Chapter 23: Super 7 [Unedited]


"I've gotta get you out of here," I tell Nelissa while readying myself for dematerialization. #gio

"You're not running from this," she says to my total surprise as her concern is for me which is interesting. #gio

The lasers may be directionally based, but their origins aren't fixed. Multitasking my worries, I wonder, "Running from what?" #gio


Those lasers seem random, but their patterns are almost alternating. Nelissa stares into my eyes and orders, "Promise me!" #gio

"I'd obviously want to know what I'm agreeing to before I do it," happens to be the first thing that comes to mind. #gio

"Promise me that you won't leave us - that you won't leave Earth," I can't tell whether she's pleading or demanding. #gio


My Human side would want to know what's in it for me. My Robot side wouldn't even care. And my Ethereal side would probably laugh. #gio

Selfishness, indifference, and arrogance. I'm made from the requisite pieces of ineptness and parts the typical likes of shallowness. #gio

I don't have a choice in this matter and not because the options were taken from me either. My mind was made up a long time ago. #gio


Humans, Robots, and Ethereals are each inherently flawed, but I shouldn't turn my back on that which I am. I can't. It's who I am. #gio

It also doesn't mean that I'm expected to be limited by their flaws either. The whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. #gio

Nelissa has not even blinked to sever her eye contact from mine as she awaits my only answer: "I promise." #gio


In return, Nelissa assures, "I'll continue to protect you," and there's no need to contemplate the alternative. #gio

But fears of what may come aren't driving me to make this decision. Sometimes, doing the right thing does enter into the equation. #gio

And those who live their life by fear are nothing but slaves to their own existence. If nothing else, she has taught me that. #gio


The energy capsule begins to flicker under the incessant pressure of an unknown barrage as the power of the lasers increases. #gio

"I'm going to enjoy this partnership," Nelissa says, "and my first pleasures will come from binding the NSF to the same contract." #gio

I never figured her for being such a fierce networker, but I can certainly appreciate that on various computerized levels. #gio


Speaking of the NSF, I decide to tune back into them and follow two different but linked conversations as Nelissa continues. #gio

She opens up, "The satellite weapon was designed for defense, but its offense is not to be ignored." #gio

"It has four modes: Orbital array, the actual weapon, the fighters for Super 7...," I want the NSF's take on her words. #gio


"Super Red, Super Yellow, Super Blue, Super Orange, Super Green, Super Purple, and Super Black are all now engaged," Otto alerts. #gio

"But can they eliminate the General and recover NSFm-1 Alpha at the same time?" Lazaro inquires - face and pride still smarting. #gio

"I didn't get that specific when recommending to the superpowers the use of their collective national heroes," Nicolasa answers. #gio


And back to Nelissa, "...that are attacking us now, and the NSF Mech which is ultimately behind the reason for your creation." #gio

"Those aren't drones then?" I'm stunned. "Actual people are flying these ships? I thought that only the Chakras were required." #gio

"The superpowers need both," she clears up, "so the Chakras may be the keys, but Super 7 are the drivers." #gio


Otto adds to that, "Regardless, it'll be a shame because the beauty of NSFm-1 Alpha rests in his ability to circumvent consensus." #gio

Lazaro seconds the notion, "I'm not really looking forward to having to start over, but we need to cut our losses at this point." #gio

Nicolasa concedes, "More like we need to distance ourselves from the fallout, so that's where checks and balances come into play." #gio


Nelissa's extremely perceptive and can tell even during the instantaneousness of the moment that my attention is divided, "What's up?" #gio

This won't come as any bit of a surprise to her, but, "The NSF is obviously looking to wash its hands of both of us." #gio

"Let them try," she goads. A bombardment prematurely dissipates my capsule, causing her to ask, "Are you up for this, NSFm-1 Alpha?" #gio


"Yeah," I say while raising my right arm to the sky in refocusing my power and reinstating the energy shield. #gio

The strain spurns the attentiveness in slithering of my tendrils as I struggle to focus my power against the endless onslaught. #gio

Leave it to Nelissa to shed light on things, "Super 7 are at least as powerful as you, but you haven't yet realized your potential." #gio


"Who do you think will win?" Otto asks. "I mean - both were the result of our creation, but whose going to rule the NSF Mech?" #gio

"I'd like to see NSFm-1 Alpha succeed," Lazaro prefaces his support, "but not if Nelissa ultimately gets to control him." #gio

"Part of me wants the Ethereal to put Super 7 out of their misery," Nicolasa admits. "Sacrifices should be more evenly shared." #gio


"Super 7 knew the risks going in but probably didn't understand what they were getting themselves into," Nelissa acknowledges. #gio

I'm really hoping that everybody gets to their points because I cannot hold this energy capsule up for too much longer. #gio

She states, "These soldiers were the superpowers' finest who gave almost everything in the hopes of averting our world's threat." #gio


Almost? "It's eerie," Otto adds, "that Super 7 didn't die during the procedure, but I can't really call that vegetative state alive." #gio

Oh. "Our early attempts at combining biological machines with technological machines happen to be my biggest regret," Lazaro recalls. #gio

