Simon Anderson: Unyielding

The thing was as big as a skyscraper, long and sinuous, its bulk covered in spines and lights. He stood there on the ruins of the highway into the spaceport, assessing what the alien machine would do. Simon Anderson glanced behind him at the last starship, his fellow Prometheans being ushered onto the craft by other psions and soldiers. The lights of ship thrusters lit up the blackened skies, miniature suns burning red through the haze and pouring rain. There was no more home to return to, there was only the black hollow feeling of loss for all the people of the Prometheus system.

The thing, this worm, this invader, was one of many, destroying Prometheus Prime. Simon turned to face the worm again, watching it watch him with its one terrible eye as bright as a star. He knew then that the enemy had come to Prometheus in pursuit of him, not to destroy the psions and prometheans as a whole. Anderson steeled himself for what would surely come next, celestial choirs rising around him as his mental powers began manifesting a shield.

The particle beam hit Simon's amplified shield, tuning it up the visual spectrum, starting a dull red then quickly shifting to ultraviolet as the beam's energy was deflected. The waste heat alone tried to cook Simon inside his amp suit, and he could feel his skin bake from the unstoppable high energy radiation. His HUD blared warnings and flashed alert icons as the suit's emergency heat sinks popped out, heat distortion and clouds of steam rolling off the radiators on his back. The ground around his feet began glowing as the plasticrete absorbed the heat, becoming partially liquid. It was an agonizing lifetime before the worm ceased its assault, all five seconds of enduring the starship grade weapon fire.

Anderson fell to his knees, staggered by the effort of sustaining the psionic shield, vision turning shades of grey as he fought to stay conscious, ears filled with the sound of his own heavy breathing. He was dimly aware of the other psions in his unit talking to him over the comms, desperately shouting for him to retreat. But this was his home, dammit. Anderson wanted the enemy to pay for what the enemy had done. His eyes squeezed shut with pain both physical and emotional, the fresh stings bringing him back to focus as they seeped into the raw cracks in his cheeks. Anderson struggled back to his feet, pulling himself free of the molten plasticrete with a snapping sound. He saw that the worm was preparing another particle beam burst, this time aiming for the starship full of refugees. This couldn't happen, he refused to allow it. All the experiences of the last twelve hours flooded his mind, filling him with a hurricane of emotions. He reached the eye of that storm, and with a serene expression, merely said "No."

And then, even those on the starship half a kilometer away could hear the celestial choir as Simon ripped apart the worm with his mind.
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