Chapter 20 – Ancient Dread

3 Days Later

Thursday, October 13th, AD 2129

“Alright, time to— the hell? When did my bridge turn into the goddamn peanut gallery?!”

“Relax, Captain,” Saito replied airily as he stood just behind the currently empty Captain’s chair. “We’re about to arrive at what’s supposed to be an Aldredas shipyard! That’s pretty exciting, I’d say.”

Krick shook his head in irritation and pushed his way from the back of the bridge to the Captain’s chair. As he sat down, he muttered, “there’s still a good five to ten minutes, you’re just fucking early…”

Mote eyed the Captain with wary disapproval before turning his attention to the rest of the bridge. Genesis’s bridge was a fairly large room, but not exceptionally so; the Captain’s chair was centered toward the back, and was flanked on the right and the left by three rows of consoles, each seating one operator — one of whom was Captain Tang, Krick’s second in command. The room sloped slightly from the back down to the front, with the front of the bridge featuring the massive window that overlooked the ship’s steel gray hull, as well as numerous holograms displaying sensor readouts and other pertinent information for the operation of the ship. In the back of the bridge were the three entrances — left, right, and middle — as well as two markable walls for notes and strategy planning. There was also a fairly sizable standing space in the back, which was currently filled with all of the members of both CSF-1 and the Eximius Vir, as well as Commander Rabine. All of them were outfitted in battle dress, sporting their designated Powered Armors and weaponry… and Mote, as with every mission prior, was currently wearing the Aldredian Armor.

He looked down at himself warily. Compared to the subdued colorings of both the Black Suns and SERRCom armors that everyone else wore, as well as the steel gray coloring of Genesis’s interior, the fantastical crimson and gold designs of Mote’s armor stood out to the point of constantly attracting attention as people saw the colors and designs in the corner of their eyes. This level of attention, particularly from his fellow members of the military, set him on edge. Damn it, if I could at least get everyone to stop staring at me

So what do you think we’ll find?

Everyone turned toward Danielle as she stared through the bridge window at the fuzzy grayscale gradient that was Subspace.

When she noticed them staring, she cocked her head in confusion. Was that a stupid question…?

“We are about to find out,” Rabine replied.

“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about it,” Travis countered. “Imaginin’ this kind of stuff is fun, you know.”

“The coordinate’s supposed to be a shipyard, right?” Saito questioned. “Means we’ll probably find some ships.”

Sure, but what kind of ships? Big ones? Small ones? Military ships? Research ships? Danielle crossed her arms and placed her hand on her chin in thought as she stared into space. There’s a lot of possibilities, you know?

Mote passed her a glance before looking away and shaking his head in mild amusement. Well at least everyone’s distracted from me, now. Though I do wonder what kind of things we’ll find…

If our previous missions are any indication, Mark commented, we’ll probably find a large spacecraft with a military purpose.

“I’m always down for discovering more weapons tech,” Hackett remarked.

Yeah, but what kind of weapons? Danielle questioned. I don’t wanna find just more powerful versions of what we already have. We gotta find something interesting, like… like a Chaotic Cannon! It shoots Chaotics through space at high speeds, and they attack everything in their path! Yeah! She grinned, enthused by her own idea. That sounds so cool! Why hasn’t anyone already done that?

“The forces required to accelerate a person to the kind of speeds that would make them relevant in a space battle would instantly liquefy them,” Rabine replied. “Even with inertial dampening and anti-gravity tech, it’s just unfeasible. Only Velocitechnics, Forcetechnics, or Duratechnics could possibly survive that, and even if they did, those kinds of Chaotics aren’t very good at projecting force over a distance.”

Hey, Mark’s a Duratechnic! Danielle whipped around toward the massive man and hopped toward him. Mark! How do you feel about getting fired out of a massive cannon? We could even do it right now, I could transform into one and boom!

…I’m not so sure that’s a good idea, Mark replied, an uneasy smile on his face as he rubbed the back of his neck. Besides, like the Commander said. There’s not really much I could do, once I’m out there…

“I strictly forbid any launching of fucking people out of the goddamn bridge, anyways,” Krick retorted. “Unless you want to launch yourselves back into the goddamn hallways, that is.”

“How about you guys? Mote, Kate?” Travis glanced to his right, toward Mote, and then his left, where Kate stood off to the side away from the group. “Especially you, Kate. I’d think you’d be champin’ at the bit to get to this shipyard, you’ve gotta have some kind of hopes.”

