Chapter 11: Boarding Action

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Greg massaged his temples and tried to keep from thinking about how stupid and dangerous this plan was...and the fact that it was his plan. He hadn't realized that all the suits of armor onboard had been rendered useless by the EMP blast and they hadn't the time nor the willingness to risk using the Rogue Ops suits. So they were doing this with just some bulletproof vests, whatever guns they could find, and their wits. He settled into his chair while Drake made his way to the front of the narrow pod, getting into the pilot's seat.

"You guys set back there?" he asked as he ran through the warm-up procedure.

Greg glanced over at Eve, who was sitting across from him now, strapping in. "Yeah, we're good," he replied. "You feeling okay?" he asked.

"Yeah...head hurts a bit. But I'll be fine. We've got this," Eve replied. "Don't worry."

"Trying not to," Greg replied.

"Okay, we're all we go!" Drake called back.

Before anyone could say anything, Drake punched out. The escape pod exploded from its metal nest, traveled an incredibly short distance and punched through the hull of Rogue Ops vessel. Greg grunted as the g-forces tore at and twisted his body, wrenching it this way and that. His felt his bones strain and his internal organs struggling to stay in their proper places. He heard Eve and Drake both grunting and crying out as the ship settled into place. All at once, everything was still and silent. Then Drake called out to them.

"Come on! We need to get the hell in as quick as we can, no idea how long the seal will hold and this thing gets sucked back out into space," he said.

Greg grunted a reply, undid the latches and stood up. He felt something warm on his face, reached up and rubbed at his nose. His hand came back bloody. Fantastic. He ignored it for the moment, checking over Eve. She seemed fine and she undid her own latches and stood up. She stared at his face for a moment, looking worried, then seemed to take some of her own advice and didn't say anything. They joined Drake in the cockpit.

He was crouched on the floor, working the escape hatch. As they joined him, crowding into the room, he got it open and dropped down into it. A moment later, he had the opposite hatch open and was outside.

"Come on! It's clear!" he called.

Greg went first, dropping into the room beyond the escape pod. They'd come into a storage bay. Crates were stacked in pyramids all around them. It was all very familiar...and he realized he'd been in almost exactly this particular situation back when he'd been facing down zombies and Rogue Ops when he'd thought they'd been Dark Ops. He glanced back as Eve dropped down.

"Let's go," Drake said, already setting off across the cargo bay.

Greg and Eve followed him. Greg activated his radio. "Allan, how are you guys doing? Did you make it?"

"Yeah, we're in. Heading for the bridge," Allan replied.

"Us too. Meet you there."

As they made their way across the bay, they managed to cross perhaps half the distance before a loud, metallic groan filled the room.

"Shit, run!" Greg called.

He began sprinting towards the door as more metallic groaning sounded ominously. He'd made it about ten paces before the escape pod was sucked back out of the hole it had made. Now that the atmosphere had been compromised, gale force winds began to fill the cargo bay. Crates started to fly by them, being drawn towards the hole, sucked out into dead space. Greg kept going, nearly to the door, wishing he had his magnetic boots. Drake was still ahead of him, and managed to reach the door first. He hit the access button.

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