CHAPTER 19 The Last Dash
Narrator: ::Speeding across the ice headed for the cave in hope of escaping the Redmine forces, the White Planet personnel find a new danger.::
Mikko: Is everyone else accounted for? I hope the others are all right.
Jason Patterson: The other transports should have made it to the cave by now.
A.J.: :: looks around:: I think so?
Karrina: I'm still upset about Jade. She should be here...
Narrator: :: Gabrielle sits tense, biting her lip, concentrating on a spot on the seat in front of her::
Meinta: ::grabs at AJ:: Look, something else is coming.
Gabrielle: ::snaps her head up:: What do you see?
Meinta: Something in the air...a shuttle or something.
Gabrielle: Another Red thing? Whatever it is you call these creeps attacking us.
Gabrielle: Yeah, Redmine. Is it one of them?
Meinta: It looks different than the Redmine shuttles...
Governor: :: pulls out a pair of binoculars:: It has UU markings.
Meinta: Oh no.
Gabrielle: ::bites lip again, deep in thought::
Damian Raen: ::looks where the Governor is looking:: UU?
A.J.: :: looks out the window:: I think we can make it to the cave before they reach us.
Mikko: What's going on?
Narrator: ::The UU shuttle swoops low, buzzing overhead.::
Karrina: Hurry, Jason, and get us into that cave!
Jason Patterson: Hold on, it gets bumpy in high speed. Keep an eye on them.
UU Officers: Stop the transport immediately!
A.J.: ::grabs her weapon::
Narrator: ::Karrina and Mikko hold hands and look around fearfully::
UU Officers: Stop or we will shoot!
Governor: Hit the floor!
Damian Raen: ::leaps to the window and points both guns at the UU craft:: You first!
Governor: Hold the fire.
Karrina: Lord, help!
Damian Raen: ::grits his teeth, staring out the window::
Meinta: :: pulls out a small gun::
Jason Patterson: Sorry, people, hold on tight. ::The transport jerks, careens out of control and lists to one side then drops back roughly.::
A.J.: :: grabs hold of the seat to keep from being tossed on the floor::
Meinta: ::cries out::
Kristof: ::Kristof slides off of the tracker and hunches down to one side. He pulls out a mini-scope. His foot wound has nearly healed from the regenerative effects of the crystals he has been exposed to for so long.:: What's this?
Jason Patterson: Beren, that button to your left drops a shield and opens view ports.
A.J.: :: keeps weapon pointed, but holds fire::
UU: ::swarms out in little mini-ground cruisers::
A.J.: ::makes a headcount of the enemy::
UU: Last warning! Stop your craft in the name of the law!
Governor: ::Hits a button and plate shields cover the windows with small port-holes open in the back and sides of the transport.::
Damian Raen: Try us!
Karrina: ::crouches in fear, praying.::
Narrator: ::The UU opens fire on the transport drone, blasting the ground in front and striking the sides of the transport.::
Damian Raen: ::aims both guns through the slits::
Governor: Fire at will.
Damian Raen: ::pulls the triggers, strafing the enemy craft::
Jason Patterson: ::swerves to miss the fire, tries speeding up across the ice as he sees the cave entrance up ahead.:: Almost there, keep them busy.
A.J.: :: fires, hitting some of the guards::
Gabrielle: ::crouches down by Karrina moving lips, hands clasped together::
Meinta: ::stays back, holding gun tightly::
Damian Raen: ::fires again:: Faster, Jason!
A.J.: :: hits a few more, checks gun:: Everyone, stay down.
Damian Raen: ::ducks back as the UU fires off another volley along the hull of the transport, in answer he fires off another set of shots toward the UU craft:: Eat this!
Narrator: ::a blast strikes the front of the transport, lifting it from the ground slightly with a loud blast.::
Kristof: ::pulls his plasmagin from his pocket and checks the readout, tracking Estorn and the main Redmine party.:: Come to Papa, you sleaze...
Damian Raen: ::steadies himself, fires off another shot::
Governor: Jason, what happened? ::looks around at the others:: Is everyone ok?
