Energia, Web Novel

Chapter 45: Refusal to Die

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

Tommy had heard stories of the Kurosaki family growing up. Of all the ORDER families, they were the most intense in their training and the most effective on the job. Then, when he first became an Operative himself, he had heard rumors of the eldest daughter of the Kurosakis, the so-called Shinobi. He felt that he was prepared to see her in action.

No sooner had she arrived that he realized he was wrong. She moved as smoothly as water, as quickly as lightning, and as still as the void of space. The Ragno seemed entirely helpless against her. The fact that he had completely failed to do anything to it earlier stung even more.

That is until it tripped. Then it came rolling towards her like a boulder. One that she was not prepared to avoid.

My turn.

Just as quickly as Tommy had run away, he turned to run right back. His brain almost ran as quickly as his legs. Did he grab the Kurosaki girl? No, he wouldn’t make it in time. Besides, she’d probably stab him with that flaming sword of hers. Where can I get one of- focus! He couldn’t just shove her out of the way, either. The Ragno would be on her by then.

That’s when it hit him. The simplest solutions are often the best ones. He let out a roar and, not bothering to consider whether it really was a good idea or not, rammed into the rolling beast as hard as he could. Utilizing the full strength of his oversized E-Suit and his momentum, Tommy carried the beast away from Hinata…

…and straight towards Anna.

******

As both Tommy and the Ragno came hurtling towards her, Anna finally decided that she would murder the American as soon as she had the chance.

She darted to the side just as the two brainless muscle-heads crashed into where she had been standing. Tommy’s voice came over the radio, likely apologizing, but the pounding of boiling blood in her ears drowned out the words. Instead of responding, Anna raised her rifle and fired a shot, not caring whether it hit the Ragno or Tommy. Luckily for him, the shot pierced the monster.

Green blood poured all over Tommy’s suit. “Oh, gross,” complained his voice in her ear, “The engineers are gonna kill me!”

“Not if this thing does first,” came Hinata’s voice, cold and steady. “Move!”

Before Tommy could oblige, the Ragno picked him up in one hand and threw him away. Cursing, Anna darted back, raising her rifle to fire again. At the same time, Hinata bolted in, raising the burning blade. The bullet escaped the chamber just as the blade sliced through fur, skin, and flesh. It was hard to tell which angered the monster more.

Cursing, Anna changed the rifle’s magazine from normal rounds to electric. Let’s see how you like this! A jolt shot through her arms and a blue bolt sparked from the barrel as the bullet flew. When it struck the monster’s arm, electricity seemed to spring up from its fur. Its fingers became stiff and its elbow locked.

“Hey Decker,” Anna said as she changed the magazine from electric to explosive, “you still alive?”

“Barely,” his voice groaned quietly in her ear. “Shields just went down.”

“Good! Then you can watch me be better at blowing things up! Move it, Shinobi!” With that, she raised the rifle and fired a third round into the beast.

******

Hinata barely had time to get away before the Ragno’s chest exploded.

The force of the blast slammed into her back like the wall of a hurricane. While the shield absorbed the impact, it was still enough to fling her across the shipping yard. The words Shield Integrity at 50% appeared on her visor. Was that the explosion? Whoever designed that should be given a raise. And then Ironchase should be fired.

The smoke and the flame from the blast were to slow to clear. When they finally vanished, the Ragno lay still, its eyes facing the sky. It didn’t so much as twitch.

“And stay down this time,” Anna’s voice shouted in her ear. “See that, Tommy? That’s how it’s done!”

“Meh,” came Decker’s voice. “I’d give it a two out of five.”

Great. They’re both idiots. “Congratulations,” Hinata said, “You destroyed the evidence. “I’m sure the research team will-“

A roar like thunder escaped the monster’s lips. Slowly, the Ragno pulled itself back to its feet. Fury blazed like red stars in each of its eyes.

Hinata felt her jaw drop. She’d fought dozens, hundreds of Ragnos in her career. None had been so durable. It should have died ages ago! How is it-

Then she saw it. The wounds on its legs where her blade had cut. The fur was still singed black. But the flesh beneath had healed over. It’s healing, she realized. But that’s impossible!

The monster drew itself up to its full height. Looking down at the three of them, it let out its loudest battle cry yet.

Then a torrent of blood poured from its mouth.

******

Eitan sat atop the tower, trembling as he waited for his opening.

I should just shoot, he thought. But after how terribly that first shot had turned out for those down there actually fighting the beast, he was too reluctant to attempt it. And I really don’t want her to get pissed at me. The image of the Shinobi looming over him was enough to make him shudder.

Despite his panic, something was nagging at Eitan. Why hasn’t it died yet? Ragnos were durable beasts, but even they couldn’t take this much punishment. It should have stayed down after they toppled it the first time. It certainly should have done so after the latest explosion went off into its chest.

Yet still, it stood up. Oddly, that didn’t increase Eitan’s panic. In fact, his fears and worries seemed to recede. In its place grew an overwhelming sense of curiosity.

Then he saw it. His chance. The beast had its back to him as it roared at the three Operatives. If Eitan put a shot into the base of its skull, that should put it down for good. Instant death, no chance of healing or whatever it was that it was doing. All he had to do was squeeze the trigger…

…and kill a miraculously durable specimen.

The thought took Eitan by surprise. He shook his head, trying to dismiss it. The monster was a menace. By the time ORDER sent reinforcements to take care of it, it would have caused havoc in the city itself. Hundreds of people could be hurt or killed. And he wanted to let it live so he could examine it?

Just do it already, he urged himself. Kill it. Kill it already, you coward! Despite all his urgings, he couldn’t make his hands do it.

Then he remembered why he’d climbed the tower in the first place. My little sister is still out there.

His reluctance immediately vanished. He took a long, slow breath to calm his nerves. Then he took the shot.

The Ragno fell silent as it toppled down once again. This time, it didn’t get back up.

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