Trials of the Cybermancer! – Chapter 16: What a View!

—zzzzzzzzzt!

Eh… Eh?

Huh?

Wha?

Ah, man, I was knocked out again, wasn’t I?

This is starting to become WAY too common of an occurrence. Karina’s advice about seeing a doctor about head injuries may turn out to be the best thing for me to heed–

Uh.

There’s something particularly peculiar about my current life situation. Granted, I have not fully returned to consciousness, and my vision is too blurry to make anything out. But I have a knack for figuring these things out; it’s a part of my skill to know when I am not in a normal circumstance.

And that I can feel my feet dangling is a tell-all sign that I am indeed in no normal circumstance whatsoever.

In fact, I’m slightly worried that my inability to move anything but my legs is going to turn out to be something slightly unsettling.

If this sounds like understatement or sarcasm, you would be right. I am actually heavily downplaying my emotions right now. And for good reason. As I come to, my eyes get the full picture.

My legs are dangling, and I can’t move, because I am tied to something, and I am in the air. That something is the sky rail.

Yes.

I am a damsel in distress, tied to train tracks.

I have no clue when the next skylift is going to come whirring by, but when it does, no amount of extraordinary healing ability is going to prevent me from being a pile of mush splattering on the ground thirty stories below.

“HELP!” I shout to no-one in particular.

With my strength I’d able to break out of my bindings, but… even for me steel beams are a bit hard to shatter when they have been soldered together and are wrapped around like a cage for my chest and arms. And even when I do get free… once again, thirty stories up.

The amount of work Moonslash put into this is incredible and meticulous. All over a video game. This is why geeks are the real villains in our society.

The part of the sky rail I am currently tied to is right next to a skyscraper window. You would THINK people would see me and call for help, being this close, but from what I can tell there isn’t even anyone in the office inside.

Wait, I see someone… I’d wave my arms if I could!

It’s– ah, great. It’s just Moonslash, with some robot bodyguards following at his sides.

He approaches the window and waves. Once again, can’t wave back. Sorry I can’t give a warmer greeting,

With his Power Gloved hand he taps the window a few times. Moments later, the glass begins to vibrate at increasing frequencies before finally shattering, sending shards falling downwards. Oh man, I hope there isn’t anyone down there to get hurt…

Now that there’s no window, Moonslash and I are close enough to talk, and ALMOST close enough that I could jump and reach the inside without falling down and making like that glass.

The wind is pretty loud way up hear and we have to shout to hear each other.

“Have you had enough now?” Moonslash asks.

“Enough of what? Sorry, I wasn’t listening. Man this is a great view up here.”

“I’ve ruined your life, Morgan Harding. And now I want you to have your final moment of sorrow. Next skylift bus is coming by in about two minutes.”

“Why didn’t you just kill me in the first place if that’s what this was all about?”

“I don’t want to kill you,” he says. “I just want to humiliate you. Cry out and beg for mercy, and I’ll save you from getting squashed by the train.”

“I feel like you already got what you want,” I say. “Isn’t this a bit much?”

“It’s true I may have gone a bit too far in a few places, but I am a Cybermancer, and Cybermancers don’t do regrets. We live our lives to the best of our abilities.”

“I feel like you will regret this one, though.”

“Do you WANT to die? I told you to beg for mercy.”

“I probably deserve it,” I say.

“No, you don’t! You’re just a kid, I’m the villain here.”

“I mean, yeah, but…”

“You really didn’t even know who the Cybermancers were when you first met me?” he asks. “Even after fighting Athena Supreme?”

“Sorry.”

Moonslash gives a downtrodden expression. Gosh, did I really legitimately upset the guy? “So… yeah. Beg for mercy and I won’t let you die, I guess.”

“Oh, that sounds pretty reasonable. I’m glad we talked this through so well,” I say. “It turns out you’re not such a bad guy after all.”

Moonslash glares. “That mouth of yours is going to get you killed someday.”

“Is it really?”

“Yes. Today, probably. Not unless you–”

“HYAAAAAAAAA!”

Heeehh–?

A blur passes me by, and next thing I see is Karina kicking Moonslash in the face, knocking him backwards.

She… she just flew past me.

She’s using her rocket boots outside of the magnetized zones?!?!?!

They begin some sort of amazing fight scene, zipping back and forth, trading blows, dodging punches. The two robot bodyguards are dismantled almost instantly in the crossfire.

