Ballistic Logistics Saga - Part XI

August 2941
Spider - Ballistic Logistics Secret Base
Cathcart System

"We're going after him," Saskia declared, stomping defiantly towards the door that Ruiz had just taken Matthias Stormfury out of at gunpoint. She looked back at Gedion and paused when he didn't seem to be following. "Well?"

"Well what? He's your boss. I've been on the wrong end of a laser blaster a few too many times already because of him. I'm getting the hell out of here," Gedion protested.

"I can't believe..." Saskia began, but was cut off by the sounds of shouting and weapons fire coming from outside the door. Moments later, a squad of five Ballistic Logistic special force operatives had backed their way into the command center.

"Seal the door!" one of them said. Another solider complied by incinerating the controls with his laser rifle.

"You idiots! Ruiz took Matthias that way, didn't you see him in the hallway? We have to go after him!" Saskia shouted. The five men spun around, caught off guard by the Saskia and Gedion's presence in the command center. The leader of the five men took a few steps closer and squinted to see the insignia on Saskia's shoulder.

"Sorry Specialist, there wasn't anyone in the hallway but the pirates, we didn't see Ruiz or Stormfury. You said Ruiz took him?" The solider questioned.

"Ruiz is the mole, this whole thing was a setup, Matthias is being delivered to the pirates, and you meatheads cut off our only escape route. Nice work," Gedion quipped sarcastically. The soldiers were speechless.

"That may not be entirely true," Saskia began. Sounds of shouting intensified in the hallway outside the door. The pirates had reached the command center and would soon begin trying to breach the door.

"There is a ventilation system that runs throughout this base," Saskia explained, walking over to a computer terminal and pulling up a schematic. "It might be possible for us to crawl through it and back into the hanger. With any luck, we can get to the Course Correction and go after Ruiz. There!" Saskia explained, looking up from the screen and pointing at a ventilation grate on the far side of the room. "Come on, let's go!"

Saskia hurried over to the grate one the wall covering the ventilation duct and ripped it off with her bare hands. Gedion and the five spec ops men followed behind her. They crawled for several minutes, with Saskia pausing momentarily and T-junctions to make sure they were headed in the right direction. All the while the shouts and explosions from the pirate invaders could be heard all around them.

"I hope you have a good plan once we get to the hanger, it's likely to be swarming with pirates," Gedion whispered ahead to Saskia.

"The vents run all along the walls of the hanger. Since I landed on the first pad, we are closest to the wall. With any luck, we should be able to get to the ship unnoticed," Saskia explained.

"Haven't had any luck yet," Gedion complained, mostly to himself. A few minutes later, the seven of them were in the vent alongside the hanger, with Saskia staring out the vent at the Course Correction.

"What do you see?" Gedion inquired.

"Pirates. The hanger is full of them. They don't seem to worried about the ship though... wait..." Saskia paused. Two pirates armed with laser rifles approached the rear of the Freelancer, opened the cargo bay, and entered. "Two hostiles just entered my ship..."

Gedion could see Saskia's hand clenching into a fist. She was ready to explode and rip the pirates onboard the Course Correction into shreds with her bare hands if she could.