“We can’t just leave her!” Peter screamed.
“Peter, if you try and save her you’re dooming the world to death!” Steel flashed through Eun’s eyes.
His gaze faltered beneath his green-glowing battle-helmet. “But…but…”
Eun nodded at Dissona, still swatting ANOS’s aircraft out of the sky. “You let Dee go, and everything we’ve done will be for nothing.”
Before he could respond, Kora’s voice thundered through their minds. She wasn’t addressing Peter or Eun, she was talking to someone else. [Ho, Krul’Dar! Ho, Wodec! Orgoth’s balls, you’ve brought Indashi with you!] Her last exclamation was filled with joy and astonishment.
Peter reached out. [Kora, are you—]
[Worry not, for I am in worthy company.] Kora projected a hearty smile.
[Aye, she is.] This from a wise, older man. [I also possess magic fungus; we can restore these hell-fiends to their proper forms.]
“See?” Eun prodded, “they’ve got it handled, Peter. Focus on Dissona.”
A data-monocle slid down over his right eye, feeding his brain a stream of imagery: Kora on a velociraptor, sword cocked out to one side. Barbarian riders ripping through bug-creatures, throwing crumpled mushrooms at their insectile corpse.
“Okay,” Peter muttered. His blaze-filled eyes settled back on Dissona.
Eun blew a frustrated sigh. “Is there anything I can do? I feel like a third wheel here.”
At that moment, Bitefighter’s hologram (he’d been sitting lotus-style on the dashboard’s luminescent display grid, upturned hands positioned on his knees) leapt to its feet and waved frantically with both arms. Peter lasered in on his little buddy.
“What is it, Bitey?”
Bitefighter held his bent-armed fists by his sides, approximating the grips of a two-handed machine gun. He turned in place, his mouth forming into a charming little ‘O,’ his hands pumping as he mimed gunfire.
Peter’s brow furrowed in puzzlement. “A support gunner? Like on the Millenium Falcon?”
BF gave him a cheesy grin.
“But there’s no gunner’s pod,” Eun protested. “How am I supposed to—”
Suddenly, her seat lurched and clunked. Servos whirred beneath its frame.
“Whoa!” Her hands shot out to either side. “Whoa! What the hell is—”
Bitefighter held up his whiteboard: Hands by your sides, please!
Eun did as he asked and hugged her arms to her chest. She continued looking around with wide eyes and parted lips, watching as her seat underwent a series of Transformer-worthy folds. A few seconds later, her chair extended through the bottom of the car, into a circuitry-threaded dome made of beta-amyloid glass. Peter glanced down at her.
“You okay?” he called.
“Yeah!” she called back. “I’m good!”
Visual confirmation came a moment later, when a small slat of holographic light appeared next to Bitefighter. It showed Eun grinning up at a camera in her aerial gunner’s pod, holding the grips of a sci-fi laser cannon. She gave Peter a big thumbs-up.
Glowing tendrils snaked around her head, forming into a battle helmet that linked her neurology directly to the gun. “Let’s do this!”
Sixty attack-saucers crested the horizon and engaged Dissona. At the same time, forty more aircraft screamed toward the Bite Mobile, targeting its left and right flanks. Peter dropped the Bite Mobile into a steep, aft-leaning dive. Exploding missiles dotted his wake, marking the automobile’s sparkling exhaust trail with blooming fireballs. Eun fired back. Due to her cannon being a psychedelic extension of her intent and desire, her ordnance was nonlethal in nature. She was shooting long blasts of pixelated light; each time a round hit, it would disperse into long-running streams of quantum magic, illumining the seams of ANOS’s saucers. Moments later, the impacted craft would malfunction in the air; they would spiral madly toward the ocean. Pilots would eject against their will; a long line of cursing aviators drifted gently down on their just-deployed parachutes.
Peter looked at his rearview cam. “You got five of them, Eun! Way to go!”
“Get close to Dee.” On their holographic video-link, the interior of her pod shone with the reflections of her rounds. “Then we’ll talk.”
“Working on it.” Peter reached out and flicked a couple of switches, manipulating the banks of his side-mounted thrusters. “We’re staying even, but we’re not gaining.”
“Keep on her.” Eun’s pod swiveled and shot, swiveled and shot. “An opportunity’s bound to present its—”
Up ahead, Dissona exhaled a giant cone of pitch-black fire. Two of ANOS’s saucers were caught in the blast. Their hulls withered into a rusted, pitted mess, then burst into flames.
“She’s growing stronger by the second,” Eun hissed.
“I know.” Peter released a stream of chaff, diverting a salvo of missiles with a bright stream of ultra-hot metal. “I’ve opened the throttle as much as I can, but—”
Before he could finish, Dissona blinked out of existence.