It started with an unusually large rush of wind, followed by a second, smaller one. That was when Sirvanna noticed that both the feline and Ines were gone.
"Undine, get back here," she said. "You can't take it on alone. It's dangerous."
"Danger is lurking around every turn," Ines said. "I've gotta trust my feelings on this matter. Besides, it's too fast for the rest of you."
Sirvanna glanced up. The other three were still stationary.
"They're testing us," Alena said.
"Seems so," Sirvanna muttered. "Aurora, I want you to hurl daggers of light at the remaining three. Sylph, kick up a cloud of dust around them. Maybe we can obscure their sensors. I'll make them ride the lightning."
"What should I do?" Alena asked.
"Stay back with Pixie and warn us about what you see them doing," Sirvanna said. "The sun should set pretty soon and then you can join us." She looked at Katelyn. "Feel free to jump in whenever you notice an opening."
"They certainly have shown up in force," Jenny muttered.
"You guys go fight," Anya said. "I'll protect him."
"Are you sure?" Jenny asked.
"Yeah," Anya nodded. "My gift is the most suited for defense."
"Then we'll be off," Jenny said.
"Try not to kill any of our gifted friends," he said. "Unless you have no choice, of course."
"We know," Jenny said.
"Please don't worry," Christina said. "We'll make sure to be careful."
He pulled a beeping device out of his jacket and looked at it with some amusement. "This again?" He pushed several buttons and put it back.
"What was that?" Anya asked.
"There was just a little something developing," he said. "Nothing to worry about, I dealt with it."
The ape lumbered after Sirvanna. Her lightning didn't seem to affect it. She shot the ground beneath it, causing it to leap into the air. She rolled under it, firing crimson lightning at its underside.
Yuni saw the saurian approaching. She took several steps back and shot light daggers into it. They didn't penetrate its armour. She sent a large ball of light at its head to blind it. It kept coming.
The orb's arms moved towards Alexa. She gestured and a great wind blew it away. Its arms quickly retracted leaving it as a smooth orb and it came right back. This time the wind wasn't effective.
"The nukes reversed course!" a soldier cried. "We can't regain control!"
"It wasn't the computer girl stopping us?" General Anderson asked.
"Order the personnel of the bases that fired them to take cover!" Anderson said. "If we're lucky these ones will be deactivated like the last ones were."
There was a sharp knock on the transport's rear. Red, Hudson and Berkley looked at each other. They gave some quick hand signals. Berkley and Hudson readied their guns. Red opened the door with one arm.
"There's no one out there," Hudson said.
"Odd," Red said, closing the door. "Could something have been knocked against it? Or maybe..."
He was cut off when the knife pierced his throat. Berkley and Hudson both fired in his direction, but there was no visible target.
"A plaguer?" Hudson asked. He glanced around. Berkley was lying dead in a pool of blood. He felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned to see a muscular man with dark hair and brown eyes.
"We prefer to be called gifted," the man said. He thrust a knife between Hudson's eyes. "Don't do it again."
"Wraith?" Trojan asked. "Why?"
"My Lord wants you rescued," Wraith said. "And what my Lord wants he shall have." He held out a cell. "My smart phone should have more than enough of a charge to last the trip."
"Got it," Trojan said. The phone's screen shimmered and she vanished. Wraith placed the phone in a protective case and disappeared from sight.
"Must keep on moving ahead," Ines thought. "But, I can't keep this up forever. I'll tire before it will. I need a plan." She activated her communicator. "Sirvanna!"
"I'm a bit occupied right now," Sirvanna said.
"Won't take a moment," Ines said. "In thirty seconds just loose a burst of lightning in a stream in front of you. Thanks!" She glanced back. The feline was still right behind her. "That's it, Kitty. Take my lead, I'll set you free."
She doubled back and ran toward Sirvanna. The feline turned to follow her. She counted down the seconds. "Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two," she ran directly past Sirvanna "one." Sirvanna loosed a stream of lightning. The mechanical feline was caught by it. It was thrown to the ground where it sparked, fidgeted and stopped moving.
"Oh yeah!" Ines said.
The feline had been eliminated, but the ape was still coming. Sirvanna moved away from it. "Just fry it," Ines said.
"I can't," Sirvanna called. "It's insulated."
"What a pain," Ines said. She ran up its back. Sirvanna couldn't make out her movements both due to her speed and due to the fact that they were on opposite sides of the machine. The next thing she saw was Ines being tossed off and the ape turning towards her.
"Above the right shoulder!" Ines cried.
Sirvanna looked at the spot. A hatch had been torn open, revealing its insides. She aimed and hurled a bolt. It hit right inside that hatch. The ape staggered, its arm fell of, but it didn't stop. It punched the ground with its remaining arm, sending a wave of dirt at Sirvanna.
Before she could move away she was scooped up. "I've got you," Ines said. "What next?"
"Take me to its stub," Sirvanna said.
"Got it," Ines said. "I'll show you a little dash."
Within seconds the two of them were right alongside the ape. Sirvanna fired a stream of lightning right into its stub. It collapsed, pieces falling off of it as it went.
Yuni ran from the saurian. It followed behind her, taking bites as it went, but she managed to outrun it. That was when she saw Alena in her path.
"Get out of here!" Yuni cried. "Run!"
Alena shook her head. "I won't."
"But it'll kill you," Yuni said.
"Unless someone stops it or it goes dark in thirty seconds," Alena said.
Yuni moved between them. She hurled daggers at the saurian's feet. They weren't effective. She had to protect Alena but what could she do? Her powers just bounced off of its hide. Wait, that was the answer. She stood her ground as it approached, gathering energy in her hand. When it snapped at her she struck, hurling all that energy down its throat.
The robot's insides blew and it fell into a smoking heap.
"I did it," Yuni said. "I... I really did it." She stared at her own hand. Alena took it in hers.
"I knew you could," she whispered.
Alexa took to the air. No matter how many times she pushed the orb away it kept coming back. The last time it had almost reached her.
"Hey," Katelyn's voice came in clearly. "Do you think you have enough power to send it over here, or did you use it all trying the same tactic over and over again?"
Alexa looked over. Katelyn was standing by the canisters.
"Don't regret it," Alexa said. She landed back on the ground and summoned a great wind to toss the orb towards Katelyn.
"Bottom of the ninth," Katelyn muttered. "Bases loaded." She gestured and one of the canisters uprooted itself from the ground and crashed on top of the orb, crushing its components. "And its a strike! Or would this be more of a foul ball?"
"Looks like we did it," Sirvanna said. "Let's regroup."
The six of them gathered back together. Yuni had her arms around Alena.
"She's tired," Alena said. "Used a lot of power."
Alexa looked shaky.
Sirvanna's legs were wobbling and she was sweating profusely. "Well done, Everyone. But there's still a person out there somewhere. I've sent Undine to run a search but we should all look for..."
"Too late," Ines said. "Those three Lieutenants are dead and she's gone."
"Could they still be around?" Sirvanna asked.
"Unlikely," Ines said. "I saw a stealth jet flying away, low. The prisoner and whoever rescued her are probably on board."
"I'll call for air reinforcements," Benton said. "It might not be too late. You six get some rest."