Major Richards needs to get out of the Sol System Demoted by the military and hung out to dry, the media labels her the Butcher of Toro. Despite her soiled record, Tanis still one of the best military counter-insurgency officers in the Terran Space Force. And they need her to find the terrorists responsible for trying to destroy the GSS Intrepid, a massive interstellar colony ship in the final phases of construction at the Mars Outer Shipyards. It’ll be her ticket out of the Sol system, but Tanis discovers she is up against more than mercenaries and assassins. Major corporations and governments have a vested interest in ensuring the Intrepid never leaves Sol, ultimately pitting Tanis against factions inside her own military. With few friends left, Tanis will need to fight for her life to get outsystem.
Starting down the corridor toward the remaining umbilical, Tanis listened for the sounds of weapons fire. Most were distant, but the odd snap sounded nearby. She was nearing the fore end of the hall when the deck plate shook with another explosion, this one further aft, closer to the engines.
<Are they—?> she asked her AI.
<It would seem so. If they blow the Dawn’s engines they’ll make a pretty big boom. There’s a D2 fueling station about a half klick away. That would go up for sure and it could take out the Intrepid.> Angela’s thoughts were clipped. Tanis could tell the net fight against the viral attack must be consuming much of her attention.
<So you’re saying we can’t let that happen.>
<I think that goes without saying.>
Tanis ignored the jibe. <Have you been able to make contact with anyone? We need to get the word out.>
<Still just the ship’s AI, who is barely able to form a sentence right now. I’ve got to concentrate on this attack. You stop them from blowing the engines.>
The engines were in the other direction and Tanis pulled up the ship’s layout on her HUD, determining the best route aft. If she cut through the galley she could get to the engineering section via service areas and avoid the section closer to the boarding hatch and destroyed umbilicals.
Tanis turned, moving back down the corridor. After a hundred meters it ended in a three-way intersection. She eased around the corner, checking for hostiles when the deck shuddered beneath her feet. Her footing slipped and her head jerked out into the intersection, fully exposed.
“Hey! Stop!” The call came from her left.