Two droids escorting Nathan from his cell arrived and they left once Nathan was under the watchful optical sensors of the four other droids guarding
Studious and the rest of the team.
Ackerman: "They let you out?"
Nathan: "Well if by "they" you mean a very wobbly young lady then yes."
After this the Lt. Commander continued to brief Studious on the rumors of the cancer.
Ackerman: “There had been rumors of an entire shadow war taking place that few inside NI even knew about.”
Studious: “If no one knew about the war who would be fighting it?”
Ackerman: “Anyone maybe everyone. They just wouldn’t know that’s why they were fighting.”
The Colonel stopped for a second thinking he had seen a shadow moving behind him. He wondered if he was becoming paranoid.
Studious: “How long has this been going on?”
Ackerman: “The rumors of a shadow group have existed for a long time but the idea of a shadow war has only existed since the Nimitz incident.”
The old man saw another shadow but this one was different.
Studious: “How do you know this isn’t just all rumor and theory?”
Ackerman: “Earth was destroyed, presumably the civilian government has been decapitated. This will give the shadow NI a chance to seize power.”
As he walked he saw another shadow move and wondered if something was following the team.
He turned to Ackerman and whispered “Did you notice anything weird following us?”
Ackerman nearly laughed saying “Besides the creepy killer droids?”
Studious: “No it’s like a shadow, but it’s different each time. It’s like several things are following us.”
Evans moved closer and whispered “I see it too.”
The Colonel looked back at Nathan who had joined the team to be taken to their quarters. Judging by the increase in his twitching he had seen
something as well.
The old man saw the shadow and again it was different than the other two times he had seen it. When he looked back at Ackerman his was as white as a
sheet so Studious knew he had seen it as well.
The Colonel then saw the shadow in a different location but this time it was raising something…..a weapon of some sort.
The old man grabbed Ackerman and tackled him to the ground as a red beam was fired. It missed Studious’ head by a few inches.
The droids seeing this sudden movement trained their weapons on both of them. The team assumed they were about to be killed.
Then miraculously all the droids turned off. Fearing that the alien crew was trying to kill them Studious yelled “The Droids!”
In a moment they had each grabbed one of the four droids guarding them.
Studious pulled a panel off a droid and jammed it into the circuitry the panel had covered. Sparks flew from the still disabled droid.
Ackerman grabbed the droid from behind and pulled at its weapon turret until he ripped it off.
Monroe grabbed the droids head piece and bent it slightly.
Evans removed a panel and being an engineer he rewired the droid causing it to short circuit.
While it would have been impossible for them to succeed if they only had 3 seconds the droids were trying to reboot and this added several seconds
allowing the team to defeat the droids.
Quickly Studious formed a plan and told Ackerman “Get to the hangar bay. I’ll disable that green beam we encountered that took Seeker. Hopefully
that should give you the ability to escape."
Ackerman: “What about you Colonel?”
Studious: “That’s an order!”
Ackerman: “I outrank you.”
Studious: “Well then….just do it! It’s our only chance.”
Ackerman nodded and took off. Studious could hear that Evans was objecting to leaving him behind and the old man was touched by this.
The Colonel took off and ran down several corridors but every time he looked back he saw a shadowy figure still following him. Anything he did to lose
the shadow failed.
The old man stopped but the shadow kept moving first he saw it on his left then it was behind him and then it came closer and closer. Each time it
changed its form.
However when several droids arrived and began searching the area the shadow was nowhere to be seen. As if the shadow was hiding from the droids.
As he tried to get away suddenly he ran into Delia again.
Delia: “Hello Studious.”
The Colonel began to back away.
Delia: “Don’t be afraid, I’m not here to harm you.”
Studious eyed her skeptically but did not respond.
Delia: “But your team blasted one of the walls, cut a….”
Studious:“Please don’t harm them.”
Delia said angrily “Why not, they’re harming Ship!”
Studious: “That shadow was trying to kill us.” He looked around for the shadow but it seemed it had left. “Then those droids leveled their
weapons at us.”
