Where the Hell have I been? Part 2


I activated my Legacy communicator and shot to the top of the dome. The communicator is supposed to have global range and is said to be un-jammable, if that’s even a word.

I called HQ and got nothing, I hailed Goddard Station, and Von Braun, and got nothing. From the Moon, I got a short, frantic message about the transportal system failing. Nothing about an invasion… that was something, anyway. The transportal generators were all here, concentrated in the city and the gates in other parts of the world, on Luna and the little one on Mars, all link through this hub.

Other creatures were appearing out of the dust, now. Rubbery, flapping, flying things with short tentacles and glowing eyes. Ten foot tall, gaunt giants, with massive clubs wreathed in flickering energies. Bat-winged spear-men, and three…no four… flaming sprites, shooting like rockets out to smash into buildings and group of defenders.

No help would come from outside, in time. Legacy’s foolproof communications system, wasn’t.

I caught up with Skye, who had also snatched up a plasma lance and was using it to good effect. We had to get to the transportal generators. We had to shut them down and hope that would close the door to these invaders.

Just then, we were attacked by some of the flying things, their tentacles icy, as they drained energy from me. It was then I realized my suit was torn in several places. A few punches showed that they weren’t as adept at absorbing kinetic energy, and so I forced us down, in Discovery Park.

The park was a mess. The Grand Pavilion had been trampled and much of the machinery that delivered the miraculous nano-spores was smashed. Pieces were scattered everywhere. Through the static in my earbug, I told Skye what I was seeing. She must have done something, because I saw a squad of teleporters pop into existence in the park, grabbing citizens and teleporting away. Luckily, there were no kids, nearby. Exposure to the nano-spores too early, and without the essential mental and psychological groundwork, could prove disastrous. The adults, having already been dosed, were immune to re-exposure. Something would have to be done, and quick.

I signaled Skye to go on, without me, and tore into the waterworks at the bottom of the reflecting pool. Burying the spores was not an option, they wouldn’t remain airborne long, but dropping something on them would just force them out on the displaced air. I needed to wash them out of the air and for that, I needed a hose. Well, a pipe I could crimp down into a spray nozzle. We make do.

I sprayed the pavilion and the surrounding area, I drew as much heat from the water as I could, and still keep it liquid, and I called the teleporters over to get me some snowmen. There are at least fifty men and women in the city who could bring the cold. I did my bit, as well, though my range is limited. In a few minutes, we had the area capped in ice.

The danger, if the nano-spores went airborne is slight, for the previously exposed adults, but for the kids, it could be devastating. The only Elysian super-villain, the Alpha Destroyer, is the result of a faulty psych evaluation. A kid with extreme, but undiagnosed, paranoid tendencies became a nearly unstoppable rage monster. They’ve improved their testing, since then.

Freezing the pavilion took a lot out of me, and I looked for a likely energy source to recharge. It wasn’t hard, with alien invaders blasting this way and that, I managed to get myself shot a few times, gobbling up that electro-plasma like it was Mom’s fried chicken. It didn’t sting as much as it usually does, and I didn’t stop to think about it, at the time.

I fought my way toward the transportal terminal. A lot of noise, dust and smoke poured from the area, a lot more dust than I thought the destruction warranted. Turned out, it was blowing in from wherever the invaders were staging. Weird red lightning was arcing from the transportals, the big arches that open and close the portals, themselves. The portal arches shook and sparked, and it was pretty obvious they were working in a way they’d never been designed to work. Each was normally connected to a different destination, but now, from each poured a steady stream of warriors. The numbers were shifting quickly in their favor. We had to shut down the portals.

I found Skye in the portal terminal’s “control tower”. Her Dad, Administrator Viaxus was working to regain control of the portal machinery. He was not having much luck. Whatever was being done, it locked out the controls, on this side, and seemed to be overloading the portal system. Portals are rarely kept open for more than a few minutes at a time, but these had been running constantly for almost three hours. Three hours? I checked the little blinking time display in my HUD, yep…three hours since the first signs of trouble.

I asked Administrator Viaxus if there was some kind of kill switch, a circuit breaker or something we could use the kill the portals from this side. The switches and controls that should have closed the portals were all fused or locked out by the invaders. The breakers were not tripping, yet and getting to them would be a suicide mission. They were on the other side of the terminal, in the midst of hundreds of invaders.

There was one more place where the portals could be shut down. In the center of the terminal, there is a shaft, twenty feet across and half a mile deep. At the bottom, there is the power converter for the terminal, a geo-thermal tap that uses something called a Phyron amplifier crystal, to generate the massive amount of energy needed to punch holes in space. It’s normally handled by remote control, or by maintenance bots, but someone could go down and removed the crystal and shut down the portal links at this end, trapping the invaders and giving the peace keepers time to rally. It’s basically another suicide mission.

Except for me…