The Digital Knights had the situation well in hand. It was time for me to help rescue Dr. Mason from a "Mainlander" wearing the clothes stolen from me by Marcus Mason.
My weapon was bulky. It was a rocket launcher designed for dispatching Baba Yaga's ships. I had one shell left. The scope, however, was perfectly calibrated. The target was fast, but clumsy. Not using its full potential. Was Marcus not fully integrated into Ash's circuitry? Or was Ash resisting?
The target wounded Koen's darkforce with an isomorphic disc. I aimed for the Ash's strike zone. Unlike a human target, a head shot would not terminate. Only disable. Dr. Mason was helpless.
Target is preparing for a death blow. Target is open. Fire.
The target fell in an explosion of brass. The torso was still smoking as Dr. Mason and Koen rose from their defensive positions.
Koen stared at the damage and shook his head. Dr. Mason gazed back at me through his binoculars. I read his lips...
"You hit the chest. Soul-shard..."
I lowered the scope. Founder forgive me. I had to save my family. He would have done the same.
I felt the shockwave of an explosion behind me. I turned around and witnessed the city of Cala Mondrago erupt in flames.
The power plant ripped open from the inside, from which rose as nimbus of lighting in a vaguely humanoid shape. Energy arced from its hands, exploding every structure it crossed. Flames raced across the power lines, dancing from shop to shop and tent to tent. The "Genies"...their sentient power source, had rebelled, just as in the tales of the of the ancient city that preceded New Babbage.
I threw the weapon aside. I depleted too much energy to tesseract to Cala. I was too far away. I could only run.
I tripped on something in the sand and fell. I rolled over and stared up with my mechanical eyes at the stars, their pristine view obscured by smoke drifting from the city.
I did not sense him approach, but the shadow of Bloodwing loomed over me. His pale frame hovered, slightly indistinct. His eyes burned in crimson fury.
"Elder! Forgive me! I have failed! I have failed..."