Chapter 15: His Name Is Cage

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"Cage? Where are you?" Greg demanded.

"Down on the medical deck, Surgical Bay Four. Hurry..." Cage sounded bad.

"I'm on my way!" Greg cried. "Campbell, go get what we came here for. I need to go save Cage."

"Bishop..." Campbell hesitated.

"What?"

"Nothing. I'll do my job, you go do yours."

Greg stood in the elevator lobby, an uncertain shudder passing through him, like a sudden chill. Was there something he was overlooking? Something he was missing? No. Cage was here. Greg had so many questions. He spent a moment remembering where the medical deck was. Two levels up from his current position.

Okay, he could do this quick.

He moved over to the stairwell and opened the door. Nothing inside, just a thin gray light and some blood. He started up the stairs.

"Cage, what happened?" he asked.

"The Augmented came, overran our position. I told Powell to take his bomb and go. Took down as many of the bastards as I could, but they overwhelmed me. Captured me. Knocked me out. I woke up in some kind of machine shop. They hadn't restrained me and the sedatives were wearing off. I broke out. I've been on this ship ever since, doing guerrilla tactics. Hit and run. But one of them got me bad..." Here, he groaned.

"It's nasty. Tried to do a patch job, but lost a lot of blood. Heard you on the radio. Knew you could help me."

"I'm coming, don't worry," Greg replied.

He reached the proper floor and opened the door, stepping out into an identical elevator lobby. The light was considerably worse here, but still good enough to see by. Shadows grew in nests along the edges of the room. Greg played his light across the area in a broad arc, saw nothing and moved on. The corridor beyond was bloody but vacant.

Thoughts raced through Greg's mind as he pressed on, moving along the medical deck, shining his light over doorways, hunting for Surgical Bay Four. Cage was back. This would make the situation a whole hell of a lot easier. The guy was a one-man army. They were already honing in, presumably, on finishing up this whole project. They'd get the parts, build the things they needed and then go. Everything was going to go smoothly now.

Greg reached an intersection, stopped, and looked around. He finally found a sign attached to the ceiling of one of the corridors that informed him it was the Surgical Wing. Greg took a moment to look around, eager to see Cage, but still knowing it was a bad idea to be reckless. He expected a lot more resistance.

Cage had spoken over their radio, and Erebus had, apparently, cracked it by now. So it knew exactly where not only Cage was, but where Greg was going. Erebus should have had a lot of bad guys on the way to take care of both of them.

So where were they?

Where were the Drones?

Greg decided to count his blessings and hurried on down the corridor. He counted off the bays and then stopped at the one marked Four. The door was closed. He walked up to it, raised his hand...then hesitated.

As much as he wanted to deny it, something felt off here. Greg's combat instincts whispered to him. His finger hovered over the button, lingering there, as unpleasant and uncertain thoughts shuffled through his mind.

He banished them and pushed the button.

The surgical bay was pitch-black, and the weak, pallid light from the corridor did little to help illuminate it. Greg raised his weapon and suddenly a brand new, not-so-implausible thought raced through his mind.

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