She passed him a glance, her arms crossed and expression blank, before turning toward the front of the bridge again. Maybe we’ll find the last vestiges of this galaxy’s sense of fucking decency. Then we can snuff it out. You know, the SERRCom way.

“Uh…?” Travis trailed off uneasily, leading into an awkward silence that hung over the entire bridge.

…I see she’s still sore, Mote thought to himself in irritation. That would explain why I haven’t seen a single second of her since our argument. Even if she’s still hung up about that, making a scene on the bridge, of all places, and in front of a Black Suns Commander? The hell is wrong with you, Kate?

…Well, an Aldredas shipyard can’t be much different from shipyards in the modern galaxy, right? Mark questioned, drawing the room’s attention to himself. That means it’s probably a construction or staging facility anchored around a planet or a moon.

“It seems rather optimistic to assume that we’ll find a whole construction facility,” Captain Tang commented from her seat on the right of the bridge. “Especially here in Drakkar territory. We’ll be lucky if we even find any ruins.”

“And if we do…” Rabine turned toward Mote. “I think we all know who we’ll have to rely on to access it.”

Mote scowled. We aren’t even there yet. It’s too early to be putting everything on my shoulders…

“She’s right, though,” Saito replied. “Every piece of Aldredian tech we’ve found only responds to you. You even had to use that armor of yours to access the Corvette. Just you watch, you’ll have to hop into that ship again just to access the shipyard!”

“That’s a no fucking go,” Krick interjected. “That Corvette remains quarantined!”

“The Colonel may be right,” Rabine commented. “We might have to break the quarantine. If nothing else, we can hardly just leave such a discovery alone without researching it more closely.”

…How did you know about the quarantine? Mote questioned uneasily.

“Colonel Saito informed me a couple days ago. I participated in the mission that discovered it, after all; I deserve to know everything about it that you do.”

…Right…

“Why they hell are you advocating for releasing the damned thing from quarantine, anyways?” Krick spun his chair around to face Rabine, his eyes narrowed into a confused glare. “You were around for the fucking Nanocreatures, weren’t you? Like hell I’m going to let a bunch of nanomachines go free on my ship!”

“The Nanocreatures and this Aldredian ship are two very different cases,” Rabine replied. “The Nanocreatures corrupt and seize control of other matter — that’s their primary, and as far as I know, only real directive. However, the Aldredian ship is behaving differently, so I believe its nanites are of a different, more docile nature. Still worthy of caution, of course, but not of outright rejection.”

“Hmph…” Krick made to respond, but was cut off by a beeping sound from the front of the bridge. He promptly spun his chair back towards the front as he said, “put that thought on hold; we’re here.”

A second later, the fuzzy grayscale gradient of Subspace gave way to the deep black of real space. Genesis’s bridge viewport was completely dominated by a dotted star field, the faded band of the galaxy… and nothing else.

“There’s… no planet,” Travis remarked after a second of silence.

It doesn’t look like there’s anything here, Danielle commented. …Were the coordinates wrong?

“Now just hold your goddamn horses,” Krick growled as he leaned forward. “We’re at the right goddamn coordinates, I checked myself. But just because there’s no goddamn planet doesn’t mean there’s fucking nothing here. It’s nigh-impossible to get a visual on anything in deep space. Hell, if Genesis turned all her exterior lights off, you’d never know the ship was there, even from a kilometer away!”

“I take it you know how to find if something is here, then?” Rabine questioned.

“You must never have been on a spacecraft if you have to ask that,” Captain Tang remarked, her main attention focused on the console in front of her. “We rely on our sensors more than we do on visual sightings. And according to the sensors, there’s something here, less than twenty kilometers away. A massive… structure of sorts.”

“Well don’t just sit there teasing us, put it up on the goddamn display!” Krick barked.

“Already on it, Captain. One second…”

A moment later, a large hologram appeared in the center front of the bridge. Twelve small objects appeared, arranged as the vertices of a regular icosahedron; each face slowly faded in, shimmering slightly, as though a slowly moving mirror under the sun. Various other shapes began to appear inside of the icosahedron, varying greatly in size and shape — but all of them bearing a similar angled style of construction to Raenaros.

It is a shipyard! Danielle exclaimed with glee.

“And a fairly large one, at that,” Hackett remarked. “It’s almost a hundred kilometers across!”

