The Admiral rose from his chair and moved to the computer console on the wall. He punched in some codes and the screen blipped to life. A schematics chart appeared.
“Maintenance closet; Deck Forty Two”, the computer began processing his command and within seconds revealed a map of that location.
The Admiral studied the screen for a moment. He found what he was looking for.
The maintenance closet was not far from the science station, also on deck Forty Two. They were a good hike apart but close enough to be of concern if something was wrong. He walked to his desk and pushed the button on the comm. unit.
“Major Sloan? Any word yet from security?”
Sloan responded, “They’re just arriving sir, one moment.”
Officer Dega could see the maintenance closet door. He had stopped at a distance to survey the immediate area. Nothing seemed out of place. The door mechanism appeared properly engaged, its LED light displayed red, showing it to be locked.
Cautiously moving towards the closet, he removed his key card from its holder. He paused again, putting his ear to the door to listen. Satisfied that all was fine, he waved the card in front of the lock plate.
It took a few seconds before the lock mechanism disengaged. Dega opened the door. He never knew what hit him.
Wheeler was just a few steps behind. It all happened so fast. He saw Dega fall backwards and drop to the floor, a gaping wound in his abdomen.
Back pedaling away from the door and reaching for both his weapon and comm. link, panicked, he shouted into the mic,
“Man down! Man down! We’re under attack!”
A figure appeared at the door entrance, EPW firing repeatedly as it moved into the hall. Wheeler was shooting as well.
A burst from his unknown attacker hit him in his left shoulder, knocking him to the ground. In his mind, he was thinking it felt as if he had just been kicked by a horse.
He had dropped his gun in the fall but now his fingers found the grip. He thought of his wife and wondered if he would ever see her again. Lifting to shoot, he didn’t see the second armed attacker at the door. There was a single shot to Wheeler’s head, instantly killing him.
The man at the door now moved in and kicked the dead man’s weapon away. Turning towards the closet he yelled to the soldier who had set the beacons, “Tell Captain we’re in. We need troops now!”
The soldier ran full speed into the projection beam that illuminated the back wall of the maintenance closet. He was no longer on the station, but instead in Edok.
Seeing Marko he was anxiously yelling, “Captain, we’re in and fighting. We gotta go now!”
Marko began barking orders to assault units as they assembled for entry into the holo-projection. An alert was dispatched to Santora.
“Admiral,” Tucker recognized Sloan’s frantic voice. All of a sudden he was anxious.
“Go ahead” Tucker responded.
“Sir, security encountered at least one hostile at the closet. There was gunfire. We know one man is down and assume the other is down as well. We’ve lost contact with them. What are your instructions?”
“One moment.” Tucker moved to the wall console and again punched in codes.
“Sloan, deploy a team to the North hall from the closet. Whoever’s there will have no choice but to move that direction because of the construction the other way. Use the troop movement corridors for cover.”
The corridors were a set of passages constructed for the purpose of moving troops during heavy tourist activity. Hidden from view, soldiers and equipment could easily be deployed all over the station.
“Fire only if fired upon. Try to take the intruder alive. We need answers to what’s going on. Admiral out.”
“Yes sir. Sloan out.”
Admiral Tucker looked another moment at the station schematics. Lifting the comm. to his mouth, He called Brimley.
Brimley was showing Zee around the launch bay control room. They had already been all over the science vessels. Zee even got to sit in the pilot’s seat and power up engines.
The science comm. crackled to life. “Brimley, this is John. Are you there? Pick up now.”
Brimley knew something was wrong. “Zee, I have a call coming in. I’m going to take it in the other room. Why don’t you have a seat in here and I’ll be right back.
“Ok,” Zee replied.
Brimley moved to a more private location and opened up comm. channels. “John, this is Brimley.”
“Brimley, an armed intruder has hacked into one of our grid coordinate systems from inside the station. Security approached him and it’s turned into a fire fight. We have men down and more moving into position to apprehend him. He’s in your sector close to the science deck. Are you and Zee okay?
“We’re fine. We’re in the launch bay control room and I’m locking it down now. No one will be able to enter.”
“Thanks Brimley. Stay put there with Zee. I’ll contact you shortly when we have the intruder in custody.”
“Ok John. Don’t worry. We’re safe here.”
