“Sir?” Trojan asked.
“I thought that you were going to bed,” Michael said. He had arranged a dozen computers around him. He hit several keys on one of the keyboards and swiveled around to use the next. Rapidly turning to use another and then another.
“It’s been nine hours,” she said. “I’m quite rested. What are you doing?”
“I’m attempting to break through their security by overwhelming their defenses,” Michael said. “Would you assist me, please?”
“Understood,” Trojan said. One of the monitors shimmered and she got to work.
“I’ve got it,” Sirvanna looked up from the facility map. “Pixie, Sylph and I will create a distraction outside the facility. Mara, Aurora and Ines will run in. Aurora will use her powers to absorb any light around you to keep Mara’s powers at their peak. Grab the information, plant the explosives and get out. At that point, Aurora will send a signal and the three of us will withdraw.”
“You do know that they’ve got a bunch of plaguers on their side,” Alexa said. “What’s to stop us from getting over-whelmed outside?”
“They don’t seem to keep many plaguers in one area,” Sirvanna said. “We’ll have to count on that.”
“I’ve always wanted to gamble with my life,” Katelyn said. “I just always thought I’d have a way to cheat.”
“You’d better carry Yuni,” Ines said. “You’ve got more strength than I do and she won’t be able to keep up on foot.”
“That would be best,” Alena agreed.
“Try not to trip this time,” Katelyn said. Alena glared at her.
“She won’t trip!” Yuni said. She put her hand on Alena’s. “I won’t let her powers go out. So she won’t trip.”
“Jenny!” Zhao cried. “Have you come to embrace Zhao and tell her your feelings?”
“Not right now,” Jenny said. “I’m here on business. He suspects that they’re going to attack this place.”
“The enemy is coming after Zhao?” Zhao asked. “Then Zhao will use her robots to beat them back! Maybe Zhao will pick up a crowbar and hit them.”
“You’ll also have us,” Jenny said. “The girls and I are at your service.” She looked around. “What are you working on anyway?”
“Zhao is building robots to send into combat in order to minimise our casualties,” Zhao answered. “She is also working on an interface device to allow the Professor to sync with computers sort of like Trojan does.”
“Is that even possible?” Jenny asked.
“Not for normal people,” Zhao answered. “But Professor’s gift should make it viable for him.” Zhao put down her wrench and started to saunter towards Jenny.
Jenny laughed. “What are you doing?”
“Zhao is being seductive,” Zhao answered, trying to adopt an alluring expression. Jenny took one look and burst into laughter. “Why is Jenny laughing?” Zhao asked. “Doesn’t Zhao moving like this make Jenny want her body?”
“The seductive approach really isn’t your strong suit,” Jenny said, stifling a laugh. “You should just be straight forward, honest, and kind that’s your strength.”
“Is Zhao sexy when she’s straight forward?” Zhao asked. Jenny nodded. Zhao smiled. “Then, Zhao wants to kiss Jenny!” Zhao said, puckering her lips.
Jenny grabbed a wet washcloth, wiped the grime from Zhao’s face and kissed her.
“Will Jenny…” Zhao began. That’s when the alarm went off. “Zhao will hold that thought,” Zhao said. She moved over to the main console and activated it. “Zhao’s lab is under attack,” Zhao said. “There are three enemies, all gifted.”
Jenny looked over Zhao’s head. “Omicron?” She asked. “Where would the other half of the team… of course!” She grabbed her communicator. “Anya, Svarog, Druidess, head outside and engage the enemy. Carmilla, meet me in the main laboratory. I suspect we’ll have company soon.” She looked over at Zhao. “I want you to evacuate and head for the main base.”
“Zhao will stay here with Jenny!” Zhao cried. “Zhao can fight too! Zhao has lethal skills.” She hoisted a wrench and swung it around a bit, it went flying out of her hands.
“No, you can’t,” Jenny said. “Please, I can’t concentrate on the battle if you’re in harms way and I certainly can’t use the power suit if you could be hit by scattered debris when I hit something.”
