Tilting Towards Water
Vale admired Sky’s creativity as he climbed the ladder, Vale strapped to his back, facing out towards the sky. The ship had begun to dip towards the water, and it would only be a few minutes before the entire thing was submerged.
Vale adjusted the straps around her waist and pulled a gear out of the Sky’s belt. it had been sharpened to have several sharp points. She forced her arm to shift into a launcher and placed the gear at the end. Shooting a large spark of electricity into it, she aimed and shot at the first AI. The gear hit the AI in the chest and lodged itself, sparking angrily. The AI dropped without a sound, short-circuiting. Vale took out the two others on the platform above them before they understood what happened.
Sky continued to climb as Vale shot one after the other, their silent attack going unnoticed. They had one last platform to go when Vale ran out of gears. She tapped Sky’s hip to let him know she was out of ammo. They stopped several rungs below the final platform and Vale set to work, searching for some other metal items she could throw. She reached into Sky’s pack, shuffling through it. The only thing he had left was his gadgets. Vale would have asked if he was attached to any of it if the AI’s weren’t within earshot.
She quickly plucked up a screen and pried off the back. Cutting it into several pieces, she put one long metal shard into the launcher, charged it, and shot. It hit the first AI but before it collapsed it stumbled backwards hitting the two others. The two AI’s turned as Vale launched her second shard. The second AI fell, but she wasn’t fast enough and the third one cried as it was hit by her final shard, sending up an alarm to the AI’s on the main deck.
Sky began to climb faster. He had just climbed the final rung and collapsed onto his side on the main deck when a shadow moved above them. Vale loosened her harness and shoved Sky behind her, transforming her arm into a shield as a large metal hand came down, slamming into it. Vale’s body shook from the force. Sky rolled out from behind the shield and dashed behind the AI. Taking his knife, he cut the AI at the knees. Vale forced herself to her feet as Sky was tackled by two other AI’s.
Sky bucked wildly as the AI’s grabbed his arms pulling him to his knees. “Let him go!” Vale shouted as she wrapped her fingers around the final shard she had. Transforming her arm, she felt light-headed as more pain ripped through her. I can only do this a few more times. Gotta make it count. Shoving the shard into the launcher, she charged it and shot. The AI’s moved as one and before Vale could scream, the shard ripped through Sky’s shoulder and shot electricity through his body.
Vale felt a surge of adrenaline shoot through her as she bolted to her feet and ran for the AI’s. Her arm shifted into a large flagrum, a steel whip with spikes. Snapping it, she hit the AI on the left, ripping its arm off, forcing it to drop Sky. The second AI jolted to a stall from the electricity that shot through Sky.
Pulling her whip back she snapped it and cut it’s arm off too. Vale reached Sky and yanked the shard out of his body. He collapsed to the ground, unconscious. “No. Not again. No! Sky get up!”
She looked around the deck and saw several AI’s come out of a door, moving towards her. She looked between Sky and the approaching AI’s, her mind trying to work out the puzzle, trying to figure out how she was going to get Sky out and back to Dash without getting both of them killed or letting the ship sail on to The Ignis. The boat tilted forward and Vale got a shot of the water. I’m almost out of time.
She spotted the rope that Sky had used to wrap her to his waist and jumped for it. Moving back to Sky, she wrapped one end tightly around his waist and slowly dragged him to the railing. Tying the other end to the railing, she turned to look at the AI’s.
Five of them moved in perfect synchronization towards her. She bolted for them as the ship tilted further, allowing the shift in gravity to make her move faster. Bringing up her metal arm, she forced it to grow as long as it could. Dropping to her knees, she leaned back and slid under the AI’s legs at the far end. Slicing at all of their legs as she slid past, her long sword cutting through metal.
The AI’s all fell. Turning, Vale shrunk the size of her weapon and slammed it into the deck. The AI’s slid past her as the front of the ship submerged into the water. They scrambled to stop their fall, but slid directly into the water as the ship crashed into the sea.
Vale’s sword kept her steady as items, and other AI’s that had been sneaking up on her from the other side slid past. Vale took a deep breath, ignoring the rising water level and released her hold on the deck. She reformed her metal arm into a hook and hooked it to the railing.
Her arm protested the tug but her heart-pounding adrenaline kept her moving. She climbed the railing that was now vertical to the sea and fought to keep her grip. Sky hung limply from the rope along the railing, looking pale. Tears prickled at her eyes as she moved. I’m going to get him killed. I do nothing but put him in constant danger. Suddenly, the skymaran slid towards her. Releasing her hold on the railing, she jumped, landing sideways on the skymaran as it hurled towards the water.
Sliding to the control panel, she reached for the start button as the water hurled towards her. Slamming her hand down, she yanked the wheel down as the skymaran roared to life and jolted to a stop above the water. Turning, she swung the skymaran vertical holding onto the wheel tightly as she made the climb to Sky.
Reaching out, she wrapped her arm around him and sliced him free of the rope. Pulling him inside, she laid him down and turned the skymaran around. Moving it to hover ten feet above the water, she pulled the rope loose from around Sky and tied it around herself. She tied the other end to the skymaran railing and jumped off the side before she could question herself.
Several AI’s scrambled to the top of the drowning ship, attempting to survive and kill her in the process. One shot a ball of flame towards the skymaran, scorching the side as Vale swung, narrowly avoiding the flames. She dodged several angry hands as she transformed her arm into a large spear. Shoving it into the closet AI, she unleashed all of the lightning she had stored and watched as the sea lit up with cracks of light. The entire Resistere Futilis went ablaze, becoming a lightning rod, snarling and snapping at all of the AI’s within its radius. The AI’s screamed and their eyes dimmed, their bodies floating down into the depths. Vale felt her body shake with exhaustion as the final set of electricity left her arm.
She hung in the air, too tired to pull herself back up to the skymaran, watching the ship as it slowly grew dark and sunk, taking the AI’s with it. Vale’s head hit her chest, too tired to do anything else but sleep.