Chapter 08: Apprehension

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By the time they'd reemerged from beneath the dead surface of the moon, Lynch had managed to paint the entire grim picture for them. Greg found the whole situation mind-boggling. How could so many things possibly go wrong? It seemed as though there would be some kind of natural law, something intrinsic about the universe that would give you a break, a short reprieve, even for an hour or two.

Of course, Greg knew that there was no such rule. In fact, if anything, it seemed to go the other way: if something could fuck up, it would, given enough time. He brooded over this as he hustled down a central corridor with Kyra, Campbell, and Linda. Mike had gone back to headquarters. They were currently making for an airlock.

Lynch had informed them that after going through all that trouble to get the power back on, the oxygen systems had failed, and since they still kind of needed oxygen to stay alive, Greg needed to lead a small team onto the airless surface and make repairs. It was to be expected that Augmented would be waiting for them, as it was obvious by now that the half-machine, half-flesh nightmares were intent on fucking over the survivors.

They came to the end of the corridor, turned, and made their way down another. Greg glanced back at Linda.

"Tell me you've got something better than basic pressure suits."

Linda nodded. "Yeah, don't worry."

"Where is this place, anyway?" Campbell asked.

"They hit an exterior piece of equipment that helps route oxygen flow. It's about a hundred meters away from the airlock we're going to," Linda replied.

They reached the end of the second corridor and passed through a small antechamber, which led them to an abandoned locker room. Linda led them over to a row of large lockers and pried one of them open.

A bulky, sturdy-looking pressure suit resided within. Linda pulled it out, opened it up, and pulled it on.

"This is the same model suit the miners use. It's very durable and can stand up to explosions and gunfire, for the most part. It's a good idea not to try and test it. Go grab one, pull it on, we're heading out onto the surface."

They split up, each of them taking a locker. Greg held up his suit and gave it a once over. It was like a bulky jumpsuit. The material felt thin, but at the same time very strong. He frowned; still studying the black-gray material, then shrugged and pulled it on. He found a helmet and pulled it into place.

While the others suited up, Greg activated the small screen mounted on his left wrist, and when the option arrived, booted up the suit-check function. A few seconds passed and then he confirmed that all systems were working, he had an hour of oxygen and his suit's integrity had stood up to a standard pressure check.

He attached the holster and pistol to his hip, slung the shotgun across his back and the rifle over his neck. After that, he packed down his pockets with extra magazines of ammo. Feeling about as good as he was going to about all this, he turned and studied the others. They looked ready as well. Greg fired up the radio and tested it.

"Okay," he said after they'd confirmed the radios worked. "Let's get this over with."

They turned and made their way into one of two working airlocks left in the structure. Greg went first, rifle locked and loaded, in case anything decided to come and wait for them just outside the exterior door.

Once everyone was in, he cycled them through. The door opened. Nothing but gray rock and the infinity of space awaited their inspection. Greg cautiously peered out, first left, then right. Nothing, although the exterior lights all along the left side were out. Never a good sign. He flicked on the flashlight mounted on the end of his rifle.

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