A Chronoverse Short
Written by Xial Lunashine in 2015
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Ever been punched in the face by a freight train?
That’s what that last punch felt like to me.
Here I am, encased in a hundred kilos of armor, immune to everything else these people have thrown at me thus far, and I just got my shit slugged by something as big and as armored as I am. If I didn’t know it was possible, I’d swear that he broke a tooth, too.
Hulking over me as I lay sprawled out against the wall is this huge son of a whore, clad in black banded armor — miutium, my HUD helpfully informs me as it restarts and switches to single target mode. How he got the drop on me, I’m surprised, really. I guess one of the properties of the miutium armor is stealth-related. It does make me wonder how well it’ll stand up to hexadronum and the erosion kit that’s being loaded into my gloves as I haul myself up off the ground.
“You curb nibbling fool,” I manage to spit as I get up, arms raised in front of me to defend my face against another blow like that, and it seems that was a good choice — this son of a bitch packs a wallop, and has speed to boot. It’s somewhat embarrassing when you get punched so hard that you nearly knock yourself out. His punch pushed my hand into my face.
This motherfucker is being serious.
So this motherfucker needs to serious up with him, it seems.
I feint with my left hand once, twice, to see how he dances, and it seems that our black banded friend does not dance — he just rocks away.
I cringe as I take a couple more blows to the face and chest. These blows sting through ALL of that armor, but I’m just holding out for a few moments longer. The erosion suite’s loaded, and the supercapacitor’s almost over-charged with the energy being fed to it from his punches.
Check, you asshole.
I cluck my tongue once as my fists clench, just a meter away from his face, and the world turns white. I am a three meter tall flashbang, and he is reeling from the sudden explosion of light. My sensor suite is immune, as are my eyes. This is a fact that I’m immensely glad for as my hands come to a quick grip on the throat of this heavy armor.
The erosion suite has had time to calibrate to the right phase to start chewing its way through the miutium armor after analyzing the composition data from each blow. Throttling this asshole becomes an immensely satisfying feeling as the armor starts to give way underneath a plasteel grip, the drive motors in the finger joints of my hexadronum gloves whining softly as I stress them.
Anger management was never a big problem for me. I’m either hopped up on accelerant and angry as fuck, or I’m not hopped up on the juice, and I’m fairly calm. However, this is the one time where I’m not jacked full of piss-off juice, and I’m having trouble controlling my rage. Each of those punches hurt, and I swear I taste blood, even as I suck in deep lungfuls of the liquefied oxygen and nutrient fluid this suit is filled with.
GreatShark, release. Do not kill this target.
I don’t care. This target managed to actually hurt me. My fingers continue to squeeze, even as his hands come up to try to pry mine away from his throat. The black bands are all but gone, with white and orange material exposed underneath, the black fingers contrasting against that as the struggle to get free begins.
GreatShark, directive: Release! Death of target is forbidden!
I DON’T CARE! Get out of my head! I’m killing this fuc–
My hands open involuntarily as my jaw drops, with my eyes rolling to the back of my head as I collapse into an ungainly heap. I barely register pained gasps as I pass out. I’m not sure if those were mine or his.
I come to sometime later, sitting in a hospital bed.
“Brother Ormishtaan, do you know what happened out there?” An orderly is sitting next to my bed with a plasboard and a stylus, ready to take notes as questions are asked.
I feel naked in the bed, my armor clearly missing, hands bandaged, and a rebreather collar over my gills on each side of my neck. I’m somewhat fuzzy, but I try to put words to what happened.
“I am not certain, but I was being walloped around by someone in power armor.”
“Yes. Your armor’s AI layer was also invaded, with a type 001 security breach. He overloaded one of the tactile sensors, caused it to fire off and tell you that, well, in no uncertain terms, that you had been kicked in the gonads.” The orderly shifts uncomfortably as he whispered the last word, an embarrassed blush crossing his face.
So that was me making that gasp, it seems.
“You were brought in unconscious, with a tooth knocked clear of its socket, a mouth full of blood, a minor concussion, and some bruising where you had reportedly been punched, in addition to bruising in the groin area from the sensor breach, since he burned out those sensors. The breathing solution could have made this worse, if it weren’t for your need for water to be blended in. Count yourself lucky, Brother.”
Luck was never really a factor for me. It did leave me with a question, though: “When I went down, was anyone else able to bring him down?”
The orderly hesitated, before answering, “Yes. We were hoping to get more out of him, but the sniper team was able to bring him down by shooting him in the neck. We weren’t able to get to him while he was alive, alas.”
Immediately, I ask the next question that springs up, “What, no tranquilizer rounds?”
“Heh. Partial to total immunity to all six tranq types they tried. One even caused a surprise reaction of being an upper. We’re not sure of his species — we couldn’t even preserve a tissue sample once he died. His body was all but consumed by rot and flame by the time we could get near.”
“Son of a slattern. I don’t know what he was, but that armor type wasn’t common, at least. Any information on what planets are shipping miutium in quantities to be used in body armor like that? Also, could anyone get logs from my suit to see how thick the armor was that the erosion suite went through?”
“No logs in your suit, Brother, but you slipped into blood lust, so we did get live dumps via one of the emergency protocols that activated. The armor that was around the neck wasn’t too thick, but it was very sturdy until your erosion suite got to it. I think the broken tooth and the cuts in your mouth did it — you tasted blood, and we couldn’t get you to listen to us. Before we could get Purge injected into your breathing stream, he had you down.”
“I guess you could say I had an eventful day, then.”
Son of a bitch broke my tooth THROUGH the armor. Ain’t that some shit.
~ Damn. ~