As Matt yells something unintelligible at me about Autos and mech suits, Ari pulls out a smoke bomb. I'm so mad, I can barely see. He betrayed us. Again. Why am I such a buckethead!?
I whip out my FireStick, ready to smack the smirking Technomite sitting in front of me. Emmalee glances at me, and a shriek squeaks from her lips. Before I can react, something snatches at the back of my jumpsuit.
I'm jerked into the air by a Lasher Officer's tentacle. I squeal, kicking my legs which are now almost five feet off the ground. My team freezes. "Surrender now, rebel scum! Or Miss Mollisong will face the consequences..." He's smiling evilly.
"No! Keep going!" I yell, but I can feel the electricity charging in the tentacle's wires. But everyone stays still, the Automatons leveling their weapons straight at them.
"I have a deal for you." Grimm says, rubbing his hands together. "I need a job done, that I can't use Automatons for. If you agree willingly, you will all go free and clear, and the prices on your heads lifted. If not..." He gestures to the Lasher Officer, who sends a sharp jolt into my back. I unsuccessfully try to suppress a yelp.
"Take him down! I'm fine!" So what if I'm bluffing? I can get out of this. Probably.
"Fine! We surrender! We'll do whatever you want!" Emmalee yells at Grimm. "What? No!"
Why do the bad guys always have to pick on me? I'm not that important! I'm not a leader!
And then I notice my team's faces. And realize why. This team was brought together by one thing: me. They all have their own priorities, their own loyalties, their own stories. But they are all united by their common loyalty to me, and they would give their lives to defend me.
I felt touched, and infuriated.
"Good choice, Applematch." Grimm blinked, and the Lasher sent a paralyzing jolt of lightning into my body, dropping a curtain of black over my vision.