“Looks like the ships are surrounded by a bunch of shield emitters,” Saito commented. “But there’s only twelve of them, to protect so much space… how strong can the shield possibly be?”

“I’m more interested in what’s inside!” Krick began rubbing his hands together eagerly. “Holy shit! Frigates, Cruisers, Battleships… everything’s here. Even a god damned Dreadnought!”

A Dreadnought…? Mote echoed in confusion, and took a closer look at the holographic representation of the shipyard. Sure enough, in the center of the entire yard was a large ship. Going by the scale of the hologram, the actual ship seemed to be around eight kilometers long — approximately the same size as modern warships that were classed as Dreadnoughts. I see… Mote nodded in approval. If we can claim that Dreadnought—

“Forget just claiming the damn thing, think bigger! Think building more of the motherfuckers! We’d be fucking unstoppable!”

We don’t even know how to replicate the fucking Genesis, Kate snapped, how the hell do you think we can replicate a fucking Aldredian Dreadnought?!

“Ah, we can figure it out.”

“We won’t be figuring anything out unless we can get through that shield,” Rabine pointed out.

You’re right, Mark commented with a frown. According to the sensors, there’s a massive beam-jammer covering the whole yard, so we can’t just beam in…

“And not just that,” the Commander continued, “it also seems naive to assume that these ships are in working order. That may have been the case for the armor and the Corvette, but our luck is bound to run out eventually.”

“It’d be a damn shame if all those ships were actually wrecks,” Travis replied.

“Captain!” Tang glanced toward Krick. “We’re being hailed.”

“What?” Krick scowled as he turned his attention to the other displays on the bridge. “By who? Who the hell is out there?”

“It’s… the shipyard.”

“The what?”

“It appears to be an automated message. It’s in Aldredian… I’ll run it through the translator.”

“Sounds like this yard might still be active,” Saito remarked as he passed a glance toward Rabine.

The Black Suns Commander responded with a slight nod. “So it would seem…”

“Well what’s the goddamn message? Don’t leave me hanging!” Krick pressed.

Tang passed the Captain an annoyed glance before returning her attention to the console. “…The message reads: ‘Welcome, brave warrior of the empire. Your fight has been long, and your rest equally so, but now—’”

“Alright, alright, enough with the damn fluff. Is there any actual substance in this message?”

Silence followed for a few moments before Tang turned back toward Krick. “It’s asking for some kind of access authorization.”

Travis turned to the other guests on the bridge with an amused smirk on his face. “Who wants to bet it’s lookin’ for that Corvette?”

Mote sighed in irritation. Why does everybody keep coming back to the Corvette? Or me? How do we know it isn’t something else?

“You can’t deny that there’s been a trend of Aldredian artifacts requiring your touch to activate,” Saito replied. “You’re right, we don’t know that it isn’t looking for some other kind of access, so without that information, we have to try what we do know.”

“I’m still not for this,” Krick countered. “I’ve already said a thousand fucking times, I am not releasing that damned Corvette from quarantine!”

“Would you rather let a find like this go to waste?” Hackett questioned.

“More importantly, every second we waste here is a second that we could be detected by the Drakkars,” Rabine pointed out. “We should be acting quickly, and decisively.”

“I am acting decisively. And my decision is to leave the fucking Corvette in quarantine,” Krick snapped. “I want to access those goddamn ships just as much as any of you fuckers, but I refuse to expose my ship to god damned nanomachines to do it!”

“…W-we could beam the ship out…”

All eyes turned toward Kirstin, who immediately shrunk away from the group as if trying to disappear into the corner of the bridge.

“The hell do you mean, beam the ship out?” Krick questioned, “there’s a beam-jammer over the whole goddamn yard, we can’t beam anything in, let alone a fucking Corvette!”

No, she has a point, Mark commented. We don’t need to beam the Corvette into the yard, we just need to separate it from the Genesis, right? And we can do that by simply beaming the Corvette outside of the ship.

“And then you can beam Mote into the Corvette,” Travis added. “You don’t have to worry about exposing the Genesis to the Corvette that way!”

Don’t just volunteer me for this, Mote snapped. Can’t anyone at least ask me if I want to do this?

“…Alright, then.” Saito placed his hands on his hips as he turned to fully face Mote. “Do you want to?”

I…! Mote trailed off in his response. He hated the attention brought onto him by the armor and the Corvette, and he hated how readily everyone else bought into the idea that he was somehow more important or unique than the others. But now that he was confronted with the actual choice of proceeding with the plan, he couldn’t bring himself to say no. An inexplicable pull in his gut refused to let him ignore the scene in front of him, and the memory of a certain series of images simply reinforced the feeling.

