Chapter 06: Escape

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"Well...fuck my life," Eric said.

Greg glanced back from his position in the hold of the troop transport they'd found. It was small but sturdy and, from the exterior, looked to be in working order. Drake was currently resting in one of the seats, getting his strength back. It had been a relatively short and safe walk to the hangar in Sector Six from the Control Room, although they'd had to put down a pair of Shadows and a scattering of Mutants and Harvesters.

"What is it?" he asked.

"The ship isn't shipshape," Eric replied unhappily. "There's a reason it was left behind. I knew it was too good to be true."

"Can you fix it?" Drake asked.

Eric stood up and moved to stand in the doorway between the cockpit and the hold. "Yes. Provided I get the parts I need, and a certain tool. There's a part I've got to get out of a panel here in the floor and it takes a real delicate piece of hardware to get it out properly. I, uh..." he glanced at Drake. "I don't imagine you're up for a jaunt yet."

Drake shook his head. "I'm sorry, no. I'm down for the count. Tough to stay awake right now, honestly," he replied.

"I need to stay here and get to work on the ship, make sure there's nothing else wrong with it, see what other data I can pull maybe, make sure power and fuel levels are right..." he explained, looking reluctantly at Greg.

"I get it," he replied, nodding. "Don't worry, I've done this before. I'm getting kind of good at it," he added.

"Be careful," Drake replied.

"Always am," Greg lied.

"Here," Eric said, turning around and going back into the cockpit. A moment later he returned with an infopad. "Take this, it's got what we're looking for on it. Also, you'll want to get into the traffic control tower. That should get you easiest access to the inventory manifest."

"Thanks," Greg replied, accepting it.

He spent a moment checking out his weapons, ultimately deciding to leave the SMG behind since it didn't have any ammo left. Once he was sure his shotgun and pistol were ready for action, he walked back down the ramp at the rear of the ship and then closed it behind him. He took a moment to look around the hangar bay.

It looked just as awful as when they'd first passed through it fifteen minutes ago. Several bits of bodies scattered across the bloodstained deckplates, with broken glass and random debris mixed in. They'd passed the control tower coming in and Greg had marked its location in his head almost subconsciously. He headed there now, pistol in hand, not wanting to waste any shotgun shells if he could help it.

Jogging back across the bay, Greg reached the door that would take him into the second hangar bay, which would grant him access to the control tower. When he'd last been through, it had looked clear, but they hadn't really done a thorough search. Anything could be lurking in the darkness or behind some crates. He kept his pistol ready as he began navigating the second hangar. Greg cleared his mind, listening, letting himself become in tune with his surroundings. It was really the only hope he had to get out of this alive.

And it served him well.

He spun to the right as he heard a soft whispering and squeezed the trigger twice. A Shadow that had come gliding out from behind some crates, intent on his death, vaporize as the bullets hit it dead on. He heard more whispering dead ahead and spun back, spying two more of the awful, impossible, alien creatures. He popped off another five shots and put them down, then remained frozen, waiting to see if anything else would show up. When nothing did, he pushed on, hurrying through the scattered supplies and tipped over crates, around the skeletal remains of a jump ship that had been set on fire and left to burn at some point, and to the exit.

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