They hadn’t screamed the second time. They thought that if they stayed quiet, they could avoid the end of the world.
He ground his teeth. The silence in between the shockwaves was almost as bad as the shockwaves were. At first, it had lasted long enough that the guns would go away before the next one hit, but now they stayed, a constant reminder.
People were dying outside. Even if he they weren’t screaming, even if he couldn’t see their bodies, he knew that they were dead. There was too much noise, too much destruction.
If something as quiet as a bullet could kill somebody, something as loud as this must be killing thousands.
His legs tingled and itched with a need to move, but he ignored it. If he was too slow to save one person, there was no way he could save anyone.
He wasn’t fast enough.
He wasn’t fast enough.
After dropping the others off, Will had taken the copter back to the Council’s HQ. He’d come in too fast and half crashed it on the front lawn, but it had been for nothing; none of the walkers there could fight something like this, and none of them would be any help evacuating the battlefield.
They needed a runner. Actually, they needed four or five runners, and that probably wouldn’t be enough.
There were too many civilians in the buildings around the fight. A lot of innocents had probably already died when the first two buildings collapsed.
For the second time in a few months, Will broke down a list of walkers in a class and tried to figure out who might be able to help.
It didn’t look good. A lot of them were dead, he couldn’t get in touch with the ones out of town, even if they could make it in time, and he’d confirmed a lot of the rest were asleep. Anyone he might have missed would have been out doing something already if they could.
There was only one runner Will knew was awake, and he couldn’t help either.
There was a tingling in his fingers, it was familiar in a way he couldn’t quite grasp. He pushed the feeling away. He had to focus on the problem at hand, and that meant finding someone who could get enough people out of that building. Which meant he needed to wake them up.
The mercenaries had pulled away from the HQ, taking their unconscious allies with them. Given an hour, he could track a jeep down and force them to tell him who had cast the spell.
But there was one lead he hadn’t had time to follow up.
On the scale of walkers, Will wasn’t very fast. Most walkers who put some thought into how to move fast could figure out a way to outrun him. But today he pulled out everything he could.
The warehouse where they’d left the jeep wasn’t far, but he wasted precious minutes getting there. He just hoped that the kids could last long enough for it to matter.
There was a muffled banging from the trunk.
Will quickly popped it open and caught the flailing fist of the man within.
“We need to talk.”
They weren’t going to last much longer.
Hawthorne wasn’t sure if the others had noticed, but she was far enough back that it was impossible not to.
They hadn’t gotten a single good hit in the entire fight. Every time one of the others got close enough to score a hit, Trump managed to push them away. Her plants were being shredded as soon as they grew. She’d tried growing them directly beneath him, and he’d shattered the entire street around them before they got close.
Worse than that was the buildings. Trump’s attacks were reckless, shot-gunning bits of metal fast enough that she could spot perfect holes bored into the buildings closest to them.
She was running out of seeds too. Other than a few altered ones, she only had her staff left. She had barely used her staff since Asclepius’ attack. It hit hard, but she’d figured out how to incapacitate her opponents without bashing them over the head.
She pulled the seed out anyway. The staff might actually be tough enough to avoid being shredded by Trump’s attack.
Burnout was charging again. Apparently he couldn’t use any range attacks and keep his armor up at the same time, and he couldn’t survive Trump’s attacks without it.
Now might be her best chance. The roots around her legs moved for her. It still hurt but less than running on her own would.
Burnout couldn’t hold out against the push any longer. He was sent flying backwards and had to scramble to avoid running into a building.
Allspades was still nowhere to be seen, so Trump’s focus switched to her. There was brief pause before she felt the push.
She took the chance and swung her staff, willing it to grow as she did.
Trump’s off hand emerged and shot a few scraps of metal at the staff. The impact travelled up the staff and weakened her grip.
Then she felt the push. It felt like her internals were being shoved to the back of her skin and it only barely held together enough to carry the rest of her along with it.
She slammed into the ground and rolled along the street. Allspades must have come back, because Trump’s push disappeared.
Her staff was on the ground, halfway between her and Trump. She got up to one knee before having to rely on her plants to stand the rest of the way.
“He can only hit one of us at a time,” she said. “But he knew I was coming when he was concentrating on Burnout. We can’t guarantee he won’t be able to sense you if you get too close, but I’ll need my staff if we want a distraction long enough for you to get to him.”
She got the rest of the way up and found her staff close at hand.
“Thanks. Do you know what you’ll do if you get close?”
“I have an idea” Unimportant’s voice echoed.