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23 December 2017 @ 10:33 am
Final Merge battle 2  

Chapter Eldon's battle

Eldon galloped down the central aisle of the jail, snapping locks on either side as he ran. "Go! Back the way I came from!"

Then the whole building wrenched, twisted. The metal bars . . . for a second he could see as second set, nearly in the same place, then they torqued, squirmed. Froze back in place, the doors warped and unopenable.

Eldon cursed, leaned to slice the bars below the chest-high crosspiece.

Too slow! He extended his shield out both hands, held them high and low, awkwardly bent . . . Bolted up one side of the corridor, and paused to look down a stairway at the dim light out the front doorway . . . The soldiers massing to either side . . . he felt an urge to run down there and grab one . . .

Their attention was focused across the road . . . on Xen Wolfson.

Oh shit! Eldon turned and galloped back, slicing the bars on the other side.

"Jerry? Phil? I think we're in the shadow zone . . . ah shit. It popped?" the metal frame was empty. He closed his eyes . . . a few bubbles, skittering away . . . he grabbed one and it popped. "Right. Send the kids down this staircase and out the hole I made and off toward the gate. I hope to hell it's still there . . . "

A crashing shriek, and half the roof slid sideways and forward, fell out of sight. The other half went forward and the other direction before falling.

Bet there's a whole lot less soldiers out there, now.

"Uh . . . There a guy out there. Very tall, wearing dark gray. He's the Good Guy D-cop. If he looks belligerent, yell that you're here to rescue the kids. Loudly, quickly." Eldon glanced up and caught a faceful of rain . . . That hit and sank in, felt like it was filling a vast hollow inside him . . . and those soldiers weren't nearly as attractive as they had been.

Is that the merge effect we heard about? And I'm merging with water?

He turned and jogged through the downpour to the west corridor and repeated his front-to-back double slice. Up a flight of stairs . . . He got all three corridors on the top floor and followed the kids down the staircase and headed for the east corridor on the ground floor. Ran for the front of the building, slicing . . . skidding to a halt at the sight of the soldiers charging at him . . . lashed out with a slice. They dropped and Eldon jarred to a halt as his slice hit something it couldn't cut.

Xen Wolfson. Sword raised, glints in his inner vision of hard held shields . . .

Nothing between them but the people he'd just killed.

He dry swallowed. "I'm trying to get the kids out of here."

Xen flicked a glance behind him. Nodded. Looked down at the soldiers on the ground. A flash of light and heat, steam exploding upward, shielded and contained. A kinetic smashing effect . . . There was nothing left of the soldiers but a fine ash. The rain crashed down and washed it away . . . Eldon danced back as it splashed up at him . . .

"Merging with ash won't hurt you. Dead bodies are a really bad idea." Xen waved his left hand and the cell bars clattered to the ground. Get. Hurry."

Eldon looked at his watch. "Shit. Half an hour. I set a bomb. Everyone needs to be off both worlds in half an hour."

"Right. Get going. I've a couple dozen kids to still get out of here." He turned and ran.

Eldon cursed, and hustled the kids away. Through his hole in the wall . . . The shadow zone ended a hundred feet away. He ran for it. The grass was acting oddly, swaying toward the kids as they hesitated, the leaders yelling as the tried to strip the grass off their legs.

"Ashes. Right." Eldon pulled power and rolled a cylinder of pure heat out across the ground for another hundred yards . . . and saw bubbles again. He stopped and grabbed one.

Opened it carefully, threw the far end out to that bright spot of his gate. Anchored it jumped in to open the far side and pin it to trees, back through to hold it up and open. "Phil, lead them through the gate. Jerry, hold this open as long as you dare. I'm going back for the last kids."

Chapter Xen

:: Twenty minutes! Get everyone off this world in twenty minutes!:: Xen put all the power he could muster into that

The kids on the gurneys were waking up, struggling, thank god.

Xen sliced restraints, and aimed them to the right of the prison. Running from gurney to gurney as they staggered away, and then Eldon was back hustling the kids around the corner.

Last one. Xen hauled him off, grabbed the wobbler ahead and followed Eldon, similarly assisting two around the jail building and out of the shadow zone. Xen hustled his pair down the burned path . . .Why is the grass doing that? We came in through this world.

Let them go and bolted back for more . . . They were all going to make it . . . except Eldon glancing at his watch and turning to bolt for a battered metal vehicle. It turned and headed toward them.

Xen swept a glance around. On the horizon, the Oner transports were heading for the gate. Gates, plural. Someone must have opened more to get everyone out quickly.

He closed eyes . . . the dim animal-like glows of the Helaos. No Oners, the last of the students heading through Eldon's gate.

At the far eastern reach of his range, vehicles heading for a gate. To the west, a brief flash as a gate closed.

Pyrite galloped up, spun as Xen grabbed and vaulted aboard.

"Horsey, get us out of here, fast."

Pyrite galloped up slope, took a look and travelled, looked and travelled.

Bolted for the closest gate. A truck drove through, a squad of infantry close behind.

A sitting figure starting to stand . . .

:: Q! ::

:: She's holding the gate for us, you grab her, while I run. ::

A flare of white light from behind them. Xen threw up a shield, squinted . . . Felt the horse's pain.

360° vision!

He leaned and cupped his hands behind Pyrite's eyes.

"Squint, dammit, I have to grab Q . . . if I can see her . . . "

A wobbling blur to the side of the gate, turning toward his voice, reaching . . . Xen grabbed and hauled her along as Pyrite ran through the gate, veered right and stopped.

He felt the gate close . . . there were no nearby gates . . . several a mile or so away . . .

Looks like the battle is over.

I wonder how bad the clean up will be?