“Look around your HUD. You’re a Beastmaster, so it should be easy to find,” Dread heard Dirge’s advice through her helmet. She skated as fast as she could to complete her lap and try and push Jelly_Jim across the starting line, even if she did not manage to knock him down.
“I have been,” she replied. “Hey, that’s new.”
“What? Did you find it??” Dirge asked eagerly.
“No, but some new abilities are available now that weren’t before,” Dread said. In the back of her mind she heard the constant announcements from the scoreboard.
“Sleepers.” Every time a zombie crossed the starting line Jelly_Jim earned more zombies.
“Oh yeah! Just like he gets a card every time he finishes a lap you get resources too. You probably didn’t notice it cause you fell over the line,” Dirge giggled.
“Cool. I need to slow these zombies down. I have an idea, but first I have to stop him from making more,” Dread said. She skated past an abandoned black mini-van, then stopped. She put both hands against the side of the van and leaned into it. It took more strength than it should have, but after a second the van leaned over. She heaved, grunted, and gave it a strong push toward the center of the track. It fell on its side kicking up a cloud of dust. Dread looked up and got a good look at the horde of zombies walking towards her. She had no idea how many Jelly_Jim was up to now, but she guessed there were already at least 100 zombies on the track behind her, with more crossing the line every second.
“Not gonna slow them down enough to be worth the effort,” Dread explained into her helmet, the she turned around to start skating again.
“I told you the AlterNet messes with your abilities,” Dirge reminded Dread.
“Yeah, yeah,” she replied.
Dread approached the second turn, and saw Jelly_Jim ahead of her with at least a dozen sleeping zombies in front of him. He noticed Dread approaching, then turned into a puddle of jelly and moved forward between their feet instead of waking the zombies.
“Hehe, he’s scared,” Dread said into her helmet.
“No you idiot, he’s just slowing you down while he draws another card.” Dread noticed Jelly_Jim cross the starting line as Dirge explained it.
“Oh,” she replied.
“Monster Upgrade: Feral,” the scoreboard announced as Dread approached the crowd of sleeping zombies. All at once they opened their eyes and screeched. They bolted at her.
“The ones behind you too,” Dirge gave Dread the heads up.
“Fun.” Dread gripped her black axe tighter, and was ready for the first group of zombies charging towards her. She cleaved one in half with a single swing, the let her momentum carry her axe forward through another zombie. Each one she killed disintegrated into the air. She swung frantically, trying to keep moving forward towards the starting line.
“You said the nanos block my abilities because they’re not recognized right?” Dread asked as she heaved and cleaved through the zombies. She nearly finished the first set in front of her and began to think about how she might handle the wave zombies running up behind her.
“Yeah, they’re not programmed into the game,” Dirge replied.
“I’m gonna try something.” Dread reached the starting line but did not cross it. She turned to face the feral zombies. She threw her axe behind her and it became a thin stream of black nanos. They flowed through the air to form an axe again, attached to her back. She planted both feet firmly in the ground, then her helmet melted away revealing her pale face and bone-white spiky hair.
“They’re still game characters! Your sonic scream isn’t going to work!” Dirge yelled from the outskirts of the track. Dread waited as long as she dared. When the first zombies were about 20 feet away she made her move.
“Hyper.” The scoreboard announced as Dread activated her power-up. “Tiger’s Roar.” The scoreboard added when she chose what ability to use it on. Dread took in a deep breath, then yelled. She channeled as much of her sonic scream as she could through the powered-up Tiger’s Roar ability.
The first zombie’s fingers were inches from Dread’s face when she yelled. It immediately disintegrated due to the force of the sound. Cracks spidered along the blacktop in front of Dread while she screamed. The horde of mindless, feral zombies ran directly into the solid wall of sound and disappeared into nothing. The girl held the scream long enough to dispatch every last one, then she gasped in as much air as she could.
“YEEEEEAAAHHH!” Dirge cheered from the sidelines. Dread’s helmet formed around her head again, and Dirge did not waste any time complimenting her.
“THAT WAS SO AWESOME! I never thought about using my abilities like that,” she said. “I can’t wait to try it. Hey, where’s Jelly_Jim?” She asked. Dread scouted the track ahead as she crossed the starting line. She did not see him anywhere.
“I don’t knoooooOOWWW!” Dread yelped as she felt her foot fly out from under her. She landed on her back and looked up at Jelly_Jim.
“Point: Jelly_Jim,” the scoreboard announced. Dread realized he waited in puddle form for her at the starting line.
“Two for me,” he said. He waved then skated off again.