Gerard and Ox ran down the hallway. Plasma fire singed the walls around them as Clawf’s underlings shot at them.
When Gerard reached the hangar, she ducked inside the door, waited for Ox to get through, then wired the door shut. “Ox, the yacht!” Gerard shouted, pointing to Boss Clawf’s pleasure cruise vehicle.
“It have guns?” Ox asked as he ran towards it.
“We’ll see,” Gerard said.
She could hear Clawf’s minions outside the door firing up a precidian torch. They’d be through that door even faster than she calculated.
“It’s locked!” Ox called.
“Be right there!” Gerard shouted as she put a fire extinguisher up to the hole the precidian torch was making. She fired and taped the trigger down so it would continue to fire.
“That should put out your torch,” she said and ran for the yacht.
Gerard made it halfway to the yacht before the henchman, covered in white foam, finished cutting through the door. They stepped aside and allowed a full contingent of Clawf’s guards and underlings to enter and begin firing. Gerard ducked behind a ship as the plasma fire singed and sizzled spots all around her.
“Ox,” she called into the comm, “I’m pinned down.”
“I’ll come get you.”
“You know how to fly?”
Boss Clawf entered the room. He shouted orders and directed fire.
Ox got into the cockpit and began flipping anything that looked like it should be flipped. The yacht lifted off the ground and listed to one side as it opened fire on Boss Clawf.
Gerard had chosen it for its speed and symbolic significance to Boss Clawf, not its weapons. Boss Clawf’s henchmen took cover, but Boss Clawf stood firmly and fired his plasma rifle at the yacht’s engines.
“You gonna pick me up?” Gerard asked into the comm.
“Tryin’ to,” Ox said as he battled the controls.
The yacht listed further and then suddenly spun towards the hangar door and Boss Clawf, who ducked as the yacht smashed into the wall and fell in front of the door. Reinforcements wouldn’t be coming for a while. Clawf had about five men in the room, three of which were hurt in the yacht’s crash. Gerard took out the other two with well-placed shots to their armor that threw them back and knocked them to the floor.
Clawf smiled. “So, this is how it ends, huh?”
“You’re the one who ended it. You didn’t have to side against the Colonial Federation. You could have followed Dad.”
“I loved your father dearly, but a place in the army was never for me. Too many Crimmels and not enough ways to kill them.” He smiled. “You’re more like me than him. Turned to crime at the first chance.”
“It was a last resort.”
“And now you’ll betray your own uncle?”
“You betrayed your father, my grandfather. Took over the family business.”
“That’s different. You’re destroying the family business.”
“You were sloppy, uncle.”
“I shan’t make that mistake again.” He raised the gun and aimed it between her eyes. “You stopped being my niece the day you threatened me.”
She stepped forward so that muzzle of the weapon rested on her forehead. In the same swift motion she pulled out her pistol and shoved it into Clawf’s mid-section.
“This baby’s got a dead man’s switch. You shoot me and it automatically shoots you. Got it?”
“You and your dead man switches. We could have been something special, Samantha.”
“Yeah, if my uncle wasn’t a jerk.”
He smiled. “He really is, isn’t he?”
“Sir,” one of Clawf’s remaining guards said. Clawf turned to him while leaving his gun in place. “It appears,” the guard continued, “that your files have gone public. Subspace channels are blitzing with details.”
Clawf turned back to Samantha. He lifted his gun. “You’ve won this round, but there will be another. You may not survive that one.”
Clawf signaled to his guards and walked toward the entrance to the hangar. He picked up a rocket blaster from one of his fallen guards and blasted the yacht out of the way of the door. He dropped the rocket launcher and walked through the door, followed closely by his henchmen.
Gerard breathed out a sigh. “Lucky they believe in dead man switches.”
The sound of crunching, creaking metal came from the yacht as two hands spread the rocket’s hole into a gash. Ox jumped out, yelling at the top of his lungs and raring for a fight. He got almost to Gerard before he realized they were the only ones there. He stopped his scream and his run abruptly. “All done?” he asked.
“For now,” Gerard said. “For now.”
To Be Continued…