Chapter 4

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Red lights flashed along the corridors as Izara ran.

It was safe to say that this was no longer a Level 2 threat.

By the time she had gotten down to B5 all hell had broken loose. From what little she could see through the window of the now permanently sealed hull doors there was a huge gaping hole in the hull and everything and everyone inside was getting sucked out into space. Well, not everything. The latchers, basically just mutant space barnacles, were crawling into the ship in droves carried on the back of their mother. A huge disgusting creature with a porous back, filled with its spawn. The latcher queen was certainly not a Level 2 threat.

The base station, the Black Mountain, was in chaos. Alarms pealed throughout the ship's numerous levels and into every chamber and recess ensuring no one could miss its sound. And from the frantic screams and shouts all around her, Izara was sure that all one thousand of her co-workers were well aware of the situation.

Sliding around a corner, Izara nearly crashed into a group of people running down the hall. Each of them wearing a grey jumpsuit like hers.

Izara slipped past them and ignored their confused faces as she ran in the direction they were coming from.

"Where the hell are you going?!" one man shouted. "You need to get to level six!"

Izara glanced back once, but never stopped running. She was pretty sure that was Deseo. He worked in logistics containment operations along with the three others he was running with.

Izara didn't answer him, she didn't have time. She turned down another corridor into the ship's main atrium. The sight nearly took her breath away.

On a normal day, people walked the exposed halls of the massive atrium enjoying the expansive view of the other levels above and below while taking in the black blanket of space with its twinkle of glittering stars through the translucent diaminium ceiling far above. Not now though. Now, the chaos of the latcher breach was pouring into the once beautiful space like poison. Even as she ran towards her laboratory, Izara could see people running wildly across the levels towards the exits, no doubt trying to get to level six where the emergency level was located.

Was she the only fool running back to the labs?

Most likely.

But she needed to know for sure. Even as everything inside of her commanded her to run at top speed to level six and get in with the rest of the crew before it went into its final emergency mode, Izara couldn't help but think of her last patient strapped to that table.

What if he hadn't been able to get himself out from the straps? What if he was still there thrashing against his bonds as the ship broke apart from the latchers?

It was crazy, she knew that. Izara had seen the size of the creature's biceps and the strength in its massive body, there was no way in hell ladium powered restraints were going to hold him at bay long. But even with that logic, she couldn't stop herself from coming back to check.

"I'm fast. Faster than most," she told herself breathlessly as she swiped her datapad on the first set of doors and stopped impatiently to repeat the process at the next. "I can get back. I can!" she promised herself. She just had to check and be...sure.

The door to her lab opened.

A painful breath escaped her chest as she took in the empty examination table and the mangled straps dangling off the sides.

Relieved and a little saddened she didn't waste any time and turned on her heel and ran back down the hall.

Ok, he's gone. I'm sure the yautja can figure out how to save himself. Now it's your turn to save yourself.

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