One by one, Marko’s soldiers moved into the shift zone. The size of the closet meant they had to go single file. It was a very dangerous entry, but one that had to be done if they were to succeed.
Quickly, soldiers were gathering into the hallway on the space station. Marko too had entered to provide leadership on the front line. His instruction to back units was to load in men, then equipment, followed by more men.
He called for a sentry.
“Yes Captain”, they talked in a hushed voice.
“Take two soldiers and run recon ahead. Signal me when clear.”
Two soldiers were appointed at random and the three moved forward down the hall, disappearing around a corner.
Back in Edok, incompetence marked the current status of the men. No one seemed to know who should be giving orders and were arguing about who was in charge. Santora still hadn’t arrived.
An equipment officer made the decision to halt men and send artillery units. However, they were too big to fit through the closet door. Now those weapons were stuck and preventing more soldiers from getting through easily. It was taking minutes for a single man to climb over everything and then squeeze between the equipment and the door.
The order was given to halt the men and try to get the weapons back into Edok. Marko didn’t know it yet, but he was severely outnumbered.
Station security forces were monitoring the intrusion via video feeds. Because of the construction, they couldn’t see the hallway outside the maintenance closet. As soon as the scouting team moved around the corner, they were on camera.
The scouts were heading towards the construction zone and as Admiral Tucker had predicted, couldn’t pass through. They were forced to turn around. Entering the hallway back to the maintenance closet, they disappeared from view of the cameras.
“Major,” security called to Sloan via the comm…
“This is Sloan.”
“We have three unidentified and armed individuals. They appear to be soldiers of some kind, but we don’t recognize their markings. They were heading towards the construction zone and then forced to turn back. They should be entering the North hall soon.”
There was a pause.
“Major, they’re now in the North hall, about twenty five meters from your position.”
Sloan changed frequency and addressed his troops. “Stay out of site until I give the order to move in. I’m going to let them bypass our position so we can move in behind and surround them.”
A few minutes later security alerted Major Sloan. “The mouse is in the trap.”
Sloan raised the comm. to his mouth, about to give orders, but security cut him off.
“Major, abort; I say again, abort. Hold your position sir.”
“What’s happening?” Sloan was a bit agitated.
“Several more intruders are entering the North hall. I’m counting at least fifteen and more continue to come. I don’t know how many in total yet. Please hold so we can assess the situation.”
Sloan was confused. “They came from the closet?”
“I don’t know sir, but I’m telling you, there’s a lot of em.”
Sloan commanded the troops to hold position. Changing frequency he called Admiral Tucker.
“Major, how is it possible a force like that came out of the closet, let alone get this far into the station without being detected?” The Admiral was stunned.
“I don’t know sir, but security says they’re there. What should we do?”
Tucker patched security into his comm. link with Sloan. “Security, this is Admiral Tucker with Major Sloan. Where are the intruders now?”
“Sir, we’re monitoring them via hidden surveillance and they have just exited the North hall, level forty two, and are heading towards the science station. I don’t know how this is happening sir, but I’ve counted close to a hundred armed men.”
John’s heart dropped. “Security, dispatch two hundred troops to the science deck immediately. They need to quickly lay wall charges, then take cover in the corridors until we’re ready to take this fight into the main hallway.”
“You’re going to have to make a stand there if these intruders initiate a retreat back to your position. They can only go forwards or backwards. We’re going to engage them at the science deck.
Lay a perimeter of wall charges and assign a team to blow them if necessary. You take a few men and get to the maintenance closet. See if you can figure out what’s going on there.”
“Sir?” Sloan was confused. The battle would be in the opposite direction.
“You reported transmissions to and from that location. We need to know what’s happening in that closet. There’s no way anyone could get a force like that this deep into Teller Station without detection. “
“Brimley, come in.” Brimley and Zee were sitting quietly in the launch bay control room.
“I’m here John, what’s happening out there?”
“Brimley, somehow an invasion force has been able to get deep into the station. They’re headed your way. Are you locked down?”
“Good. How’s Zee?”
“He’s right here. We’re doing well.”
“Stay down Brimley. There’s going to be a fight out your door in just minutes. Can I talk to Zee?”
John told Zee how much he loved him and to be brave. He explained a bit about what was happening and that soon, he would hear things that were scary.
“Stay with Brimley. I’ll get to you as quickly as I can.”