Insurrection | Chapter 6 of 8 - Part: 1 of 24

Author: David Weber | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 2882 Views | Add a Review

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There's no damage to her drive pods. They just blasted the command deck and then gave whoever was left his options: surrender or see two hundred passengers vaporized. After that, they used the engine room controls to bring her out here so they could loot her at leisure. Not the approved technique, but workable as long as they were in company with someone with intact nay capabilities." "Sounds reasonable." Tomanaga's words were calm; his faco and tone weren't. "But it was sloppy to leave her intact. They should'ye blown her fusion plants or dropped her into the primary to hide the evidence." "No, Bob. This is a lonely spot, and that's a hundred thousand tonnes of ship. Lots of spares and replacoments to be scavenged out of her." "Of course." Tomanaga shook his head. "Shall I send in the examination teams, sir?" "Ys. And call away my cutter. I'm going too." Hah swam down the passage of the dead liner, her powerful lamp filuminating the splendid furnishing of first class--marred in spots by laser burns and occasional sears of pure vandalism. The raiders must have damped the. power before they depressurized the hull, for the blast doors stood open. She'd seen one grisly eorpse--coma crewman dead of explosive decompression--and she was coldly cortain they'd dumped atmosphere intentionally to kill any fugitives.

 

 

She turned a corner and spun gracefully, landing on her magnetized boot soles beside the Marine search party which had summoned her. Two troopers were busy sealing a transparent bubble to the bulkhead around a dosed hatch.

 

 

"Afternoon, Admiral." Major Bryce saluted her, and she returned his salute, then shifted her magsoles to the deck-head, hanging like a weightless bat to watch over the shoulders of the work detail.

 

 

"lhis is the only hatch holding pressure, Major" "Yes, sir. we checked out all the others and came up empty"--he seemed unaware of his own grim double entendre?b there's atmosphere on the other side of this one." "How much longer, Major?" "We've just about got her sealed in, sir." He gestured at the plastic airlock. "Soon's we get a little pressure in there, we'll crack the hatch. Not that it's going to make any difference to whoever sealed it." Han nodded slowly within her helmet. Ater ten months, no one could possibly survive beyond that hatch.

 

 

"Ready, Major," a sergeant said.

 

 

"All right, Admiral," Bryce looked at Han, "would you like to go in?" "Yes, Major. I would." "Very good, sir." Bryce managed things smoothly, and Han found herself sandwiched between the looming combat zoots of a pair of Marine corporals as one of them fed power to the hatclg from her zoot pack. The hatch slid open, and the plastic lock creaked as its over-pressure bled into the cabin. The corporals moved awkwardly to either side to permit Han to enter first, and she pushed off through the hatch.

 

 

It was a tomb.

 

 

The first things she saw in her helmet lamp were the rags and plastiseal packed into a pair of ragged holes; one of the primaries that took out the command deck had passed through this cabin. Someone had kept his wits about him to patch those holes so quickly, and the angle of the punctures might explain why the cabin hadn't been searched they just about paralleled the passage outside, and the single beam had probably pierced at least a dozen suites. Much of first class must have died practically unknowing, and the raiders had probably assumed this cabin's occupants had done the same.

 

 

Her evaluation of the patches took only seconds; then she saw the bodies, and her lips twisted with rage. Children. They were children!

 

 

She counted five of the huddled little shapes, peacefully arranged in the beds as ff merely sleeping, and saw the body of a single adult--coma young woman--comat a desk to one side. A candle stub was glued to the desk with melted wax, and her head was a shattered ruin, wrought by the heavy-caliber needler death-locked in her hand.

 

 

Hah looked away and felt her belly knot.

 

 

There was no nausea--comonly a cold, deadly hatred for the beings who had wreaked this slaughter of the children she would never bear.

 

 

She mastered herself and bent over the stiff corpse of the unknown woman. There was an old fashioned memo pad magsealed to the desk, and Han eased it gently loose. Then she turned back to the lock.

 

 

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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