Sunday, June 2, 2013

Neon Knights - Episode 13.

Episode 13

At the uttered command for the battle to begin the waiting warrior’s amethyst optics burned brightly its arms raised at its sides keeping its shimmering shields ready. It stepped forward slowly; twisting at the waist to maintain its position of facing Zero as the intelligent initiate patiently prowled the perimeter. Without any raw data Zero had to rely on his own observation to analyze his opponent’s capabilities; like how he couldn’t ignore its strategically defensive stance. If he rushed in blindly he had no way of knowing what manner of surprises waited for him.

His formidable foe’s alloyed armor combined with its sleek shields logically pointed to a tactical focus on resisting and repelling offensive approaches. But his sensors fed him a stream of information, highlighting the humming power orbiting the wary warrior’s weapons. For these were no simple shields, they were deceptively deadly; the energy edges effectively could allow it to make its strong defense into a potent offense.

Zero made an internal note of it; avoid deadly discs, check. Surging into a short sprint he angled himself into a pass that arced around his adversary, maintaining a measured distance between them for safety. He hoped the ploy would allow him to gauge the ranged ability his rival possessed. But when nothing grimly greeted him he realized reluctantly that this it seems was going to be settled by close range combat alone.

So far Zero had yet to see this battle-bot react to him, he had no real estimate of its speed to gauge his own against. It looked like it was time to gather some more data, Zero decided. He firmly planted his feet into the rough ground beneath him, lowered his head and launched himself directly at the mechanical mystery. A resounding clang echoed as his shoulder clashed against a hardened shield that seemed determined not to drive him to the side but to hold him in front of his foe.

It was just as he had expected, and wisely feared; the weapon’s paired sibling was already in motion to strike at him. His opponent was virtually matching his speed, without a second to waste Zero fired a short micro-burst from his internal stabilizers. The added momentum propelled him to the side just in time to avoid the flashing swipe of the shield. His shoulder still registered the impact of its recent collision as Zero cautiously resumed his position circling his foe.

“Fight fire with fire,” Lexel yelled the suggestion from the sidelines. At first found the advice oddly out of place for the situation; he was not fighting a fire nor did he have any fire based weapon to attack with. Not that flame based attacks would be any more effective, he was fairly certain his opponent’s design could resist thermal based assaults. Besides, the only thing remotely related to fighting with fire he was equipped with was emergency extinguishing foam, and it was only useful in fighting against a fire.

Then it hit him, a simple combat sub-routine Lexel had taught him in one of their earliest games. She had referenced it under the name ‘Fire-Fight,’ and that had to be what she had been trying to tell him. The name had never made any sense to him; it had nothing to do with fighting fire. But it did make use of his fire fighting equipment.

Zero checked his reserves for his stabilizers and found them still near maximum. Given time they would recharge themselves but in the middle of the fight he would have to be careful or else exhausting them could leave him a sitting duck to his enemy. Preparing his plan Zero primed his foam sprayers and began a calculated approach. He bounded along the ground, carefully conserving his boosted speed until he closed with his target.

In a fluid leap, Zero threw him into the air and allowed a series of rapid pulsed thrusts to carry him over his adversary. Foam splattered to coat its way along both shields raised in defense as well as the battle-bot’s face. Violently it began to jerk and shake in an attempt to free the sticky substance that now blinded it. Zero knew the adhesive aspect of the foam might not cling to his foes frame for long so he had to act quickly. Seizing the opportunity he raced to entangle a flailing arm with a tether and pulled it into the rival warrior’s chest. The energy coated edge bit cleanly into the robot’s side and began to viciously tear into its armored exterior.

A slow clap applauded the spectacle from somewhere unseen and a familiar coarse voice rang out once again. “Well done, indeed, but if your going to help your friend then you must share in the fight. And since I like things interesting; let’s liven things up.” Two more robots stepped forward to join the fight, both of them already focusing their attention towards Lexel.

No, no, no; he’s the one supposed to be fighting not me,” Lexel objected. “I can’t fight these things; I’m so going to be toast.” Zero’s primary directives immediately overrode him; the danger to Lexel pushed his main focus from his foe to protecting his friend. And there was only one method available to him to do so, one that they had yet to test for the project. As he raced towards her he found himself pushing all odds and probability calculations from his mind. This was going to work, it had to.