Chapter 05: Regret

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They had a suit for her, a pressure suit, no suit of armor. Jennifer had her own set of armor and her own personal armory established back on the Dauntless. It was one of the first things Hawkins had had her do. She had declined to take it with her during this mission and Hawkins had relented. After all, it was supposed to be a milk run, nothing more, but now she regretted it deeply. She thought that, after this, she wouldn't go anywhere without it. The pressure suit was at least able to stand up to some gunfire and a few types of blades, though she doubted it would help. Those Spec Ops guys had had full body armor and it obviously hadn't done shit.

After suiting up and obtaining a pistol and some ammo, (she'd refused another weapon, since she didn't feel it would help either), she and Genevieve had gone back over to her jump ship. The plan was to disengage the ships from each other and pilot them both down to the surface, into the installation. Genevieve had offered to join her and Jennifer had accepted. She wouldn't admit it to anyone else, or even really to herself, but she didn't want to be alone just then. Not after everything that had gone down on the installation.

So now, here she was, in the cockpit again, sitting in the pilot's seat and going through the procedure of breaking away from the Viper. For a long moment, as she began the descent, there was silence.

"You really think this will work?" Jennifer asked, wanting to break the oppressive quiet.

"I think it's our best shot," Genevieve replied. "But I have no way of knowing." She leaned over and hit the comms. "Martel, where is it now?"

"It's in the mining wing. Don't worry, I'm keeping an eye on it."

"Got it. Thanks."

Before getting the pressure suit, they'd studied the map, planning a direct route, which was easy, there and back. They'd picked out a few alternate routes but honestly it was kind of a straight shot from the hangars to the control center. Jennifer felt confident that she could take the facility offline in just ten minutes. She'd spent enough time sifting through the databases and learning how to work the controls, not to mention she'd been around tech this old before on some of her original jobs as a security officer, learning how to run it all.

It should be simple but...there was definitely a big part of her that simply couldn't believe it would be that easy.

Nothing ever was, it seemed.

Jennifer saw that they were very close to the facility now. She linked her computers with those in the mining station and got the hangar bay opened. They would have to use separate hangars, since the Viper was too big to fit in with the jump ship.

"We still good?" Genevieve asked as they made their final approach.

"Yes. Still in the same section," Martel replied.

"Got it." She switched to the general comms their suits were linked through. "This is it people. Get ready. Keron, you've got that artificial CSF?"

"Affirmative," Keron replied curtly.

"We're going in."

There were a string of affirmative replies. They began the docking procedures, cycling through the large airlocks and then landing carefully in the hangar bays. Jennifer felt herself tense as she looked over the familiar sea of crates, tables, and shelves of scattered tools and spare parts. It was like returning to a nightmare.

The jump ship finished settling down. Jennifer killed the power, then stood, slowly scanning the room beyond. There was no point to the action, but it felt somehow necessary, as if she had to prove to herself that the room was empty. Not that she could anyway, there were easily a couple dozen places to hide among all the crap piled up in there.

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