The tunnel wound once to the right, then further back to the left, and moved steadily downward. A few more bends and they ran in to something that Ven hadn’t expected. Water.
The entire tunnel beneath them was flooded and the road went straight in to it.
“Amphibious.” Ven muttered to herself. Just as she thought it she saw another vehicle coming upward towards them.
She realized that her vehicle must be amphibious too or the guards certainly would have noticed.
Luckily air wouldn’t be an issue for her thanks to her helmet,
but she imagined an assault where infantry breached the enemy headquarters only to find out they were stuck against a wall of water.
Not wanting to appear suspicious she quickly started the vehicle moving again before the approaching one got too close, and in to the water they went.
A few grunts and hisses were barked as the vehicle’s passed one another, muffled by the water, but neither vehicle stopped. The road carried of for at least a mile, probably closer to two.
It had stopped descending and now simply travelled forward. At long last it began to rise again and soon enough they were back out of the water.
It was here that they entered what appeared to be a parking bay, with a guard station blocking the only doorway.
They pulled the buggy in between two other vehicles, Ven looked around and saw that no one could see them.
“So what do we do now? I think they’ll spot the distortions as close as we have to walk to them.”
“How many were there?”
Ven had counted five but she knew Felix was getting at taking them out with his silenced rounds. “Doesn’t matter, there’s a camera. Even if we take them out one by one it will be seen....
Damnit!” Ven hit the dash and dented it. “We are so close getting access to their system. We have to do something!”
“There is one option.” Felix voice was mechanically calm as ever, it calmed Ven to hear it.
She laughed, “What’s that? Brute force.”
Felix didn’t respond.
“Crap, it is isn’t it?”
“As you said, we are so close. We go in hot, find a computer, you cover me while I hack, then we fight our way out.”
“That’s not much of a plan.”
“I do not see any other option.” Felix was dead serious.
“Okay then. In we go.”
With that they both exited the vehicle, they had parked between two larger ones and still had their respective camouflages on.
Felix’ optical camouflage came off and his right hand pulled apart as his fore arm widened, the pieces of his hand moved inside the arm as his laser gatling cannon came out.
He couldn’t power both the cloak and the weapon at the same time. Ven noted that it was the weapon he’d used the very first time she had ever seen him.
Back when she had no concept of what a robot even was.
“I’ll keep mine on to confuse them.” Ven said. Her rifle was in no way tied to her holographic helmet so she could use both. “On three?” She asked of her partner.
“On three” came the response.
Then Ven again, “One....two.....three!”
Three of the guards were cut down in an instant. Two had been caught by the gatling canon and the third was picked off by Ven. The remaining two jumped for cover, and an alarm started blaring.
Shots came back their direction but they missed. Both were directed at Felix. Ven ran from vehicle to vehicle, getting closer to the guards who had assumed Felix was the only threat.
Within twenty seconds she’d gotten close enough to get behind them, but just as she went to deal with them, a whole slew of additional guards came running through the doorway.
Ven didn’t take time to count, they were all bunched together so she reached for a grenade and lobbed it at them.
A second later and the deafening explosion blocked out even the sound of the alarm. Body parts flew everywhere, and only one guard, the one who had taken cover in the shack, remained.
Ven heard her helmet grunt out and the guard stood up and started to run to her. He was immediately cut down by Felix’ cannon.
Breathing heavy from the adrenaline Ven shouted out to Felix, “Lets go!” and they took off through the doorway. There was a long corridor that ran to a four way split.
More guards were coming from the left so they fired a few rounds off and then carried on forward.
After several more turns, and a few guards who had the misfortune of getting in their way, they found rooms with computers. Ven swiped the badge that she still had but it did nothing.
The door was locked. Just then a shot flew past her head. She dropped to one knee right as a second hit her chest. The body armor took the lethality out of it but there would be a bruise.
Down on one knee she drew her weapon and shot the guard in the same instance that Felix had raised his leg and kicked the door in.
“That works.” Ven quipped, and they moved into the room. Felix went straight to a machine while Ven stood with her weapon trained on the doorway.
His gatling cannon had turned back into a hand and his fingers flew across the controls.
So far no more guards had come, “Getting anywhere?” Ven asked for an update.
“This computer is too low level, but I now know where the mainframe is. Lets go.”
Ven let Felix take the lead, armed again with his gatling and shields. They came out of the room to encounter more guards, and Felix was quick to dispatch them.
They ran down the halls making bend after bend, then finally hitting a stairway. They went down one level and through three more hallways before getting to another room.
This time Felix kicked in the door immediately and Ven followed him through.
“This is it.” Felix said as he went to work on the computer. Ven again trained her weapon on the door.
Thirty seconds went by before they heard the footsteps coming towards them, but no one came in the room, instead there was only the clink clink, of a grenade landing on the floor next to Ven.
Without thinking, she grabbed and lobbed it back just in time. It appeared the guards had been prepared for that and when it exploded none seemed to be hit.
Moments later they came charging into the room.
Ven opened fire. Taking out three as they entered, two more made it past, and Ven took another round to the chest. She thanked god for the body armor.
A moment later Felix shouted out, “Done!” And he turned to face the door as his right arm turned back in to the gun and shield.
With the gatling on open fire the two remaining didn’t stand a chance, and the room was sprayed with green blood.
“Time to leave!” Felix told Ven. That meant Tirus wasn’t here. She again told herself he couldn’t be dead.
As the ran back out the door she shouted to Felix. “Did you find him?”
“Yes,” came the response, “but he’s not here. I found the Atlas too, and a plethora of useful military data.”
“So now we just have to get back out.” Felix began running, Ven right behind, her synthetic muscles pushing her at speeds no human could naturally run.
They wound from corridor to corridor back to the stairs, and finally they were back to the garage,
where the found vehicles parked and numerous Arzat guards.
“Wait here.” Felix told Ven, she did as he said, remembering that day so long ago on the ship. He slowly walked out, gatling canon and shields ready.
There was a symphony of gunfire and explosions, followed by silence, and then the calm mechanical voice.
“Fifteen Arzat down.” Just like she remembered. Not a boast, but just a report.