Moonslash’s Power glove shoots three, maybe four different types of energy blasts, but Karina’s dodging them all. She’s moving so quickly that I can hardly keep track of her.

And from the way the sun is gleaming into the office room, beaming off of her protective gear… Wow, she’s almost literally a knight in shining armor.

I feel like this was all set up to be some stupid joke, and I’m probably going to die because of it.

The fight goes on, punches and kicks and blasts and blows. Moonslash shoots some lasers that blow up the furniture around them, and then Karina elbows him in the stomach just as he shoot another into the ceiling. All the while, I’m just kinda tied here to the sky rail track waiting to get smushed.

“Hey, anyone wanna help me?”

At this, both Karina and Moonslash exit through the window… and continue fighting in mid-air. Moonslash grabs ahold of the skyrail himself, and, not getting electrocuted thanks to his Power Glove, jumps onto the electrified rail to avoid Karina’s attacks.

I don’t know how she’s doing it, but she is actually using her rocket boots in mid-air right now. It seems like she isn’t actually flying, but instead making huge controlled jumps and then making very quick landings.

She lands on one of the non-electrified rails, hops off of it, and kicks Moonlsash in the chest, knocking him off balance. But he grabs onto her and they get in another tussle.

The entire sky rail starts shaking a little bit. I can feel it.

Ah, great.

I guess it’s better to die from a fall than from being hit by a train, so I start exerting all the strength I can to break out of these steel bindings. They’re bending, but I’m not sure if I’m gonna get outta here in the next ten seconds!!

Karina and Moonslash continue to fight, but Karina pushes Moonslash again and he teeters on the edge. I hope they’re watching what I’m about to do–

Heeeeeeyaaa–

I’m free–

And free-falling!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAA—

The skylift passes overhead, gliding along the track above me in just a short few seconds.

–AAAAAAAA–

A figure grabs my by the stomach and we begin spinning around in the air. I really hope this is Karina. I really hope this is Karina.

–AAAAAAAAAAAAAA….. Okay I’m going to stop screaming now.

The fall is slowing. Okay, this is Karina, because nobody else would be hugging me this tightly. I can barely breathe…

“What’s the plan here?” I ask.

“Shut up and let me do this,” she responds.

I comply.

We fall closer and closer to the ground, Karina activating her rocket boots in rapid horizontal bursts to slow our descent. We’re to the point where we might not die if we hit the ground, just break a bunch of bones and paralyze ourselves.

Our trajectory is Carter Park. There’s a lot of people around playing catch and walking their dogs, but there’s a good empty stretch of grassy field to land in.

Just a few feet in the air, Karina boosts off again, sending us further but slowing us down. At this point she’s completely upright, essentially standing as she flies forward, which is of course what rocket boots were actually meant for rather than flying up a skyscraper.

Just a little more…

And…

Karina skids to a stop, her boots breaking into the grass. The second time today she’s done that.

I realize she’s holding me in her arms right now, carrying me like the damsel in distress I am.  She realizes it too, because her strength gives out and she drops me on the ground.

Ouch, again– But I’m alive. We’re alive.

“Thank you so much Karina,” I say.

“It was… nothing…” she pants out.

“Do you know what happened to Moonslash?”

“I didn’t… see him.”

“But… he didn’t have anything to break a fall, so that must mean…”

“Well, not exactly…” Karina takes a deep breath. “See, the reason I wanted you to shut up is because part of that rescue didn’t go like I planned it…”

She points down to her feet.

I realize that she’s only wearing one rocket boot.

“You did that with just one thruster?!”

“Somehow… I think Moonslash got the other one.”

“Holy shit how did we survive that?!”

“I’m just glad it’s over.”

“Well… Surely he’s going to end this now. We finally beat him fair and square in a fight. I think we did pretty well. Or, mostly you in this case.”

“I certainly hope so.”

And that was the end of our fight with the Cybermancer Moonslash…

….Not.

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8 comments

  1. Super hyper fighting Karina is here. To think she would grow from a bumbling girl to one of Morgan’s capable allies.

    Still seems like a lot of luck was involved, but did anyone ever say luck wasn’t something you could use to win a fight?

    No, they didn’t. Karina could do it again, because she’s that lucky.

    1. By my count, Karina’s won a couple fights here and there, but Morgan hasn’t won a single one yet in this darn series unless you count that time Morgan almost caught Jones for a second. What a loser!

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