Of the hundred or so prisoners the great bulk were happy to see their oppressors overthrown. A few however, held back, still fearful that they would be punished.
Of the prisoners who came to Ven, many wanted to fight. She gave them a quick run down of the guards firearms and now they had a small military force.
Ven turned to Fet, “Do you know where solitary confinement is?”
“I think so.” The man had made the transition from prisoner to insurgent with remarkable speed. Ven was grateful to him.
“Okay, lead the way.
She and the other armed inmates formed a small squad behind Fet, who confidently lead the way. Ven spoke to command through her bud. “Status update command!” It was Felix who responded.
“I am leading an attack force, we are pressing through the tunnel.”
“Excellent.” Came Ven’s reply, she then spoke to the commander, “You ready to go commander? We’re coming for you”
Tirus voice came back quickly, “There are Arzat coming down the hall, but I don’t think they know you’re coming. They’ve been grunting and hissing at each other non stop.
I think they are arguing.”
“Let’s hope they keep it up.” Ven replied.
She was following Fet with her makeshift squad. They had gotten in to a few small firefights with guards, but they’d only lost one man.
Soon they were snaking through corridors getting further and further from the blaring alarms, until the tunnel they were in was nearly silent.
“You sure this is right?” Ven was concerned they’d gone the wrong way.
Fet reassured her, “I’ve been here for years and this is the only place that I’ve never been, it’s got to be here.
After a few more bends Ven heard the sounds of the Arzat fighting with one another. She held her arm up to stop the squad, and they listened to the voices. There were at least three of them.
“Commander, “ Ven spoke in to the bud, “Can you draw their attention to you? We’re ready to ambush.”
“Copy.” Tirus may have aged, but his fierceness in battle was as strong as ever. With that he went to the bars and started yelling, “Hey you idiots, you gonna come kill me or what?”
The Arzat voices stopped and Ven could hear their footsteps moving down the hallway, then the sound of keys.
She signaled her men to follow her, and they ran around the corner firing wildly at the enemies.
All three had been facing Tirus’ cell and they hadn’t even had a chance to turn and see who shot them before their bodies all slumped to the floor.
Ven ran to the gated doorway and her eyes teared up at the sight of Tirus. He was bruised on every bit of skin she could see, and had gashes and scars on his face and arms.
He wore soiled rags, and the cell was barren except for a toilet. Grabbing the keys off of the dead guard she found the one to open the door and opened it. “Command, I have him.
” Ven went in to help Tirus to his feet.
“Copy.” Came Captain Yang, “Felix’ squad has made it past the water and is entering the main prison. They are carrying extra breather helmets, but the inmates may have to take turns getting out.
“Copy.” It was Ven’s turn to respond, “On our way back to the entrance.” She looked to Fet who understood, and took up the lead again.
By the time they reached the entrance to the prison the humans had control of the entire facility.
Ven and Tirus went out immediately, with Felix’ squad, now theirs and Felix’ kept order while the inmates were shuttled past the water tunnel.
Once outside Tirus blinked at the harsh sunlight. “So I guess that makes us even?” Ven tried to lighten the mood with a joke.
“Ha ha...” Tirus started to laugh but then winced with the pain from his bruised ribs.
Ven contacted command. “You are three miles from the Atlas, travel east.” Ven did as told, a trail of freed slaves following them.
The Atlas was the crown jewel of the human fleet and Ven would be happy to get it back.
The enemy had surface to air missiles about the area, preventing them from getting lifted out by a quadrocopter.
That didn’t mean that Sky Eye 2 couldn’t help however, as they were raining down missiles on any pursuers of the column.
It took a little over an hour of walking, and Arzat reinforcements were on their way when Ven finally spotted the Atlas.
The ship was nearly six hundred feet long and had all of the latest bits of technology.
The Arzat had been trying to reverse engineer from it, but according to the data mine that Felix had found, they’d had little in the way of luck.
They would have to confiscate a smaller ship to get to it.
Ven headed to the first docks she saw where an array of Arzat boats were tied up.
The docks had only a handful of soldiers, but they took out two of Ven’s men on the approach before the squad was able to return fire and win the fight.
Felix had finished helping people out of the cave and was at the back of the column, he radioed to tell Ven he was running to the front to assist.
