Ophelia and Bridget got through their sleeping shift without any problems. Ophelia had shifted a little bit and her arm had ended up wrapped around Bridget’s stomach.
The two women stretched. “Farah, you’re up,” Ophelia said. “Yuri, take over monitoring for her.”
“Acknowledged,” Yuri stated.
“Bridget, did you sleep okay?” Ophelia asked.
“Not really,” Bridget answered.
“Because of the arm thing?” Ophelia asked.
“No, that was fine,” Bridget said. “It was just the excitement.”
“I see,” Ophelia said. “Truth be told, we’ve all been doing this so long I kind of forgot just how much the anticipation can get to a newbie.”
“Sorry,” Bridget said.
“No need to apologise,” Ophelia said. “Truth be told, that exuberance is refreshing. But if you’re really tired you can try sleeping again. Yuri and I can handle things.”
“No, thank you,” Bridget said. “I’ll be fine.”
Farah was three quarters of the way through her four hour sleeping shift when Bridget nudged her awake.
“What’s wrong?” Farah asked. She looked over at the computer they were using. Yuri was focused on the screen and Ophelia was looking over her shoulder.
“We’ve got something,” Ophelia said, not actually looking over.
Farah hurriedly rose and joined them.
“It is an attempted remote access,” Yuri stated. “If you can interfere with their signal, I can take the hand held and track them.”
“All right,” Farah said. They switched spots quickly. “Whoever’s trying to access this data is good. I don’t know how long I can keep them out.”
“I will only need a couple of minutes,” Yuri stated. “Ten at most.”
“Bridget, we’re going with her,” Ophelia said. “Stay close to me and be very careful.”
“Got it!” Bridget declared. She seemed excited by the prospect of going in.
The trio exited the base and Yuri wasted no time in following the signal from her hand held.
She eventually stopped in the middle of the woods, gesturing for Ophelia and Bridget to be careful going forward.
Ophelia nodded, reaching an arm out to stop Bridget. They moved carefully and as silently as they could manage.
Yuri took them up to a small clearing that looked to be empty.
“There,” Yuri stated, pointing. Ophelia glanced over, seeing nothing but she fired her laser pistol any way. It hit a solid mark. A Rizand officer in a stealth suit came into view, twitching on the ground.
“There are more!” Yuri cried out. “They are retreating.” The trio began firing.
Ophelia knew she was shooting randomly. She was confident that Bridget was too. Yuri was taking greater care and managed to hit a second member of the stealth team. Her eyes darted as she tried to locate another.
“I do not believe we will hit another at this juncture,” Yuri stated. “They have escaped.”
“How did you even see them?” Bridget wondered.
“My visual acuity is superior to a human’s by a significant margin,” Yuri answered. “I was able to pick up on the minor distortion their stealth suits cause.”
“Then we need to figure out a way for the rest of us to do that,” Ophelia said. “Otherwise, we aren’t going to stand much chance against the stealth unit.”
“I will attempt to find a method to compensate for your limitations,” Yuri said. “Once we are safely back at the base.”
“If anyone else had said that, I’d think they were being arrogant,” Ophelia said. “But I know you’re just stating the facts.”
Yuri’s head cocked to the side. “Get down!” she demanded, pulling Ophelia and Bridget to the ground. Stun bolts flew over their heads.
“It appears we have attracted attention,” Yuri stated.
Ophelia looked into the woods. There appeared to be four of them.
“It is the unit that was pursuing Lucy,” Yuri stated.
“And they’re between us and the base,” Ophelia muttered. “Guess we’ve got to bring them down.”