25. in which danny gets smart

Danny had been to this world before, so she was already familiar with its technology. What she needed now was armor — the best that existed here. Face screwed with pain, she gritted out the words, “She wore a Smart Suit, and an army of nanobots in her system healed her instantly of her wounds.”

Immediately, a HUD popped up at the perimeter of her vision. The blistering pain abated from her eyes and her skin, and she was suddenly aware of the heat around her as only a distant sensation. The close-fitting Smart Suit covered her completely from head to toe, and would shield her against all but the worst conditions. Although the Suits were exclusive to “Circuit Runner’s” military, Danny had conjured one for herself with but only a few words.

It took a moment for Danny to adjust to her augmented reality. Since the Suit covered her completely, she perceived the world indirectly through the Suit’s billions of cameras, touch receptors, and microphones. All information was processed by the Suit’s computer and relayed to her brain. She could feel every nuance of the terrain beneath her, as if she stood barefoot on the uneven ground. She could hear the scrape of her feet against the rock, and vibrations in the ground. Heat kissed the Suit; she perceived it, but felt no pain. At the same time, she could hear the dull roar of expanding air against her body. She felt alive — electrically alive — and as one with her surroundings. Not one mote of air moved around her that she did not sense.

A rippling wave of hot air preceded the next plasma explosion, which ripped into the forest nearby. Danny began to run, and — as she ran — she silently accessed a satellite camera of the area. A small window opened in the lower left-hand corner of her vision, displaying an aerial view of her location. It rapidly zoomed in from space until she could recognize the tree tops. Smoke and flame from the latest explosion cut a swathe from the view.

Several airborne objects approached her position rapidly. A unit of ‘copters. No doubt, they were what bore the plasma cannons. It seemed that the humans had not yet given up the fight to win back their city.

Danny zoomed out on the view. The treetops spread for miles, like an unbroken stretch of the Amazon. So, the forest had spread, and was far larger than she had last seen it. Where the edge of the city had once been, she could not even tell. She swore soundly.

She sprinted across the forest floor, leaped an immense root as if it was nothing, and ducked for cover in the crotch of a goliath tree. There, partially shielded from incoming missiles, she focused her efforts on scanning the sky for more ‘copters. All told, there were four units. Fire and smoke followed in their wakes. Each explosion could have leveled an entire shopping mall back on Earth, but against this forest, they were like darts being thrown at a blue whale. What could possibly be the point of such a weak assault? Either the humans had so few resources left that they were reduced to these impotent attacks, or they were testing the effectiveness of different tactics against the forest.

As far as she could tell, there was no pattern to the attacks. This would make it very difficult to avoid them. Besides a hostile forest, Danny now had to deal with the threat of the plasma. While the Suit would protect against hot air and flying debris — even the immense balls of rolling flame — it would do nothing against a direct hit from a plasma round. She studied the movement of the ‘copters and planned her next moves.

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Christie “Iamba” Bailey

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~ by iamba on December 14, 2008.

One Response to “25. in which danny gets smart”

  1. […] but one round would vaporize her into hot carbon dust. She had to react quickly, and smartly. next page Christie “Iamba” […]

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