Chapter 40: Three Mistakes

Energia: Titans of Verità
Table of Contents (For Catching Up)

At long last, Anna was alone. Well, as alone as you could get when you were fighting a giant alien monster.

At least it didn’t pretend, like people did. People acted differently depending on what they wanted. Eitan acted curious and innocent to hide his greed. Tommy acted friendly to keep her from noticing how he tried to manipulate her. Cara would undoubtedly ask her for something sooner or later. So on and so forth. Everyone was like that. Even the little girl was that way, although she probably didn’t know it.

But this creature? She knew exactly where she stood with it. It was mad and wanted to kill her. Simple. Anna didn’t need to make like a detective to figure out what it really wanted. All she needed to do was react.

In this case, that meant shooting it in the face.

The monster brought its fist down atop of her with surprising speed for one of its size. Anna managed to roll out of the way with a split second to spare. She hefted the massive rival, but now she was a second too slow. The creature dragged its arm across the ground towards her with enough force to shatter the concrete beneath its knuckles. Just as she was about to pull the trigger, its fist collided with her and sent her flying into a nearby warehouse.

Anna got only the briefest look at her surroundings as she flew. Storage containers lined the wall to her left and two cranes on the right. Just as she registered this, she crashed into the far wall. The steel shattered and fell on top of her with a deafening crash.

Warning: shield integrity at 70%. Please proceed with caution.

A bitter and sarcastic retort died on Anna’s lips. She decided it would be better to focus on digging out of the pile of rubber she found herself laying beneath rather than arguing with a computer that wouldn’t argue back. However, she did some quick calculations as she pushed broken metal off of her chest.

Two more blows. I can only afford to get hit twice. And if it gets me a third time-

She didn’t have time to imagine it. Just as she managed to climb free, the rampaging Ragno ripped the wall off of the warehouse and stepped inside. It reached over, grabbed a storage crate, and swung it like a hammer. Anna bolted forward like a bullet, dashing beneath the monster’s legs as its makeshift weapon crashed into where she stood just a moment before.

As it wheeled back to take another swing at her, she let off three quick rounds into its back, shoulder, and chest. The Ragno stumbled back, crashing into the opposite wall as it screamed in fury and agony. Before it fell, it hurled the container wildly in her general direction. It rolled across the now open warehouse, missing her completely and imbedding itself into the wall.

Anna didn’t wait for an instant. She dropped to one knee, took aim, and unloaded every round in her rifle in quick succession. It howled in pure rage and agony as it struggled to rise between attacks. Every shot was true, thanks in part to her own skill and in part to the E-Suit’s guidance. But accuracy wasn’t on her mind.

Don’t get up. She thought. I know you’re big and mad but please just stay down!

Her silent plea was unfulfilled. She was too desperate to end the battle quickly that she didn’t notice that her magazine was empty. By the time she realized her mistake, it was too late. She was only halfway through replacing it when the Ragno stood up once again.

It didn’t charge her immediately. Instead, it grabbed the arm of a crane and lifted it up as easily as a child would a toy. It swung its arm back and swung, rolling the construction vehicle like a bowling ball. All the while, it growled and roared through a frothing mouth.

If Anna hadn’t been in the middle of reloading, she would’ve been able to avoid it. While she did manage to finish that task, she couldn’t quite do it in time. So, just as the new magazine clicked into the rifle, the rolling crane took her head on. The windshield hit her head-on, spraying her with shattered glass as she was pulled into the drivers seat.

For a just an instant, all sense of direction completely vanished. Everything spun in a nauseating blur. Not even her E-Suit’s built-in gyroscopic stabilizer could do anything to aide her. Slowly, as the momentum of the rolling vehicle slowed, Anna managed to get a grasp of her surroundings again. By then, she had been tossed around like a kernel of popcorn in a pot. It took most of her energy just to avoid vomiting.

Warning: shield integrity at 20%.

Panic rose in Anna’s chest upon reading those words. She tried to keep her breath slow and calm, but her lungs wouldn’t follow the tempo she tried to set. So much for two more. She thought, her head growing foggy in the nausea. One more strike and I’m… I’m… why am I thinking about baseball right now?

She could vaguely feel the ground shaking. For a second, she thought that was because of how quickly it was spinning. But then she realized that no, the ground wasn’t spinning. She was.

The Ragno loomed over her, its eyes blazing red with blind rage. Drops of frothing saliva the size of fully inflated balloons dripped from its teeth in a steady waterfall. But it didn’t move to strike. It just stood there, like it was waiting for her to get up.

Stop spinning! Anna urged herself, trying to steady her feet. Her grip on the rifle had grown weak, the weapon becoming limp in her hand. Unsurprisingly and infuriatingly, the disorientation didn’t pass. Dammit, move!

The Ragno raised its fists to strike…

…then a metal goliath slammed into its face like a cannonball.


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