“The tractor beam won’t hold up under those conditions for a long period,” Grace reported. “But it will last long enough for your plan.”
“Thanks,” Kat said. “We’ll begin the operation asap. Yuri, are you ready?”
“I will fulfill my function,” Yuri answered.
Allison hugged her. “Be careful out there. I don’t wanna be a widow.”
“Technically, Yuri said. “We would have to enter a marital union for you to qualify as a widow.”
“Don’t get pedantic on me,” Allison said. “Not now.”
“I will do my utmost to suffer minimal damage,” Yuri said.
“Can’t Grace just fix her if she does take damage?” Leon asked. Allison shot him a dirty look.
“Grace is a highly skilled engineer,” Yuri acknowledged. “However, there is an extent of damage that she would be unable to repair. There is also the risk that my personality or memory circuits will sustain damage. She may be able to repair my systems in that event, but I will not be myself any longer.”
“I’d really hate to see that happen,” Allison said. “The person you are is so beautiful… it would be really sad if anything happened to you to change that.”
“I will endeavour to prevent it,” Yuri promised.
“Let’s try to keep a positive outlook,” Kat said. “We’ll commence the operation and we’ll all get out of this intact.”
The Cerberus shuttle towed the Pacifican shuttle over the crater. Kat carefully lined up their cargo, trying to be mindful of the tractor’s power gauge, and released it. The shuttle fell, crashing in front of the base. The auto turrets fired as it came down, but desisted when it came to a halt. They sat, trained on it, waiting for any sign of movement.
A metal fragment flung out of the shuttle. It was swiftly shot to shreds. That was when Yuri made her move. She emerged from the shuttle, fired off several shots of her blaster and quickly ducked behind the shuttle as the turrets fired.
The Cerberus shuttle moved in, hovering above the base. Leon and Allison dropped down. Leon began cutting. Allison moved quickly behind the upper turrets. Her fear of approaching the deadly machines forgotten in her determination to stop them firing at Yuri. She planted the explosives and fell back to Leon’s position, detonating them.
The upper turrets were engulfed in the shattering blasts, reduced to scrap. Leon and Allison moved down into the base. They nodded at one another and hurried down the corridor, checking for the control room. Pistols silenced and at the ready.
The first door they checked led to a storage room. Quite possibly where the missing weapons were being kept. Allison made a mental note of it for when the base was secure. The next led to a very messy cafeteria. The third was a restroom. There was a pacifican emerging from the stall. Leon shot him without hesitation.
The fourth door was a target range. Three pacificans turned and opened fire. Allison and Leon quickly ducked behind the wall near the door. Allison rigged one of the spare explosives. Leon gave her a quizzical look. She hurriedly tossed it into the room and hit the switch. She hurried inside, keeping low to the ground. The pacificans had taken cover, but she could make their shadows out even through the smoke. She opened fire. Two shadows fell. She was looking for the third when a blaster bolt soared past her head. She followed its path to the third shadow. She barely had time to register that they’d been pointing their weapon at her when they fell. Leon nodded at her from the doorway and relaxed his weapon. She nodded at him and they continued their search.
Yuri knew that she could not stay in cover indefinitely. The concentrated turret fire would cut through the shuttle, even with the turret numbers culled, and she would be torn asunder. Escape would not be viable. Not with the level of fire. Ergo, she would have to destroy some of the turrets. She readied her own blaster, quickly plotted a course and ran out, opening fire at the turrets.
Their pacifican opponents had heard their skirmish in the shooting range. They were trying to make their way through the next corridor, but a group of pacificans had set up a barricade and were firing at them from behind cover. Leon and Allison were at a disadvantage, having only the doorway of a barracks style sleeping chamber to hide themselves.
Allison glanced at the bunks. They were bolted to the floor. Given time, they could get them out and try to use them, but it wasn’t a viable option. It would take both of them top lift the thing and they’d be very vulnerable. She took mental stock of what they did have. She had an explosive left. They had their blasters. Leon had some knives in his belt. The barracks had the bunks complete with sheets and blankets as well as two corpses in a state of undress. The question was, how could they use those things to get out of this situation?
Kat lowered the shuttle to hover just outside of the range of the turrets. Even Yuri couldn’t evade them for too long. She would have to take a risk to rescue the android. Grace would understand, she hoped. She grit her teeth and moved the shuttle into the turret zone.