The Light That Failed Pt 2

From the Story Arc: A Fine And Private Place

Previous Story in the Arc: The Light That Failed Pt 1 by Belladonna Aura (Friday, October 07, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: The Light That Failed Pt 3 by Belladonna Aura (Saturday, October 08, 2005)

(posted Saturday, October 08, 2005)

Why was it always sewers?

Bella had assumed that once she got beyond a certain security level, she'd be done with sewers.

But no.

Not only was she always helping out the junior members of the CCCP, as she had been helped, but evidently villains had no sense of smell and no particular phobia about roaches, because, well, it seemed as if every other mission she took was still in the sewers. And lately, they were giving her headaches.

Hence the handful of ibuprofen.

She followed Oksana in through the hatchway, swearing silently to herself as the stench hit her nose. Every time she did this, she swore she would never do it again, yet somehow—

Well, you went where the contact said the bad guys were, and really there was only one place you could find the upper rank of Vahzilock and that was here. You'd think it would be the opposite…

Then again, it wasn't like the Vahz were worried about infections.

As usual on missions like this one, Bella was more healer than damage-dealer, and she was partly along to help coach Soviet Wing on the use of powers that were very, very similar to her own. Plus, if everything went to hell in the proverbial handbasket, she could bail them all out all by herself, which was not altogether a bad thing. Faceplanting was bad enough, faceplanting in the sewers was….ugh

One odd thing though…her headache didn’t seem to want to ease up today. They waded through the glowing green water, down two levels, and cleared out three big areas—and she was about to suggest that someone scout ahead—when she started feeling sick.

And dizzy.

"Um—guys?" she said, as they came up on a group that included a Murk Eidolon and everyone huddled and peered at it from around the corner, trying to decide on the best plan of attack. "I—uh—I'm kinda not—"

That was when the pavement reared up and hit her in the face and everything faded to black.

#

Oksana turned around just in time to see Belladonna collapse. Before she could do anything, anything at all, they were all enveloped in a violent green flash of light and a hot wash of radiation.

Everyone yelled.

And frantically slapped biceps or tried to slap a spot between their shoulderblades—in Oksana's case, the former—as it felt as if a wasp had landed there and stung them all the way to the bone.

And Soviet Wing screamed.

In Russian.

With no simultaneous English translation.

Now, under most circumstances, Oksana was not the fastest on the mental trigger. Physical trigger, yes, but technology was something that had tended to pass her by as she stuck with fists and what she called her "Soviet Buffalo Gun." Nevertheless, it was she who first gasped, "EMP!" and snatched up her comm. unit.

Dead. Deader than Doc Holliday. As was Shen's targeting drone, which lay forlornly on the concrete. But not, thank Lenin, whatever electronics were keeping Wing's rads from making them all glow…

But presumably that burning sting had signaled the end of their hospital teleporter chips. Because Belladonna—

Belladonna was always blue, but now she was a pasty blue-white, and starting to convulse, and not fading as she should have been if the hospital computer system had been hauling her to safety.

All of which was secondary, as the mob of Vahz converged on them…