Men of L33t, Part XXVIII - Red or Dead

"All hands, stand by for submersion!"

"Red Alert!" cried Charles, pulling levers and flipping switches. "Switching to lithium chloride lighting."

In the main hall, Kimiko stared at all the lights turning dark red, and then stumbled as the hall shook from another heavy attack.

Iain tapped his mCom. "We have submersion in 10, 9, 8..."

Shadow paused for a moment as the entire complex began to glow with an eerie pale blue light. What on earth...? This is no spell... A fireball slammed into the pale glow, pulsating and vibrating instead of exploding. A high light-pitched keen began to swirl about the ball, culminating into a heavy shriek as it absorbed the fireball! Flashes of brilliant white plasma began arcing through the glow- flashes of brilliant white light began pulsating through the green arc of the witch's cursed shield, and- "They're going to slip out of reality... Quickly!" cried Shadow. "Cast Ingram's Third Thaumatic Web without the third tier! Now, on all four points of the-" FWISH.

Shadow cursed as the entirety of Erika Manufacturing fell out of sight, and then sighed. It would be hell trying to track them. Reaching that 'tween part of the universe's underside meant traversing the more... unpleasant folds in the shadows. She turned- wait.

"Milady, I can still sense them..." a churchwoman said uncertainly.

They must have only half-slipped... "Zeth, Cryshalo, you're with me. Ghost!" Shadow cried as she dove into the ground, phasing out of sync with the world.

* * *

"So... what exactly did we do again?" asked Kimiko nervously. Her hands twiddled around an orange, trying to peeling it bit by bit.

"Phased half-way out of reality, allowing us to pass through solid matter." said Iain matter-of-factly. He grabbed another donut and dunked it lightly in his tea.

"And why did we fall?"

"Because gravity is still in effect. Only matter is trans-phased, so we're in effect, falling through the ground."

"So how are we going to get back up?"

"Oh, that's easy. Since we're only half phased, we can still affect the material world if we hit it hard enough. So, we'll just blow out a section of the earth and phase back into reality there. Then, we can simply tunnel back up."

"So... why haven't we done that yet?"

Iain's donut stopped half-way. "Y-"

swish "Junpei have message from Lady. You need come to workshop now."

* * *

Erika crossed her arms as Iain hurried into the control room. She looked short-tempered. "Charles and Integral tell me that we're traveling so fast that if we fired out a tenboom it'd slap right back into us before it exploded. Now, as far I know, the acceleration rate of gravity is constant. Care to explain this?"

"Ah... well... huh. We shouldn't be having any problems like that at all. The calculations were all accurate, and as you said the rate of acceleration for gravity is, ah- oh, dear."


Iain poked his fingers together nervously. "I... seemed to have forgot about a leeeeetle project me and Ancestral were working on, ah, you know, the usual temporal fun, and well, we thought we'd try something new, and-"

"Get to the point."

"We created a miniature red dwarf."

"A what?"

"A red dwarf! But only a really small one, and it had a really slow collapse rate so that-"

"A dwarf is causing this?" Erika looked at Iain incredulously.

"Er, star, a red dwarf, a star that's going to collapse into one of the densest objects in the universe. Sucks everything into it. We thought it might have some use as a garbage disposer... aaanyways, it's essentially making us fall too fast."

"...I see. And what do you intend to do about it?"

"Ah... we'll get right on that."

"Good." Erika's eyes seemed to hint at very horrible things that might come to pass if it were not.

"Hey, at least there's one good thing about this." Charles remarked as he clean off a qualitative wrench.

"What's that?" Integral asked worriedly.

"Well, right now we're falling so fast that the Lady Shadow would have to travel faster than the speed of sound to catch us right now! And none of them can fall faster than gravity."

CRACK BOOM!!! Everyone flew as a huge shockwave slammed into the room.

"What was that?!" snapped Erika as she scrambled to her feet.

<That would be the Lady Shadowdancer as she breaks through the great Wall of Sound.> Junpei said calmly.


"Milady Erika!" cried Charles. "I-I don't know how, but our sensors are picking up an object coming at us at a speeds exceeding seven hundred miles per hour! She's gaining on us!"

"Release the tenbooms behind us!"

"But those might-"

"She's already disrupted the earth's crust with her reckless speed! Release them!"

"Aye, ma'am!" said Charles. "This is Charles Fox to all hands. Switch to Strontium Chloride, we are now on REALLY RED ALERT!"

"Really Red Alert?" Integral gaped.

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