[EVE Online perspective]
Operation: Adrenaline - Update
October 10th YC 119
Time was being wasted. The Valkyrie were able to hold the grid with an iron grip. This time around they didn’t want to last till the last second when their wormhole entrance was moments away from collapsing. But the waves of Schism forces were far to relentless to risk sending a starship in to board the control tower. Instead two pilots would have volunteer to land in the upper maintenance drone bay and search for their man. Without a starship to transport him on, they’ll need to stuff him in one of the few remaining lifeboats. After which he will be launched and automatically align and warp off to a random gravity well. The pilots @spookies118 and @SilkyGiant agree to take the risk. While rest of the squadron created a diversion. The two brave volunteers peel off to board the structure.
The hanger wasn’t meant for fighter crafts to dock. But thankfully the maintenance drone was misplaced, allowing the two bulky crafts to find surface to land on. The two pilots disembark, only thing their fighters have stocked is a Ion pistol. Whatever they find deep inside better not require anything larger. Because now these brave souls are marching into danger without their safety net to save them. They’re mortal.
Creeping through the deserted hallways. They walk with caution as to the ever present threat that lingers in the shadows. There only guide through this maze is Silly’s transponder that was tracking the distress signal. They’re led all the way to a small warehouse in the tower. No doubt used to store all sorts of hot merchandise from the Intaki Syndicate. So far they’ve not encountered any opposition making it here.
What they find in the center of the room, is a crate. Much like the ones found up in the racks and lined against the walls. But nearby was a stand, much like the ones you would attach a microphone to. Instead of a much it’s none other than the source of the distress signal. The handheld distress beacon was held up promptly next to the suspicious crate. A wire that led into the shadows of the room was attached to the bottom of it.
With nothing but curiosity to investigate. They prepare to open the crate. Spookie stood over the box with his firearm trained on the top while Silky removed it. What they uncover is not a bomb but a man! A living man that’s gagged with his hands tied up. Looking up at them in fear he tries to force words out through the cloth covering his mouth. Silky pulls the man out of the crate and onto his feet. Before they could remove the restraints. The threat finally comes out of the shadows. An ominous sound is heard. Mechanical with the steps of metal hitting the steel floor. Spooky speaks out and swears he saw something moving over by a crate. Place was too dark to get a clear view of it. The two pilots ready their weapons for the worst to come.
Drones, soulless metallic creatures who serve whatever function they are programed to understand. In this case, security. What emerges from the shadows is a spider like drone, the design philosophy was to create a drone that was silent and able to transverse any type of terrain. Thanks to magnets in the tip of its legs, it can also climb up steel walls. Spooky takes the first shot and nails it right in the face, it shuts down immediately. The drone’s squad rush past their broken comrade. The drone’s primary weapon is a tazer for a non-lethal takedown to subdue intruders. The two Valkyrie stood ready and open fire as the metallic creatures rushed towards them.
Three and a four down.
But reinforcements were on their way. Silky gets them back on track. and plots out an exit strategy. Checking his tactical datapad strapped to his left arm. He pulls up the structure’s layout. Spooky stands guard and kept popping the incoming security bots. The HVT was frantically looking around.
According to the map they weren’t far off from this level’s lifeboats. Silky leads the charge. He wraps his left arm around the right of the HVT and leads him out the way they came in. Spooky watches their back as they make their escape. The hallways were faintly lit. Powered by a stretched thin auxiliary generator. The sound of Spooky’s ion pistol and the stampede of security drones all had their own echos.
Spooky’s ammo was running dry. Tactics switched to rationing his few remaining rounds for emergencies. Silky still had few clips left. They were approaching the lifeboat deck. They could see the door on the right of the hallway. With their stamina nearly depletes they duck into the room. Stone’s right at their heel. Spooky hits the keypad on the other side and shuts the bulkhead doors on a drone. The small creature is no match to jam the heavy door. It’s crushed into two pieces.
The deck was slender, right side of the room were the airlocks the lifeboats would be connected too. Left side there were control terminals and another closed bulkhead. There were three lifeboats remaining. Two had deficiencies that made them unsafe to use. One remained in perfect condition. It could only fit one. Obviously went to the HVT. The two Valkyrie still had their ride waiting for them. Silky runs up to the controls while Spooky innings the HVT. The man removes his gag himself and speaks up to ask a question. But is shove into the lifeboat by spooky who shuts the door behind him.giving Silky a thumbs up, Silky executes the launch. Sends the HVT shooting into space. The ongoing dogfighting thankfully has shifted to another corner of the battlefield. This allowed the lifeboat ample time to align to a gravity well and punch it.
The two inside now had only one more objective, Escape. The drones were right outside the door they came in. They didn’t have enough rounds left to fight off their numbers. Their only option was the second door. Rushing up to it, Silky hits the keypad and opens the doors to what appears to be nothing more than a janitor’s closet. But before giving up hope they spot a way, a square vent that is large enough for them to travel in, while still having room to move. Spooky shoots the grating off and out comes a security spider lunging at him. Latching onto his chest, the drone tries to hit him with a stun defibrillator attached to it’s belly. Spooky tries to push it off with all his might but is saved by Silky who rushes over to tear it off and toss to the ground. Silky draws his pistol and puts two rounds in it.
There were no time for thanks. They knew the gratitude being exchanged here. They had to keep moving. The bots are in the vents but there’s a horde at them at the door. They climb into the vent, it’s tall enough to allow them to crouch walk though. Silky took the front with his pistol out in front of him. Spooky was close behind him walking backwards to watch their flank. Silky checks his map again and discovers this vent could lead them back to their fighters. Just then - the echo of an explosion rings through the vents. It appears the drones breached the door. Now the hustle was on. They began hastily moving through the cramped maze. First bots appeared around the corner Silky was leading them around. Three drones, all popped with pinpoint accuracy. Then the drones confront them from behind. Spooky holds them off as they show their heads.
Right turns, left turns and more right turns. Ammo was critical. Spooky had to take Silky’s last mag. Silly only had have a magazine left. But they were at it, they could see their beautiful ship’s through the event’s grate. Blowing the obstacle off with two shots was all it took to be a short dash from freedom. Silky of course exits first. Spooky taking on a few of their pursuers just before exiting the vent himself.
Silky already had a head start for his ship. Spooky gave chase but trips and falls on the thick tube of the equipment lying around. Silky rushes back over and held his comrade up. The horde of drones were exiting the vent and spreading out to flank them on all sides. Silky gives Spooky a slight push to get him moving. He then runs for his ship. But the drones aren’t done showing off it’s arsenal. A small turret rises from its scalp, they begin firing off live rounds at the two.
Spooky is the first to make it to his ship, climbing into the cockpit he wastes no time getting his bird off the ground. Silky is now just getting into his cockpit. With not time to strap himself in with bullets pinging off his hull. He immediately disengages his landing pads before his cockpit window lowered. But, a bullet makes it perfectly between the gap, nailing Silky right in the left temple. His ship lifts off and crashes into the bay’s walls with nobody alive to control it. Thankfully, since he perished inside his fighter. He was successfully picked up by his carrier and was put into another clone.
As for the lifeboat. Both the Valkyrie and Clance Gogne have deployed ships to recover the HVT.