No face jokes here. "Above all," Nicolasa concludes, "it was the inspiration for our making amends by creating NSFm-1 Alpha." #gio


Crumbling to my knees at this point - I manage to get out, "I don't get the sense that Nicolasa, Lazaro, and Otto are bad guys." #gio

"Because they're not," Nelissa agrees while standing above me as I strain to hold the energy capsule together - just as calm! #gio

Well, there's a vote of confidence for everybody involved. She follows up, "I'll handle them in due time. You deal with Super 7." #gio


As if information could be liberating, I feel unshackled as Nelissa and the NSF both have leveled with me on a pathway forward. #gio

I stand up with a powerful flinging of my arms downward which sends the capsule energies outward - gobbling up the colorful lasers. #gio

"This is General Hickinbotham-Rally," she says into her Ear-To-Mouth Com, "I'm requesting a pickup at Buffalo Grove High School." #gio


My tendrils begin to twitch ravenously as my energy signature dispenses with the lasers and begins to seek out Super 7's fighters. #gio

Nelissa turns to me and advises, "That won't work this time. They're the living, breathing manifestation of a manual override." #gio

Usurping control was worth a shot, so with a sigh, I acknowledge her prowess and start to focus the projection of my energy on Plan C. #gio


"Ground forces only," Nelissa continues the conversation in her ear. "The skies are set to become a little bit messy." #gio

We're on the same wavelength with that - so much so that she begins to glow in a blue hue of my own shadow signature. #gio

It's just a little way of me extending a measure of protection to the General while I go about finishing some business. #gio


The moment that I separate from Nelissa to go stalking about my search, another stream of lasers pounds her stationary position! #gio

Involuntarily of an instinctive flinch, she raises her arms to either shield a firsthand view or attempt to block the attack herself. #gio

Already knowing the outcome, I keep the majority of my ocular senses skyward as the lasers bounce off the unfazed General. #gio


While witnessing ruts of pavement being ripped up around her upon deflection, Nelissa now realizes that she's impervious to attack. #gio

This is my gift to the General for as long as I exist, but the present is not solely meant for appearances of comfort. #gio

Functionality is involved with how my expanded energy signature created a gridded girth of Earth and she completed a triangulation. #gio


By distancing myself from Nelissa and using a hemispherical web worth of coordinates, I've pinpointed my targets via inverse accuracy. #gio

Stealth is great for masking flight signatures with enhanced design or outright spoofs, but what if I'm actively seeking the variance? #gio

In other words, if the fighters are hidden from detection and look like the environment, there would be that much more environment. #gio


Now, I'm playing with processing power when measuring spatial disturbance, but this is no video game. #gio

Think about it like this: If a meteorologist could process infinite data points, would the forecast be that much more accurate? #gio

Stealth works because it plays against temporal assumption, but defining time/space as time-lapse photography can create distortions. #gio


Once I have the palpable before and after shots plus triangulation, it doesn't matter what detection method is used at that point. #gio

Audio, infrared, radio frequency, visual, licking my index finger and holding it to the sky - I've extrapolated Super 7's whereabouts. #gio

And my tendrils snap at the chance to ensnare four of the fighters with a quad of opposable pincers that expand out of their ends. #gio


My power is steadfast and apparent as I hold onto the ships as they try to flee in different directions and take my neck with them. #gio

With a relative lull in the action for an onlooker, I take a moment to familiarize myself with four of the members from Super 7. #gio

Each is encased within a cybernetic coffin that only the brain-dead could appreciate. The ships flaunt abbreviated flight controls. #gio


Their bodies are perfectly preserved within a cybernetic exoskeleton which functions more like an entombing sleeve of circuitry. #gio

I detect the presence of hydrogen sulfide which accounts for the suspended animation and allows Super 7's synapses to be severed. #gio

Borderline barbaric or brilliant - I can't tell. Their right brains dream while their left brains carry out orders. #gio


It's an interesting concept since Humans typically only use a fraction of their brains when load-balancing is present. #gio

The forced segmentation seems to have caused overcompensation and the amped up cognitive abilities as a result. #gio

Still, I'm torn on whether or not this is Humane, but Super 7 chose this fate, and they literally feel no discomfort - so who knows? #gio


I need to remember not to become overly concerned for them when they're more than capable of causing me significant amounts of pain. #gio

Utility vehicles pour into the parking lot from the Dundee Road and Arlington Heights Road sides to meet a running Nelissa halfway. #gio

The three remaining Super 7 fighters know enough to not attack her when I'm so much more of a tantalizing target. #gio


Do I have those four fighters in my clutches, or does Super 7 have me right where they can do the most damage? #gio

As the four captured fighters kick their thrusters in full to stagger me within the hub of their spokes, the other three swoop in. #gio

Otherwise unmarked by an all-black chassis, I can tell who it is that's shooting by the red, black, and blue lasers that light me up. #gio


My protective bubbles shield me from the brunt of the first wave, but there isn't going to be a second one. #gio

By yanking on my tendrils, I smash Super Yellow and Super Orange into the ground and Super Purple and Super Green into each other. #gio

Before I can even relish in the destruction, I'm blasted from behind, and this hurts - propelling me through the school's brick wall! #gio