This room stank of sulfur. Industrial-sized flasks sat atop stoves, cooking away at a variety of ingredients. Like math, chemistry was universal, so Jonquil recognized some of these components. Nitromethane, chlorates… simple homemade explosives. Nothing with a fraction of the sophistication of a rabbit bomb.
But thick black cases sat on the far side of the room, separate from everything else. That had to be the real deal.
As Aliza said, there were four tellies. They wore sac-caste robes and were all different colors: lime yellow mixing ingredients on the far side of the room, olive green lazily guarding the main door, cherry red by the cases, and muddy purple sorting powders into bags.
Jonquil had the advantage of stealth. She targeted the purple one first, as it was the closest: a propulsor blast to its head sent it crumpling to the floor. Yellow, Red and Green turned to face her, but Jonquil was already moving towards a row of flasks.
Green raised its claw-rifle, but hesitated. It couldn’t risk hitting one of the volatile chemical flasks. That moment of hesitation was all she needed to point the propulsor between two flasks and shoot, taking the telly to the floor.
Red tried to flank her while Yellow made for the exit- she couldn’t let that happen. Jonquil threw herself to the floor and shot the propulsor at Yellow’s feet. She caught one of its legs and sent it crashing to the floor- thankfully muted by the ankle-deep water.
But by then, Red was upon her. It leveled its rifle at her chest, and as it was about to fire, Jonquil tossed her jacket in the air. The quarter-second of distraction let her roll out of the way of the shot, which left a bubbling crater on the floor.
Telly guns were powerful but primitive, and they needed to be reloaded after every shot. Red instead tried to stab her with the tip of the rifle, driving Jonquil backwards. It meant to keep her off-balance while Green and Red recovered.
If that happened, she was dead. Jonquil dove towards the wall, and Red thrust his bayonet to meet her. But Jonquil stuck out her arm and fired her propulsor- at the wall.
The concussive blast sent Jonquil flying, up in the air and over the flasks. She landed in the water, slapping the ground to distribute her weight. The maneuver baffled Red.
It baffled Jonquil too. Crazy moves like that weren’t her style. She twisted to her feet and rushed forward. Red had to reload its rifle, giving her time to close the gap. Jonquil slid under the table with the flasks to get beneath Red, thrust her hand in the air, and fired the propulsor. Red flew up and back, landed hard and did not rise.
Her heart pounding, Jonquil quickly made her way to Yellow, drawing the disruptor and pointing it at its head. She raised her watch and showed the telly the message Aliza had beamed her. The telly’s bug eyes glimmered with understanding. “Stay down.”
She quickly made a pair of hardlight handcuffs and shackled the telly’s wrists together. With all the threats neutralized, Jonquil made her way over to the black cases. One of them was partially open, so she carefully lifted the lid.
A device the size of her head sat inside. It was shaped like an egg and painted in garish colors. There was writing on the side- not the telly’s visual language. Writing Jonquil could read.
“Reproducing Nanoparticle Bomb – Easter Module
From Your Good Friends At neo_SMOKE”
A TORCH-made rabbit bomb.