Ryan strained, pushing his body against the rigid suit. He moved forward just enough to tip his weight and send him falling onto his hands. Red warning lights flared in his peripheral vision. The suit was still booting up. Electric shocks tingled across his spine as he pushed as hard as he could. Inch by inch, he rose off the floor.
Looking right, he saw Theo was just starting to move. His friend’s face was replaced by a blank mask of dark glass, but he could still feel Theo’s stare. It was up to them. Aliens streamed into the hangar, crawling across the ceiling and down the walls. Those that dropped right from the hole in the ceiling down to the floor twitched as electricity wracked their bodies. The soldiers were armed with stun rifles. Each only held five cartridges that stabbed into the target and delivered a massive shock. They were outnumbered more than five to one.
Movement became easier as the suit started to work with Ryan. The tight material bonded to his muscles. He could feel his strength increasing. He was running as fast as he could without the suit. A few more warning lights flicked off, and he became a blur.
The suit’s computer told him Theo was right behind him. He sent his thoughts out the back of his skull and into his partner’s head.
“I’ll go high. You go low.”
Ryan leapt over the line of soldiers firing into the alien swarm. The suit’s sensors told him exactly how to twist his body, and the shots flying through the air didn’t touch him. His leg straightened out so fast it cracked like a whip in the air.
His foot connected with an alien. For a split second, they looked in each other’s eyes, and then physics took over and the creature flew backwards. It barreled into a half dozen other aliens, slowing the rush. Theo slid on his knees across the ground. Before Ryan touched back down, Theo’s hands reached back and whipped forward. Two electric shuriken spun through the air.
Theo threw them wide, and lightning arced between them. They were too far apart to knock out the aliens, but the electricity shorted out their muscle control long enough for the soldiers to fire again and deliver the knockout blow.
Ryan struck with his hands and feet, leaping into the air over and over, trying to connect with every limb. Aliens tumbled backwards and slammed into each other. Ryan felt like he was being battered in a river. No matter how many attackers he beat back, there were more coming. He and Theo were being pushed back, and the aliens were streaming around them on either side.
Ryan knew they were going to be surrounded and cut off from the soldiers, but if he stopped fighting even for a moment, they’d both be overwhelmed. His suit’s power levels were already spiking. Another thirty seconds and it’d freeze up to prevent him from cooking his brainstem and spinal cord.
Looking back and hoping for backup, he saw Dr. Vargas ducking under a stray alien’s attack. She spun around a soldier trying to stop her. She was surrounded on three sides now, but she didn’t show any signs of slowing. She lifted something up over her head, something she’d been carrying low to the ground. It was a long metal pole, gleaming in the harsh hangar lights. Dr. Vargas reached back and threw it like a spear at Ryan. He reached up and caught it.