Ghost Squadron: Exploration

Snippet 2

Harbor District. Trinidad City, Axiom 03, Axiom System.

The warehouse was filled with dust and age, the scent of industry still lingering in the air. That was the case with many of the old buildings in this city, ever since the Alegro Corporation packed up its bags and left the system for better financial opportunities. Less money meant less security, which meant more opportunity for criminals.

Captain Edward Teach stood quietly in the middle of the warehouse, waiting for the Trids to unload the merchandise.

“Here you are,” said the Trid named Doka. He set a crate down in front of Eddie and stepped back.

Eddie looked to his left at Lars Malseen, a massive Kezzin in full body armor. “Check it.”

Lars nodded, bending down to the crate and popping the lock. He opened it, revealing a set of rifles, and took one out to examine it. “Looks good.”

“What about the grenades?” asked Eddie, glancing back at Doka.

“All here, all here,” Doka assured him. He waved at his associates, who brought three smaller boxes.

Lars checked those, too, and gave Eddie the all-clear.

“Good,” said Eddie. “Mind if I ask where you got these?”

“What do you care?” asked the Trid.

“I just like to know where my guns come from.”

“From me. That’s all you need to know.”

“Is it?” asked Eddie. “Because you’re the middle man, last I checked.”

Doka tapped the small device on his hip, a piece of tech that kept his body hydrated. Trids evolved on an ocean planet and required a very specific chemical to prevent them from drying out. If they went too long without it, they’d die. The device was essential for this reason, as it monitored their vitals and injected the chemical when levels were low. “You insult me,” Doka finally said. “That isn’t wise.”

Eddie chuckled. “Maybe you’re right. Sorry, I was just messing around.”

“Are you satisfied with these weapons?” asked Doka, who was ready to end this meeting and move on.

“Just about,” said Eddie, looking around. “My associate should be here soon to help me square this.”

“Your associate?” asked Doka. “You never mentioned—”

“I know, I know. I thought she’d be here by now. I don’t know what’s taking her so long.”

“Maybe she was held up,” suggested Lars.

Eddie nodded.  “Could be. I guess I could call.”

Doka looked at both of them. “What are you talking about? Which one of you has the money?”

Eddie ignored him. “You know, she always does this. I bet she and Hatch are at a bar right now. Probably forgot all about this job.”

“I don’t think she’d do that,” said Lars. “But Hatch might.”

“Hey!” barked Doka. “Are you even listening to me?”

Eddie felt his stomach growl. “Speaking of bars, remind me after we’re done here to stop and get some grub. I’m fucking starving.”

“Me too. I could use a good slab of meat,” said Lars, almost drooling at the thought.

Doka snarled, taking a step closer to Eddie. “If you don’t tell me right this second what exactly is going on, I’m going to kill both of you and strap your guts to the side of my fucking ship! Are you listening to—”

The door in the back of the warehouse flung open, and an athletic-looking brunette walked in carrying what could only be described as a big fucking gun. She hoisted it up, cocking the rifle, which must have been half her size, with little effort. “Afternoon, boys. What did I miss?”

Doka and his men reached for their weapons. “What’s the meaning of this?”

“That’s Julianna,” explained Eddie. “She can be a little dramatic.” He swept beneath his coat and, in a single motion, brought a pistol out and aimed it squarely at Doka’s forehead. “She’s also my backup.”

Doka froze where he stood. “B-Backup?”

“That’s right,” Julianna said, twisting where she stood and firing the rifle at the alien to Doka’s left. The bullet hit his hand, cutting two of his fingers off and sending the pistol to the floor. The alien screamed in pain.

Lars ran at him, slamming his chest into the alien’s, knocking him to the floor.

The thug to Doka’s right took this distraction as an opportunity, attempting to shoot Julianna. But Eddie was already prepared. He shot the alien in the leg, downing him, and quickly went for his wrist, grabbing him and twisting, forcing him to let go of the weapon. Eddie pressed his pistol to the thug’s forehead. “Easy,” he told him. “Don’t want to lose your head.”

Doka started to back away but froze when he saw Julianna’s barrel in his face. She was aiming her massive gun at the arms dealer. “I wouldn’t test me, if I were you.”

He raised his hands. “O-Okay! I’m sorry!”

Eddie smirked. “Now, that went better than expected.” He glanced at the other alien on the floor, who’d just lost two fingers. “Well, maybe not for everyone.”

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