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Class 8 – Norian Nocturne
Dieous and Shaotoro jumped from tin roof to tin roof through the dilapidated warehouses of Tower City. The environment around them indicated it was a used loading dock. Dieous trailed far behind her master with each successive jump. Kyane’s body felt heavy even in the supported and protected suit of armor. Her breathing was contrite, and her body trembled.
Kyane’s mind drifted to coming out of the rubble following Herreas’s total beatdown of her. Once she regained any courage and movement, she used the bracelets and belt to absorb the destroyed suit. It repaired itself over the next few days. She couldn’t talk to D13 during that time. He was hibernating. Hiding. Recovering. She felt alone.
“We can stop now, Kyane,” D13 said. “You are pushing yourself too much as it is.” His robotic voice felt more human in that moment than anyone else. She felt like she rediscovered an old scent that sent her back to her childhood.
“I can’t stop now. Every one of them that gets through…” her voice evaporated from her and she imagined the cement wall that was the colonel approach and then promptly stomped her into the dirt. “I just can’t let them gain any ground,” she said.
Shaotoro landed on the roof of a loading dock. He checked his phone and said, “This is the location. Hurry up!”
Dieous bound over and tore a hole in the roofing. The two crept down onto large girders along the ceiling. Below was an electrical green crack hovering above the ground. Shaotoro sat down on the girder. Dieous knelt and scanned the area. The crack stretched into a portal and three velociraptor UDCs crept slowly out, like molasses. Kyane let out a sigh of relief, and stopped shaking, even though only D13 knew it.
“More raptors,” Dieous mumbled. “How many is that tonight?”
“Fourteen,” D13 And Shaotoro said in unison.
“Colonel Brick Wall has been making good on his threat I guess,” Dieous said.
“Indeed,” D13 said. “These three would make 35 since he said it three days ago.”
“I’m surprised it’s not one of his lieutenants,” Shaotoro said.
“This is weird that you two can hear each other,” Dieous said. “But I guess they can’t because of whatever that raptor Jerry has in custody told him. I don’t know.”
D13 ran through his database and brought up a video from inside the interview room of the raptor chained to the interrogation table while Jerry leaned against the two-way glass. “That kid doesn’t remember much,” Jerry said, “so you better get talking or I’ll make sure you lose all those nice privileges Dieous granted you for helping!” He marched over to the table and struck it with his palms. He straightened up his suit. “So, I’d talk if I were you.”
“Gotta love his people person skills,” Kyane said.
“I’m sure your scientists got some of it,” the raptor began, “but, our Earth is on a separate plane of existence than yours, like a room split by a wall. We can break down the wall and pass through, but too much passing can damage the wall and collapse it.”
Jerry took the seat across from the raptor. “I’m surprised you worried about that. I’m sure you would want that to happen. You could all come through at once.”
“Oh no, no, no,” the raptor said. His tail rapidly ticked back and forth. “It’s not a sledgehammer to a wall. More like an earthquake that both worlds will fall into and get destroyed by the pressure to make them equal.”
Jerry leaned forward, intrigued. “So how do you do it then? Create those portals to go through and not cause total destruction.”
“I’m not the person who figured it out, but what I do know is that they use our energy to break the wall and sets a power limit. If that limit is stretched too much and too often, like a lieutenant and his twelve soldiers, or our colonel, high-lieutenant, and two humans; the barrier gets too worn down, and…” he made a snapping noise and acted like he broke twigs or pencils or something.
The video feed cut off. The raptors finished emerging from the portal and examined the room around them. Only stray cardboard and wooden boxes remained from the building’s past life.
“Did you get that?” D13 asked.
“Was that play-by-play good grandpa?” Dieous asked.
“I got the main points.” He crossed his legs and arms. “But I would like to see some actual action.” He nodded toward the three UDCs.
“I’m on it,” Dieous said. He leaped off the girder and slammed onto the concrete floor below. The raptors swiveled their head toward the collision. “Hello fellas, I think comic con is next week.”
