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 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
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
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
“That works for me,” I said. “Is Hal saying we all go in at once?”
Jaclyn’s words came out in a rush, “Not exactly. He thinks one group goes in hard and fast to attract attention. Another goes in quietly. A third stays in position here so Portal can move people in to help as needed.”
Remembering what Brooke had said earlier about not being able to teleport inside City Hall thanks to interference, that meant as close as people could get. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 19
There weren’t a lot of people on the streets—mushroom-controlled people that is—but the people that were there stopped and stared.
I mean, sort of. With mushroom flesh covering their faces, they had no eyes or ears, merely slick skin. They pointed their heads at the fairy horde emerging from the portal and froze. Then as one, they retreated into City Hall, the parking garage, or any of the half-a-dozen office buildings nearby.
I wondered for a second if this meant that they still felt fear, but couldn’t help but note that they’d disappeared as one, meaning that if they did, they had to wait for orders to express it. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 18
Could the mushroom zombies replace Arete’s missing parts or access his memory? The latter option would represent a major security leak both for the Defenders and the Nine.
It didn’t seem likely, but if it was possible, I didn’t like it. From what I’d seen of it, even acting collectively the zombies weren’t very smart, but if they could integrate Arete in, maybe they could be. Plus, what if they could reproduce his powers in the mushroom zombies?
We needed to end this, but we’d have to figure out where to hit it. We’d destroyed the “brain.” We’d need to figure out where the backup was or if it could operate as some kind of swarm without a center. Continue reading Courtesy: Part 9