Chapter 03: Breakout

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They woke Greg up sometime the next day and led him through the hallways. He found himself considering Graves's curious words, and his chilling promise. It wouldn't be long now before Greg found out what he was made of, if he had what it took to survive this mess he'd gotten himself into. Occasionally, his thoughts strayed to Kyra and the others, but mainly Kyra. Having been inside her, he now felt a connection to her that was stronger than ever. Maybe he was stupid for thinking so, but it was the truth to him.

They took him through the stark, sterile corridors to the medical bay, laid him on a table, and hooked him up. The pair of med-techs were experts at what they did, calm and professional. Despite this, the process still took several minutes. Every movement was slow and methodical, every strip with a wire dangling from it pressed and smoothed against Greg's skin. He had time, just a bit, to think about how this was all going to go.

He'd spoken with the operator who was helping him at length last night. The plan was daring, insane, and immoral. It was also his only option. Greg had spent quite awhile examining the plan afterward as he lay awake in his bunk. Was there any other way off this ship? Was there any alternative to what he was about to do?

After several hours, Greg decided that no, there wasn't.

Short of just waiting it out and hoping for an opportunity to arise, anyway. No, he needed to act, and the operator, Thomas, was willing to help in return for getting him off the ship as well. Greg was still considering that part of the pact, his thoughts drifting back to the unnamed tech who had offered similar help back on Dis.

He knew for damn sure that he was getting his squad out.

It was something Thomas had said that had really decided Greg.

"These people...they're terrible, Greg. Beyond reconciliation."

"How terrible?"

"If you can imagine it, they're capable of it. In fact, they've likely done it."

Greg could imagine many horrible things, he discovered. On top of that, he could easily envision Williams happily presiding over such wretched acts. He knew that today was the day, because Thomas had come through on his promise, and Graves was not there to escort him. Instead, he'd been escorted by a beefy, though thoroughly less intimidating, soldier in black armor. That same soldier was now standing in the corridor, by the open door.

Greg glanced up at a camera overhead. If Thomas came through, then this was going to be quite intriguing. If not, was going to get very ugly, very fast. Greg realized they'd finished attaching the strips.

Now, they were preparing to draw his blood.

It was now or never.

The needle came closer, the masked men moving with no hurry. They'd done this before and received no complaint, no resistance. This time was different. In a blur, Greg batted the hand holding the needle away and drove his fist into the faceplate of the med-tech holding it. The faceplate cracked and the man stumbled backwards with a surprised grunt. Already spinning around, Greg spied the second med-tech standing there agape...but only for a second. He moved, going for what Greg imagined was a sedative.

The med-tech was fast, but Greg was faster. He leaped up off the table, tearing off several of the strips they'd attached to him, and came up behind the man, wrapping his arm around the med-tech's neck. Yanking him back out of reach of any instruments, Greg piled on the pressure, twisting until he heard a sharp snap.

The med-tech stopped resisting at once and became dead weight. Greg let go and stepped back, watching the corpse hit the floor, momentarily dislocated from the world. He'd killed men before, since he'd awoken to this strange new world of shadowy organizations and inhuman monsters, but never so close, never with his bare hands.

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