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Chapters: Prologue 1 2 3 4 5 Epilogue

Chapter 3: Into the Lair

Broker's Lair, Empress Desert, 15km south west of Soleanna - November 3rd 2013, 10:10AM

They were inside. The rather wide entrance and the hallways connected to it were all dimly lit. Perhaps the room was for storing the robots due not needing light. The walls were made of a very thick metal, which was scratched, showing the consistent use of this entryway. Lawson poked his head around the corner of a hallway before turning back to look at Katherine.

"That the way we're supposed to be going?" he asked.

Katherine, looking at a device resembling a smartphone, responded with "No, the next one over."

Jacob rolled his eyes and moved over to the wall in between the two hallways. He looked around the corner. There was a guard, which made Lawson immediately go back into cover. Strangely, this guard was an actual person, and he looked very tired.

"There's a guard. Not a robot," Jacob said, quieter than he was previously. He then proceeded to get a pistol from a holster on his right thigh and began screwing on a suppressor.

Katherine stopped him, "Sir, with all due respect, we don't need to kill him to get past. In fact, we don't need to kill anyone."

Lawson sighed. "Fine. What do you suggest?"

"Astrid," she began, taking out a small dart gun, "Use this on the guard. Aim for anything that isn't protected and not the head."

The assassin took it and looked at it quizzically, "What does it do?"

"It should hopefully temporarily paralyze the guard," Katherine responded.

Astrid proceeded to move to a location where she could get a better shot. She used her skills to hide in the shadows, avoiding an unwanted attention. She then aimed the dart gun at the target's thigh, the largest unprotected spot and pulled the trigger. A very quiet hiss left the weapon with the dart, which quickly embedded itself into the target.

"Gah!" the guard yelled, startled at what hit him. He pulled the dart from his leg and noticed that a small container made up the main body of the dart. His vision then quickly began to blur and he fell to the ground, dropping the dart and his sub-machine gun.

"Target is down," Astrid said.

Katherine sighed with relief, "Well, that was easy. See, sir, no bloodshed needed."

"So it seems. Well done, Private," Lawson commended, walking towards the unconscious guard.

Astrid followed him while Katherine looked on her device to see where they were going.

"Agent Lawson," Astrid began.


"You are being harsh on Katherine," she stated bluntly.

"Excuse me?" Lawson asked, stopping and turning around half-way down the corridor.

"I am simply stating that maybe you shou-"

"You don't get to state anything, Astrid. You're here to help me complete this mission, nothing else."

"And in order to complete this mission, you need to place more trust into your student."

Lawson tutted and continued to walk towards the door the guard was laying by. Katherine then quickly caught up.

"Hey, I managed to gain access to a map of the base. It's actually not as big as I thought it'd be," she said.

"Details, Treske," Lawson said, facing away from her and messing around with a panel on the wall.

"Oh, uh, right," she said, swiping the device, "The door seems to lead to an elevator which should take us directly to the floor that the Broker's office is on. Unfortunately, it seems there's a lot of security we need to worry about."

"Such as?" Lawson said, looking frustrated with his activity.

"Laser trip wires, cameras, turret emplacements."

Suddenly, Lawson smacked his fist against the wall, creating quite a big dent in it.

"Damn thing's deadlock sealed. Can't get in."

Astrid raised an eyebrow, looking impressed at the fact that he managed to dent solid metal.

"How? That metal's thick as hell," Katherine asked, also impressed.

"I hit the gym a lot," Lawson replied, blatantly lying. Astrid rolled her eyes, knowing that he was.

"Oh, and that panel requires a hand print. Maybe our friend here can lend a hand," the Private said, looking at both of them, "Get it? Hand?"

Astrid simply looked at her with a face that asked "Really?" while Lawson simply scowled.

"You guys are no fun."

"Fun? You think this is a game, Treske? Our lives are at risk and you're making horrible puns," the Sergeant snapped.

"With all due respect, sir, if I thought this was a game, I wouldn't be here," Katherine responded, scowling at her superior. She then proceeded to walk over to the unconscious guard and drag him to the door panel. With some difficulty lift it, she placed his hand upon the panel, which then opened the door to the elevator.

"Door's open. Happy now?" she asked mockingly.

Lawson rolled his eyes at his partner's childish behaviour and walked in. Astrid followed behind. Soon after the team entered, the doors slid closed and they began to feel the elevator moving down. A few seconds after, Astrid began inspecting her blade out of slight boredom. Katherine took some interest into.

"That's a cool dagger. Where'd you get it?" the Private asked.

Astrid stayed silent for a moment and looked at it. Eventually, she replied with "It was a gift," before sheathing it.

Katherine took this as a solid sign that the dagger was related to a bad past experience. Lawson was fiddling around with the suppressor on his pistol while he thought about his rookie's performance.

She's good... Really good, he thought to himself, Astrid was right, I think I'm being a bit harsh... Hm.

"Sir?" Treske asked, trying to get his attention.

"Hm?" he replied.

"You okay? You looked like you were lost in thought."

"I'm fine, Private," he assured before continuing with, "You want to know how you're doing?"

Katherine stood up straighter and responded with, "Yes sir."

Lawson sighed. "Honestly, you're pretty impressive. One of the best rooks I've seen."

"Oh, uh, thank you, sir," she replied. Astrid smirked, knowing that she'd convinced him to be nicer.

"However, you need to be more focused on the mission, rather than on pointless jokes. That clear?" he asked, with some authority in his voice.

"Yes sir."

"Good," he concluded before starting a new topic. "What is with this elevator? It's taking forever."

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