I’m going to hit something hard. This is going to hurt.
The impact safety systems of the ‘shard kick in, using a probability field to cushion what would otherwise be a fatal landing. I’ll probably still feel some the impact, it will smart like hell, but at least nothing will be permanently broken or torn. There’ll be no lasting scarring to worry about with the ‘shard operating. Except for my suit. It will be ruined, torn to shreds.
Provided I survive this, I’m planning to add new Terran costumery templates to the Enza’s wardrobe synthesizers, maybe a few Kai’Siri variations of men’s and women’s Indian styles, like a sari for Imegaa, something that would look fashionable on her at a decent resort in the Martian highlands.
Back to reality.
I shake my head, my dislocated left shoulder and right elbow clicking back into their proper places, my entire body feeling a dull ache as the ‘shard performs its medical functions. I’m annoyed by the maddening itch of rapidly setting and mending bone and flesh, angrily brushing debris off of my now shredded suit jacket, getting back up as the pain fades, and taking stock of the situation.
I angrily look up, eyes giving off a cherry red glow as the ‘shard goes into interpersonal combat mode. I feel like hurting things, and a certain giant alien is tops on my list. A cold, focused rage comes over me, a step up in usefulness from a fully berserk state, at least less injurious to the Suthidruu until I find it necessary to resort to plan B and just kill them now.
The ‘shard generates its tactical display, the augmented reality giving its readouts in five-dimensional clarity, showing all possible combatants, noncombatants, their positions, activity, and best of all, whispering assessments of probable scenarios that would likely occur with the most efficient response to them.
The ‘shard is making itself damned useful. I pick my likeliest targets. I query the ‘shard as to whether to target the Suthidruu or not. The readout suggests no.
The Worms aren’t doing anything yet. It would still be within the next hour that they would perform their sick, twisted ceremony for humanity. They’re interested in only one thing; the very thing I want to avoid.
It’s what’s been going on for the last two billion years, the Suthidruu rampaging across the galaxies, their agenda of salvation by death effectively unopposed. Whole galaxies being stripped bare of even the simplest forms of life.
That’s kind of what I once did as a professional consultant in the extinction-level event industry. I mean to see that end in this galaxy, on this world. Either I, humanity and all other life in the solar system will die, or the Suthidruu’s insane expression of universal love for all will be halted.
But first, I’m going to kill Dasaelos—again—for ruining my favorite suit, oh, and also for being a major pain in the ass.