Chapter 10: Answers

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"Hold," Greg said, freezing up.

He looked across the body-strewn corridor, scanning the blood-slicked gray tiles and shiny metal walls, hunting for enemies. He'd heard something. Behind him, Drake held Eric, crouching, waiting. Greg continued scrutinizing the environment. He took it all in: the smashed furniture, the wrecked, blocky metal desk that dominated the center of the room, much more stern looking than the other lobbies he'd come into. It made enough sense, he supposed, given the fact that he wasn't far from the military sector.

There.

The sound again, he heard it. A shuffling movement, and something breathing.

"Wait here," Greg murmured.

He was pretty confident that it, whatever it was, was hidden behind the desk in the center of the room. He slipped out of the side room they'd emerged in from underground, keeping an eye on the darker areas or the places that hadn't been immediately visible from his original vantage point. They remained clear of enemies. He got up to the desk and edged around it. Sure enough, he found a Harvester hunkered down there, doing...whatever it was Harvesters did when they didn't have corpses to slurp up.

Aiming, he squeezed the trigger on his pistol and put two in its head, capping it. Greg looked around, making sure nothing else was going to sneak up on him. When he saw nothing, he waved to Drake, who emerged from the maintenance room. They made for the entrance to the military zone. After he'd killed the Revenant, it had been a relatively easy task to head back down underground and take the tunnel back to the hangar.

Okay, maybe easy wasn't the correct word, but he'd been able to do it. The job was a simple matter of moving through the dark, underground environment, trying not to get killed. Nothing he hadn't done a hundred times before. But about the time he'd finally got to Drake and Eric was the time that the numbing agent was wearing off and holy shit had it hurt. He'd been unable to go on, so he'd had Drake peel away the bloody bandage and apply a fresh infusion of the numbing stuff. Then slap a new bandage on.

And then they'd gone back into the underground.

Finally, they'd reached Building Delta, which seemed to be the nerve center of Polaris. Finally, he was going to get some fucking answers out of Volker and they were going to figure out how to get off of this world, put a stop to Blackmore and Jericho, and figure out what was happening with the rest of their squad.

"Volker," Greg said as they marched into the military sector and came to stand before the huge, steel doors that stood between him and his friends. "Open up. We're outside."

"You're alone out there? No creepy-crawlies?" he replied.

"Nothing but us. Open up."

"Very well then."

There was a pause that lasted long enough that Greg almost snapped at the doctor over the radio again, and then the doors slid quickly open. Greg checked out the area beyond, finding a short alcove that led to a larger, well lit room beyond. There was no immediate threat, so he turned around and provided cover while Drake brought Eric into the room. Once he was clear, the door began to close, and Greg followed Drake into the area beyond. The alcove opened up into a large, rounded room packed with terminals, consoles, and workstations, all of it built around a huge station on a raised dais in the center of the room.

Volker was sitting at it.

Greg studied the man who had helped orchestrate this whole thing, the man who had been stringing them along. He was thin, a shaved bald head gleaming under the bright lights. He had a dark blonde goatee, shiny white eyes with a pair of glittering blue irises. As he rose smoothly from his chair and stepped down from the dais, everything about him seemed to be precise and certain. The man was an economy of movement.

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