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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, '10, 11:18 pm
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“Fire!”

Everyone who had a firearm let loose on the Cast, hosing it with a torrent of death and sending it to the deck. Flynn motioned them to hold and the shooting stopped. He listened for a few moments then stepped to the doorway, the others following behind him. He scanned the corridor and saw no sign of any others. But he knew the gunfire would have attracted the attention of others. His attention was caught by the Cast and he looked down to see it writhing noisily on the deck, trying to raise its damaged arm to fire on him. He pointed his weapon at its head and fired, killing what life it might have had left. He turned to address the others.

“Come on, before more arrive. We’ve got to get to the bridge. Cover the technicians.”
They made their way down the corridor and back to the maintenance shaft. Before they could get it open one of the soldiers took a shot from behind, the Deban shield and body armour absorbing the impact. Flynn turned around to see a squad of Cast bearing down on them from further behind and catching up fast.

He motioned for the civilians to get into the shaft along with one of his soldiers before returning fire.
“It’s no use. We won’t be able to stop them before they get too close. And even if we do, they’ll just follow us straight down to the bridge.”

He looked around him and noticed something he hadn’t seen before. One of the corridor doors was still open just a few metres away from him. He had an idea and turned to the remaining soldier. “Give me a grenade and get into the maintenance shaft.” The soldier hesitated; noticing Flynn already had one on his belt. “I have an idea. Just give me the damn thing and get out of here already!” The soldier complied and rolled it across the floor to him before going into the shaft. Flynn approached the control panel for the door but saw it was damaged. He cursed under his breath, realising he only had one other option. He turned back to the shaft entrance and raised his voice. “Rika! Need some help up here, now!”

A few agonising seconds passed before she reappeared at the hatch. “The door’s busted. I need you to shut it and activate the emergency lock mechanism on my mark.” He returned fire on the Cast attackers who were drawing closer to them.

Rika stepped up to the panel and plugged her wrist-mounted device into it, a concerned look on her face as she worked. “What’s going on?”

“Just get the door ready!”

She worked at her device for a few seconds before stopping. “It’s ready. What now?”

Flynn removed both grenades from his belt and took them in hand. Rika’s expression changed to one of near horror but Flynn ignored her. “Wait for it…” He watched as the Cast drew closer. “Wait…” He activated both grenades simultaneously and tossed them through the doorway, watching them come to rest against the outer hull close to the Cast.

“Now! Shut the door! Shut it!”

Rika complied and activated the door. To their relief the door slid shut and locked in place. He could feel himself holding his breath, his finger hovering over the visor switch on his helmet. A few seconds later a pair of loud explosions was heard, followed by the sound of tearing metal. A whooshing sound could be heard and Flynn knew the plan had worked. He looked over at Rika, who was trembling slightly. No doubt she’d gotten more than she expected from this mission. Flynn moved over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Are you alright?”

She took a deep breath and nodded her head, smiling weakly. “Yes. I’m fine. For a moment I thought you’d gone mad.”

“Well at least now you know for the next time.” He smiled back.

“Next time!? What makes you think I’ll be going along on one of these missions again anytime soon?”

“Hey now, I saw the look on your face earlier. Some part of you is enjoying this. You made a good job working that Cast over a minute ago.”

Their conversation was interrupted as the radio channel came alive. “Sergeant Zedek. What’s going on up there? I just detected a hull breach on that deck. Over”

“Everything’s under control, Sir. We ran into more Cast and things got desperate. So I flushed them into space.” He waited for a reply, some small part of him was almost laughing in anticipation. “Make of that what you will.”

“Umm…good work Sergeant. At least we won’t have to worry about any more of them coming from that area. Now get back down here ASAP. We’re almost ready to transmit the virus and our reinforcements are due to arrive soon. We need you down here in case anything happens. Over.”

“Copy Sir. We’ll be there right away. Out.”

He looked back at Rika, who was idly adjusting her gear. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”

They descended the maintenance shaft ladder and arrived on the bridge deck, the others still waiting for them, confused looks on their faces. Flynn knew they must have heard the explosions.

“You didn’t have to wait for us, you know? The bridge is right over there.” He gestured to a large door not far from them before leading them inside. The technicians immediately got back to work on the consoles while Rika removed her helmet and checked a nearby display. Flynn could see Sergeant Merrick standing nearby, who approached him. “Is that a smile on his face? That’s rare.”

