Chapter 06: Terminal Velocity

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"Take evasive action!"

"Well what the fuck do you think I'm trying to do?"

"Can we outrun it?!"

"Nope. Not happening. I'm heading towards the planet."

"Fuck!" Greg rushed over to the intercom and smashed it on. "Everyone get to the escape pods now! Right now! Right fucking n-"

Everything vanished in a brilliant white light.

* * *

"I don't know, man," Drake said. He was crashed out on Trent's bed, gauntleted hands beneath his head, helmet on the floor next to him, staring up at the ceiling.

He was smoking a cigarette.

"What the fuck do you mean, you don't know?" Trent replied, glancing over from the desk he stood in front of. The laptop sitting atop it was hooked into a secure ultranet access node. He was searching for their bank accounts.

"I mean, she doesn't seem like she'd be into you. Trust me, I can tell," Drake replied.

"Okay, I'm calling bullshit. In fact, I know you're lying. You know how I know?"

"How?"

"Cause you're behind on getting ass. I know how you work, Drake Winters, you want to keep me from dipping my wick so's you can catch up."

"Oh...bullshit," Drake replied.

"Okay. How many you got this year?" Trent asked.

Drake seemed to consider the question for a moment, then took a pull on the cig and blew a cloud of blue smoke. "Like twenty," he said finally.

"Uh-huh. And I'm up to thirty."

"Oh bullshit," Drake repeated, rolling over and facing him now. The bed protested with a loud groan at the shift in weight.

"If you break that bed, I'm not paying for it. I don't even know why you're suited up."

"Well...why are you?"

Trent looked down at his suit of armor and sighed. "Whatever..." he looked back at the screen. "Oh dammit, I knew it!" he snapped, smashing his fist on the desktop.

Drake sat up. "What?"

"Our fucking accounts are cleaned out. Drained. We got nothing."

"So Dark Ops...or Rogue Ops cleaned us out?" Drake asked, standing up now.

"Yeah...either that or Dark Ops and the GA did to make us more pliable. They can cover their tracks pretty well I imagine..."

They both looked over as the intercom clicked on. "Everyone get to the escape pods now! Right now! Right fucking n-"

The ship jolted abruptly to the side. Violent shockwaves tore through the entire structure, sending both Trent and Drake to the floor. Even as he slammed to the floor, Trent grabbed for his helmet. Distantly, he could hear an alarm begin to cycle that signified a hull breach. He scrambled across the floor of his quarters, grabbing the helmet and dogging it into place. As he stood and finished securing it, he could see Drake doing the same thing. Hastily, he ran a check on the suit's integrity and patched the comms unit into the ship's network.

Immediately his helmet was filled with various voices. He sorted through the mess as his suit finished the check, confirming that it was functional.

Trent looked over at Drake. "You good?" he asked.

"Yeah, let's go!" Drake replied.

They both made for the door. As they lurched out into the corridor, Trent picked up on the fact that they'd made it in system and the ship had been hit by a missile. The ship was trembling violently now and Trent began to seriously worry about its integrity. Enzo stumbled out into the corridor with them, getting his helmet into place.

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