Mar. 26th, 2011

Pestle (5)

Mar. 26th, 2011 12:25 am
Fifth part. I think I know where it's going now.

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Pestle (6)

Mar. 26th, 2011 11:50 pm
Part 6. I suspect 4 more parts.

We were in position. We were ready. The sphere rolled around.

Hoggrid didn't need a vacuum suit. He also apparently didn't need limbs. Hoggrid seemed capable of forming whatever limbs he needed and extruding them out of his encounter suit. Two powerful metal arms thrust out of his front face and inserted themselves through the gap in the square hatch of the sphere that we had successfully opened minutes earlier. The arms then rapidly spread apart from each other. Servos whined in Hoggrid's suit and the gap in the doors opened by several meters. Bright sunlight flooded into the landing platform inside the door for the first time in thousands of years.

Something inhabited the back wall of the chamber, which was easily a hundred feet on a side. It might have been a blob of black oil, or it might have been a plant, or it might have been a nest of very large black snakes. It was big, and it was moving, and it had Lopez in its clutches. My Weasard engineer was wrapped in the coils of the thing; only his facemask was visible. He was clearly making an effort not to move at all. As the doors opened, the limbs of the black exotic began to uncoil and snake towards us.

"It's photosensitive," Swami announced, floating behind the rest of the formation. "Hitting it with a really bright light might be an interesting idea."

"Don't mind if I do," said Muskie. He was carrying a two million candlepower spot that was usually used for foiling jailbreaks on prison planets. He turned the thing on and flooded the landing bay with the equivalent of full daylight on Mercury. The black thing quivered. The photosensors on Lopez's facemask went completely dark.

Gray Gretchen jetted into the bay. She was wearing a Europan battlesuit; it had been made for counterterrorism deep in the dark oceans of that Jovian moon, but as it was sometimes used on the surface of that low-atmosphere place, it turned out to be fairly functional in hard space as well. Among its tricks was amplifying one's strength. Gray Gretchen pulsed herself to stand on the inside of the room's bulkhead and found that she could stand reasonably well under the false gravity. She unlimbered a broadsword taller than she was.

I followed her onto the other side of the door. I gave the reciprocating sword a single revv.

"Hello, dirtbag," I said. "You seem to have a hold of my weasel." Gray Gretchen rolled her single eye.

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