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10 December 2017 @ 12:09 pm
Last Merge Random Scene  

There was always news on, during breakfast.

Rael tuned her bug in to the screen she was facing.

Oh One! Hysteria about missing college students. We retrieved . . . wait. Hundreds? What the . . .

"For those of you just tuning in, cross-dimensional raid on the University of Karachi western campus early this morning. Police are still trying to account for all the students, with roughly a thousand students being treated for broadcast sleep spells

The Newsie on the scene and his cameraman were focused on stretchers carrying limp bodies out of another building. They weren't shrouded, as if dead, and as they zoomed in, were clearly female.

The vid switched to a hysterical man pointing at a building. "See? They took over that building with all the big lecture halls in it. Do you believe they packed two hundred kids into a theatre-like room and expect them to learn anything?"

The newsman looked a bit taken aback. "Well, it certainly made everything easy for the kidnappers. It has to have been either a gate or a corridor. At this point all we know is that six hundred young men and women are missing, and the police say a military type force had control of most of the campus and is backing away."

Military. Oh crap.

An unidentified voice interrupted. "Ugde, they are leaving most of the women behind, and the doctors at Central City Hospital say they have detected halogen gas traces." "Hypnotic gasses? That sounds like Earth. The Fallen would have used magic."

Rael watched carefully, as a remote backup memory of a security camera was shown. She recognized the phenotype and uniforms immediately. "Helios. God. Damn. It is them."

:: Urfa! Those are Helios in Karachi. :: She could feel the man's wince and toned her mental voice down. :: Is it still ongoing? Can we get there in time to do anything. ::

She looked over her shoulder . . . "Eppa? I need the Speed Squad? Guys? Uniforms. An armored something. No, can aircars get through corridors? Lots of guns." She bolted up the stairs and headed for her room, already shedding her warmups. Uniform, her favorite pistol, the rod of the dimensional bag. Lace shoes. Run back down to where a bunch of weapons were being carried out the front door.

Major Eppa, waved her toward the first vehicle. "Rael? It's not armored at all. It's fast and it'll go through the corridors."

Urfa huffed up, put of breath. "You're heading straight for Auckland—the Helios are already out of Karachi. I've called Disco, they're enroute."


"Yeah, at least they yelled for help immediately."

Isakson arrived at a run. Pointed at the Speed Team. "Two in each seat. Rael and I get the doors."


"Because she can fly and I can parachute." He eyed the driver. "Show me how fast you can get to Auckland."

The driver—Dear One! Zippo!—grinned. Isakson leaped in beside him, closed the door, the others crammed themselves in.

Rael sat on Ux's lap and pulled the door closed. The aircar leaped into the air and the rear jets cut in. "What? Don't look like that, better me than Isakson, right?"

"Uhhh . . . Ahhhh!" as the aircar dropped . . . right into the red-lit emergency zone in front of the corridor to Gate City, skidded through, bounced up . . . twist and drop into the space before the Auckland Corridor . . . up and blast forward . . .

"Campus coming up on the right where do you want me to land?"

Rael leaned between the front seats and pointed "See that line of trucks disappearing into nowhere? As close as you can get." She triggered the emergency door release and jumped.

Shield wings out, tail, flipped up and dive for the spot where the trucks were disappearing. And throw a slice across the engine compartment of the truck approaching that spot.

Her left arm jerked back and she fell into an out-of-control spin. Bullet hit the wing. Reach out for a pull to stabilize, kite up in a swoop. Wings in one solid sheet bulging out in front of her. With brief holes so she could throw three more slices to stop trucks, then she dropped into a target rich environment and went to work. Hard stuns—prisoners to question—a curved shield, grounded and braced and they were shooting themselves with ricochets.

Isakson hit the ground on the far side of the trucks and laid out his own swath of destruction.

Rael took a breather to check the battleground.

The truck drivers were all out, shooting from behind their truck doors, windows down and providing rifle rests. The foot soldiers . . . Some were in cover, providing cover for the ones who were up and running for the buildings.

:: Ohhe, concentrate on the ones running. Don't let them get hostages. Isakson and I will deal with the trucks. ::

She turned her attention to the trucks. A vertical slice through the middle of the door . . . Worked nicely. Well, messily. She ran to get the right angle on the next truck, staggering at the punches of hits on her shield. Slash and slash again. Turn and slash right through a concrete planter that the Helaos must have thought was safe . . . and all the shooting had stopped.

Rael looked back at the gate . . . which wasn't there.

Q was.

She walked over to Rael. "I disrupted their gate enough that they shut it down, and I've destroyed their gate anchor. But I'll bet they've got them at dozens of other colleges."

Three more aircars, with more sane pilots, arrived, and the Blackhorse Guards joined the local police in a room by room search for the mentally-invisible Helaos.

None surrendered. A few more were stunned.

Newsies were almost as thick as the police and medics. Yelling questions.

"Doctor Quicksilver! How did they get their gate mechanism repaired so quickly?"

Q glanced their direction at that one, looked back at Rael. "The gate was coming from their colony world." Her comm buzzed. She clicked it on and listened. "Right. I'll go to the Colony and see if I can stop them there. Then I'll meet you at the staging world."

She clicked off and looked around as Urfa jogged up. "Xen says they've established a shadow zone on the target. These kids they've kidnapped? They're on the colony world. They'll gate them to the Target and haul them into the Shadow Zone from that side, to merge with Helaos coming in from their world. I've got to go."

Not even a poof of air. She was just not there.


(Anonymous) on December 10th, 2017 09:07 pm (UTC)
I like it!

(Anonymous) on December 10th, 2017 09:39 pm (UTC)
Very nice with quibble
Very nice scene. Glad to see the speed squad in action.
One quibble though, the halogen gases are florine, chlorine and possible bromine. They are very poisonous and totally unsuitable as knock-out gases. Perhaps another name?
ekuah on December 11th, 2017 02:02 am (UTC)
Re: Very nice with quibble
Halogen compound gasses are very well suitable for knock-out gasses.
Chloroform is CHCl3 (One hydrogen-, one carbon- and three chlorine-atoms)
Or Halothane (C2HBrClF3)
Also Flurane,Enflurane and Isoflurane are all inhalational anesthesia with high halogen contend.

But yes, pure halogen gasses (F2, Cl2 and Br2) ,are quite toxic.
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on December 11th, 2017 01:21 am (UTC)
Wow that was impressive.
matapampamuphoff on December 11th, 2017 02:40 am (UTC)
About time the Warriors went out and kicked ass.
(Anonymous) on December 11th, 2017 08:44 pm (UTC)
Does this mean The Last Merge is coming out soon? I hope it does!
matapampamuphoff on December 12th, 2017 12:33 am (UTC)
It means I've almost finished the first draft, and it's not going to get the resting time I usually give drafts.

I think what I'll do is toss it up on a Google doc and y'all can rip into it and tell me where I need more, or a better transition or whatever, structural issues it has. I suspect there will be a lot of them.