The Cyborg driving flipped on the left turn signal. "It's about the middle of the block."
"Don't turn, lets take a look down that street and down the next block."
One of the kids scowled. "We're supposed to be running the searches, not escorting a murdering . . . Oh shit!"
Military vehicles and uniformed soldiers. Weapons turning their direction.
They were past the intersection before any shots were fired.
:: Igor 55823. Breakthrough. Mil vehicles and soldiers on Pickey Road south of Kiev Street. ::
A brief :: Got it! :: from whoever was on duty in the emergency response center.
"Check the next block then do a U-turn if it's empty." Axel glanced down the empty side street and nodded in satisfaction. "Forget all traffic laws and back three-fourths of the way into the north side of the side street an an angle." He started pulling power.
Ten-ten, driving, growled a bit. "We know how to set up a . . ."
"And what weapons do you have?"
The kids exchanged glances. "We have Cyborgs."
"Oh . . ." He bit off a curse. "And how are you at shields, slash and push?"
A wide-eyed pair of stares.
Sergey gulped. "Surely they won't get that close!"
"They're coming!" Ninety-two snapped.
Axel stepped out of the car. Physical shield up and slanted, to deflect what would probably be military rounds.
Three Cyborgs running at them, two heading across Kiev Street, to come around behind them.
Axel send two hard punch spells--a basic push spell, needle thin--at the two crossers, while his shield deflected a flurry of shots. They were close to laser range, so an energy shield at laser frequencies. "Don't shoot yet. I've got shields up. Sergey, your job is to watch the cross street that way." He pointed across Keiv street. "Edik, you watch the other way. The three of us will try to keep Kiev clear."
"They've got communications jammed. Shouldn't we get out of the area and raise the alarm?" Edik turned and stared down the cross street.
Good, he's thinking.
"I telepathed the emergency center. Troops are on the way. If I weren't here, yes, getting the alarm out would be your first priority." Axel cocked his head toward the sound of engines. Deep tones of something heavy. "So, you two are getting a bit more than expected for a first field exercise."
He'd been pulling power steadily and now he trotted forward as the shiny round nose of some sort of tracked gun carrier appeared from behind the corner building. So they aren't going to waste more men against a mentalist with my kind of range. No problem.
He framed the two slashes he was going to need . . . Once the gun was showing, a slash to take it out. A slash through track and running wheels.
So, what'cha got to push that out of the way?
"Contact!" Sergey paused. "Tank!"
Axel slapped out a shield across the cross street, leaning toward the enemy. Anchored it to the street and buildings on either side. Trotted back to the car. Pulling more power. And getting a good look at an armored gun carrier. A shiny laser-reflective flattened oval with a large bore barrel sticking out.
It fired. The explosive round detonated on contact with the shield, bowling over the soldier Cyborgs escorting it, but the angled shield deflected most of the shrapnel down into the road. Most of them were getting back up. The big gun wasn't moving. Yet.
Axel squinted. Send a hard stun spell at the AGC.
Then got himself back behind a car door and pulled back the physical shield.
"So, Sergey, you see these shields of mine? See if you can copy them, in a smaller size. Say, ground to three feet up, in an arc that covers the whole front of the car, out as far or further than the open door on both sides." He looked the other way. "Still clear, Edik?"
"Yeah, so, are we all going to die?"
"No. Hear that high pitched whistle? That's an inbound military aircar they'll be here in moments and then these fellows will have a whole lot more to worry about than us. So how about a shield?"
:: Hey Igor, that you in the car to the northwest? ::
:: Yeah, so never say I hog all the fun. ::
:: Ha! Catch! ::
Axel threw up a speed drain as a package dropped from the big shiny aircar as it braked over head, dropping fast and disappearing beyond the next block. He caught the package and landed it just behind the car. All his gear and a hard case with rifles and ammo.
"Now we're in business. Someone figured out we were light on weaponry. Ten-ten, hand them out while I change into more appropriate party gear."
"Guys, relax and pull power for a minute, I've got a dome shield up." He was stripping as he talked and pulled on the ballistic skin layer. Then the combat boots, clamped on the leg plates, the linked chest and back plates, overlapped and clamped at the sides, arms and the the helmet.
All four of them were sneaking glances his way. The big red lightning jags of Imperial service were known everywhere. And "Igor" in white was certainly known locally, even if mostly by rumor and, shit, soon to be known by name.
He took the last rifle, inserted a magazine, stuck two more in his elastic belt. "Right. I'm going to go party and you four are going to keep an eye on this cross street, both directions, and yell mentally if you see them breaking and heading . . . any direction, as I may not be where I can see them. Get ready with your shields. See ya later."
He dropped his dome shield as he felt them bring up their shields . . . potted two soldiers on the cross street then ran toward the corner of Pickey Road.
They were set up to defend the road.
So they can concentrate on the squads that just landed on the far side of them. I need to close the portal, so . . .
He pulled power as he ran toward them, sliding into that odd state where he ran through a world that moved slowly. His own shield out in front of himself deflected a few rounds, then he was flat against the building and they were having trouble swiveling the big guns that far around . . . a Cyborg stepped out to shoot him and the vertical slice took care of him and all the parts of the heavier guns sticking out beyond the road.
He slung the gun and stepped away from the building then ran and jumped. A bit of levitation assistance and he had the edge of the roof and hauled himself up and over. He ran up and over the ridge, the boots absorbing all the sound he ought to have been making.
Someone spotted him and fired, hitting the left side of his shield. He twisted, fell and rolled down, off the roof, onto and into a batch of Cyborgs. He slashed out with abandon, and left a gory mess behind him.
He was in a narrow alley between buildings.
Heavy weaponry out there, so how about a shortcut?
He turned and slashed a hole in the wall of the next building. I wonder if this is the place or if I should go through to the next, leaving holes behind me . . .
Axel jumped through into an office. Loud machine noise, humans yelling over it. Never mind, I think I've found it. He opened the door a bit and spotted the portal down at the end of the building. Yet another armored gun platform rumbling away from it.
He reached for the higher mental frequencies the Boss used. :: I'm at the portal. Destroy it now or go through and mess them up a bit? ::
:: Destroy it, messily if possible. ::
Axel looked through the portal at the next vehicle rolling up the ramp . . .
:: Duck! :: He slashed as the shiny vehicle rolled through. Even moving fast he barely had time to throw himself behind the cheap desk and shield hard as a brilliant light shown through the cracks around the door, the walls bulged in toward him, back out, then shredded, as hot metal ripped through them.
He shoved a panel off his back and stepped up on the desk to take a look. The earlier gun was still grinding forward despite the battered and blackened rear armor, the top hatch twisted and jammed half open.