“*Mom! MOM! MOM! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? OH SHIT ON A PAG…*” Terry cried out in every mode he could as Mom lunged forward out of their hiding place, grabbed Station out of Prime's hand and bounced straight up the wall and broke through a ceiling hatch to outside.
*Don’t bother her now, Terence, she’s busy. In fact I am stretching my capacity to speak to you right now and she has none left.*
*What is she doing? Why did she?*
*She’s a Medical Machine. Her first priority was saving injured and wounded persons. Station was being wounded by Prime so her rescue function over-rode. She’s committed to running and keeping us all safe, now. She can’t really bounce unless she’s really careful, she could almost jump right off the moon with the --- ((*&^^* A burst of static, then another. How were they interfering with a brainseed? Wouldn’t that just scramble the brains in which it was embedded? Oh. Mom wasn’t just running, she was dodging EMP rounds, designed to disable mechanical persons.
*Leave Mom alone, Terry,* Alissa said tartly, as if she were a much older person. *She’s busy. I’m helping…* She lay, eyes closed. He could barely turn his head to see her in the pinlighting in the cabin as Mom flattened, skittered under an ice bridge, tried to go paper thin and become part of the enormous sculpture of something that looked like a badly proportioned warbird with a spear for a beak, but the Immoderates were too close and Terry could see, through Mom’s screens, as two of them slowed and raised their weapons. Those anti personnel masers would target Mom even through the ice. *Mom! Move!*
A dozen more glittered against the black sky, their suits reflective as the ice. They all had things that looked like strap-on gliders, but powered, in the faint lunar atmosphere and their weapons shone black against their suits. Like gigantic hornets.
*Mom!* She jolted as if startled and her motion forward skated her out from under the ice and into a maze of rainbow crystals. *Ice is almost invisible to their masers. They’ve got something a lot more recent than Emp throwers and lasers!* He was babbling. *I don’t know their weapons… I’m…*
*Carter-Boze MP751s* Agador said. *Known to troops as ‘Imps’*
*EXCUSE ME AGAGDOR THAT’S NOT HELPING RIGHT NOW.*
Mom dodged at such high speed things in the screens blurred for a second, the cameras unable to keep up. Right over them a blocky sculpture of a sailing ship cracked and burst into a shower of tonne sized spikes that Mom curled into a ball like a pill bug and rolled. *MOM!*
*Shush, Terence, please.*
*They appear to be using Carter-Morris DP14s as well,* Agador continued. *Explosive rounds.*
*I DIDN’T NEED TO KNOW THAT!*
*This is Legal Machine 8. I am on standby to continue the trial once we have order restored. Marine Captain Kumon, are our personnel safe?*
*You have permission of the court to assist the appellants in their attempt to apprehend Perrin Thurmontaler the Third.*
*Apprehend him? I can’t apprehend anybody!” Terry struggled to calm his breathing and wild heartrate, struggled to let Mom alone to keep them safe.
*Tech Terence, this is Station. I have no physical access. What is going on?*
*Are you damaged, Station?* He could just see the sphere that was Station tucked underneath Mom, clutching in one of her digging claws.
*No, Tech. What is happening?*
I am so glad I can’t hear any of that outside. In slow motion, all around them sculptures were coming to pieces, blowing up in silence. The bits ranged in size from single crystals, flurries billowing out to give Mom an ice fog to hide behind once it froze, still in suspension, up to multi-ton chunks that would have shaken anyone in the garage, or not in a vehicle like Mom, the horizon jumping as the ground was transformed by new impacts and froze just as solidly as if they’d never moved.