A Moribund Hero
Butcher gave a clinical once over on Rabbit and Leon. His professional diagnosis was, "Healthy, for now."
He had them drink a probiotic and multivitamins concoction to be sure.
"Don't over-exert yourself," he said when he tossed Leon a metal tube with a clear glass gauge. Visible behind the tube's gauge were clear round balls, similar to his blood capsules.
Leon further examined the tube, deducing it was a hi-tech syringe. "Is this some kind of blood catcher?"
The good doctor nodded. "It's a Capulator. A backup option should you run out and can't return to me."
Leon envisioned himself applying the instructions Butcher was advising. As soon as he caught the small creature, he would press the capulator to the back of the creature's neck. Flip-up and twist the top lid to form a lever, then apply two timed pumps. Each pump filled a blood capsule. The creature would experience temporary dizziness; it could be released to live another day.
"The syringe can only store four empty capsules. Only use it when all options are exhausted."
"I like this." Leon nodded, feeling relieved he had another option against killing small creatures. He gratefully stowed the device in his inner waistcoat pocket.
"Hang on. Butcher. How much is that going to cost me?" Lucy fretted when she saw the exchange.
Butcher smiled. She pouted and grumbled to Leon that he better not break or lose it.
Rabbit had silently been observing Butcher during their conversation. The man was an enigma. He carried himself in the image of a white lab-coat doctor dressed in civilian jeans, flannel shirt, and boots. She noticed his posture and shrewdness were similar to warriors. Not to mention, the man knew a lot about the biodroid side effects. It was obvious he had been connected to the Big Farma operations at one point for whatever purpose.
"Rabbit. I trust you still have enough capsules to keep you going?" Butcher turned his attention to her.
She cordially nodded.
"Everyone good?" Lucy was itching to get out there and do their job. "Let's go."
Wolf waved Rabbit over to one of the dark wood booths. Leon saw the interior was fitted with a hoist cable and sheave wheel when the man had opened the door.
"A mine lift?" He blinked with interest.
Lucy grinned. "Yep. They gotta get their toys and ride. We'll meet them at the entrance."
He followed her lead to the barn and Bessy.
Rabbit stood behind Wolf as he cranked the sheave wheel lever to set the booth's floor in motion for going down. The trip was short.
Grilled lift doors opened to a vast storage cavern of the squad's armory and garage. It held four heavy-duty battle vehicles surrounded by metal shelves, racks, and cabinets of stocked ammunition and weapons.
The area was dry and cool.
"Yah still knows how to use these, right? I spruced up the horsepower to give yah bunny hop some kick. Good to test it in the field, now yah can be on missions." He grinned proudly when he retrieved a metal pack from one of the cabinets and passed it to her.
Rabbit clapped her hands and bowed happily. She removed her cloak to put on her jet-pack armor; clicked on her carbonized silver skates to her boots and matched wireframe gauntlets to her gloved hands. Thin flexible metal pipes and tubes were wounded around her legs and forearms. They were connected to the small biofuel bumbag tank clipped to her belt. The tank rested comfortably against her coccyx.
The skates and gauntlets lit up and emitted a haze when she pressed the trigger buttons on the thumb mounts of her palms. She tested the firepower of her armor on one of the corner digital range targets, pressing a sequence of buttons on her fingers' second phalanges to fire a row of laser pinwheel darts from silver capped fingertips. The targets registered the darts' speed at 1700 mph.
"Good." Wolf gruffed proudly.
He slipped his sleek, black, high-energy laser gun to his back. Donned his dark-tinted visor glasses.
Rabbit slipped on her coat and visor glasses, then hopped on the back of the dirty gray, stealth, motorbike behind Wolf, who was revving up the engines.
They eased out of the slow-opening metal doors and up the ramps through a slot canyon corridor to meet Bessy at the top.
The top was vast flat plains dotted with spiky cacti, dry grasses, and rolling tumbleweed across various rock and boulder crops. The sun was already glaring down on everything to suck up the moisture from the land. Perfect day for hunting mages.
"We're to catch up with the others on Billy Goat Lookout near La Costa Mines." Lucy's image digitally appeared before Wolf via his visor glasses.
He grunted and nodded. "Right. Off we go."
Bessy and Wolf's motorbike revved up and kicked up clouds of dust as they speed across the plains.