“Actually, the Tower City Hero Convention is June 12-14,” D13 said. He flashed a pamphlet of some clip art superheroes around the convention’s logo in the middle of the HUD, blocking a raptor’s charging body.
“Can’t see, can’t see!” Kyane said. D13 deleted the pamphlet in time for her to get a face full of fangs.
Dieous raised her arms. The raptor’s teeth bit into the black metal and shattered. She grabbed its neck and tossed it at the raptor behind her. Both raptors rolled into a pile of boxes. Dieous spun and kicked the third raptor in the gut, then followed up with a knee to the jaw. The raptor fell to the ground, then destabilized into a green wave. The remaining two raptors charged and dropped her to the ground.
Dieous tried to stand up, only for the raptors to strike and slash her back, keeping her down. Black metal rained off the back and sprinkled the ground. She balled his fist and jerked her arm backward into one of the raptor’s shins. She heard a crack and a fall. She quickly rose, sending the last raptor flying back. The raptor with the broken shin slashed. Shee avoided the hits, then knocked him on the head with a roundhouse kick. He destabilized like his partner into a green wave.
Dieous spun around toward the final raptor. It charged at her. “No wonder you’re the foot soldiers.” She sidestepped the raptor, then stuck her foot out. The raptor couldn’t slow down and collided with his foot. The raptor bounced and hobbled for a solid ten seconds only to be chopped to the back of the neck. It collapsed to the floor.
A text message from Desmond box popped up on the HUD. “Desmond has sent you another text message. Would you like to read it?” D13 asked.
Dieous dusted herself off. She then grabbed the raptor by its neck and tail, then heaved it back into the portal. “I can’t,” Kyane said. “I’m too busy.” The portal blasted out electricity, squished and sprung out like a rubber ball, then popped back to its normal crack shape. “Tag this one, send the location to Jerry’s team and point me in the next direction.”
Shaotoro stood up. “Wait,” he said. He blindly jumped off the girder. “Catch me.” He dropped like a rock; his loose clothes flapped on the way down. Dieous shuffles side-to-side with her arms out. Shaotoro fell right into them. Dieous put him down. Shaotoro massaged his back. “Not doing that again.”
“Okay. Well, time to head to the next location,” Dieous said. She walked toward the exit.
“I said to wait,” Shaotoro said.
“What!?” Dieous demanded
“Have you gone to see that friend you rescued yet? Or texted that other friend back?”
“What are you talking about? I’ve been busy,” Dieous said.
“Ah huh,” Shaotoro said. He ran his fingers through his beard. “D13, how many times has Kyane ignored her friends’ text messages?”
“21 times as of now,” D13 said.
“Thanks for backing me up, Die. You really know how to look out for your teammate,” Kyane said.
Shaotoro stepped up to Dieous and rested his hand on his cold metal chest. “I give you the weekend off. Go see them. They are worried,” he said. “Or do I have to beat you up one-handed again?”
Dieous aligned his gems. The gems glowed and flashed a bright blue light. When the light faded Kayne stood in his place in a white tank top, black leggings, and Van sneakers. A thin veil of sweat sat on her body. “I can’t look at them right now,” Kyane said. She couldn’t look at her grandfather either. She settled for the floor.
“Why can’t you, magosume?”
“Because I failed them and they hate me and stuff now for totally abandoning them like I did,” Kyane said. She tried to kick the dust around her, but it didn’t work. “It’s better if I just, like, keep my distance for them. They don’t like me. I don’t like them.”
“That’s not true. You would not be doing this if you did not like them, or care about them in some form.”
Kyane didn’t have a response to that. She paced around the empty loading bay. She snapped her fingers. “What about Jerry and his team, and stuff? I’m a military employee. I’m on active duty.”
“Don’t worry about him. I’ll take care of him. You are a teenager and need to do regular teenage activities.” He hugged his granddaughter. “But, maybe take a shower first.”
Kyane backed away and wiped her brow. She looked at her hand. Her face portrayed how nasty she was. “Definitely,” she said.