Chapter 06: Pressure

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"Anything?" Kyra asked.

Greg sat before the main terminal, looking over the map, trying to figure out what was what. As of that moment, everything was a confusing network of rooms and corridors with no way to tell which room held what. Billings hadn't said much since his escape. He stood by the window, looking out over the detention center, scratching at his wrist. Kyra stood behind Greg, who was frowning intently, staring hard into the screen.

"I think..." he clicked on something new and the screen shifted. Tags to all the areas appeared. "There."

"You got it?" Billings walked over.

"Yes. I got it. And...holy shit, there's actually an armory close by. We should probably head there now since there's no telling how long it'll be before the whole thing is picked clean by Dark Ops." Greg stood.

They left the observation center, hurrying down the narrow stairwell and back into the main antechamber. All three of them had their pistols out. As they made for the exit back out into the corridor that ran alongside the detention center, Greg realized it had been roughly ten minutes since Powell and Cage had left. He activated his radio.

"Cage? How's it going?" He poked his head into the corridor, looking both ways. They were alone for now.

"You really opened Pandora's Box, Bishop, but we're making good time." Cage's voice came back cold and calm as ever.

"Good. We found an armory. Talk to you in a bit."

"Affirmative."

The armory was just a couple dozen meters down the corridor, along the opposite side. Greg considered his plan as the trio hurried towards it.

"If we can find enough guns here, we should probably just set up an HQ in the detention center. Send out scouting parties to mess halls, infirmaries, armories, fortify our position. The center is easily defensible. There are no vent openings big enough to allow Stalkers, there are only three ways into or out of the center."

"Sounds like a plan," Billings replied.

"So where's this guardian angel of yours?" Kyra asked.

"Thomas? I'm not sure, but he must be watching over us, doing whatever he can. For some reason he just can't communicate. We shouldn't rely on him, but I do want to find him. We wouldn't even be alive if it weren't for him."

They came to the armory. Greg ran his card through the slot by the door, as it was locked down, and went in gun-first, wary of lingering agents on either side of the alive-undead spectrum, but again he was alone. It seemed as if this part of the ship had been abandoned in favor of more important areas. Greg surveyed the armory.

Billings stepped in. "Damn."

"Well...it's not totally empty," Kyra replied.

The armory was vacant. Racks, shelves, and tables made bare by the needy hands of Dark Ops troops. However, as Kyra had pointed out, they weren't completely shit out of luck. Greg spied a sleek, black-barreled shotgun lying on the floor next to a box of fat red shells. He grinned, crossed the room and knelt.

"Hello," he murmured, scooping up the gun and feeding shells into the slide. "Grab as much as you can. We need to arm as many as possible."

Kyra and Billings moved to comply, scavenging over the abandoned armory. Greg filled up the weapon and pocketed the rest of the shells. He stood, slung the shotgun over his shoulder and crossed to an armor cabinet that was ajar. Pulling it open, he found none of the fancy suits of black full-body armor, but there was a nice selection of bulletproof vests. He pulled one on, passed Kyra and Billings their own.

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