Chapter 18:

La Costa Mines [Pt.2]

A Moribund Hero

Rabbit sped through the slot canyon corridors, which led to the mines' entrance. Her jet skates allowed her to travel with the ease and speed of a motorcycle at 60mph. Mage bandits on dirt bikes raced for her from the other direction.Bookmark here

She paused her sprints and moved her hands in a sequence akin to sign language. Her words formed pinwheel arrays and patterns that swept through the mage bandits to counter their magic and knock them off their bikes as dead lumps.Bookmark here

The way cleared. She continued her sprints.Bookmark here

Non-mage numbers gathered at the corridor's exit. She zipped around the numbers, fighting and dodging their attacks with kicks, punches, roundhouse kicks, other martial arts moves, and hidden knives. Bodies littered the dirt when she sped past them to reach the massive swell of energy on the open plain.Bookmark here

"Rabbit. Twelve o'clock!" Silver cried out, entering Rabbit's ears via her visor glasses.Bookmark here

Rabbit switched the view on her visor monitor to an area wireframe. A swell of red dots was visible from behind some of the obscured energy clouds at the position Silver noted.Bookmark here

Her internal scanners analyzed the angles of fire on each dot.Bookmark here

She clapped and moved her hands in sequence to form an array of pinwheel darts. Tiny spinning blue blades of light sped on individual, predetermined, courses. Screams and shouts of shock were heard from her enemies before they dropped to the ground, dead.Bookmark here

Her micro-scans analyzed gathered enemy data. The last one she had eliminated was clad in dyed black, full-body, leather armor. A poison-green emblem of a skull and crossbones was painted on the chest and carbon-iron gauntlets, which were made for magic impact and control. They weren't the run-of-the-mill mages. The fact made her frown.Bookmark here

Magic attacks came at her right. She missed the ice shards, but their energy was close to dull senses and stiffen her movements. A side effect of having partially tuned titanium femur and tibia bones was exposure to strong energies and elements could cause them to lock up. Unfortunately, incoming enemies had seen her sluggishness and fired everything at her.Bookmark here

"Hell, Rabbit. I told yah not to run ahead." Wolf scolded her as his motorbike leaped onto the scene and at full speed to catch up.Bookmark here

He flipped a few switches on the dashboard and handles. The headlight parted to form a machine gun barrel. Cover fired got her out of the pickle.Bookmark here

Silver backed him with her laser daggers for targets that were out of his range. She drove her dune buggy at the enemy like driving a rocket. Indeed, her four-wheel drive was fitted with propane jets for extra speed. Front dash held machine guns and slots for other arsenal, which she heartily leveraged.Bookmark here

Marcus and Stromm cleared out the rest of the slot canyon corridor, and soon joined the fight for the mine entrance. The surrounding bandits were eventually dealt with, but the magic discharge showed no signs of decreasing in potency.Bookmark here

Bessy arrived with Leon trailing behind on the dirt bike.Bookmark here

Suddenly, the ground quaked. It stopped. A bell tolled through everyone's heads, causing momentary anguish. Then that stopped too.Bookmark here

Apart from the mass of lights over the entrance, the place fell to silence.Bookmark here

Stromm and Wolf moved to where they saw the injured and exhausted scouts and guards. They were a few meters out from the magic discharge. Both went to check on them.Bookmark here

"The magic spiraled out from within the mine. I fear it might cause an earthquake to swallow this land. Something inside is making the underground unstable." A guard huffed.Bookmark here

"Noted. Now let's get you up." Stromm offered his aid.Bookmark here

The squads helped the injured into the guards' nearby vehicles. The scouts and guards left, grateful to surrender the matter to the People Army's hands.Bookmark here

"Can we even neutralize this amount of magic discharge?" Silver soberly asked. "I've never used a spacial trap on one this big before."Bookmark here

"Set them anyway," Stromm answered.Bookmark here

Silver powered down her dune buggy and hopped out with a handful of thin, round, metal discs. She placed them on the ground around the lights, then returned to her vehicle.Bookmark here

Pressing a few buttons on her dashboard, a semi-transparent console monitor lit up. The screen held two moving sine wave graphs to show the detected energy. She carefully turned dials, watching the wave lines and adjusting to make sure they lined up.Bookmark here

When the graph was one big running line, she called out to everyone in their visor communicators, "Throwing the net. Stand back."Bookmark here

She flicked a switch toward a 'go' command.Bookmark here

The discs burned with a brilliance of white light. The light formed a photon barrier to overlay the magic energy. In a split moment, the contained blue-green magic lights were dispelled. The discs powered down and became dormant.Bookmark here

Leon got off the bike and approached Rabbit's side.Bookmark here

Groans were let out when magic energy flared up in other spots at a distance. A worrying discharge was spreading toward West Exit Village.Bookmark here

And, the ground quaked again for a fleeting moment.Bookmark here

"Looks like we'll need to run the spacial traps in various hotspots." Stromm soberly noted.Bookmark here

"Wonderful." Silver sighed.Bookmark here

"My squad will tackle the hotspots," Stromm said to Wolf.Bookmark here

Wolf nodded. "Guess we're up for cleaning out the hole."Bookmark here

Stromm patted his back. "Come back alive. Loser shouts drinks."Bookmark here

"Let's go!" He gathered Silver and Marcus to him.Bookmark here

Squad43 mounted their vehicles.Bookmark here

"Be careful." Silver warned Rabbit when she shuffled into the driver seat of her dune buggy.Bookmark here

Squad42 watched them drive off across the plain to the glowing hotspots.Bookmark here

Lucy shivered at the sight of the mine entrance, which was properly sealed by heavy iron doors. "Caves with magic. Not my fun pastime."Bookmark here

Almost to tease her, an eerie breeze came at them from the entrance's direction.Bookmark here

"Ugh, so creepy!" She yelped. "How about I stay out here and keep guard?"Bookmark here

Everyone's stares at her face made her feel awkward.Bookmark here

"Fine." She pouted and stood behind Wolf. "Big manly men go first."Bookmark here

Rabbit giggled and skipped up to Lucy to hold her hand. The sight made Leon's mouth twitch with an endearing smile.Bookmark here

"Right. As you say, lass, real men first." Wolf stepped up to the iron doors and pulled out a hexagon device from one of his belt pouches.Bookmark here

He stuck it on the door's crack, just above the keypad lock, then pressed the device's central button. Digital red numbers began counting down on the device's central LCD screen. A few seconds later, a value of blue numbers flashed on the screen. The iron doors swung open with a hiss.Bookmark here

"Nifty, innit?" Lucy said proudly to Leon. "Wolf's Crackerjack device can crack any basic lock. Made it himself, he did."Bookmark here

"Can do more than that, lass."Bookmark here

Leon nodded and stared at the device to scan its schematics. It was an ingenious little invention.Bookmark here

Everyone followed Wolf's lead into the mines.Bookmark here

Hungry Sheep
You can resume reading from this paragraph.