Twenty-Six: Godspeed

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“Goliaths, coming hard and fast!”

“I hear you, I'm coming to cover!”

“Keep it together, guys. We’re winning!”

“How many mechs do they have?”

A whole crowd was yelling in my right ear. However, my brain rebooted quickly and the events prior flooded my mind in a wave of distress. It wasn't a crowd shouting, it was my comm earpiece.

The ceiling above me glowed iridescent blue, flooding in waves through the air and onto the ground. I sat up, wincing as my head sent needles of pain down my spine. I touched my hand to the back of my head and found a small patch of dried blood. Only a superficial wound. I'd be fine.

I stood, shaking out my sore arms and legs and taking in the space around me. The room was tall and narrow, stretching up to a shadowed ceiling. It was bare, save for a bank of monitors on the far wall.

A figure stood with his back to me, staring at the screens. I squinted. Sure enough, the monitors showed a live feed of Yamantau and the battle that took place. That meant the figure at the monitors was General Draco Fisk. Sure enough, the man turned, face half cast in shadow.

“You're awake!” Fisk grinned.

“I wasn't sure if I'd hit you too hard. I was afraid you'd be out for too long and miss the tests!”

Draco was right there, standing a mere twenty feet away from me. I could've run at him, taken him on again, but a thin line of blue light separating us told me that it would be a bad idea.

I glanced upwards.

Mounted on the ceiling was an energy shield generator, used on massive mechs for an extra layer of protection. I’d seen them before, built into our Predator mechs, nut this one was different. Wires snaked to the shield's mount on the roof above my head. It was partially gutted, changed in ways I couldn't understand.

This wasn’t good.

“Do you know how energy shields work, Jax?” Draco asked, pacing.

Dan had once briefly explained a bit of how the physics worked behind it, but most of it was too complicated for me to care. I tried to remember what he had told me.

“The shield deflects any solid object traveling faster than a certain velocity,” I shrugged.

Draco opened his mouth to continue, but I refused to give him the satisfaction.

“Let me guess,” I glowered, “you modified an energy shield and lowered the velocity necessary for it to reflect incoming objects.”

Draco looked surprised.
“Yes, so if you-”

“-attempt to leave it knocks me down. I get it,” I growled. “What's next, a slow-moving death trap and a monologue?”

Draco chuckled humorlessly.

“Believe me,” he said, “I have full intentions to simply shoot you on the spot the moment I feel like it.”

I took a step back. If he did that, Draco would have to deactivate the shield. I had a chance.

My earpiece crackled again. More comm chatter.

“We have enemy forces on the run!”

“Advancing up the bridge!”

“The southern end of the station is ours, no enemies in sight!”

I tapped my earpiece, expecting to find it cleverly disconnected as to leave me unable to communicate, but instead found it wholly intact. Draco stared at me.

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