208 Siren“s Fall
In quick succession, Zoey's tiny army of spider drones had destroyed the seals, and the door's massive lock system started hemorrhaging oil onto the platform. Zoey saw that it would take a few minutes for the seals to drain, so she stepped back and went to help Max deal with the androids swarming at them.
She called out to warn him so he would be ready and quickly took the right side of the platform, bringing out her Crystal Claw with a magical hiss and punching the meter-long magical claw into the closest android's chest. The magical bracer's arrays had been reworked by Zoey on a previous occasion, and the enhanced Crystal Claw was more than enough to get through the metal armor that protected the androids. Zoey quickly threw the metal frame aside before striking two android heads off with a single blow, oil and metal machine parts spilling onto the landing as the bodies collapsed.
Now that she had a little space, she pulled on her magic power, and with a swing of her Crystal Claw sent out a huge Shadow Blade in a horizontal trajectory across the bridge to her right. The Shadow Blade was as wide as the bridge itself, and it cut down tens of androids in its path before it fizzled out once its energy was spent.
At the same time, Max used several wide swings to clear the androids off the other two bridges, sweeping them into the pit below with his strength. Zoey backed him up by sending two more Shadow Blades out, one for each bridge, the black arcs of magic leaving behind a mess of oil and dissected androids in their wakes.
Then from behind them, Max and Zoey heard a hiss as the door's seal finally released, the large circular was opening! Zoey looked back at the androids that were still coming towards them across the three bridges, their red eyes glowing as they stepped unfeeling over their fallen androids in their path. She had to do something to delay them for a while.
Remembering some of her magic tools, she quickly pulled out three items from her inventory. The items were circular disks, unremarkable on the outside, but this was a tool developed by Zoey. She quickly injected her magic power into the disks and threw them into the air, one above each bridge.
The disks flew out, and activated a second later. They opened up like a blooming flower, dispensing a thick layer of Moon Webbing over the androids below, quickly tangling them in a mess of sticky webbing that was as thick as steel cables and far stronger. The entrances as well were covered, ensuring that any androids that entered the room were quickly entangled along with the rest.
Zoey nodded in satisfaction when she saw the results. She did not expect the Moon Webs to hold the androids forever, but it should be long enough to check on what Serena was up to. She motioned to Max, and the two of them went to the door.
Max used his strength to easily pull the massive, vault-like door open, then the two of them gingerly stepped inside.
They found themselves in a hallway, about 25 meters long, and were greeted by the smell of burnt flesh and a corpse lying on the ground only meters away from them. Zoey placed her hand on Max's chest as he walked up next to her, stopping him from moving.
That corpse was Serena! Zoey recognized her from the partially burnt outfit and the gaudy feathers that were now laying on the ground around her. Something in this place had killed her, and Zoey was not sure what it had been. They had to be careful.
The hallway they had stepped inside was a circular tube-shaped structure, and at the other end Zoey could see another vault-like door similar to the one they had just come through, and a panel on the wall next to it. Whoever had built this place had sure been protective of their work, Serena had barely made it two steps before getting torched. This much security indicated that whatever it was protecting ought to be quite significant.
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With a thought sent to her interface, Zoey sent out her swarm of micro-drones, spreading them out through the air before them to see if she could identify what had killed Serena. The drones were small as a gnat and unlikely to set off the defense system. At least, Zoey hoped that would be the case…
Her assumption turned out to be correct. As the drones flew through the hallway Zoey was suddenly able to see several beams of yellow light that reflected off the drones. The lights were scattered across the hallway in every which way, and Zoey thought it looked very much like a laser detection system of some sort.
A quick pulse scan from her interface showed her the internal structure of the walls, allowing her to see the emitters for the yellow lights, but she did not find the expected wiring that she was looking for. Instead of wires, the emitters were connected to the pipes that pumped the oil to what seemed like every system in this city.
It actually had Zoey a little confused. In all her experience as an engineer, she had never seen a fluid-based system quite like this one. Not even Pfortner's entire database on her old universe had contained any hints of systems like this. She was curious about how it functioned, but for now she would have to settle for disabling the defence systems so they could get through this hallway without ending up like Serena!