Ever the spirit of helpfulness, Sophie takes advantage of Letoa’s momentary disconcertion to move Max’s hands into “extract” position. Thus the signal is finally sent to Strike Gate HQ, where I like to think that a furious argument was already being waged over whether to pull the obviously unmoving Max now or give him the full count in case he’s playing possum for some reason. Oh, and Sophie also sends Letoa a special signal of her own.

For the record, Letoa is not happy about any of this. It’s subtle, but you might be able to tell.

Since Letoa was born a matakite (seer) she’s also now aware of Sophie’s existence. And this… oh yeah. This has just upped the ante.


By the way, I personally liked the bottom panel of our determined Island Girl so much I requested a version minus the dialogue so I could use it as wallpaper, and Max was happy to oblige. Fits beautifully on a wide-screen monitor. In case you like the panel as much as I do, we’ve put it up as a 0+ on the site’s Gumroad page. This means you can download it for free by just shoving a 0 in the “name a fair price” box (you don’t even need to enter a credit card number) and we won’t get hit with bandwidth charges for multiple 2MB downloads (which do mount up, believe me, especially when they all happen in a short period of time.) Of course, if you are particularly awesome you can actually make a donation, which will always be appreciated. But for 0+ items, it’s not required. Good to know, right? Click the image to be taken to the page for downloading!


More below!





One of our readers — I believe it was RockB — once used the word “backport” in reference to the Strike Gate extraction. I don’t know if he’s the first to use it in a teleportation context (I gather it is generally a computer term meaning software adapted to be compatible with earlier operating systems) but I loved the term for our Strike Team’s purposes. So let it hereby be known that I’m stealing it right now.

For this particular backport, some thought needed to be given as to what would be staying and what would be going. Our hero and his armor were badly burned by the blast, and then skidded across the concrete and ended up impacting an air conditioner unit, leaving a scorch mark. There were also ropes.

Well, the ropes are staying, because they were part of the previous ‘port, and the power was cut. But Max and his armor and the blast gasses were all part of the subsequent teleport. Therefore he goes, and the armor goes. And since the skid marks on the concrete were mainly the soot from his scorched armor, the skid marks go too. As does most of the scorch mark on the air conditioner unit, except for the part that is the unit’s own paint blistered by the heat. So a faint trace of that remains behind.

Most of the gasses reacted with each other, so there will be a lot of soot and water vapor (condensed) and carbon dioxide going back as well. We’ll assume that the Strike Gate, backporting things like water vapor, will not feel any compunction to keep it adrift since it’s not backporting the molecules of air the droplets are dispersed in, so we’ll basically get a cascade of sooty water and carbon dioxide and melted carbon fiber and damaged human, all appearing in the machine at once.

For the sake of not driving ourselves crazy, let’s assume that the Kinetic Boost Mechanism will somehow deal with all the heat and light and pressure and other forms of energy that were dumped into the surrounding area. Kind of like a giant shock absorber.

Still gonna be messy, though. The Strike Gate chamber will probably look temporarily like a giant churning mug of Guinness Stout.

Speaking of which…

–Bob out