Gedion sat at an old metal chair and desk with another chair on the other side of it, in an otherwise empty room. One leg of the chair was slightly shorter, causing it to wobble as shifted. Hours had passed since he had arrived on Spider. His presence was apparently so unwelcome that he was immediately brought into this holding room and left to wait for what must have been at least four hours.
Finally, footsteps and voices could be heard outside the door. The knob turned with a squeak, and Matthius Stormfury, the leader of Ballistic Logistics walked in. He took a seat in the chair on the other side of the desk. For a few minutes he just stared at Gedion, sizing him up. Gedion was irritated and not amused, and he definitely wasn't looking to be sized up.
"See something you like?" Gedion asked snarkily. Matthius didn't find it humorous.
"I'll tell you what I see. I see unauthorized personnel in my base. I see someone who has seen too much, someone who knows too much. I see a problem and I need a solution. Got any ideas?" Matthius threatened. He was staring at Gedion with an intensity that hotter and more focused than a blast from a laser pistol.
It sobered Gedion.
"Look, I didn't ask to come here. Saskia..." Gedion began.
"That would be Specialist Linsen," Matthius corrected him.
"Fine, Specialist Linsen, we were jumped in Min looking at this alien door, and she made a run for it here. I didn't ask her to bring me to your secret hideout you know," Gedion explained, hoping for a little leeway.
"Yes, and I'll handle Specialist Linsen, but now, I need to know about you. Who you are, where you come from, and what you were doing with one of my specialists," Matthius interrogated.
The question took Gedion by surprise, and he paused for a moment. "Wait... what? What the hell kind of organization are you running that you don't even know what your own people are up to?" He asked rhetorically.
Matthius simply folded his arms and leaned back in his chair, waiting for Gedion to continue.
"Fine, I'll start at the beginning..." Gedion began. He told Matthius of his UEE career, his fascination with alien technology, his bad run of luck and financial troubles, and finally how he had come by the mission he had take with Saskia, set up by his "dear ol' dad"
Matthius sat silently, taking in all the information. Gedion finished, and stared blankly at Matthius for a few moments, waiting for a response.
"So... am I free to go?" Gedion asked wishfully.
Matthias scowled, but before he could answer, a voice came through his commlink.
"Ruiz here, just wanted to inform you, I'm deploying our forces to investigate the hostile alien activity that Specialist Linsen encountered. I'll keep you apprised of their findings," A voice said.
Matthias stayed quiet for a few moments, but Gedion could tell the wheels were turning in his mind.
"No, you aren't free to go. I have another mission for you," Matthias began. He thumbed the comms switch.
"Specialist Linsen, fire up the Course Correction. I want to be in space in 5 mikes. This'll be your chance at redemption," Matthias ordered.
"Yes sir, five mikes," Saskia replied across the commlink.
"Come on, let's go," Matthias stood and gestured to the door. Gedion stood and headed that way. They both proceed down a tangled series of hallways and corridors, finally arriving in the hanger. Saskia and the deck officer were arguing next to her Freelancer, the Course Correction. Matthias strode up on them with furious intent.
"What's the problem here?" He asked, cutting of their argument. Saskia tried to speak, but the deck officer, Lamar, spoke first.
"Sir, I was just explaining to Specialist Linsen that Commander Ruiz has prioritized all combat ready ships be sent to Min to investigate the alien presence. I've got a crew standing by to take this Freelancer in, but Specialist Linsen here..." Lamar began.
"You aren't taking my ship!" Saskia interrupted.
"Officer Lamar, you can stand down. I'm taking the Course Correction out." Matthias said.
"Yes sir, but what should I tell Commander Ruiz? He'll want to know what happened." Lamar asked, trying to cover his own butt.
"Tell him that a flight crew took the Course Correction to Min as ordered. Do not, under any circumstances tell him that Specialist Linsen or myself left onboard, do you understand?" Matthias said, firmly and directly.
"Ye ye yes sir," Lamar stammered and finally replied, saluting his superior.
Matthias, Gedion, and Saskia hurried past Lamar and onto the Course Correction. Matthias and Saskia headed to the cockpit while Gedion hung back, watching, trying to make sense of everything he was seeing. Within moments, the ship's engines were fired up and they were burning fast for the jump point to Min.
There was a focused silence in the air, but Gedion finally broke it.
"But if Ruiz is one of your commanders, why wouldn't you want him knowing we took the ship?" He asked.
"Right now I don't know who to trust," Matthias replied. "Including you..."