Ghost Squadron: Evolution Snippet 6

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Ghost Squadron: Evolution

Snippet 6

Loading Bay, QBS ArchAngel, Lorialis System

Julianna had a rifle aimed at the airlock to the rogue Black Eagle as it slid to a halt in the landing bay. The crew sprinted in like a well-oiled machine, chaining the craft down to the dock at once.

Julianna eyed the weapon in her hands. It was sadly more obsolete than the decommissioned ship in front of her.

I’m getting new weapons soon, she thought, turning the gun over and examining its side.

That could link you all to the Federation, Pip warned.

Not if I steal them from some pirates.

You better find the richest pirates you can. Otherwise, their weapons won’t be any better than what you currently have.

Fighting undercover for the Federation had its perks, one of them being that they didn’t have to follow the same protocols as other divisions. However, the outdated weapons were a definite downside.

The crew had peeled back a safe distance, waiting in silence for what followed.

Eddie and Lars were stationed on the other side of the ship’s hatch when it finally cracked open.

“Hold your fire. Wait for my command,” said Julianna, stepping forward, trying to get a good look at the pilot.

The cockpit door rose several centimeters before she could see the pilot’s face and realized that he was human. By the time this man was in full view, he had his hands high above his head, his eyes darting back and forth between her rifle and the other crew members.

“I surrender! I surrender! I surrender!” the guy said, his voice frantic as he stared down the barrel of Julianna’s gun. He was in his early twenties, about like Chester, but had a black Mohawk and a set of green eyes. A silver metal ring was looped around his eyebrow, along with another piercing in his ear on the opposite side.

“Step down, slowly,” said Julianna, motioning to the floor with her rifle.

The pilot, who seemed more like a kid than anything, with his pale face and shaking hands, did exactly as he was told. He got to his knees, keeping his hands behind his head. Julianna motioned to Lars. “Search him. And don’t try anything stupid,” she added, looking at the boy. “We like to shoot first and ask questions later around here.”

The guy’s face tightened when Lars reached into his waist band and pulled out a pistol, which looked somehow more obsolete than the weapons they’d been using on this ship.

“I thought you said you didn’t mean me any harm,” the stranger said.

“We don’t,” said Julianna with a smile, the rifle in her hands steady. “But we need to ensure you’re the peaceful sort. We heard you mention the Brotherhood. Are you working for them?”

The man’s mouth fell open. “Fuck no! I’m running from them.”

“Why’s that?” asked Eddie, stepping in closer to Julianna as Lars drew back, raising his own weapon.

The kid started speaking quickly, obviously scared. “Defiance, the trading company I worked with, they were selling weapons to the Brotherhood. Well, actually, they were selling guns to a man that the Brotherhood appeared to be working for. Someone named Felix Castile.”

“Okay, good. Now we’re getting somewhere,” said Julianna.

“I’d been on a run for Mateo,” continued the pilot. “I wasn’t there when they did the trade… I showed up…” The guy’s eyes shot to his knees, then to his side. All around, but they weren’t seeing or focusing on anything. They were frantic, almost like he was seeing something…or reliving it.

Julianna had seen this many times. This kid was in shock. She lowered her weapon. “What did you see? What happened?” she asked, her voice a bit softer.

“He… the Brotherhood… they killed everyone. The entire Defiance Trading Company is dead,” he said, his eyes jerking from side-to-side.

Eddie’s gaze connected to Julianna’s, and he gave her a slight nod. He lowered his rifle as well. “No, they didn’t. You’re still alive.” Eddie turned to Lars, who was still holding his rifle up. “Will you please lead our visitor to an interrogation room?”

Julianna stepped forward, motioning for the stranger to lower his hands. “We call it an interrogation room, but just try to understand that we only want to talk. It sounds like we have mutual enemies. We can help you.”

A shiver seemed to run over the boy’s face, but he nodded, getting to his feet as Lars approached him. The Kezzin led him to the bay door, towards the interrogation room, with Eddie and Julianna following closely behind.

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