“Cute, real cute, now can we focus?” said Eve, coming to a stop so sharply that Cyrus nearly staggered into her. It was obvious why Eve was joining he and Leta; she was the muscle and weapon. Her favorite assault rifle was clutched readily in her hands. “Cap’n, where to?” she said to the piece in her ear, and seconds later, Fiearius’ voice filled the line.
“Command center is around that corner. To the left. It’ll be — ”
But then, Fiearius’ words were drowned out by a thunderous, rumbling of metal, like the Titan had fired off one of its cannons.
“What was that?” said Leta.
“Don’t worry about it. Just get to the command center, alright?”
“That’s reassuring,” said Leta dryly, dropping her hand from her ear and crossing forward quickly. “C’mon, this way.”
Cyrus followed Leta as she rounded the corner toward the command center entrance, but they didn’t find the deserted hallway he’d been hoping for. Instead — his eyes widened — it was a growing firefight. Down the hallway, Society agents ducked down against the walls as Quin’s people (considerably less organized) stormed down the stairs, gunfire zinging around them …
For a full ten seconds Cyrus was paralyzed — until he felt Leta steer him towards a console in the wall. “Cy, get the door open!”
“Wh — right, on it,” said Cyrus quickly, stepping toward the screen and pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. In his peripheral, he felt Leta keeping watch over their corner of the hallway, her gun in her hand at her side. Meanwhile, Eve was stalking up and down the corridor, rifle at the ready, like an extremely protective watchdog.
“Snap to it, would ya?” she grunted as his fingers flew over the screen. “This fight’s gettin’ closer.”
“I’m working on it.”
“Can ya work faster? Don’t reckon the captain would appreciate anything happenin’ to either of you.”
At last, with a rush of air, the doors to the command room glided open. Cyrus hurried inside, his companions on his heels, and quickly closed the doors behind them — they were barricaded in safely. For now.
“Leta, watch those security screens,” he ordered, moving toward the main row of consoles. “Make sure no one’s coming this way.”
“And what about me?” said Eve curiously, like Cyrus was telling her what to bring to the family picnic. Then she added helpfully, “Your brother usually has me on headshot duty. Y’know, keep people from comin’ up behind him and shooting him in the head.”
“Well … do that,” Cyrus said blankly. “Yeah, keep doing that.”
Then he quickly started tapping away at the screen of the main console. This should be easy, he thought to himself. Just a few minutes. There was always a very simple trick to Society systems that made them practically childsplay to override. All he had to do was type in that and hit this and–
But where he expected to see the full access control screen, he instead saw an error. He started to try again when Leta caught his attention.
“Hang on, someone’s coming — “ said Leta, and when Cyrus looked up in alarm, she added, “Wait, it’s Dez,” with an expression of relief and confusion on her face. Frowning, she hit the controls to open the doors.
In marched Dez, like a determined soldier. His face was hardened with seriousness as he said, “What’s going on? Have you accessed the ship yet?”
“No, it’s–” Cyrus began in frustration, but shook his head. He didn’t have time to explain this. “They’ve caught on and closed the backdoor I use. I’ll have to find another.”
“How’s it going out there?” Leta asked, but Dez clenched his jaw grimly.
“Badly. It’s a bloodbath. My team’s pinned down. We’re losing ground and quickly. Haven’t you been getting my COMM messages? I’ve been calling for back-up for the last ten minutes.”
Fleetingly, Cyrus glanced at the COMM piece in Leta’s ear. Its usual green glow had switched to red. “This room’s too sealed, must be blocking our signals.”
“Sorry, Dez, couldn’t help ya anyway,” said Eve, shouldering her rifle. “Cap’n specifically told me not to leave these two. Have to find help elsewhere.”
“The captain ordered that before we started losing,” Dez grunted.
Eve pursed her lips. “Dez, I like ya, but I don’t take orders from anyone but Fiearius.”
“Time is running out, Harper,” Dez barked coldly, stepping toward the door. “We’re dropping like flies, and you’re doing nothing in here?”
“Go,” said Leta suddenly, to Cyrus’ surprise. “Eve, you should go. We can handle ourselves here. We’ll catch up to you, okay?”
Eve hesitated. “Adler, the captain told me personally to watch you real close — ”
“I’m sure he did.” Leta smiled. “But go. I promise, we’ll be fine.”
At last, she clenched her jaw and nodded.
Dez snorted his approval. “See, they’ll be fine, let’s go.” He headed for the door and Eve reluctantly followed, her eyes trailing back on Leta and Cyrus as she entered the hallway and disappeared.
As Leta crossed the room to seal the door again, Cyrus couldn’t help but mutter, “Hope we can keep that promise.”
This was not how this was supposed to go.
This many ships on their side, their army of people, it should have been enough. Mathematically, it should have been enough to take on the crew of the Titan. They had done this so many times before now. They were good at it. They should have been winning this. Easily.
Fiearius knotted his fingers in his hair, clenching his eyes shut as he stalked around the Dionysian’s bridge. Why was everything going so wrong? He felt like he was ready to snap in half, and it didn’t help when Dez’s voice came through the speakers.
“They’ve cut off access to the bay. We can’t get through.”
Fiearius groaned. “Double back to the C5 corridor, there’s another entrance.”
“Send ‘em back our way!” shouted Rax, his voice nearly drowned out by gunfire. “We’re getting slaughtered over here. Four men down, ten injured from that proximity blast.”
Fiearius lowered his hand from his hair, trying to absorb this news while fighting the urge to kick over the captain’s chair.