Thursday, November 10, 2011
National Novel Writing Month X
New chapter after the break
“Are we getting close?” Tilda asked, running down the street, Krieg strapped around her waist. She hadn't activated it yet. That strange feeling she got along her spine last time... she wasn't sure it was a good thing, even if it had felt great at the time.
“Yes. The enhanced orgone levels are rising,” Arma said. She followed, in that casual disguise she had adopted. “There is nothing human that gives off that energy. At least nothing anymore, since your people abandoned the technological advances we gave you.”
“Can we argue about that later?” Tilda snapped. “There's a monster on the loose!”
“Indeed. And it is probably coming to kill you.” Tilda slowed.
“What!?” She turned to look at Arma.
“As I said, they'll go after the most dangerous targets. It must have sensed something at the University, but it's heading this way now. And I know what the greatest threat in this city is.” She pointed at Krieg. “You killed the last Verbesserte. This one is going to be doing its best to take you out. You will have to fight smart. You won't get lucky like last time.”
“Lucky? I nearly died!”
“That's why it was good luck,” Arma countered. She looked up. “There's no time to talk.” Tilda spun around, following her gaze. A monster covered in flat black plates of armor flapped its angled wings in the sky above them.
It searched the street before fixing on them, screeching. Tilda spun the dial on Krieg, searching for that station she had found before. The familiar tunes of Wagner played from a hidden speaker on the belt. Tilda snapped the safety cover over the master switch open.
“Let's see who can make a better monster.” She flipped the switch home. Energized orgone surrounded her in a sphere. Faster than the first time, perhaps because she had tuned it more accurately or simply because it had been disused for sixty years, strands of orgone wove themselves into a body suit, and the bubble of energy around her collapsed like a bubble popping, forging itself into armor plates. As the light show died down, the plates turned bright red.
The monster's ears, huge and pointed up like spires, twitched. Doors opened on the wings that had replaced its arms, with strange serrated edges. Missiles dropped from them, rocket engines firing as they fell. Tilda blinked. This thing wasn't wasting any time. She ran and jumped, trying to get as much of a lead on them as she could.
Her feet left the ground as she felt the blast of the missiles hitting the asphalt. She pulled up as hard as she could, pushing the engines as far as they'd go. She just barely managed to avoid going through a building. She spun around to face the Bat Verbesserte as she got to the open sky. It had vanished. Tilda blinked, looking left and right. Where had it gone!?
A shadow fell over Tilda. Before she could turn, the monster grabbed her. Fangs sunk into her neck. She gasped. She could feel it draining her energy away. She stabbed backwards with the blades on her arms, and the thing fell away, surprised. Its pale white eyes, flickering like the aura around Arma had, fixed on Tilda with a hateful gaze. Its maw dropped open. A screech pierced the air, so loud that Tilda could actually see it, visible like a heat shimmer. In the street below, windows shattered. Arma shielded her eyes with her hand.
“Aaaah!” Tilda clutched at her head. The helmet was some protection, but not nearly enough. She had to make it stop. She charged at the Verbesserte. Even her passage through the air was slowed, the orgone-powered engines unable to cope with the pressure waves. Just before she reached it, it silenced itself and vanished.
It hadn't moved. It had faded, from the center out, into total invisibility. Tilda flew through the space it had been hovering in. Nothing. She looked around. That was impossible. Almost as impossible as aliens and what she was doing. She revised her estimates on what was possible and what wasn't.
She knew she couldn't stay still, though. Tilda circled, spinning erratically to try to keep an eye on the entire sky at the same time. Then, too distant for her to stop the monster, it appeared. The weapon bays on its wings opened. Tilda flew down, trying to evade the rockets. She took a sharp turn between two buildings.
“Come on, come on...” she muttered. She looked back, just in time to see the missile that slammed into her. The explosion threw her into a building, right through a wall, landing in someone's kitchen. A table broke under her weight. A second missile followed her through the hole she had just punched.
“Oh shit,” She said, just before it struck her. The building erupted in flames, and she was thrown clear out of the other side, the damaged building collapsing into fire and rubble. Tilda took a deep breath, trying to get up from where she had fallen. She didn't feel like anything was broken, but she was going to be covered in bruises.
“Be careful,” Arma said, suddenly there and kneeling next to her. “The enhanced orgone will help get you back on your feet, but you could still be seriously hurt.”
“W-what the hell is that thing!?” Tilda gasped. “This is insane!” Arma looked up. No sign of the monster yet.
