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20 December 2017 @ 06:33 am
_Mirror, Mirror_ part 9  

Nick's head was turned so he could see the bright sunlit desert through the gate. The armored vehicle driving through and turning. Guns popping up as it turned and stopped.

Ebsa in the speeding car. Walking away free, with an armed escort to cover his retreat . . . why is the car door open?

Ebsa leaped, rolled and kept rolling.

The car hit the gate . . . hit the front of the second armored vehicle, rather. Brilliant flash, slashing shards flying through the air, skipping across the pavement. Nick threw up a shield. Shrapnel caromed off and clattered to the ground.

Like in the old stories. A collision during gate transit is deadly, shredding everything and ejecting it. Forcefully.

"Stop it!" One of the cops on him drew back to hit him, the other lunged and grabbed his arm.

"Get down!"

Machine gun fire raked the Plaza. The first armored vehicle had survived that blast.

But out there on the battlefield, Ebsa was back on his feet, running, staggering—earthquakes and bullets hitting his shield—retreating halfway then turning to face whoever had come through that gate.

He can't fight an army alone . . . can he?

Chapter Ten

Ebsa staggered back to a point with a clear field of view of the gate and the armored troop carrier. Pushed his shield out a bit and anchored it.

Pulled out the pencils as Urfa, Wicked, and Utterly joined him. Wicked could obviously see his shield as he was leaning to shoot past it.

"The gate's still open." Urfa knelt, one hand on the ground for stability. "As soon as they clear the wreckage . . . what the hell are you doing?"

Ebsa grinned and jerked off the rubber band and spread the pencils. Reached into the dimensional bubble and pulled out the big footlocker, then the long rifle case.

Urfa pulled a pistol as Ebsa pulled out the 9 mm rifle . . .

Ebsa held the gun out to him. "Try this, it'll work a lot better." Added three loaded mags. "Read the labels, save the armor piercing for armor."

Urfa juggled the rifle, holstered his pistol and handed the rifle to Utterly.

Then Ebsa quickly assembled the 20 mm. "Any of you every fire one of these? Right, don't start now." Ebsa opened the footlocker and started pulling out the grenade launcher.

"One bloody Hell!" Wicked holstered his pistol as Utterly took over plinking at the soldiers around the armored vehicle. "You have enough to field an army in here!"

"Not hardly. How are they doing on the far side of the gate?"

"They're bulldozing the approach. Two minutes and they'll be coming through again."

"I don't suppose any of you have my comm?"

Urfa fished in a pocket and handed it over.

It lit properly, so the relay was working. Azko picked up on the first ring.

"What's going on where you are?"

"Quakes like you would not believe. I'm headed for the far gate at top speed, Q's going to isolate this tangle of worlds, cut all gates to it. She says she hasn't a clue what's going to happen. She says she'll be back to rescue you."

"Just you?"

"Yeah, your buddy jumped out and ran for the gate, said she had to find her family."

"Damn. Well, tell Disco the Earth has opened a gate here in Paris, and I'm going to close it. So Q may need to find me on the other Earth. Tell Ajha some serious search and rescue help is going to be needed here." Ebsa looked over at Urfa, who was eyeing the armored vehicle. "Gotta go, bye."

Ebsa chambered an armor piercing round into the 20 mm and stepped out from behind the shield. Put the first round into the engine block. Stepped back and switched mags. Penetrating explosive rounds. Two shots through the troop compartment and it blew up quite spectacularly.

"Thought it was a bit light on troops." Back to armor piercing . . . Put four rounds through the gate and the bulldozer jolted to a halt. He set down the 20mm, and picked up the 12.

Foot troops started moving in from the sides, squeezing between the bulldozer and whatever they had on the far side marking their gate. Forming up . . . charging. Staggering and grimacing as the effect of the powered gate hit them without the buffering afforded by the metal of a vehicle.

Ebsa threw up his rifle and started shooting.

They had ballistic shields, vests, helmets . . . The 12mm knocked them flat, but too many were getting back up.

The world wrenched, more than an earthquake, worse than a gate . . .

To his right, a strip of tall unmown grass led from just off the gate past him, widening . . . to his left a narrow wedge of concrete, the corner of a concrete wall cut off at the edge.

Ebsa scanned the plaza . . . narrow blades in a pinwheel centered on the gate. Blades of foreign worlds . . . "This is not a good sign."

Wrench. The foreign ground disappeared, brick pavement returned.

Ebsa stepped closer . . . a thin line of shattered brick marked where the grasslands had swapped in.

Urfa nodded, breathing fast. "We have to close that gate."

"You know, if their powered gate works like ours, there's pot load of critical equipment right there." He looked over at Urfa, the two guards . . .

Urfa shook his head. "You can't get through that many troops."

"I should have brought another Warrior with me. A small compass would have been useful."

Urfa frowned. "Another Warrior."

"Yeah. Since we had better sense than to kill Isakson, we've been identifying." He broke off to discourage the troops. Didn't seem to be working. "And training new Warriors."

"So, if Wicked and Utterly could keep those soldiers off my back, I'll try to get to the gate and inflict some damage over there."

"You can't do it alone . . . " Urfa was looking behind him. "I think I can get you a Warrior."

Ebsa followed his gaze. "That's handy." He trotted over to the knot of police hauling Azho to his feet.

Urfa followed. "He killed two hundred priests. Can you trust him?"

"In this plaza alone, that many people have just died. City-wide? World-wide? Urfa, if this damage level is worldwide, your civilization has just died. Let's get this gate closed."

"Shit. Release him." Urfa glared at the cops until the handcuffs were off.

Ebsa stepped up to this feral version of Ra'd. "So. Are you a criminal or a warrior?"

Hot sparks of fury in his eyes, but his gaze left Ebsa's to look at the gate, then returned. "Warrior."

(Anonymous) on December 21st, 2017 02:31 am (UTC)
And so we've circled back around to what was seen on April 13, 2017. It is almost as if we were trapped in a time loop.
matapampamuphoff on December 21st, 2017 04:35 am (UTC)
Indeed, and me with nothing new to show you guys.
mbarkermbarker on December 21st, 2017 08:18 am (UTC)
Isn't it something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue... or fan dancing, I guess?
matapampamuphoff on December 21st, 2017 03:36 pm (UTC)
Fan dancing. Definitely. Just hoping for a glimpse . . .