100 Words A Day by Hydrargentium

Well, at least 100 words — best served random….

Tag: Mu

Mu couldn’t decide whether it was the strange sizzling noise from the energy beams that bothered her more, or the mewling.

The area around the bulbous En-Car Technologies building had been cleared, but the kittens still took pot-shots at trees and lamp posts and the wrecks of cars in the parking lot as they patrolled the perimeter. They scampered about, talking┬áto each other — or seeming to, anyway — with the typical gurgles and chirps and high-pitched meows of kittens at play.

She was glad, though, that none of them thought to look up. She floated above them, providing reconnaissance for the rest of the team. A direct view feed from her helmet showed them everything she could see, with parabolic audio doing a very good job of picking up focused audio from wherever she pointed her face.

She was considering turning off her tap on that feed, just so she wouldn’t have to listen to the kittens with their close-phase plasma emitters — “Kittens With Lasers” was what she was sure the headlines were going to be.

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Before Call-out could come up with a snappy response, Mu interrupted.

“Maybe we should get to the problem at hand?”

“Right, right,” Big Dave grinned. “You can see her from the back windows over here.”

Navigating a path through the rows of tables, occasionally pausing to knee a bench back in place underneath, he led them to the far corner. One wall was painted boards, and covered in art made from macaroni and twigs and a clamour of liberally applied water-based paints. The other held long windows full of small dusty panes.

Pulling a red bandana from his back pocket, Dave rubbed the dust from a couple of the window panes.

“If you look that way,” he suggested, pointing to a spot beyond the corner of the building, “you should be able to see her. By the tire swing.”

Leaning forward, Mu and Call-out looked out the cleaned-off panes. Through the curtain of rain, they could make out a large tree overhanging the waterfront, although it was only visible as a dark mass against the expanse of churning lake behind it.

Call-out shook his head. “I don’t see anyone-”

“Just wait for it,” Dave interrupted.

A few moments later, a bright flash illuminated the tree. On the ground nearby, on a normally beaten-down patch of dirt made muddy by the weather, a human figure could be seen, glowing brightly.

“She’s on fire.” Call-out looked dramatically at Mu. “In the rain.”

Mu shrugged.

“In this rain. This downpour to end all downpours.” He cleared his throat. “On. Fire.”

“Yes,” Mu replied. She was used to this.

Call-out looked more closely at the girl. He guessed seven or eight years old, judging by her size. She was lying on her belly in the mud, kicking her legs and slamming her fists into the muck. The flames surrounding her subsided somewhat, then flared up again.

He realized he could hear her screaming. Not in pain, but like a child throwing a tantrum — which, he also realized, was exactly what was going on.

He caught Mu’s eye. She seemed to have come to the same conclusion. Together, they turned to the camp director, who was mopping his forehead with his bandana.

“That,” said Call-out, “is one unhappy camper.”

Coming in from the storm was like stepping out of a waterfall and into the cavern behind it. The noise was still there, even amplified by the tin roof and wide open space of the mess hall she found herself in, but the physical presence, the sheer weight of the falling water was instantly abated. Even though she hadn’t been, she felt like she’d been holding her breath.

She turned to her host, who had flung off his poncho as soon as he entered, dropping it on a bench by the door. Similarly, Mu had flung the water off her flight suit, a barely conscious thought pushing it back out the doorway as she crossed the threshold.

The big guy stuck out his hand, clearly trying to see through the tint in her helmet to view the face hidden behind as he greeted her.

“My name’s Dave Miziewzki. I’m the camp director. Everyone calls me Big Dave.”

Her faceplate slid up into her helmet as she shook his hand.

“I am called Mu. Can I get you to not move for a few moments?”

“Wha? Uh, sure.” Big Dave looked around, then at his rubber boots, but kept his feet planted.

“Thank you,” she said to him, then seemed to be talking to the air. “The area is clear. Call-out, do you have enough visual?”

She paused for a moment listening.

“Right. C’mon over.”

If Big Dave thought this a bit odd, he quickly forgot about it when a second hero, tall and lean and wearing black spandex, suddenly appeared in the open space in front of him.

“Hoo! Wow, that’s… that’s a neat trick.”

Call-out turned around at the sound of Big Dave’s voice. He opened his mouth to introduce himself, but before he could, the camp director interrupted him.

“Can you guys stay for the talent show tonight? The kids’ll love you!”

The rain was a presence unto itself, sheeting out of heavy clouds that clamped the sky shut. Even through the electrostatic faceplate on her helmet, it was difficult to keep her bearings visually. Thank goodness for the heads-up nav system Pixie had built into the gear. A nice, simple arrow floated in the corner of her vision, pointing the way onward.

A few minutes later, a beacon of concentric green circles appeared near the middle of her view. Without really thinking about it, she adjusted her course, and the target centred itself. Looking past the circles — it was more like looking through them, really — she could make out the lights of the campground. They must have been turned on in the middle of this rainy day to make it easier for her to find. Good thinking on the part of somebody down there, she thought.

Angling earthward, feet first, she aimed for the main building. Moments after she touched down, the large screen doors, two of them hung barn-style, opened outwards, ejecting a man and his poncho.

He wasn’t particularly tall, but he was both muscular and obese, wearing sandals, faded jeans, and a crisp, green baseball cap with “CD” in large yellow letters on the face. He made as if to hold out his hand to shake, then seemed to change his mind and waved her toward the building.

“C’mon in,” he shouted over the rain. “No point standing out here!”