“Very well,” Zhao said. “Zhao will escape and send reinforcements but Jenny has to promise to be okay.”
“I’ll be fine,” Jenny said. “I have the suit you lovingly made for me, don’t I?”
“Resistance is pretty light so far,” Alexa said.
“Keep on your toes,” Sirvanna said. “It’s not going to last.”
“You don’t say,” Katelyn said. “And here I thought they were just taking it easy on us because we’re cute.”
“They’re sending out robots!” Alexa called. One of the machines at the forefront tore itself apart and the pieces flew at her. She flew into the air and sent a heavy wind to block the pieces. “You!”
“Just surrender so I don’t have to hurt you, again,” Anya said.
“You won’t take me this time, Babe,” Alexa said. “This time we’re in my kind of field.”
Flames surged towards Sirvanna. She sent a wall of lightning to collide against them.
“I’m glad you’re not surrendering,” Svarog said. “I want another shot at you.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to take the little one?” Katelyn asked, scampering backwards.
Druidess approached her, smiling. “I see we’ve learned our lesson. That’s good, it means I can take it easy on you. I’ll just finish you with one hit.” Her face contorted and her body grew coarse hair. She quickly transformed into what looked like a wolf-human hybrid. She howled and rushed towards Katelyn.
“Careful!” Sirvanna cried. “Carmilla and Behemoth are unaccounted for.”
“Don’t worry about them,” Svarog said. “They’re taking care of your little friends inside.”
“This should be the main lab,” Ines said.
“We’ve just gotta grab the techie stuff, right?” Yuni asked.
“Yep,” Ines said. “We knock out the scientists. Grab the schematics and plant the explosives. In and out.”
The two ran in only to have several bright lights shined on them.
“I thought so,” Jenny said. “I’ll give you a choice. Surrender or be taken.”
The door closed behind them and Carmilla smiled at them. “Please come peacefully. It would be such a waste to hurt you.”
Yuni covered her lips and climbed out of Alena’s arms. She shook her head.
“Pity,” Carmilla said.
Ines took off. She ran around the facility.
“You know you can’t hurt me,” Jenny said, crossing her arms. “Just what are you trying to do?”
Ines ran up the wall, over the ceiling and back. “Just… building… up… speed,” she said. “Have… to… go… super… sonic.” With a sonic boom she launched herself into Jenny, sending her sprawling backwards.
“Not bad,” Jenny said, picking herself up. “If I hadn’t been wearing this armour that might’ve taken me down.” She looked around. “You did set the sprinklers off though.”
Anya gathered more robot parts around her and sent them hurtling towards Alexa. Who flew away from, over and past them. She tried to use the force to deck Anya, but a hastily constructed metal shield blocked her approach.
Svarog put her hands to the ground. Jets of flame erupted around Sirvanna. Who dodged from side to side and sent a bolt of lightning back, only to have it consumed by a ball of fire.
“Nice doggy,” Katelyn said, running backwards. Several rocks hurled themselves at Druidess as she spoke. “you want a biscuit? I’ll even throw in a belly rub.”
“You’re only delaying the inevitable,” Druidess said, in a gravely voice. She lunged at Katelyn, who managed to change her course telekinetically, causing them to just miss each other.
“Can’t let you do that, Wolfie,” Katelyn said.
Alexa flew as fast as she could, avoiding the trail of bolts and armour plating that was coming after her. She passed by Katelyn who mouthed something to her.
“Don’t lunge at me again,” Katelyn said, falling back. “I don’t know if I can take it.”
“You’re up to something,” Druidess observed. “What could it be?”
“Now!” Katelyn cried. A fierce wind launched Druidess in the air towards Katelyn, who snagged her telekinetically and tossed her into the air, where she collided with Anya.
The two fell to the ground while Katelyn and Alexa high-fived.
“We’re all friends here,” Carmilla said, as one of Yuni’s light daggers went through her. “Just lower your guard.”
“My… guard,” Yuni said. “No… I won’t.”