“Stealth technology. It's something your people never developed. A primitive version.” She shook her head. “You cannot simply bully your way through this. This technology is almost four decades ahead of what Krieg was programmed with. You're lucky this Verbesserte isn't an air superiority type, or you would already be dead.”
“Thanks for the tip,” Tilda said, struggling to her feet. Arma helped her up. “Now how the hell do I fight it?”
“You have pretty much the same speed, but you should be more maneuverable. If you plan on fighting it in the air you will need to be aggressive and keep on it. It might be easier to-” Arma stopped. “It's moving away.” She looked into the sky, trying to visually track it.
“What?” Tilda gasped. She started to jump to take off.
“Stop!” Arma commanded. “You're hurt and it probably thinks you're dead. If you play this smart you can take advantage of its mistake. It should have kept pressing the attack. We will make it pay for that.”
“I can't just let it go and kill people,” Tilda said. She clutched her side. She was going to be sore in the morning. She took a deep breath, ignoring the pain. “We'll go after it now. I'll come up with something.” She turned to look at Arma. Arma wasn't looking at her. The alien woman's gaze was trained back towards the University.
“Something else is coming,” Arma said. “I don't like it.” She narrowed her eyes.
“No. This is different.” Arma grimaced. “It's not the same type of energy. Verbesserte use energized orgone. This... thing... it's using natural orgone. Massive amounts of it. How inefficient.” She shook her head. “It must be something humans created. My people would never use something like that.”
“Something made by humans?” Tilda relaxed. “Then maybe we don't have to worry about it.”
“Don't be naïve!” Arma snapped. “Just because it was made by humans doesn't mean it's here to help you.” Just as she said that, a shining figure surmounted the building across the street, right next to the collapsed home that Tilda had been blasted through.
The figure was armored much like Tilda, though all in white, blue, and red. It looked down at her through a bird-like helmet, eyes glowing blue. Something about it made her skin crawl. It looked at Arma, then jumped down into the street, cape billowing up. It landed lightly on the concrete, as if it had just stepped off a curb instead of jumping down from a rooftop.
“What a disgusting creature,” Arma said, shaking her head. “Some kind of poor copy of Krieg.” She put her hands on her hips.
“I'm here to put a stop to your destruction!” The main said, pointing. “I've learned everything I need to fight you reptilians! You won't be able to take over the world or poison us with deadly orgone radiation while I'm around!”
“Deadly orgone radiation?” Tilda whispered. That was a worrying thing to hear.
“He means energized orgone,” Arma explained. “To weak or infirm humans, it can overload their bodies and auras. You don't need to worry about it. Your body accepts and uses energized orgone, which is why you can use Krieg safely.”
“I'm surprised he can tell what you are,” Tilda said.
“Some sensitives can see through our shapeshifting.” She sighed and dropped her disguise, an aura of flickering mist appearing around her as she changed to her natural form. “Might as well not bother with it for now.”
“I don't know who you are,” the strange man said. “But you're poisoning this place with your very presence!”
“Who are you?” Tilda asked.
“Pax,” the man said. “Or at least that's the name for this weapon.”
“Fine, Pax. I'm-”
“Don't tell him your name,” Arma said. Tilda nodded. She didn't want this nutjob tracking her down later. Tilda put her hands on her hips and stepped forwards. The closer she got to Pax, the stranger she felt. It was like standing in front of a cliff, every step bringing you closer. That sense of vertigo.
“I'm Krieg,” Tilda said. “I'm not here to fight you. I've got bigger fish to fry.” She pointed at the device strapped around his waist. “We may have similar styles, but this is the original.” She tapped the old Nazi weapon. “I'm better suited to handling this. So just stay out of my way, bird-boy.”
Tilda powered up her engines, slowly rising up. She had only gotten a few inches above the ground when she was thrown against a wall by a high-pressure steam of water. Tilda sputtered and flailed until the water turned off. Blue energy crackled around her. She could feel her injuries more strongly. Something in the water was draining her power!
“I can't let you do that,” Pax said. He lowered his arm, putting the water cannon back on his hip. “Even if there's another monster like you flying around, you're just as dangerous.”
“I'm trying to kill the Verbesserte, you twit!” Tilda shouted. “I'm nothing like that monster!”
“You're exactly like it! A pawn of the reptilians!” Arma rolled her eyes. Tilda couldn't see it through the veil, but her body language clearly showed it.
“I'm trying to save people. You're trying to stop me from doing that.” Tilda slowly stood up. “No matter what you are, if you're going to get in my way I'll stop you.” Arma smiled.
“You can't save people with a weapon like that. You can only kill.”
“That's fine,” Tilda said. “Because there's a monster that needs killing.”