Chapter 03: Breadcrumbs

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Allan glanced over as the intercom built into the wall clicked to life. "Gray, Ward, either of you there?" It was Porter.

Allan finished drying off, tossed the towel over to the pile of dirty clothes in the corner and walked over to it.

He hit the callback button. "Yeah, we're here, what's happening?"

"I've managed to pull something from the data. It's not much, but it's enough to go on. Hawkins wants us in Briefing One again. ASAP."

"We'll be there."

He let his hand drop, turned and began to hunt for a fresh uniform. Callie sighed as she stepped out of the bathroom. "You can't just let these drop on the floor in a pile all wet, Allan," she said, going and retrieving the towel. "You have to hang them up."

Allan pulled on some boxers. "Tell you what. I'll start hanging them up as soon as you stop leaving half-empty cans of soda around."

She finished hanging up the towel back in the bathroom, stared at him, frowned. "Ugh, whatever," she muttered.

He couldn't help but laugh. If anyone were here, (which would be odd, given that they were both getting dressed), he could easily envision them being accused of arguing like a married couple. Speaking of marriage...

He shook his head, not really the time to think about that at any length. Of course, there rarely seemed to be time to think about it. Trying to focus, he continued getting dressed. It had been about two hours since they'd made it back to the Dauntless. Once they'd filed their brief mission reports, they'd taken the opportunity to get some more training and working out in, then they'd both met back in their shower for a bit of relaxation. Not that what they'd been doing in the shower was necessary very relaxing.

Callie finished pulling on her jumpsuit about the same time he did. Once they'd gotten their boots on, the pair left their shared dorm and began quickly navigating the corridors. They were both eager for answers. Once they'd gotten started on a mission, neither of them really felt like doing much else until that mission had been completed, whatever completion might mean. Normally they had no choice, since, under normal circumstances, they typically ended up trapped somewhere and escape coincided with completing their objectives.

They arrived at the briefing room only a few moments later, finding Hawkins, Porter, and Keron waiting for them.

Well, maybe they'd have a bit more backup on this next leg of the journey. Though it would have been nice to have more than a single extra person, even if that person was a one man army like Keron seemed to be.

"What do you have for us?" Allan asked as he and Callie took a seat.

"Enough to go off of," Hawkins replied. The lights dimmed and a new image appeared on the holographic projector. It looked like a miserable ball of ice. "This frozen moon is called JX-492, for want of a better name. There was hardly any discernible information among that retrieved, but there was a partial star chart that was enough to pinpoint where this individual unit was coming from: this moon. That, combined with mapping coordinates that were also deciphered, has given us the location of what may be an outpost. As this moon is actually within the Far Reach, albeit on the very fringe, I can't imagine it's the actual headquarters. Obviously, the next logical step is to send a team there, investigate and gather any additional data possible."

"What did the analysis of the corpse give us?" Callie asked.

"A couple of interesting facts, actually. The first is that it's dead, and has been dead for three weeks now. This person is basically a meat robot, being driven entirely by machinery. The other piece of information is that we can now confirm that whoever is doing this is harvesting people to turn them into more of these cyborgs. The man in question has been identified as an engineer at one of the colonies that was hit about three weeks ago."

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