“Be there in two minutes.” They would need him to hack the boat. Ven picked one, a small vessel with mounted machine guns but large enough to carry the hundred plus prisoners.
By the time everyone was loaded Felix was on board too, and in a few moments he had the engines running. They untied from the dock and raced into the sea on their way to the Atlas.
Patrol boats had started to come their direction so Felix armed his canon while Ven jumped in to a turret. Now that the boat was running Tirus was piloting it.
“Command,” Ven called, “Three patrol boats coming our way.”
“Copy that, we see them.” A few seconds later a bevy of missiles fell from the sky and two patrol boats were incinerated.
The third was taken out by a combination of Ven’s machine gun fire and Felix’ canon.
After a tense two minute ride, they had made it to the Atlas. “Do we know how many are on board?”
Felix answered “Seventeen Arzat. A science team, with five trained military officers.”
“Those odds sounds doable.” She quipped back.
They docked at the back of the Atlas where there was a lower deck that could be reached. Once there it would be a standard assault to recapture it.
This time Ven had trained men at her disposal and a slew of volunteers. She had more than she had weapons. She decided to split in to two squads.
Ven would lead her squad up the port side at the same time as Felix led his up the starboard side. Tirus would stay safe until the fighting was over. He was too important.
The assault couldn’t have gone more smoothly. The five security officers had formed up in a tight group. But there were so many more humans.
The Arzat opened fire, killing three and wounding more, but they were cut down by the superior numbers.
After that they sought out the science officers who were still formidable, as were all Arzat it seemed. They managed to take out all except for one scientist.
They were still unsure of his location when they brought Tirus aboard and took him to the bridge.
“Good to be back.” He cracked a painful looking smile. Then his expression turned sad. “But my crew...” He shook it off. “Nothing I can do for them now, lets get her moving.”
He fired up the engines and the Atlas began accelerating away from the island. Two ships came after it but Sky Eye 2 took them out. The Atlas had had its munitions stripped.
An hour went by and they were in the open sea. There were ships in pursuit, but too far away to fire.
The Atlas could outrun the dreadnoughts chasing, but there was no avoiding the one that was in front and accelerating towards them. They’d encounter it in less than thirty minutes.
Sky Eye 2 was attempting to to hit it but the dreadnought was shooting the missiles out of the sky.
Unsuccessful, and running out of time they changed tactics, and dropped munitions to the Atlas. Two power cells that were necessary to operate the ships laser canons.
With those active they might stand a chance.
When they received the drop Ven took one to install it at the front of the ship while Felix installed the one at the back. Tirus stayed at the helm.
Ven was just finishing installing hers when Tirus came through on her ear bud. “....you won’t win, it’s ju” followed by a thud, then gunfire and a scuffle, after which there was nothing.
Ven took off running back to the bridge. “Felix...”
“On my way.” Calm as ever.
Felix had beat Ven back to the bridge, where Tirus was being held by a solid white Arzat. The remaining scientist.
He had a knife to Tirus throat and the two soldiers who had stayed on the bridge were on the ground either dead or unconscious. “He diiieee, unlesss you turn ssshipp arouund.”
“Don’t do it!” Tirus groaned as the Arzat kicked in to him and squeezed the knife closer.
Felix had his weapon drawn and pointed at them, Ven joined him. She had a shot, and didn’t hesitate to take it.
The Arzat was hit square between his eyes and his head split in half while his body fell to the floor, as he fell the knife gouged Tirus’ neck.
He fell and blood started to spurt from the wound. Ven ran to his side.
“Ven,” he looked in to her eyes,”sorry” he struggled with the words. “sorry.....for......barracks” She didn’t understand.
Felix was there, a compartment on his left thigh opened and from it he pulled gauze. He pressed the gauze to the gash and wiped away blood.
Then he held up his right pointer finger, and from it a laser cauterized the wound.
He then pulled two pills from the compartment and gave them to Tirus, who took them, and almost immediately fell unconscious.
Felix felt for his pulse and said smoothly, “He’ll survive.”
Ven started to cry. If he had died it would have been her fault. Felix spoke up. “Do you want to hear a joke?”
Ven was so startled by the odd question that she actually laughed, and when she laughed, she remembered that she didn’t have time to cry.
“Get soldiers on the turrets, we have to take out that dreadnought!” Ven was the only person left to assume command. She grabbed the wheel and set forth for the battle.