Parallax Update #6

Note: Another excerpt from Parallax because I felt like it. Enjoy. 🙂

Pratt was amazed by the selection of weapons stored in the cache. Some, like the long cylinder gauss rifles were familiar to him. Others, like the smaller weapon that resembled a sharp-edged hockey puck with a tiny handle on the underside were not. The weapon’s weight felt lopsided as he tested its feel in his hands. The power gauge on the top was fairly straightforward and showed a full power charge. “What does this do?”

“Please be careful with that weapon.” Koren admonished him. “It’s a plasma compression pistol. One shot at too high a setting could be disastrous. I’m curious why an experimental weapon would be included in a standard issue inventory.”

Pratt grabbed a holster and after wrapping a carrying belt that was built for someone at least three times his size around his waist, slipped the pistol into the leather. He watched Koren retrieve a gauss rifle and extra ammunition magazines.

Koren handed him a pair of magazines for his pistol. “Your weapon has a twin magazine capacity. Please try not to use them all up at once. We have to move quickly.”

“What about the database?” Pratt asked. “Any luck finding out what the bad guys are up to?”

“I can infer from what little data I could find, but nothing to confirm my suspicions. However, all indications point to the Main Power Chamber.”

“Well then.” Pratt said, eying any additional equipment he might need from the cache and then deciding to stick with what he had. “We should get going. Do you know the way or am I just wasting words on someone who’s precognitive?”

“I do not know the meaning of that word.” Koren said. “But yes, I know the way.” He stopped and put a finger over his mouth, lowering his voice. “I sense movement outside.”

“I thought they couldn’t detect us here.” Pratt whispered back.

“They shouldn’t be able, but we still do not know what technological tricks they may be concealing about their person.” Koren whispered. He readied his weapon. “Arm yourself.”

Pratt pulled his weapon out and took cover behind the holographic table. The sounds of footsteps marching in unison became louder until they stopped outside the door.

Then silence.

“This doesn’t feel right.” Pratt muttered aloud. “All that racket and then they just wait outside? I don’t like it.”

A dent appeared in the door’s metal. Then another. And another. The dents became a ripple as the pounding became a rippling wave of abuse designed to overwhelm its integrity. Miraculously, the door withstood the assault.

“A secondary command and control center and no back door.” Pratt observed. “Are you sure that there’s no emergency exit?”

“Jack, you have been gifted with an abundance of intelligence.” Koren consulted his scanner. “The deck plans are old, but there used to be a service shaft that ran under here and led throughout the entire complex via branching tunnels. We need to find the access point.”

Pratt watched a crack appear in the door. “Nice idea, but I don’t think we’re going to get the chance to take the easy way out this time.” He steadied his aim as the door’s crack expanded enough to allow robotic fingers to pull the jagged edges back. “Crap, they’re coming through.”

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