A star map location; a large subterranean cavern; a field of battle; a woman with olive skin and red hair, wearing regal armor bearing the insignia of a sword.

His vision once more brought to the forefront of his mind, Mote found a sense of curiosity welling within him. The woman in his vision was the same as the woman he had seen when starting up the Corvette for the first time; just who was she? She seemed so familiar, and yet, so distant…

“Mote?”

He glanced at Saito, and then at the hologram of the shipyard. Eventually, he replied, …I’ll do it.

Would’ve been easier if you fucking started with that, Kate retorted.

Mote passed her an annoyed look as Krick leaned back in his chair.

“There’s still the matter of the damned nanites,” Krick commented. “Even if I beam the Lieutenant onto the Corvette and then beam it into space, what’s stopping the nanites from fucking eating him from the inside out?”

“Electrotechnics are particularly well-suited for combating nanomachines,” Rabine remarked. “There’s precedent for this. His odd ability to interface with Aldredas technology aside, he is the best suited out of all of us to deal with any potentially hostile nanites.”

I’m wearing armor, besides, Mote commented. I’ll be fine.

“Hmph. Well it’s your fucking life!” Krick gestured at one of the officers sitting at one of the consoles near the front of the bridge. “Alright. Let us know once you’ve started up your little coupe, and we’ll beam you out into space. But if this doesn’t fucking work, then I am not bringing that damned ship back on-board!”

As long as you don’t leave me behind.

“Of course not, I’m not fucking incompetent.” Krick rolled his eyes. “Now let’s not waste any more damn time. Beam the Lieutenant to the Corvette!”

A second passed, followed by a bright flash of light as Mote’s surroundings spontaneously changed from Genesis’s relatively expansive bridge to Raenaros’s much smaller and cramped bridge. The bridge was lit only by the emergency lights, though a second after Mote appeared, the main lights turned on and the computers around the bridge began to boot up. Looks just like how I left it, Mote observed as he tentatively approached the Captain’s chair. He slowly lowered himself into the chair, waiting tensely for the armor’s helmet to appear and the ship’s neural dive system to activate; as soon as it did, his field of view shifted to outside the Corvette, giving him sight of the fighter bay in which the ship sat. An artificial display of the ship also appeared on his vision, like a HUD element, and highlighted the two laser scars across the two dead engines. A variety of symbols accompanied the display, but Mote had no idea what they were saying. Kirstin had updated his RTA implants with the Aldredian cipher, meaning that the Aldredian language — when spoken aloud — would now be automatically translated in real-time so that Mote could understand it. But translating visual text required a set of ocular implants that Mote didn’t have, leaving him still in the dark regarding the Corvette’s systems. This is going to be a real pain in the ass to work around… but I’ve flown the ship before. I’m down two engines now, one of them a vectoring engine, but still… I should be able to handle this.

Mote turned his attention to alerting Captain Krick of his status. With but a thought, he activated the Corvette’s comm systems and began to speak. This is Lieutenant Emerson, piloting the Raenaros. Captain Krick, can you hear me?

«Sounds like you’re fine,» Krick remarked over the comms. «We’ll beam you into space, then. Don’t fucking mess this up!»

I’ll try not to, sir, Mote replied dryly as the environment around him disappeared into a bright white light, followed immediately by the darkness of deep space. Genesis was nearly invisible against the black background, but the Corvette’s display quickly outlined the Battlecruiser’s silhouette in green to keep Mote apprised of his surroundings. Farther off into the distance, the shield emitters that surrounded the shipyard were highlighted in blue, and the ships inside in red, allowing Mote to take stock of his surroundings. Just as he began to do so, however, a message with blue letters suddenly popped up on his HUD. A moment later, the face of the icosahedral shield nearest Raenaros flashed a bright white and then disappeared.

The sound of Krick whistling in awe came over the Corvette’s comms. «Well, shit, you’ve actually done it!»

I’m going inside, Mote declared as he activated Raenaros’s engines. We don’t know how long the shield will remain open.

«How do we know this isn’t a fucking trap?» Kate questioned.

«Even if it is, I’d rather be inside the damned shield bubble than outside it,» Krick retorted. «Those shield emitters are inside the shield, not outside, so worst comes to worst we can shoot our damn way out.»

