"I recommend that you stay down a while, Mr. Lucrum. There's a small chance you may have a mild concussion. Though under these circumstances that might not be an option, at any rate exercise caution."
The doctor then went back to her locker and picked up the metal tube after examining it.
Katherine had always been clever, outsmarting all her family members and co-workers at the Copernicus, yes, even the scientists. At least that was she felt all the hours she had to suffer their scrutiny, endless scheming and sadistic little experiments. And now she was rubbed in the wrong way, this whole situation was, in some way, wrong.
Curious what was in that mysterious metal cylinder, she now realized it was far too big to picked up.
Gasping, Katherine uncovered a 7 feet long steel cylinder, and behind that another, and another, and another... In all there were six of them she discovered. There were no markings, no nothing, but when she bent down to examine one from above it reacted to the medbay key she kept in her front pocket.
"Medbay access granted", a synthesized male voice said, then a small square window appeared in the surface of the steel cylinder.
"Patient, Wionna McCullough. Status: Hibernation. Subject is in a dreamless state.", the synthesized voice spoke louder than she liked and Katherine reeled back in shock. There was no mistaking the red-head mechanic in the steel cylinder. Wionna. Angus' girl. In stasis. Here?
Holding her breath, Katherine Bradshaw-Brennan had to lean against the wall.
6 cylinders. 6 co-workers and family members remaining on the space station. Aunt Angelica and Uncle Frank?
Captain Phil walked briskly down the ramp, wondering how he looked, if the grey Captain's uniform appeared as it should. He had been in an accident after all.
Angus ran after the Captain, and found him standing beside the green dumpster he had seen from the gunner's nest. If Mortimer was up in the nest right now, he would just barely not be able to gun him down. Not unless he somehow managed Mary Sue to shift position.
The Captain stood there, ballistic shield in hand, while Angus hid partially behind the green dumpster.
The welcoming committee was ready!
Mortimer sat alone on his bunk bed, his head hurting and jaw aching. It was pitch black inside, with only the War Protocol red lighting to dimly illuminate certain areas like the walkway from the cargo bay to the cockpit, and the ladder to the gunner's nest. While thinking about the Gunner's nest, he heard Katherine gasp with surprise in the room next door.
An old, old vehicle slid into the alley sideways, whirling up large amounts of sand in the process. It was a sedan, chock full of rust and four tattooed men sprang out of it's doors, pistols in their hands. Three seconds later the hydraulics of a semi-trailer screeched and hissed as it came to a full stop, releasing even bigger clouds of sand and dust. Phil could see three men jump from the cabin, tattooed in swirling black tattoo patterns the lot of them. He heard men shouting from around the corner too, and someone shouted something, in a language he neither understood nor recognized.
Fifteen men approached the dumpster, pistols and shotguns at the ready. One of them, slightly larger than the rest, with a black leather jacket and jeans, spoke then. In English.
"Cease and desist, soldiers!", he ordered Captain Phil and Angus.
"I come bearing a message from your masters. We are your new masters. Lay down your weapons and come peacefully. Keep up your end of the bargain we struck with your leaders!"
His english was thick with accent, like he almost swallowed some of the words, and he looked sideways to one of the other men, then exchanged a couple of words in an alien tongue.
Rebecca hid in the ruins, yet all around her there was sounds, thoughts, motion. She had put the motion detector to stealth mode, and saw men circling them, making their way through the ruins. There were many. She counted twenty with Angus and Phil, another fifteen climbing up to the rooftops and making their way through the abandoned buildings and rubble of the ruins.
She could not understand what they said, what they whispered around her, but she understood the thoughts they so foolishly failed to hide.Circle the slaves. Capture the slaves. Capture the cargo. Get the gifts of the scientists from outer space.