Approaching the end soon. Sad as I am to say it the stories of Jor, Sho, Lian, and Kral will soon be ending. Although, just because this story ends does not mean that that will be it for this world, or these characters. I will revisit them later, mostly in short stories, likely about the war, and Jor's early life. I also plan to write more stories set in this universe; if not in the same part of the timeline, then at least with recognizable aspects.
As soon as the fighter streaked through the bay doors and hit Kral’s ship the Agent knew he was in trouble.
The ship would not stop some of the debris from flying forwards and breaching the screen. Technically he shouldn’t have been on the walkway. It wasn’t safe, in case something like flying debris entered the hangar. And the bay doors weren’t closing yet.
He was in trouble.
As armed figures dropped out of the hatch of the second fighter to enter the bay he realized that he had been too complacent. He should have expected an assassination attempt by the Earth Council and taken steps to prepare for it. As it was, he was out of luck.
All the same he planned to do his best to survive. If he had been alone he would have just dropped the wall and hoped that there was enough air still in the walkway area to last him until he could force the doors.
Unfortunately he had to watch out for Lian, Kral, and whoever they were bringing to see him. So he had few options remaining.
The first was to run anyways. But that was not an option at all.
The second option was to grab a thinsuit and try and struggle into it before the area depressurized enough to kill him. He didn’t think that he could make it as he couldn’t move faster without risking tearing the suit.
He could try and patch the screen, but that thought left his mind as soon as he saw the cracks spiderwebbing away from the few large and many small holes. He had only moments before the entire screen exploded outwards.
So he instead did the only other thing that he could do. He grabbed the bubble helmet of a thinsuit, threw off his coat, and pulled the helmet on. He grabbed a self-adhering hull patch from the supplies table and wrapped it around his neck. It would seal the helmet to the armour and hopefully give him some kind of protection from the vacuum.
The screen began to bulge outwards as more assassins leapt out of the fighter and began to move towards the back of the hangar, towards the Agent. Others set charges on the door of Kral’s MET, and took cover as they blew the hatch off.
The Agent noticed this from the corner of his eye as he pulled on the thinsuit’s oxygen pack, attached it to the helmet, and activated the flow.
He took a breath of clean, clear air, his first since the fighter crashed through, and pulled his pistols. Thankfully he had put on the gunbelt with the new Drag-ION Vs. He pulled out the Dragons, as he thought of them, and put another two rounds into the screen.
Being shot was too much for it. It shattered and flew outwards, great sheets of it still intact in some places, only fine crystals in others. The assassins who had gotten close enough had to dodge to avoid having their suits be compromised.
That was enough opportunity for the Agent as he leapt down behind the sheet of glass. His right foot connected with the lead assassin’s gun hand, and the pistol went flying. His foot hurt from kicking the solid metal space armour that they were wearing, but the man had lost his gun. As he turned towards the Agent the Agent swung one of his Dragon’s around and pulled the trigger. Bering newly developed the designers had not had time to eliminate the kick entirely, so his arm got jarred and his entire arm as the slug left the gun and punched through the assassin’s faceplate. It was halfway through the man’s head when the ION charge detonated, blasting the man’s skull open from the inside out.
But the Agent was already on his next target. Even as the kick from the one pistol jarred him along one arm he swung his other Dragon up and aimed it at the still hovering fighter’s underslung engine.
He pulled the trigger, and the twin kicks at the same time knocked him backwards, changing the direction of his fall. He rolled with them as he hit the ground and bounced back to his feet, ready to take on the next wave of assassins.
Kral opened his eyes to see a blinking light on the console in front of him. His head was throbbing in time to a wail and he when he put his hand to his forehead his fingers came away bloody.
He blinked and checked the light. Ah. Depressurized. That wasn’t bad. It was only the cargo hold and main hallway. His head was throbbing so hard that he couldn’t concentrate. Why was the depressurization a bad thing? And why was he on this ship anyways.
He looked out the viewscreen to see a sideways hangar. Black armoured soldiers had begun to trade fire with someone at the far end of the hangar. They were using two crashed Earth Council shuttles for cover. But why would there be Earth Council shuttles here?
And then Kral remembered. Jor, Lian, the passenger in the crate, the impact with the enemy shuttle, the assassins, the spin and crash. Everything.
He slapped the release on his restraints and lowered himself to the wall, now the floor. He pulled off his weapon belt long enough to pull on an emergency thinsuit, then pulled in back on. Drawing his auto-pistols he thumbed the door and stepped through as soon as the door retreated into the bulkhead above him.
The hallway ahead of him was empty for the moment, but he knew that that would not last long. The assassins would likely have made their way past at least a few doors. He was lucky that they hadn’t already gotten to him, as he had no idea how long he was out. So rather than risk getting blown apart by a breaching charge he crouched down a ways back from the next door and steadied his pistols on a knee.
Moments later his caution proved worthwhile as the door blew inward. He opened fire as soon as the door was out of the way. The slugs leapt forth and peppered the men in front of him. Likely they wouldn’t do much damage against the armoured space suits, but he might get lucky.
As the assassins began to shoot back Kral leapt up and retreated back to the cockpit. Firing one last burst he palmed the pad until the door began to slide closed again.
Of course now the cockpit was depressurized and they could just open the doors. But by the time they got there, Kral wouldn’t be.
He keyed in the eject sequence and stood back as the upper canopy and part of the roof blew off and the cockpit seats shot out. They didn’t get very far as gravity pulled them into the ground, but as soon as they were clear Kral jumped out and charged towards the nearest group of assassins, guns blazing.
The Agent completed his backflip despite the growing pain in his body from being exposed to the vacuum of space and brought his Dragons up to fire at two different assassins. He used the familiar kick to build his momentum as he slammed his arms around into either side of another assassins head. The man staggered backwards, helmet cracking, and went down as a bullet shattered the already damaged screen.
“Agent Kral reporting for duty sir!” Kral’s mechanically amplified voice rang out as the gunman shot down another assassin with a concentrated burst of slugs targeted directly at the screens.
“I found out how to kill ‘em. Shoot for the head, armour’s weakest there”
The man actually sounded to be enjoying the fight of all things.
“Where is Lian?”
“What do you mean? You haven’t seen her yet?”
As they spoke the Agent kicked off, and rolled over Kral’s back. As he landed and shot another two assassins, Kral spun beneath him and sprayed bullets in a wide arc. The remaining assassins retreated long enough for the Agent to pull Kral back behind a crate.
“No Kral, I haven’t! She was with you in the MET. Where is she?”
“She must still be aboard! I’m going to get her”
“Wait. What about the passenger?”
“In the cargo bay”
“The cargo bay?”
“Deep-freeze. Lian assures me she will be fine”“Thats good but”, He paused as the assassins picked up the fire again and the crate started to shake from bullet impacts. Leaning out he fired off another round with each gun, then began reloading them “We are pinned down. Those two will have to fend for themselves for the moment”