Mote simply responded with a grunt of acknowledgment. His attention was focused largely on the shipyard itself, and everything contained within. Not much time passed before Raenaros entered the yard proper, at which point its sensors automatically began scanning the dormant ships parked within. The sensor readouts were in Aldredian, so Mote could barely understand what any of the results even meant — but each time, a red cross accompanied the results. That doesn’t look good…

«Looks like all the ships are lifeless… go fucking figure.»

“Huh?” Mote refocused on the comms as he continued slowly through the shipyard.

«I mean what I fucking said,» Krick replied. «None of these goddamned ships have any active life support systems. Which isn’t surprising, but it means we can’t just start beaming people around without a care in the whole damn world. The beaming systems at least seem to work now; I guess the Aldredian beam jammer is designed to only block things being beamed in from outside… but still, boarding teams will need to suit up in Atmosphereless Armor. You hear that, Colonel? Commander?»

«That’s a pain,» Saito muttered. «We only have, what, eight sets of Atmosphereless Armor? It’s going to take forever to start up any of these ships…»

«All the more reason to get started now, sir,» Hackett commented.

Anything I should do in the meantime, sir? Mote questioned.

«Just keep surveying the place,» Saito ordered. «…Actually, why don’t you check out the Dreadnought? See if you can at least get started with activating it.»

Mote turned his attention to the giant ship sitting in the middle of the shipyard, nearly thirty kilometers from his current position. She was the largest craft in the entire area by at least a factor of three, and possessed a unique silhouette — from the top, she was somewhat ‘Y’-shaped, while from the side, she vaguely resembled a poleaxe. The craft’s actual construction consisted of a variety of sharp angles and geometric patterns that gave the ship a fierce appearance, but managed to retain a mysterious regal atmosphere instead of falling into the ‘ominous’ category of Drakkar and Riaxen angular ship design. …Understood, sir, Mote replied as he began piloting Raenaros toward the massive ship. She was certainly the most interesting feature of the entire yard, there was no denying that.

As the Corvette accelerated toward the Dreadnought, Mote noticed that she seemed to be handling better than he recalled, even with a dead propulsion engine and a missing vectoring engine. He also felt no draining sensation whatsoever — the ship seemed to be flying under its own power now. I suppose this is the difference between Dead Space and regular space, Mote mused, and then briefly considered testing the Chaos Cannons to see their true range and power — only to promptly dismiss the thought. An ancient shipyard filled with dormant, yet incredibly intact, Aldredian spacecraft was no place to be playing with weapons.

Nearly a minute passed, and Mote began applying reverse thrusters to decelerate as he approached the Dreadnought. Upon closing to within ten kilometers of the ship, her size finally began to sink in. SERRCom’s largest ships were its four Carriers, each of which were a maximum of five kilometers measured bow to stern, but this Dreadnought was even larger than that. The craft occupied a significant percentage of Raenaros’s view, completely dwarfing the tiny Corvette as she idled in space. Mote had never seen an actual Dreadnought before, but he had heard of them and the incredible offensive power they were capable of generating. Some Siion Dreadnoughts were said to carry full complements of 5-meter railguns as a common armament; Mote had assumed that claim to be absurd, but as he beheld the massive ship before him, he realized that such a ridiculous gun caliber was in fact incredibly possible.

Beeping and a new message on his HUD drew Mote’s attention back to the current situation. This new message was just as indecipherable as the rest, but it came coupled with a loss of control over Raenaros — as well as lights activating all across the Dreadnought’s hull. What the…? Mote frowned as he attempted to wrest control of the Corvette back from whatever had stolen it from him, but a moment later he realized that the ship had slowed considerably and was carefully navigating around to the Dreadnought’s underside. …Is it on autopilot…?

«Emerson! Lieutenant Emerson, come in!»

I’m here, Mote quickly responded to Krick’s hail. I’ve lost maneuvering control of the Raenaros. I think it’s on autopilot.

«What? Does that have something to do with the massive goddamned signature bloom from the Dreadnought?»

Possibly. The lights along its outer hull have activated. Mote looked around himself; he could still see the Corvette’s surroundings as she neared what appeared to be a docking bay on the underside of the Dreadnought. …I think the Raenaros is about to dock in the Dreadnought.

«Hold your god damned horses, Lieutenant, who told you you could fucking board one of the goddamn ships?!»

I already told you, sir, the ship is on autopilot. I can’t control it.