“Zedek. Quite a nasty piece of work you managed to pull off up there. In all my years of service I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do anything as spectacularly reckless as that on a mission and succeed. I think you just redefined ‘organised chaos.’ Nice work.”
Flynn smiled. “So I take it you want to trade places with me next time we deploy? I wouldn’t mind, really. I could do with less of the messy stuff. Look where it got me.” He patted his chest where he had been shot earlier.

Captain Ashley joined them. “The array is ready to go. We’ve begun uploading the virus and should be ready to transmit soon.”
A nearby display beeped a warning and everyone froze in place. Ashley turned to a console and dialled in a few commands. A wall-mounted display lit up and they looked at it.
“Not to worry. It looks like our reinforcements have arrived.”

Sergeant Merrick peered over the Captains shoulder for a closer look. His face twisted into a scowl.
“Those aren’t our ships. Those are pirate vessels!”

Ashley took a closer look. “Three more Pulsar class ships. Not exactly good news but we should be able to handle them for as long as we need.”

Another warning sounded, louder than before. One of the soldiers at a nearby console shouted over to them. “Sir! The pirate vessels are powering weapons and moving to attack us. What are you orders?”

Ashley paled. “Dammit! What’s the status of our weapons?”

“The soldier scanned the console before answering. Most are damaged beyond repair by the crash. Targeting systems are offline for those that are still functioning. We’ll need to do it manually.”

Ashley turned to Rika and the technicians. “Can we get automatic targeting back online?”

“No Sir. We’ll be scrap by the time we do.”

“Damn it all! How long until the virus upload’s complete?” Ashley ran a hand over his forehead.

“We’re at 80 percent completion. Just a couple of minutes longer.”

“Alright. Anyone who can operate the weaponry is going to do just that. Get to it! We have to hold them off!” The technicians and two nearby soldiers moved to the control console and began to work.” Rika, you stay there and keep an eye on that virus…”

She cut him off mid-sentence. “I’ve set it to automatically transmit as soon as it’s complete. I’ll monitor it remotely from my wearable. I can help fire the weaponry.”

“Alright then. Get to your…” He was cut off again as a series of thuds sounded at the door. “What was that?”

Rika looked at a nearby display. “Scanners show a large number of Cast are trying to break in.”

“How many?” The Captain was clearly getting panicked by the turn of events.

“I don’t know. Too many to count!”

“Alright, forget weapons duty Rika. We need your support techniques here.” He urged her to come and join them.

Sergeant Merrick stepped up to the bridge door and activated the heavy blast doors. “Should buy us some time.”

Rika focussed herself and cast a Deban technique on everyone standing by. She joined Flynn who positioned himself behind a terminal in front of the door. Everyone else had taken up similar positions around the door. The assault continued but so far they hadn’t made it through.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea Rika? Last time you were this close to me was when I blew a hole in the ship.” He winked at her and she pulled her pistol from its holster, laughing nervously in reply. She checked her wrist-mounted device. “Upload 87 percent complete!” She called out.

On the other side of the door, the thumping turned into a metallic screeching. No doubt the Cast had managed to rip the door away t last. But the blast door would hold them back longer. The thumping sounds started anew.

“There’s nothing worse than being a sitting duck.” Flynn thought. “Unless you happen to be on an immobile ship surrounded by other enemy ships and cornered by murderous Cast.” He tightened his grip on his weapon.

Just then the ship was rocked by a blast. One of the gunners called out. “We’ve taken a hit towards the rear! Hull breached!”

Ashley called back to him. “Forget about it and keep firing! If they hit the bridge then we’re dead! Any other section is expendable.”

The battering on the door stopped. Flynn could see Rika was listening closely and he strained his hearing. He thought he could hear something whining on the other side of the door.
“Photon cannons! The blast doors won’t be able hold against those for long.” He was surer of this when he heard maybe six loud impacts on the door, quickly followed by several more.

“Upload 92 percent complete!”
The blast door began to shudder under the assault. Another blast rocked the ship.

“Where the heck are those reinforcements?!” Ashley cried out in frustration.

The door finally began to buckle but it still refused to budge. The shooting stopped. Flynn noticed something moving at the middle of the door. Before long he made out several cybernetic hands coming through the gap and taking hold. They began to push and the door began to slide open. The others looked on in horror as they saw Several Cast forcing it open. It stopped before they could open all the way. The Cast were forced to come in two at a time

“Fire! Fire! We must hold the bridge at all costs!” Flynn had no idea who it was that had given the order, but it didn’t matter. Everyone fired into the breach as the Cast began to push into the bridge. Two that entered were gunned down before they had a chance to open fire but were replaced by two more that also fell. More came and more were cut down as the soldiers forced them into the bottleneck.
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