Manoeuvres In The Dark

Both clad in standard issue Galactic Armed Forces spacesuits, Lieutenant Joan Adnams and Ensign Sapphire Wight carefully made their way along one of the access channels to Portside Central 6. The ICV Wight was in a bad way after coming under attack, with a weaponized power surge knocking out essential systems and debilitating most of the autocrew. Internal sensors were unreliable, and hostile forces were somewhere ahead.

The standard issue suits shaped themselves to fit the wearer, and provided some protection from small arms fire as well as hazardous environments. It wouldn’t give the pair much protection, but Adnams’ justification of “Some is better than none” was a deciding factor.

Sapphire was on point, a military-issue energy rifle held proficiently in her arms. The gynoid had never needed to pick one up during her time on the ship, but the programming and permissions to use one were installed as a precaution in all the autocrew.

“No need to be scared, Sapphire.” Adnams called out, her breathing rate creeping up.

“I am incapable of such emotion, Lieutenant.” Sapphire replied. In her in-vision display she had her partner’s vitals listed. O2, heart rate and other information all available at a thought. Sapphire’s just reported as condition green. Breathing was an affectation given to her class, mainly due to using standard-issue military bodies. It wasn’t unheard of for an injured crewmember to have their vital components transferred over to a autocrew’s body if none were available. Little touches like breathing and bioskin made such situations easier, and reduced unease around her kind.

“Good, good.” Adnams laughed, before muttering ‘lucky bitch’.

“I do possess advanced senses, however.”

“Hah, had that one com-”

“Hide.”

Both slipped behind support pillars that ran through the access corridor. With the emergency lighting shorted out in this section, they were relying on their helmets and vision enhancements. “Can you ID them?” Adnams voice buzzed through the commsfeed between their helmets.

“One moment. They are using an outdated comms encryption.”

The Lieutenant gripped her rifle tighter. “We need a little more than that before engaging, Sapphire.”

“Decrypting. Seven distinct signals identified… I cannot ascertain what they are saying at the moment.” From further ahead, the walkway began to rattle as someone proceeded down it.

“Ensign…”

A indistinct shape loomed closer in the darkness.

“Ensign?”

Adnams could feel each footstep draw closer.

“Ensign!”

Sapphire  twisted round the pillar and squeezed the trigger of her rifle. There was no malice, fear or pleasure in her expression as the burst of accelerated particles tore into the visor of the oncoming unknown.

“I will not translate the crude dialogue I intercepted, but can confirm that it was in Ladoshan and was spoken by a hostile.” Sapphire gave her statement, keeping her eyes ahead. “Six remain.”

“Do you think that got their-” As if to answer her question, a streak of energy tore down the access channel, grazing her suit’s arm. With a grunt of pain, she fired her own rifle in bursts. The first missed, the second caught the shoulder of the pirate, and the third slammed into the chest of their foe.

Sapphire darted forwards and brought the barrel of her rifle down. Another squeeze of the trigger and the writhing pirate stopped. “Five hostiles remain.”

“… That was cold-blooded, Ensign.” Adnams spoke after a moment, slowly moving closer to the gynoid.

“In this situation, maximum and efficient force is recommended to regain control of the ship, Lieutenant. If you do have complaints about my performance, please direct them to the Commander.” Sapphire replied. “The five signals detected are further ahead. It appears they have split their forces.”

Adnams started forwards. “Remind me not to get on your bad side. Double time, I want out of this corridor before we draw any more fire.”

Sapphire easily kept pace behind the Lieutenant. Her vitals indicated her fear had decreased. Coming to a stop near the entrance to PC6, Adnams looked to her.

“Are the five signals still distant?”

Sapphire nodded. “We are coming from PC5. They are near PC7.”

“Good.” Her grin was visible through her visor as she slid the access door open and stepped through.

Sapphire heard the surge of energy even as the flash from the explosion forced her back and slammed the Lieutenant into the wall behind the door, her rifle smouldering against her suit from the shot it took.

 

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