«Damn it! Hold on, we’re beaming you—»

«No, wait,» Saito interjected, «Mote, do you think you’re in any imminent danger?»

The Lieutenant took another quick look at his surroundings. The Dreadnought’s hull was still bathed in the darkness of deep space, but several lights had activated around what looked to be a docking bay — and the interior of the bay itself was brightly lit. No weapons appeared anywhere near or in the bay, as far as Mote could see. …No, sir, he eventually replied, I don’t see any signs of hostility.

«The hell do you see?» Krick questioned.

Like I said, it’s a docking bay. It looks empty… no, wait. Mote took a closer look at the bay as he approached, prompting the Corvette’s display to magnify his view of the bay itself. It looked much larger than Genesis’s fighter bays, with white walls decorated in crimson and gold designs. The blue sword insignia that appeared on Mote’s armor and Raenaros also appeared on the walls of the docking bay, which looked to be entirely empty, save for two mechs along the left wall. They appeared to be stationed within specially designed berths, and were of similar size to SERRCom’s mechs, yet with more streamlined appearances. …There’s a couple of mechs in here, Mote reported. They look dormant. One of them looks like a combat mech of some kind… at least, it’s equipped with a number of weapons. I think.

«Mechs?» Travis echoed. «The Aldredas used mechs?»

«Are they even Aldredian?» Hackett questioned, «maybe someone else was here before us.»

They seem Aldredian to me, Mote replied, but I suppose a second opinion would be best.

«Krick, how’s about we beam those mechs on-board?» Saito suggested.

«What?! You can’t be fucking serious,» Krick exclaimed incredulously. «You’ve seen what Aldredian tech did to the goddamn Genesis! Like hell I’m going to beam even more shit aboard!»

«Just put a containment field around them, then. At least that way we can haul them back to a lab somewhere for further study.»

«Hmph… fine. I don’t suppose you’ll want to go traipsing around the god damn Dreadnought too, then?»

«The ship seems active to me. Hell, according to these displays here, even the life support systems are activating!»

«Shit… you’re right. Lieutenant Emerson! Do you see any reason for me not to let these idiots on board?»

Mote examined his surroundings once more. Raenaros was now securely inside the docking bay, and was aligning herself against some docking clamps along the right wall. He felt the entire ship shudder as the clamps closed around the Corvette’s landing gear, at which point a hissing noise began sweeping over the Corvette’s hull. The image of Raenaros on Mote’s HUD shifted to a green color, and the laser scar marks rapidly began to shrink — and an entirely new vectoring engine began to form in the place of the missing engine. And then, independent of the ship repair, another 3D image appeared on Mote’s HUD, with two blinking dots marked apart from each other and connected by a winding line. It didn’t take long for Mote to realize that he was looking at a map of the Dreadnought’s interior. …Well, sir, I think the Dreadnought just repaired the Raenaros. It’s also showing me a map of its interior. The ship seems solidly friendly to me.

«Just repaired? What? Don’t fucking tell me those dead engines are good already?!»

The Raenaros is currently docked in place, so I can’t try maneuvering it around, but the laser damage certainly seems to have disappeared…

«Holy fucking shit. Well isn’t that just damn convenient!»

«Sounds like useful technology to me,» Saito remarked.

«It’s still goddamn nanomachines,» Krick shot back. «…But I suppose it’s worth checking out. Get your team ready, Colonel. And if shit goes south, I reserve the right to say I god damn told you so!»

«Yeah, yeah,» Saito responded dismissively. «Mote, we’ll be over in a bit. Then we’ll try to find the Dreadnought’s bridge. I have a feeling we’ll need your unique touch again.»

Mote sighed in mild irritation. I suppose…

«Either way, this is shaping up to be a huge find! Let’s try to get these ships up and running before any Drakkars show up, shall we?»

«Speaking of those blank-faced morons,» Krick interjected, «the activation of that damned Dreadnought created a massive fucking signature bloom. This shipyard and everything in it was dormant until now, but now we’ve gone and started waking shit up. The Drakkars may be bastards, but they aren’t idiots, and their long-range sensors are bound to pick up on this shit soon. We don’t have a lot of time!»

«Then we’ll make this fast,» Saito remarked. «Alright everyone, ready up! Mote, we’ll be over soon. Saito out.»

Understood, sir. Mote took one last look at his surroundings before turning his attention back to the map of the Dreadnought on his HUD. …Emerson, out.

 

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