Axel glanced at his watch. “I’ll probably be seeing him soon.
The campaign started out slowly, with magic lessons every morning. Weapons familiarization.
They took the missile system to the first Empty World to fire one missile, just to be sure it really did have an explosive warhead.
It really did.
And Cyborg repairs, since they weren’t just waiting for them to fall off. Not that even Igor could get them fully functional, but they only had to look good . . . and the new mil spec lasers, fifty-fifty on getting them functioning, and Lucky Seven, with an illusion of a proper uniform, helped the Rebels raid a barely guarded warehouse for uniforms for all of them.
And in uniform they drove their captured troop carrier right through the gates of the Germans main base and fought their way out with a huge load of weapons and ammunition. The lone Cyborg wandering through the Cyborgs’ mess never received a single glance. Slept in the barracks, dosed the Cyborgs twice more and started a whisper campaign before slipping out again.
Sam Ursa had really liked those magic lessons.
The Japanese were harder to fool, and Axel took them on himself. A light warp, an illusion, two short term memory wipes, and most of the Japanese Cyborgs were all dosed once, with their refrigerator contents thoroughly treated.
The German Cyborgs were a mix of halfbreed natives from other Worlds and captured Texans. The Occupation was only thirty-five years old, so the number of adult halfbreed Texans was low. And mostly sold on other Worlds to get them away from old loyalties. But the ones still here appeared to have infected their fellow Cyborgs with bad attitudes . . .
They got news of the riot at two in the morning. Siberia Max time.
April 22, 3740
Axel kissed his sleepy bride goodbye and headed for the construction camp. Murphy met him there with an armored up ATV and both their armor sets.
“Is that a good idea?” Axel hesitated, then started stripping. “I sort of wanted to avoid it looking like Siberia Max was involved, just us two insane idiots.”
“The two insane idiots can feel guilty about it when they get back alive.”
“Point.” Axel straightened and glowered at the approaching vehicle.
Four grins from the Rangers. The ATV appeared to be heavily loaded, and the kids had civilian armor on, and helmets handy.
“Oh God. Forgive me for what I have done.”
They laughed. And drove through the corridor.
Axel cursed and pulled on the ballistic layer, stomped into the boots, clipped on the leg armor, got joined chest and back plates on and clamped the sides, both arms . . . abandoned the car and climbed into the AATV.
Murphy grinned and gunned it through the corridor, the gate, across the valley. Through another gate out onto the rocky desolation of New Texas. And a corridor to their capital city.
Big Jake was there, yelling. “Dammit I should be out there fighting! The Japs are on their way to help, which mean they will wipe out the Cyborgs.”
Axel jumped out and hustled after Murphy, who was shaking his head. “No they won’t, they’ll turn around as soon as we hit their portals.”
They turned and gawped at him . . . then started grinning.
Hondo nodded. “Half our boys are out there at the riot. The other half is here, and you . . . two look a bit dangerous.”
Murph grinned. “Yep. We are. Where are the missiles?”
“Still in the warehouse. We taking them?”
Axel pulled out his city map. “The Japanese portals are the red stars, the beacons the red dots. Germans, green. We should hit the Portal closest to the riot first. Just a hit-and-run, then off to the next.”
Murph nodded. “Which is when the Japs will forget about seizing the opportunity to wipe out the Germans.”
“Mean time,” Axel pointed. “Dimitri needs to be on a vantage where he can see one of the beacons. And try to shoot and shred anything coming though a portal from Nagoya. Do you have any snipers? Right then, Var, for the other. He’ll need a closer vantage than Dimitri.”
“Now, we need to get into the communications and the grid. Got any friendly police stations? Excellent. Get Pauli in there.”
“Natsha, get with the Rebels communications, see where reinforcements or ammunition needs to go, and medical evacuation. What sort of setup do you have for that?” Uneasy looks from the head guys. “Natasha, find . . .” He shut up at her grin.
“Suitable vehicles to sub for ambulances? And people who can pass for medics, get them set up with phones that can’t be blocked and will mesh with the two comm setups one of which Pauli is unloading here as we speak? Guards and enough muscle types that they can get people into those ambulances? We set that up two weeks ago, and they’re already at work.” She flashed a grin and trotted off . . . to side room where half a dozen of the high school gang were hauling in furniture . . .
“I . . . hadn’t realized they were so involved . . .”
Twenty-five snickered as he walked past. “They’re proper Texas Rangers by now.”
Dimitri and Var with their rifles were climbing into ordinary looking cars . . .
“I see.” Axel swallowed. “So, Murph. Shall we go party?”
The missile crew crews load into the big black trucks, Lucky Seven took the wheel of the Armored ATV, Murph riding shotgun. Axel joined the other riflemen in the back, he window down and pulling power to shield or strike at need.