“Ok, I’m fibbing,” Gerard said. “But it’s for the good of the mission. Clawf has a special backup process that your virus doesn’t account for.”
“How do you know?” Toliver asked.
“Preparation,” Gerard said.
“Fishmonger, what’s your read?” Toliver asked.
Fishmonger looked over her shoulder. “She seems to be telling the truth.”
“Then shut up and let me do the job you threatened my life to get done.”
“What are these files anyway?” Fishmonger asked.
“You still don’t need to know,” Toliver said.
“Mostly cuz he doesn’t know,” Gerard said under her breath as she typed.
“Ok, go,” Gerard said as she pulled the data disk from the computer and stuffed it in her pocket.
Ox had unscrewed every screw he could find on the server racks. He put his hands on one, put his feet against the wall, and pushed. Metal ached and screeched as it bent then reached its tipping point and crashed into the rack next to it. And on like dominoes they fell.
Ox and Fishmonger stuffed poppers and big berthas in every crack and crevice they could find, then met Gerard at the desk. “Charges in place?” Gerard asked as Ox threw her a detonator. Ox nodded as the three of them crouched behind the desk with the unconscious tech. Gerard flipped off the safety and pushed the button just as Cy threw open the door and ran into the room.
Cy and the guards following him were thrown back by the blast. Cy hit the wall hard; his iron skin protected him from the shrapnel and flying data disks that the explosion spewed in all directions. Several of the guards behind him weren’t so lucky.
Cy, with a body and mind engineered for the tortures of war, recovered faster than the guards.
Gerard popped her head above the desk. “Cy! What the fribsy fractal were you doing?”
Cy smiled. “Having you get rid of my tail.”
“Of all the stupid…Get out of here before you compromise the mission!”
“Too late,” Fishmonger said as a group of men and women in camo with military-grade weapons entered the room and surrounded them.
“Well, well now,” said a darkly complected man with thick muscles, body armor, and a mechanical arm. “If it ain’t one of my favorite people in the Aphelion worlds.”
Boss Clawf walked in like he owned the place, which he did, but also as if the destruction of his main server room had all been in the plan.
“Sam,” he said, looking at Gerard, “your father’d be proud of you for taking on such a mission but, I think, disappointed you couldn’t finish it clean.”
“He’d only be disappointed I didn’t kill you,” she said.
Clawf laughed. “Oh, you’re probably right about that. He was never one for fraternal love.”
“Nor were you.”
“Sometimes to make an omelette you have to crack a few heads.”
Gerard brought up her weapon and fired. It would have hit Boss Clawf between the eyes, but Fishmonger knocked her weapon as she fired. The plasma shot went wide.
“Traitor,” Gerard said to Fishmonger.
He smiled. “Hmmmm… Money, or getting blown up when I’m no longer useful–tough call.”
“Toliver, you got an evac plan?” Cy asked into the comm.
Another of Boss Clawf’s guards entered the room, shoving a handcuffed Toliver in front of him.
“I’ll take that as a no,” Cy said.
To Be Continued…