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.T’sell calmly walked up with her Darisu held high and cleanly cut his head off.It rolled in a bloody mess across the floor of the room.In a matter of seconds the fight was over, and four Vortex mercenaries lay on the floor dead.Eli’s eyes were glazed over; he was heavily interfacing with something.After a few moments, normal color and clarity returned to his eyes as he brought his gaze to Eris.She was standing next to a security console.As much death as he’d seen, Eli still wasn’t used to the sights and sounds of combat – or the acrid smells of advanced weaponry firing in tightly enclosed spaces.The sight of the pooling blood made his stomach churn.He glanced away.The Vortex group was filled with remorseless killers who had tried to kidnap him and kill his friends.They deserved this – but he still couldn’t take the sight of it.He wasn’t like Eris…or T’sell.“I think I know where Chol is at.I have complete control over the Vortex network.It looks like Lluras was right, he’s here.This moon base is not that large.At least the installation isn’t… We’re roughly two kilometers from his location.Follow me; I know the fastest route there – we’ll avoid most of the living guards because there are automated defenses in the way I’ll be taking us.”“What type of automated defenses?” T’sell T’savri asked bluntly.She was morphing her facial features as she spoke.She began to appear as the dead Vortex woman – a petite brunette human.Her armor also visibly changed.After thirty seconds, she had become her exact image.The deception might give them a slight advantage.“Exactly four heavy MEKS lie in our path,” Eli stated.He seemed overly confident.“It looks like Chol Cuxa is a cautious bastard,” Eris sounded angry.“Probably why he has lived as long as he has, with so many enemies,” came T’sell’s measured response.Eris ignored her and spoke to Eli again.“Are you sure you can handle that many?” Eris said as she arched an eyebrow.“That machine controlling ability of yours does have limits, doesn’t it?” Eli nodded and then smiled at the two women.He seemed sure of himself.“I have you and T’sell to help if it turns out I can’t…” Eli stopped speaking, turned and headed deeper into the installation.No alarms had sounded.The three made their way further, going down via various passages that Eli prompted them to take.At each turn, they missed running into Vortex personnel.Eris knew that this would not have been possible without the instant Intel that Eli provided, or the way he knew everything that was ahead of them just out of eyesight.As they finally arrived at the lowest level, Eris motioned for them to stop.Using suit comms she relayed her instructions.“Eli, any chance an EMP grenade could take out those heavy MEK’s?” Eris put her hand on one of the grenades at her waist.Eli shook his head negatively.“No, they’re massively shielded – an EMP would do nothing.” He was silent for a few seconds before continuing, as if to gather his thoughts.“But…they do have weaknesses.I used to build them…so I’m kind of an expert.” He smirked.“They have incredible armor and a lethal array of ordinance…but they’re not exactly agile, if you know what I mean.”“Well, what can you do to them with your thing,” Eris said while tapping her helmet.“You said they were blocking access to Chol and there’s no other way around them.”“Well, I could blow one up by triggering the built-in auto-destruct fail-safe.Or, I could instruct it to target one of the other MEK’s nearby and blow it away.”“I definitely like that second option.With one MEK under your control, it will also draw fire from the other three machines.Hopefully, the first couple of rounds will impact critical systems and take them out quickly.” Eris motioned for them to proceed.The corridors and tunnels they clambered through gave way to a final passage that was far wider and taller than those that had come before.Eris, T’sell and Eli had their suits completely sealed.The women were carrying assault rifles at the ready position, while Eli had his laser pistol.Their internal suit HUD’s showed where they were and where they were headed - a tunnel just ahead with four pulsing red dots that indicated the heavy MEK’s.“What do you want me to do? My telepathic ability is useless against them…” T’sell said flatly to Eli.“Aim for their optic sensor arrays.If you take those out, they’ll fire blind at the last location stored in their memory.”“Eli, can you take control from here?” Eris asked.“No…for this to work on them my power requires direct line of sight.Once I gain control I can pull back and take cover.” He put the pistol back in the holster, making a click sound.“I won’t need this…it would just bounce off their armor.”“Let me draw their fire then.I don’t want you in way…it’s too risky.Once they shoot at me, duck around and grab control.” Eris spoke quickly and turned her body as if to block Eli from moving in front of her.“Eris! The MEK’s will fire on you the moment you’re spotted.” Eli’s face clearly showed he was worried.T’sell spoke.“Captain, I agree with Mr.Bowman.I can move in and draw fire just as easily as you.Plus I look like one of them – which may make them pause for just a moment.”Eris patted the armor she was wearing.“This is heavy reinforced combat durasteel.It will protect me from at least a few incoming rounds…” I hope.“Plus I’m faster than either of you.Trust me; I have a few moves you haven’t seen yet.”“Alright…you’re the boss I guess,” Eli stated.She could hear the worry in his voice.Eris moved up with Eli and T’sell just behind her.She stopped just short of the massive security door that blocked entry into the long corridor of the MEK’s.“Ok, in five seconds, I want this door opened.I’ll rush in and take evasive maneuvers as best I can.Then come in later and do your thing.They should all be fixated on my position.” T’sell moved and took up position on the opposite side of the door.“Um…how much later?” Eli asked.“Not too much, just a few seconds… Let’s do this.” She tensed and then dashed into the brightly lit corridor as soon as the heavy portal opened by Eli’s command.Inside were the four heavy MEK’s just as Eli had described.They were armed with heavy pulse blasters and had marking on them effectively numbering them from 401 to 404.Eris ran in and made an acrobatic double dive, rolling to her feet twice.Her movements were a blur [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]