Random Acts of Science III, Part 5: Left Cold

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(February 2nd)

A fight raged across the generator room. Lucky Lad ducked and spun, and around him Ultiminions stabbed each other, launched jump kicks that got them tangled in machinery, and generally failed to do anything useful. Timebender was a blur of motion, running behind minions and tearing their robotic circuits apart before their mutant-enhanced ninja reflexes could catch her. Ash was in fine form, a half-dozen tree ninja lobbing branch knives that caught Ultiminions dead on and skewered them into the catwalks that they leapt across. Nightshade and Phil lounged on the dais, under the shifting circle of darkness, and nibbled on brownies.

“Not that I’m complaining, but shouldn’t you be fighting us or something?” Timebender paused in her flickering long enough to toss off the comment, before flipping an Ultiminion over the railings and into the generator below.

“Nah, I’m good. Phil?” Nightshade glanced over at her companion.

“’m hungry.” Phil mumbled around a mouthful of food – fortunately, his translator was able to function at full efficiency.

“Serves him right, anyway. Going on a Bahaman vacation and leaving us to freeze in the cold. Nope, we’re just going to sit here and watch you. Oh, and bet on which of you breaks the most robot zombies.” Yawning, Nightshade grabbed another brownie. “Hey, Phil, these are great. Told you the kittenless recipe was the better one.”

“Thuppothe tho.” Phil sighed. “I mith kittenth, though. Giveth it a real crunchy layer.”

“That, and several dozen PETA complaints. Not worth it.” Nightshade glanced over. “Oh, come on, Lucky. You can totally do better than that.”

“You bet on me, I take it?” Lucky flipped over an Ultiminion, grabbing the katana out of its back sheath and cheerfully slicing it in half.

“Hell, no. I voted for the tree. But you’re embarrassing yourself.”

“Sorry to disappoint.” Lucky rolled his eyes. “Did anyone vote for me?”

“Joth did.” Phil shrugged again. “He thinkth you have the thkills. I voted for the fatht one.”

“Lovely. Good to know whose bets we’re reinforcing, here.” Timebender muttered a few choice words under her breath. “You know, you could just break the device.”

“Hey, now. There’s insubordination, and then there’s treason. Break it yourself. I mean, seriously. How hard could it yipe!” Nightshade ducked as a pinecone grenade landed squarely in the centre of the device on the ground. A moment later, shards of metal were raining down around them. Nightshade looked at her brownie mournfully. “Great. It’s got metal in it now. This was a good brownie, you dumb tree. I’m sorry I bet on you now.”

Above them, the black circle remained in effect. Timebender frowned and pointed at it. “Um… shouldn’t it be gone?”

“Not as long as there’s power draw.” Shrugging, Nightshade stood, glancing around. “Alright, we’re just about out of Ultiminions, so I’m off. Just shut down the power plant, and leave it off until the energy dissipates. Should take a day or so. Think of it as our own holiday.”

“A day?! Damn it, Ecchs, I am going to…” Clenching her fist, Timebender ran over to the plant controls, and began to initiate the emergency shutdown.

“Hey, it would have been longer if you’d let the machine keep going. Come on, Phil.” Wandering off, Nightshade waved over her shoulder. “See you at family dinner.”

“Yeah, sure, whatever.” Timebender was staring at the black globe glumly. “A day.”

We can accentuate that the time will not be longer. It is something.” Ash walked over apologetically – or at least, one of him did, as the others began cleaning the generator of its excess ruined zombie robots.

“On the bright side, we get a vacation. Those are always nice.” Stepping up to her other side, Lucky wiped oil from his face as well as he could. “So… when we log this, do we chalk it up as a win, or a loss?”

“Damned if I know.” Sighing, Timebender turned away. “I just know it’s going to be bloody cold tonight.”

“Cuddle up to Wave for warmth.” Lucky suggested cheerfully. “Isn’t she basically made of heat?”

“Zip it.”

“Or we could go to a house that’s got a gas furnace.” Lucky added. “I think Irene does, and she’d probably let us sleep over.”

“Not interested in your ‘ideas’ and your ‘solutions’. I want to pout.” Amber grumbled.

“Or we could go to Disneyworld.”


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