Vince was scanning through files and moving through the jungle. He found an article about The Asteroid Mining Union filing lawsuits against the papacy seeking compensation for the families of miners killed due to lax safety regulations. He had no trouble at all reading anymore. His tech seemed to have completely fused it’s functionality into every level of his thinking. He couldn’t really even be pissed at his friends properly because he was always thinking on multiple levels now. So, while part of him was burning with jealousy, another part, that felt just as real, was analyzing and suggesting compensations for the raging emotion. So far, Vince had refused to dose him self with endorphins or anything, but just the act of refusing to deal with the rage, lessened the rage, made it seem inconsequential.
“Veer to your right here,” Kay said.
She could UNO him at short range, but he had blocked her channel. He was staying in front of her because he did not want to have to look at her ass. Too painful. His brain formed some thoughts that he was sure he would not have formed before the tech. His emotions were closely linked to his high level of sexual desire for Kay. There were some other emotions involved, but he knew for certain that if he blocked his sex drive, and he knew that he could now, it would lessen all of his negative emotions greatly. He didn’t really know her that well after all, and she was kind of a shallow plint, really. Never had to struggle to eat or avoid victimization. And again, thinking these thoughts lessened his anger. But when he turned to look at her and saw all of her feathers moving suggestively over the mammalian flesh beneath, the rage and humiliation returned in force. He turned away again and returned to reading the article and worrying about Skum Bunny… Rip… whatever.
They were making for the energy field that held the downstem wilds in check. They planned to exit near a spot in the axel Vince was familiar with so they could get into the vents as quickly as possible. They would be wearing disguises, but if the Presidency had scanners set out, the disguises wouldn’t fool them. Vince was pushing his way through a thick patch of brambles, when his head popped into a clear area, he gasped.
He was facing an elaborate spiraling grove of about thirty different flowering trees, all bound together by entwined branches and limbs. They were all flowering simultaneously and because of the intertwining, the multicolored flowers blended from one to the next forming a wheel of exploding color. Then a naked monkey jumped onto his face screaming in ancient Japanese, and dozens of red-robed, sword-armed monkeys erupted from the flowery ring.
Vince was backpedaling back into the brambles and trying to rip the monkey off his face while his tech translated the screeches.
“Foreign devils die! The sacred grove will not be sullied by your filthy eyes!”
Vince’s arms flew in front of his face, knocking the monkey away. His hands followed through the push with twin lasers popping out of his arms and keeping a steady bead on the flying monkey. He had to force himself not to fire. He was only able to override his defenses automatic reactions because he had been practicing parallel processing his consciousness on three separate thought tracks. The monkey positioned himself to land ready to spring back into the melee. By the time he did so, his brothers were at his side.
Vince started firing thin blue beams into the crowd of monkeys, but the cluster exploded into two groups. The first groups was coming right at him feet first and spinning through the air. The second group formed a wide circle that was going to pass him to leave him surrounded. He set his gun low. And managed to pick off three of the ones coming right at him, but the other eight hit him, plunging their small swords into him. He screamed and the gun on his right hand exploded with a pulse wave that scattered the monkeys. One of them smashed into a tree hard enough to crush it’s skull. One of the tracks in Vince’s mind felt bad for an instant before being superseded by the other two, which were actively trying to keep him alive. The Monkey group that had gotten behind him was hitting his back now. He felt a sharp pain in his side. The air around him was filling with droplets of blood. Again. Sorg, and this time much of it was his. His errant thought track made a promise to find a way of living that did not involve so much blood. The other two tracks caused him to turn and start blasting monkeys. The beam had gone red, but he pulled it back to a less lethal blue after the first couple of shots.
His strategic track projected a serious hit coming and began altering the gun, the tactical track caused Vince to spin and draw a bead on the incoming threat. A simian shield made of six monkeys was flying straight at him. He could just make out a seventh monkey behind the shield holding a very long sword. His right hand fired a cluster of non-lethal burner beams, the left hand fired a more powerful concentrated bright yellow beam through dense foliage that exploded into pulpy confetti hit a sword floating behind the shielded monkey. The beam reflected off the polished surface and disintegrated the monkey with the long sword. Vince’s errant track was feeling sick.
He heard a high pitch cry creak into this thought streams.
“Cease devil! Or we kill your whore!”
Vince spun and heard Kay attempting to say something but she was cut off. She was floating at an odd angle to him, and he could not see her head, but her body was swarmed with monkeys. Many ropes and cords were attached to her as well, and several monkeys were in nearby trees were holding the ends and tying them off so she was suspended in a web. Additionally, two monkeys were holding ropes that seemed to go around her neck and were braced and appeared to be pulling on the nooses.
Vince pulled up still, facing the monkeys and Kay. She made another sound that cut off too quickly.
“Let her go and fight me you mutard tree rodent freaks!”
One of the monkey’s screeched at him.
“Withdraw guns now or we chop off head!”
“If I withdraw my guns you’ll chop off her head!”
“You have no choice! Car about girl? Get rid of guns!
Two parts of Vince’s brain told the part that had been talking to shut up. Vince retracted his guns held his hands out palms up and fingers spread wide, floating still a moment. He was scanning the monkeys around Kick waiting for the pieces to line up right. Zpp zpp zpp zpp.
Lasers shot out of each of his fingers, painfully ripping the fingertips open. Every monkey on Kick disintegrated, and all the ropes were cut.
“We were just passing through you venting little penners! This was so unnecessary!”
Kick flapped over and got behind him, her hands holding his shoulders to steady herself. She was shaking slightly, but it abated quickly. One of the several remaining monkeys blew a high pitched whistle and the trees downstem at 3 o’clock started shaking and rustling. A massive chorus of hoots and screeching was approaching rapidly.
Kick yelled, “Hold my feet Laser Boy and cover my ass!”
He grabbed one of her feet and she started flying as fast as she could toward the energy shield that led out of the wilds. Vince was tossed and slung about crazily as she ducked, swooped, and rolled her way through the jungle. Vince’s tech was able to compensate for the movement and blast any monkey that came in too close. He realized later he could have set it back to non-lethal, but he forgot.