Alena fired several bullets at Carmilla, which she phased through.
“Don’t worry,” Yuni said. “I won’t let her control me again.”
“Just give up,” Jenny said. “You can’t hurt me, and I’d like to avoid wrecking this lab as much as possible.”
“I managed to get you wet,” Ines said. “And now I’ll make you writhe a bit. Here, catch.” She rushed forward, tossed something at Jenny and ran to the side.
“A wire?” Jenny asked. “Shi…” The electricity surged into her. The armour sparked and she collapsed.
Carmilla vanished in a mist and reappeared beside Jenny. She hoisted her up and the two vanished in a haze.
“Let’s get this job done,” Ines said. “I feel like I just ran around the planet twice and straight into a wall.”
Anya floated cautiously away from Alexa, her right arm hung uselessly to the side. Druidess was limping towards Katelyn. Svarog and Sirvanna were exchanging projectiles.
That’s when a bright light illuminated the compound.
“Alexa, grab Katelyn and let’s go!” Sirvanna called. She sent a surge of electricity towards Svarog and bolted. Alexa grabbed Katelyn’s hands and followed after.
Anya assembled the robot parts in a dome around her teammates. That’s when the compound blew.
“Zhao is sorry,” Zhao said. “She should have built better security.”
“It’s not your fault,” Michael said. “I should have anticipated an attack behind our lines. I shall have to be less careless in future. For now, you should go to Jenny. She’ll be okay, but she is going to be bedridden for a while.”
What did they get away with?
“Nothing too important,” Michael said. “Some robot designs and the blueprints for an interface device they’ll never be able to use.”
Seems a lot of trouble for some basic machines.
“On the positive side this’ll become a war mostly fought by machines,” Michael said. “Which’ll eliminate a lot of casualties.”
“You can’t be serious!” Sirvanna cried. “My team is tired, injured and you want us to go right back?”
“I’m always serious,” Trask said. “We’ve found a plaguer who can teleport groups of people. He’s going to send you right into Michael Wagner’s bedroom where you’ll lie in wait and kill him as soon as he shows up. Even with your minor injuries it shouldn’t be difficult. Besides, his personal guard dogs are worse off than you are so you should be able to do it quickly and escape.” He leaned forward. “Or have you forgotten that it’s through our good graces that you’re alive and free, Fury?”
“No, Sir,” Sirvanna said. “We’ll prep immediately.”
What is it?
“Someone’s trying to teleport in. It looks like my personal chambre is the target.”
It’s probably Justine on another of her trips.
“I’ve been wondering where my undergarments keep going,” he said. “Still, it can’t be her this time, the signal is too massive. I’m going to redirect it here.”
You could just block it.
“A good host doesn’t complain of uninvited guests. Besides, I’m perfectly safe with you.”
“Colonel Trask?” The Colonel turned around. A mousy woman in a lab coat approached. She held out her hand. “Chelsea Preston, Sir. You were expecting me?”
“Miss Preston,” Trask took her hand briefly. “I wasn’t expecting you for several days.”
“Project Golem has gone more quickly than anticipated,” she said. “Are your girls around to help with testing?”
“Unfortunately, they just left,” Trask said. “But I do have another plaguer you can use.”
“Splendid,” Chelsea said. “The process will take almost a day. We’re hoping to speed it up later. In the meantime, just sign here and I’ll take your plaguer.”
“Where are we?” Sirvanna asked.
“I feel nauseous,” Katelyn complained. “I think that trip messed up my insides.”
“I don’t think we’re in a bedroom,” Yuni said.
“Welcome,” the group turned to see Michael. He was sitting comfortably with a little mutt in his lap. A Japanese woman was standing beside him. “Tea and biscuits will be ready soon. I’m sorry I couldn’t offer you anything more readily, but your visit was rather sudden. Still, I will endeavour to be a gracious host.”
“Ines!” Sirvanna cried.
Ines rushed forward for him, only to be intercepted and thrown back.
If you want to harm him, you’ll have to go through me.