FHD Remix Chapter 15
Previous: FHD Remix Chapter 14: A New Bird; An Old Trap; The Light of Rain
Chapter 15: Objects in Mirror; Orders to Follow
"You have got to be kidding me," Tatakai gripes in the transfer chamber between Alpha Labs and the Energy Processing (EnPro) facility.
Alarms blaze. The computer's public address confirms what she heard through the structure, "Warning: Coolant Rod Two Offline ... Main reactor temperatures exceeding safe levels."
Listening to Sergeant Kelly in one ear, she isolates the chamber’s display and plugs her secret base manual package into it. <How do you replace a coolant rod?> she thinks.
"Greenborough, Bravo Team is down. Their operational status is unknown," the Sergeant explains. "They were carrying a military transmission card. It's vital you retrieve that card as it contains encoded data needed to send a distress signal to the fleet. You're our last hope to get reinforcements."
On hearing that, she breathes a sigh of relief. If she's the only one who can send the transmission, she's the one who can prevent it.
<Follow orders,> the Saviour says to her in her heart and mind.
"Find that card and find it fast," is the Sergeant's order.
Tatakai suddenly realizes that Director Kurato, and the rest of the Featherwing Brotherhood, have no idea that she's still alive. How is she going to let them know?
By following orders until she is at the point of transmitting the distress signal, and then scratching it so that only Brotherhood receivers can detect it.
Tatakai advances rapidly through the EnPro facility, picking up the promised Plasma Rifle within two minutes of exiting the transfer chamber. She soon encounters a heartbreaking moment, when the enemy turns Theresa Chasar, designer of the Plasma Rifle, they take only her head. The resulting "Lost Soul" creature becomes common place within moments.
Once she has access to the core, she simply flies to the bottom of it and begins the automated procedure to replace the coolant rod. While running that, she catches a glimpse of Jack and Elliot on a security monitor, they're frustrated in their efforts to find the security card among the bodies of the Bravo Fire Team.
Tatakai is frustrated. After replacing the coolant rod and stabilizing the reactor, she notices that Campbell and Swann have left the garage in a vehicle, rather than continue to search for the card. <They keep getting further ahead,> she thinks.
Tatakai has already encountered the Wraith creature, which can turn invisible and invulnerable to conventional weapons at will, but must expose itself to attack. She finds Private Sam, badly injured.
"I have orders from Sergeant Kelly to get a communications card from you and take it to the Communications Facility to send a distress signal. Do you have it?"
"Corporal, The Sarge said you were dead," Private Sam struggles to utter, "he lied to us just like Grant said."
"Trust me," she whispers, "I've seen the soul stealers in action ... only us Saviour-spawn are immune, so sending for reinforcements would be a very bad idea ... I’ll keep up the show as long as I-"
A wraith appears and stabs poor Private Sam through the head. Tatakai dispatches it with a shotgun blast. "I'm sorry, Private," she sobs through tears as she closes his unseeing eyes, "I should have heard it coming."
As they drive, Elliot explains to Jack, "Sergeant Kelly has someone chasing us … whoever he is, he is damned fast. If this commando gets ahead of us to the Communications Facility, he probably has orders to transmit a distress signal. If that happens, Earth is doomed."
Jack thinks of the one person who, at least in training, was able to advance so fast in the face of resistance that she would sow confusion in the enemy's rear before they even realized they had been penetrated. He remembers this young lady standing as the only unmarked trooper left of over a hundred, singlehandedly winning the exercise after her platoon was wiped out by a smart opposing force. He still has no idea how she did it.
Tatakai had encountered some sort of artifact, and on touching it, she was ambushed by over a dozen zombies. The effect of the artifact was unnerving ... she became so high-strung and jittery that she couldn't get her finger into the trigger loop of her shotgun. She deploys and discovers the effect on her feathers, made almost into swords by the effect of this device. She easily slashes her enemies to pieces with just her wings.
In the meantime, Jack realizes that he may have major problem. His devastating protégé was on the same ship they came in on ... if she's following Kelly’s orders. He swallows hard as he realizes ... he might have to face her in battle. Closing his eyes, he realizes that the fight would be even at best.
"This isn't possible!" Betruger exclaims as he finds that this mysterious Marine has unlocked and gotten through the logistics area between EnPro and the Communications Facility without any of the expected lift activity. Turning to Kelly, he says, "If she quits following your orders, we're in trouble."
Tatakai kneels in an airlock. "Saviour, I did not like that berserker thing at all ... I hate feeling so out of control ... I hate feeling that much anger."
<Actually, you love too much to enjoy that feeling ... it's not hate at all,> the whispering Saviour explains.
Next: FHD Remix Chapter 16: Cancel That Transmission!