“Who do you guys think lifted the crates?” Allison asked.
“Dirty thieves who need punched in the face,” Leon answered.
“Nice, specific answer right there,” Allison said.”
“There is insufficient evidence to give a specific name,” Yuri stated. “However, it is probable that the perpetrators were responsible for the shuttle’s crash. If that is the case then we can also deduce that it was someone who knew the route and cargo of the shuttle in advance.”
“Meaning that they had access to pacifican government files,” Kat finished. “So we’re looking at a spy for a rival government, terrorists who gained access or possibly a crime cartel with a mole.”
“The first option is highly unlikely,” Yuri said. “A rival government would pilfer the design schematics, possibly even make off with one of the prototypes ion order too reverse engineer it, but they would not risk taking entire crates.”
“A spy probably wouldn’t be hiding out on a moon with them either,” Allison said. “They would have had an escape plan. Gotten away while pacifican forces were stripping the shuttle. Which do you think, Leon? Terrorists or cartel?”
“Doesn’t matter,” Leon said. “Either way they have the weapons and they won’t let them go easily.”
“A lovely observation,” Allison muttered. “Why do I ever ask you anything?”
“I’m landing the shuttle,” Kat said. “We’ll move to the signal on foot. Slowly and carefully. Keep your eyes out for signs of the enemy, stay close and keep transmissions to a minimum.”
The four of them approached the signal. Kat kept her instruments scanning for signs of monitoring equipment.
“Looks like the coordinates are in the crater,” she said. “No sign of surveillance equipment.”
“Wouldn’t expect there to be,” Allison said. “Even thugs, low lives and other general scum aren’t going to have their equipment operating on a supposedly vacant moon. Draws too much attention. I’ll bet they’ve got close range, low power stuff in the crater itself by their tents or whatever passes for a base.”
“Doesn’t hurt to check,” Kat said. “Yuri, take a peek into the crater and make a full report on what you see.”
“Acknowledged,” Yuri stated.
“Why are you sending my girlfriend into potential danger?” Allison asked.
“The risk is low,” Kat said. “And I’m sending her because she has the best vision and she only needs a short glance to take everything in.”
“I have scanned the crater,” Yuri reported. “There is a base with a shield generator to block ordinary scans. The base possesses automated turret defences. There were no life forms in sight. It is, however, safe to conclude that there will be significant opposition within.”
“Did they spot you?” Kat asked.
“Unlikely,” Yuri answered. “The alarm system appears to be connected to the turrets. The moment an intruders engages, the beings inside will be alerted.”
“Any way to sneak in?” Kat asked.
“There is one visible entrance,” Yuri stated. “It would not be possible to reach without activating the turrets. Unless we can take control of the turrets themselves, sneaking in does not seem viable.”
“What if we got back in the shuttle and dropped from the shuttle to the top of the base?” Allison asked. “Then we could cut our way inside and to hell with the turrets.”
“I do not believe that would work,” Yuri stated. “The top of the base is within range of some of the turrets.”
“So, we blow the turrets and force our way in,” Leon said. “Unless you have a less reckless option?”
“There might be,” Kat said. “Yuri, were the turrets the auto-locking single target type, the full dispersal type or the remotely controlled type?”
“They are the auto-locking variety,” Yuri answered.
“That’s good news,” Kat said. “Then I have a plan.”
“We find a giant robot and get them to lock onto that until they use up all their ammo?” Allison asked.
“Please be serious for once,” Kat said. “What we need, is a diversion. We need to get those things locked onto someone who can move quickly enough to evade them. While that person creates a diversion, we take the shuttle. Drop two people on the roof. One of them blows the turrets up there while the other cuts their way in.”
“And you’re telling me to be serious?” Allison asked. “No one can move that fast. The targeting computers would zero in on their movement pattern before we could even land on the roof. Unless there’s a bunch of cover down there.”
“There is no cover,” Yuri stated.
“No ordinary person could, I agree,” Kat said. “But someone with a highly sophisticated mechanical brain with more power than the targeting computers would stand a chance.” She looked at Yuri.
“No, no no no no no no no and definitely no,” Allison said. “You can’t send…”
“Allison,” Yuri interrupted. “It is not an impossible plan. There is a chance that I will be capable of evading the turrets.”
“I won’t forgive you if she gets killed,” Allison said.
“Then we’ll have to make her chances better,” Kat said. “We’ll just have to go back for the pacifican shuttle.”