“She’s in,” Grace reported. “So far everything seems to be going smoothly.”
“Don’t be so worried,” Ophelia stated. “Farah is very capable.”
“How can I not be?” Grace asked. “My girlfriend, brother and dog are all in there now.”
“Shit!” Femi exclaimed.
“What’s the situation?” Jack asked.
“The Alliance is sending in some troops to try and rescue the hostages,” Femi reported. “I just overheard it.”
“We have to stop them!” Alexandria declared. “Before they put everyone in there at risk. We can use Turing’s status to pressure them.”
Femi shook her head. “The message we intercepted was the signal to start. It’s too late.”
“What are you doing here?” Paul asked. “And why did you bring Baron Wolfgang?”
The little dog pushed his way out of Farah’s arms and into Paul’s where he started licking him immediately.
“We needed a way to coordinate with you and figure out just what’s going on in here,” Farah said. “The Baron has some… special equipment to facilitate the communication.”
Paul nodded. “Okay. I understand. Come on. We’re working on something of our own over…”
He was interrupted by a loud crash and the sounds of pistol fire.
“Down!” Farah’s voice called out. She hurriedly pulled Paul and Wolfgang to the ground.
The Alliance agents were fast, quickly bringing two of the terrorists down. Unfortunately for them, Gn’iol’s operators outside the auditorium had given him forewarning. He was able to respond immediately while his outside operatives moved in from behind to finish the raiders. They managed to hit one more of the terrorists before they were annihilated.
The smoke cleared and things quickly became quiet. Paul noticed one of the downed terrorists moving. He ran to her side. Leaving Wolfgang with Farah.
“Hey! What are you doing!” Another one asked, pointing his gun at Paul.
“If this woman doesn’t get treatment and quickly, she’ll die,” Paul said. “Now either make yourself useful and get me some clean bandages, water and a med kit or stay out of the way.”
“Hey, I said back off!” He cried. Stop that.
Paul ignored him. The guard aimed but Gn’iol grabbed his gun. “Get the Doctor here his supplies,” he ordered. “Or do you think you’re a better medic?”
“The guard hesitantly put his weapon away. “If you fail…” he began.
“Gareth, I decide what happens to our hostages,” Gn’iol said. “Or are you questioning my authority?”
“But if we don’t give him conditions he could let her die,” Gareth protested.
“So?” Gn’iol asked. “It would be her own fault for being weak.” He looked at Paul. “Besides, the little human has shown some guts. Wouldn’t it be interesting if he had the courage to let one of ours die deliberately?”
Angela knelt beside Paul. “How is she?”
“Not good,” Paul said. “Pacificans are very sturdy in their structure, but she took some severe damage. It pierced right through her heart’s chitinous shielding and some fragments of the plating are pushing against her heart itself. She also has a punctured lung.”
“We’ll have to move the fragments out and come up with a temporary substitute to allow the shielding to mend properly,” Angela said. “Fixing the damage to the heart itself is going to be tougher. We may have to carve off a little more of the chitin. Unless we can convince these guys to let s use a proper medical bay and more advanced equipment.”
Paul shook his head. “They won’t. They’re worried about what we could modify it for.”
Lucas, Meiling and Farah watched the pair of them.
“Did I miss something? Why are they helping the enemy?” Lucas wondered.
“She’s not really going to be in any condition to cause more trouble,” Meiling said. “And it does help defuse potential retaliation.”
“It’s more than that,” Farah said. “Paul believes that a doctor should save anyone they can. Regardless of potential risks.”
“Looks like we both have a troublesome Doctor,” Meiling said. She put a hand on Farah’s shoulder and whispered. “Let’s go back to our work area and talk.”
The transmission showed a very jovial looking Gn’iol standing over Alliance special ops corpses. “Alliance, your attempted raid failed. I should kill some of the hostages, just to teach you a lesson.” The image panned over to show the crowd.
“What is Paul doing?” Leon wondered.
“It looks like he and Angela are operating on a Pacifican,” Femi stated.
“However,” Gn’iol continued “I will be generous with you. Send me one of your parliament members, unarmed and alone. If they come within…” he paused and scratched his chin. “Within ninety standard minutes, I will not retaliate against the hostages. However, if they do not come, then I will line up and slay thirty of the hostages and they will al be Alliance species. It’s up to you. One of your parliament, or thirty of your finest minds.” The transmission cut out.
“Lucy, do you think the Alliance will send one?” Ophelia asked.
“Hard to say,” Lucy said. “They might if there’s someone in Parliament they’ve been looking for an excuse to get rid of. Otherwise…”
“They’ll view the damn politicians in their silver towers as more important,” Jack finished.
“That’s giving us a worse situation,” Femi said. “Everyone we’ve got over there is human. They may not be Alliance but they’ll be seen that way.”
“You’re lucky,” Alexandria said. “Angela may be spared since she’s saving one of his crew.”
“He won’t care,” Kat said. “Intel on him suggests that he doesn’t value his own people much.”
“There is a simple solution,” Siya said. “The Alliance has caused this problem. We will have them fix it. We just need to find the nearest member of parliament.”
“And then we drag their ass over here!” Leon declared. “Whether they like it or not.”
“That would be highly unlawful,” Yuri reminded them.
“Technically, the Cerberus crew is already criminals as far as they’re concerned,” Grace said. “I say we do it.”
“I’ll come along,” Jack said. “Disguised, of course.”