A lot of stuff is going on in Eve, the last few days. I will speak of it in my own way, in my own time but I think it is better to let some of the dust settle before I light my own pitching flameforks. That being said, keep reading. We’ve come this far together, no?
I should have expected it. I mean all the clues were there. Some of the other researchers had quit before they went too far down paths best left unexplored. The call of the philosophical implications of our research was what drew me on . . .and what lead to the end of the project itself.
An audit. That is what they said they were there for but the first person they spoke with was the Chaplain. It may have been an audit but it was of our souls and our risk, not a financial checking. My files have been accessed again and again and again but so far this hard copy seems to have escaped notice. Are we so enamored with technology that people literally are beginning to forget that writing can be done without electronics? A file can be transferred or go places that it was not meant to go by the author. This journal stays here . . . for now.
The race through the corridors of the facility was a blur of fuzzy images, for Mike. The nannypatch had controlled the pain but at the cost of his ability to stay focused on any one image. Muzzle flashes and shouted orders, Arrow shoving him and then asking the best route and Mike letting his memory guide them deeper and deeper towards the dig that the entire facility had been designed to cover.
Knowing it was not coincidence was the first step . . . but how had they been discovered? Too many people knew that something was going on. Universities were like that. To have such a dedicated and final response, though . . . that meant something. What, why.
Point. Run. Breaker staying back and leaving some surprises for the one following them. Lights flicker and die and the team switches to goggles. Arrow grimaces as he realizes that the pilot, their guide, did not have a set.
“Keep right except to pass.” Mike was singsonging, buzzed on the nannies. “Yield to oncoming traffic and stay to the middle of the turnabout unless exiting.”
The Co flicked ^He gonna work or drop?^
^Dunno, keep moving and I’ll see what he says when we get to the next . . . “
“Right is might and might is right, come on team, fight fight fight.” Mike waved towards the next turn and grinned into the darkness. “I know, no wick for the rested. Light the fires and kick the tires because we going rifters. Run till ya drop then drill ye tarriers drill.” Mike broke into a staggering jog, breath heaving but he was still moving.
^He is high as a kite but I think we are limited on choices.^
^Roger that, follow the fool till he gets us there and back again.^
^ I LOVE that movie^
The black, for Mike, was now overlaid with the schematics of the facility he had helped design. Oh the words had a tendency to dance when he wasn’t looking at him and he was fairly sure the original design had not included ‘Here there be dragonnes’ but it was close enough. Onwards, deeper, dance, sing, love for tomorrow . . .
The final room was lit, locked, and occupied.
“Stay away . . . we don’t want any trouble.”
“Boil and double. Jesse, James, Sundance.” Mike babbled before shaking his head. “Open the damn door, we are getting you out and we are on a bit of a schedule. Its Azariah.”
Even if the people inside did not believe him, the biolock on the door knew his name and voice. The locks disengaged. A Grad student backpedalled, holding a gun and looking very very scared.
The team went in and Arrow re-engaged the locks while the CO took stock. Three bodies on the floor, one older and two younger. One looked like they had been shot in the back, the other two in the chest. The lab was a complete shambles.
“Time to go, poppets.” Mike waved his left arm in a grand gesture. “Why didn’t you take the expressso? You would have been home in time for coffee.”
“He shot the professor and was going to shoot us . . . he said the books would burn here along with all of the witnesses. He said he had lots of people on the outside.” The answers came for the survivors all talking at once. Arrow couldn’t make heads or tails of it but Mike nodded and just waved them towards the emergency pod launchers.
“Ah, OK, that explains it all. I understand everything except why that damn rabbit keeps showing me a pocket watch. Shoo, shoo.”
Arrow stepped in and sorted them into the launchers as the lights flickered again. Once they were shown how to strap in he turned to load Mike only to find him wandering through the lab stuffing things in a sack. “Time to go, Key.”
“Yes yes, but if I don’t bring back a souvenir or two the kids will never forgive me.” Mike rolled the one who had been shot in the back over and delicately removed an old book from his hands. “Ah, some light reading for the trip. I hate waiting in airports, don’t you?” He opened his comm.
Arrow rolled his eyes, “We are cut off from commnication.”
“With space and time, maybe, but I am just doing a local call, I’ll leave a few isk on the desk to cover the expenses.” He keyed in a series of commands singing something about being an aqua velva man. In the distance muffled shooomphs rocked the facility. “Maybe dis time the CO be right and too many targets will make it a bit more work for them, eh?”
“You launched . . . “
“Yup yup, the rest of the pods be gone except for those in dis room, I is sure the guys outside won’t mind walkin back.” Mikes eyes gleamed as he staggered into a wall near the entry to one last pod. The rest of the team spread out and loaded up into that one and others. At a nod from the CO Arrow hit the launch, hatch closed faster than a gunshot and they all were pressed inot a pile of bodies as the pod accelerated up and out of the area.
“Yzma, put your hands in the air! weee!” Mike crowed waving his hands and then tapping his comm once as they left the facility. “Execute plan . . . uh . . . Navarone. Yeah, I like that one . . .”
Below them . . . the predictable happened when you mix violence, drugs, and an industrial facility dedicated to making explosives.
Above them Concord finished off the two battleships . . . a Scorpion and and Apocalypse. Escape pods littered the space around them but none of the escape pods from the facility were harmed.
Questions: How many references can you spot from Mikes fevered mind?
In spite of the Nannies . . . I still think he was more composed and prepared than CCP has been the last few days.
When the Mercs finish a mission, where will be their exit and payout part of it? How ill they know they have ‘won’?