Delia: “No someone
tried to kill you but lunging around like that made the droids think you were trying to escape. That's the only
reason the droids would try to kill you.”
Studious: “So who did try and kill us?”
Studious: “Do you know this someone?”
Delia: “Maybe, but that’s not the point. I don’t like that someone anymore than I like your people tearing Ship up.”
Studious: “Please forgive them.”
Delia: “Why should I?”
Studious: “You know that this is all that shadow’s fault.”
Delia: “Yes but they keep attacking Ship.”
Studious: “Can’t you tell them not to.”
Studious: “There has to be an intercom or something. Right?”
Delia sarcastically says “Oh of course they’ll listen to voices coming from the walls telling them not to escape.”
Studious: “Let me speak to them.”
Delia: “Your voice coming from the walls would be just as frightening for them as my voice. And by the time I got you near them they would have
moved on. It’s very difficult to keep them contained without
Studious: “Then let them escape.”
Delia: “What, why!?”
Studious: “They won’t be able to attack Ship once they’ve left.”
Delia: “Alright, but if I’m going to help your team escape you’re going to help me."
Delia: “Follow me.”
Delia led Studious through several doorways which did not attack him with their tentacles. They traveled toward a buzzing electrical noise until
Studious saw that it was a room with a deep chasm and a walkway. On one side of the walkway there was a large circular structure with a thin walkway
that circled it.
Studious: “What do you want me to do?”
Delia: “Turn off power to system 1138. This will prevent anyone from using the green transport beam to capture your team as they escape.”
Studious thought "That was exactly what I was going to do!" then said “Why don’t you do it?”
Delia walks forward stumbling a bit. The Colonel hadn’t noticed it before but she seemed unsteady.
Delia: "Well...uh..." she points over to the deep chasm and then at the control panels.
Studious: “Oh.” He peers over the edge looking down at the chasm below.
“Who designed this? I mean why would you make control panels that can only be accessed by standing on a thin walkway above a deep chasm?”
Delia: “Just do it!”
Studious grumbled at the homicidal design as he shimmied across the ledge to the control panel. Reaching it he pulled a lever and then moved further
along the ledge and turned what looked like a screwdriver. Both times he could hear something powering down.
Then she told him “Not the lever you idiot go back and turn it up again.”
Studious: “Alright, alright!”
The old man shimmied across again and turned the lever back up.”
Studious: “Happy now?”
Just then a group of droids approached.
The lead droid told them “Turn on automatic updates.”
First Droid: “Confirmed.”
The rest of the droids moved on but two stayed behind.
First Droid: “Do you process what’s going on?”
Second Droid: “There is a 75% chance it’s another attack.”
With their business taken care of they start to chat.
First Droid: “Have you seen the new BT-16?”
Second Droid: “Yes some of the other droids sent me data packets about it. They report it is quite…"
Studious picked up a ball bearing and threw it behind them.
First Droid: “Did your sensors detect that?”
Second Droid: “Negative it’s probably just an error. Do not allocate CPU.”
Studious moved quickly back onto the walkway but a droid saw him and said.
Second Droid: “Freeze! We are not so easily distracted.
We will require your identification.”
The old man turned around and looked at Delia.
Delia turned and told the droids “You don’t need to see his identification.”
Second Droid: “We do not require his identification.”
Delia: “He’s not the person you’re looking for.”
Second Droid: “He is not the biological entity we were tasked to locate.”
Delia: “He can go about his business.”
Second Droid: “You may continue to fulfill your function.”
Delia: “Move along.”
Second Droid: “Your presence here is no longer required.”
As they left the room with the control panels Delia says “Ugh your team just attacked the hangar bay but is now running away.”
Before Studious could speak she continues “Don’t worry we’ll chase them in a circle they’ll be back.”
The two continued down several corridors and through several doorways but with Delia near him the tentacles did not attack.
Suddenly a shot came from behind them and hit part of the wall next to them causing a small explosion.
The Colonel shields Delia and they quickly move to escape. Through the smoke they can see that the dark shadowy figure is still following them.
[edit on 24-8-2009 by Studious]