d seen Cabal soldiers a few different times—guarding armored trucks, working for the Nine, and now working for the government.
We had not seen them working together.
Lee had set them up for a trap and put them in a situation where they had a choice—agree not to fight us for a year or die. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 27
That hope only grew as Daniel, Amy, and Jaclyn moved in behind us. Daniel stood next to me but turned around as if deciding that someone needed to be watching Bouman and the others directly.
Sean and the others joined us, Dayton and Jody (with knives ready) choosing to stand with Daniel—which was a good choice since more tendril monsters were entering from Bouman’s side of the room.
Amy stood to my right, but standing with her back to me, able to easily check both the room we might enter and the one we might leave. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 26
And how would we do it if we could? All of these fleshy masses around us had to be part of the core of the organism. If we could cause massive damage to core systems, that would tend to throw the larger system out of whack.
Even if it didn’t work, it seemed like the kind of thing might make it easier for Haley and company. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 25
In my HUD, the screens from Haley’s team showed similar scenes. The tendrils extending from the fleshy mushroom masses waved and jerked around spastically—so much so that I wondered if the shock of Daniel’s attack was making things better or not.
Sure, the Fungus Collective might not be able to concentrate, but on the other hand, some of those tendrils were as thick as small trees and many of the people on Team Hidden weren’t physically more powerful than a normal human. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 24
I used my implant to connect to our comm channel, asking, “Night Cat, how close are you to being in position?”
“Pretty close,” Haley said. “I don’t think that we’re dead center, but we’re maybe a floor away. After that we’ll have to move inward.”
I checked her camera. Through a silver haze that made me think of a camera filter, I saw a concrete ceiling and floor, parked cars, and grayish-white masses joined together by runners that crossed under the cars and over concrete barriers.
I didn’t see any people, but the masses had grey tendrils like all the other tendrils we’d seen. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 23
Sean’s comm started ringing. He stared down at the screen. Thanks to the Rocket suit’s sensors, I’d zoomed in on the screen and read it before I even had time to consider the question of his privacy.
It said, “Mom.”
Bouman nodded, “You’ll want to get that.”
Sean all but snarled at him, “I know what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to scare me. Mom’s either one of you by now and she’ll say anything or she’s surrounded. Either way, I can’t stop you from doing whatever you want to her, but if you kill her, you don’t have any hold on me at all.” Continue reading Courtesy: Part 22