“Be careful out there,” Yuni said.
“Bring back a live one,” Zhao said. “It would be terrible if they blew up while back here.”
“It’s going to be tough,” Alexa said. “But we’ll manage.”
“We could always try the sex appeal approach,” Katelyn said.
Alexa gave her a look.
“Alexa thinks that Katelyn is stupid,” Zhao said, chuckling. “It doesn’t matter. Zhao has some tools.” Zhao unzipped her large dufflebag. She tossed a couple of orb-like objects to Alexa.
“These are?” Alexa asked.
“EMP grenades,” Zhao said. “Zhao designed them herself. They should be strong enough to bring the armour’s main functions down. If not try these.” She tossed a couple of pyramid shaped objects to Katelyn.
“What do these do?” Katelyn asked. “Summon spirits?”
Zhao mimicked the look Alexa had given her earlier. “No,” Zhao said. “Those are Zhao’s portable shockwave generators. The waves should have a battering force that isn’t impeded by any kind of armour. If Katelyn drops one near an enemy telekinetically and activates it, then it should knock the enemy out without damaging their armour or killing them. If neither of those works then Katelyn and Alexa should return and Zhao will find something else for them to use.”
“Do your best!” Yuni called. “We’ll be waiting for you, so return safely.”
Katelyn waved to her and she headed up the field with Alexa.
“Think these things work?” Katelyn whispered.
Alexa shrugged. “They’re worth trying, I suppose.”
“Keep an eye out,” Alena said. “You never know whether they’re going to break through or not.”
“Alena shouldn’t worry,” Zhao said. “There are lots of soldiers between Zhao and danger. Katelyn and Alexa should be back before they even come close to reaching here.”
“So, what should we do?” Yuni asked.
“We’ll stand guard,” Sirvanna said. “Until they return.”
“Omicron can do that,” Zhao said. “Zhao will setup the analysis equipment.”
Katelyn and Alexa took shelter behind the fortifications
“Is our side going to be alright?” Katelyn asked.
“Why do you ask?” Alexa inquired.
“Well,” Katelyn said. “They seem to have more people charging than we have defending. And ours seem to be dropping faster.”
“They just have to hold out long enough,” Alexa said. “Come on, let’s find an armoured soldier to bring in.”
“You don’t want to even the odds?” Katelyn asked.
“There’s no time,” Alexa said. “Remember, our job is to find out what makes this armour tick so we can beat it.”
“I suppose you’re right,” Katelyn said. “Still, we each have two.”
Alexa looked from Katelyn to the field. “Fine, we’ll throw in our extras, but after that we have to complete the mission.”
Alexa pushed the activation button on her extra EMP grenade and sent it rolling into the midst of the enemy troops. Several robots and tanks sputtered and went out of commission.
“Did it affect the armour?” Katelyn asked.
“I couldn’t tell,” Alexa said. “It went into an area with mostly robots and unarmoured soldiers.”
“You’d think they’d outfit all of them with it,” Katelyn muttered.
“They probably can’t,” Alexa said. “It is fairly new and they have a lot of soldiers to produce it for. Probably doesn’t help that we took out one of their production plants.”
“Yeah,” Katelyn said. “The extra pyramid fell from the sky into a group of armoured enemies. Within seconds several around the blast’s perimetre clutched their heads. Those inside all collapsed.
“Maybe we can grab one of those,” Alexa said. “I’ll be back shortly.” She took to the air and flew towards them. That’s when the armour exploded. Alexa hurried back. “Or not.”
“Lucky you aren’t that fast,” Katelyn said. “I guess mine aren’t going to work.”
“I wonder why,” Alexa said. “Don’t they have a safeguard that stops them from blowing when other units are near.”
“The shockwave might’ve knocked that out,” Katelyn said. “In any case, I’m going to send the other one now.”
The two hurried along and found a small group of armoured soldiers.
Alexa hurled the remaining EMP grenade at them. Several of the soldiers whirled around and one shot it down in midair with a single bullet.
“Damn,” Alexa said. “Guess they saw it coming.”
“Time to head back,” Katelyn said. “See what else our little mad scientist has up her sleeve.”
“They’re back!” Yuni called. “And they’re okay!”
“Where is Zhao’s sample?” Zhao asked.
“It’s invisible,” Katelyn said.
“We kind of didn’t get one,” Alexa answered.
“What happened?” Alena asked.
“Well,” Alexa said. “Katelyn used the shockwaves and the armour blew. I tried to hit them with the EMPs, but they saw them coming and shot them down.”
“Did you toss it right in front of them?” Alena asked.
“I threw it to their side,” Alexa said. “But several of them turned right to it and they brought it down with a single bullet.”
“It was a pretty neat trick,” Katelyn added.
“They must have some kind of sensor to detect EMPs,” Zhao said. “Probably with an auto-aim function to help them bring it down.” She paced for a moment. “Don’t worry, Zhao has some more tricks.” Zhao rummaged through her bag pulling out what looked like a rocket launcher and a small cube. She handed the launcher to Alexa and the cube to Katelyn.
“EMP launcher,” Zhao said, pointing “and sensory overload device.” She handed them each a pair of sunglasses.
“Now we can look the part of secret agents,” Katelyn said. “How nice.”
“Wear those when using the S.O.D.,” Zhao said. “They’re designed to protect you.”
“So, how does it work?” Alexa asked.
“The S.O.D. projects illusions to confuse the naked eye and send out impulses of various kinds to confuse electronic sensors. While the enemies are trying to sort out what’s real, Alexa can use the EMP launcher to capture one of them. It shoots out an EMP net.”
“That’s really cool,” Katelyn said. “No wonder you guys were winning back then with devices like this.”
“Well, Zhao is a genius,” Zhao said. “Katelyn and Alexa should be careful, though. The S.O.D. only works for about thirty seconds after it’s been activated. Act quickly.”
“Understood,” Alexa said.
Alexa and Katelyn nodded at each other. They put the sunglasses on. Alexa stuck up three fingers, then two, then one. Katelyn threw the S.O.D. into the ground in front of the enemy.
They heard several bullets as multiple enemies opened fire at nothing. Some ducked and covered themselves. Alexa chose one and pulled the launcher’s trigger. The EMP net meshed around the man. He seemed to be struggling, but unable to do anything. Alexa gestured and the wind whirled around him, scooping him up. She and Katelyn ran for it with their captive in tow.