Drake Squad – Mercenaries at Large – Part 4

by holojacob

Drake Squad Mercenaries at Large-small

Link to Part 3

“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit,” Agnis whispered.

“We should leave,” Shrike said. “Right now.”

“Yeah, I think you’re right,” Twinkie said. “Back to the surface. We’ll take our chances with the crusaders.”

Twinkie raised his shotgun and crept onto the walkway. He checked his surroundings, but didn’t find anything beside spent vari-shell casings and splatters of blood on the walls. Bullet holes riddled the walkway and surrounding pipes. He led the way up the spiral.

Far below, generators switched on. A powerful thrumming started, ramping up in volume. Its tempo quickened until each individual beat merged into uninterrupted thunder.

“Not good, not good, not good,” Agnis said.

“We’re getting out of here!” Twinkie said, breaking into a run. He kicked spent casings out of the way with each step.

Metal screeched against metal within thick pipes above them.

“Heads up!” Shrike said.

Twinkie reached the hatch near the top they’d entered through. Blood dripped off it. He grabbed the blood-slick wheel and spun it. The hatch unlocked, and he pulled it open.

The passage extended two meters beyond the hatch and ended in a new wall of dark metal.

“Guys?” Twinkie said. “We’ve got a problem.”

Jane pushed him aside, aimed her railgun over his shoulder, and fired. The slug of depleted uranium struck the wall in a brief, sparking eruption. Jane walked forward and rubbed a gauntlet over the dark metal. She’d barely scratched it.

“What do we do?” Shrike asked, watching the pipes above.

“I told you!” Agnis said. “I told you!”

“You can brag about being right later,” Twinkie said. He ran out to the walkway again and looked around. The walkway spiraled up and down around the central machinery.

One of the pipes above rattled. Inside, metal scraped against metal. The pipe was large enough for Jane to fit through.

Agnis fired. The explosive round from her sniper rifle penetrated the pipe and detonated. The force blew the pipe’s center to bits. Hot fragments of rusted metal rained down. The severed, glowing ends of the pipe sagged.

“We can’t stay here!” Agnis shouted.

“I’m thinking, damn it!” Twinkie shouted.

“Think faster!”

“Isn’t there another way out?” Shrike asked.

“I didn’t see one!” Agnis said.

“Go active!” Twinkie said.

“What?”

“Go active on your multitracker! Map the interior!”

“Any crusaders outside will know exactly where we are!”

“What other choice to we have?”

Agnis growled a protest. “I hope this is worth it!” She held out her arm, charged her multitracker, and released a single, high-powered pulse.

Twinkie’s visor scrambled momentarily.

“Got it!” Agnis said. “Alternate exit two hundred meters north, fifteen meters down!”

Twinkie received the map of the dome and its subterranean tunnels. Many of the lower passages were still clouded in mystery, but the pulse had revealed a twisted snake’s nest of upper levels. He activated a navigation cheat on his visor and plotted their exit.

A blast rocked the outside of the dome. Rubble shook off the geodesic inner supports and crashed onto the pipes. Twinkie steadied himself with a hand against the hatch.

“Our friends outside aren’t giving up,” Shrike said.

“Move! Move! Move!” Twinkie said.

Another blast shook the dome. Cracks formed, letting in shafts of light.

Jane charged down the walkway. Twinkie struggled to keep up. They made a quarter circle around the central machinery and opened the hatch indicated on all of their visors.

They ran through another chamber full of old wiring and thick pipes. Agnis closed the hatch and pulled a mine out of her backpack.

“Don’t worry about it!” Twinkie said. “Keep moving!”

Jane raced on, charging through one corridor after another. They turned left at a four-way junction, took a ramp down to a wide storage room, and came out near a towering holding tank. They looped around the tank and passed through another hatch deeper in the facility.

“Crusaders are dropping into the central chamber!” Agnis said.

“That’s their problem!” Twinkie said. “We’re getting out of here!”

Jane abruptly stopped. Twinkie almost ran into her back.

“What’s wrong?” he asked. “We need to keep moving!”

They were in a narrow corridor with wiring bundles hanging from the walls. Jane pointed at the hatch in front.

Twinkie sidestepped around her. Precise letters in blood adorned the hatch.

WELCOME, DRAKES

CAKE AND GIFTS INSIDE

“That’s not a good sign,” Shrike said.

“You think?” Twinkie asked.

“We can b-backtrack,” Agnis said, transmitting an alternate route. “C-circle around the area ahead.”

“That sounds like a very good idea,” Twinkie said. He turned around.

The hatch behind them slammed shut. A wall of heavy dark metal slid into place.

“Shit,” Twinkie said.

TO BE CONTINUED …

Link to Part 5

Picture Credit – H.P. Holo at Holo Writing

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3 Comments to “Drake Squad – Mercenaries at Large – Part 4”

  1. I am scared for them!

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