Jason Patterson: They got the gears... Come to the front... we're going to have to make a run for it. The cave are not far now, just around this chunk of ice in front of us.
A.J.: ::gets a more accurate weapon, starts picking off more UU. TO Gov she says:: Sir, I suggest that we get everyone to the cave as quickly as possible. Those with weapons should provide cover fire, while the rest make a run for it.
Jason Patterson: ::cranks airlock latch on an emergency escape port, but it wonít open.:: Latch locks are froze.
Mikko: We may have to bust a window to get out.
Jason Patterson: There is a breaker bar under that bench.
Governor: Yes, I got it.. ::grabs tool from under a seat:: Everyone, move back and keep your head down. ::grabbing an extra suit from under the seat and using it to cover the glass, he uses the tool to smash out the window.::
Meinta: Hurry! ::helps guide others out, using the suit to protect them from the glass, to A.J. she says:: Ready?
Jason Patterson: See that dark spot in the rocks ahead? Run for it. Don't look back no matter what.
Karrina: ::Mikko and Karrina help the escapees::
A.J.: :: fires on the UU :: Go, Now!
Kristof: ::changes the display on his plasmagin and enters a new command. The shuttle's onboard communication system is now jamming the UU ships, taking their targeting computers off line for a few minutes, even though they canít hear him, he mutters under his breath to the WP group:: OK. Now's your chance! Go toward the cave!
Narrator: ::A group runs toward the cave, spreading out in twos and threes. The run is so frantic, some slip as they go.::
Damian Raen: ::leaps out the window and climbs up onto the roof of the transport, then drops into a crouch, firing at the approaching ships::
A.J.: ::continues to fire::
Meinta: The first group got there safely! Thank you Lord.
A.J.: ::continues to provide cover fire::
Damian Raen: ::holds both triggers down, sending an endless stream of bullets across the ice toward the enemies:: Yes! Finally! I'm finally going to kill you all! ::stands on the roof of the transport, firing madly::
Kristof: ::races across the plain toward the mouth of the cave, following the group, but staying well hidden.::
A.J.: :: TO Dam:: Look -over there, fuel leaking... I don't have enough range to reach it. Can you?
Damian Raen: ::doesn't hear her::
A.J.: :: Shouts:: Damien! That ship over there. It looks like it's leaking fuel. Can you hit it?
Damian Raen: :: looks over his shoulder toward her, just as a volley of bullets from the enemy ship spins toward him. He drops down onto his stomach on the metal roof, rolls to the side:: I see it! Just give me a second!
Meinta: ::gasps:: One of ours is down.
Governor: ::grabs a stretcher and cries to AJ:: Cover me. Jason, help me.
Jason Patterson: ::Slips hand gun into his thigh-holster.:: Right behind you, Bear.
A.J.: :: nods and fires at more UU::
Narrator: ::Gov and Jason run toward the injured person keeping low as shots fire around them.::
Karrina: ::A shot hits her in the arm, but she keeps running with Mikko's help, slowing only as they get near to the cave entrance.::
Gabrielle: ::close behind Karrina and Mikko, hunched over, runs to help Mikko with Karrina and goes with them into the cave::
Damian Raen: ::leaps to the ground, sprints to a nearby rock formation, climbs up, sees the approaching ships:: All right, no... I've got you... ::slowly rests one of his guns across his forearm and take aim, his eyes cold with the instincts of a sniper. He fires off a single shot, hitting the leaking fuel stream of an enemy ship::
Narrator: ::the ship explodes in a massive fireball, throwing ice and rock into the sky. Crouched down and running, the Gov and Jason grab the injured person while dodging the shower of debris, pulling him as gently as possible onto the stretcher, and sprint toward the cave.::
A.J.: Is everyone in the cave? :: looks around::
Meinta: It worked!!! Come on everyone, RUN!
A.J.: Fall back. Move! That'll take out a few more of their ships. RUN!!
Damian Raen: :: dashes toward the cave, firing over his shoulder::
Karrina: ::from just inside the cave:: I hope that explosion was the bad guys!
Meinta: ::races across the ground close to Jason and the Governor, slipping once, but scrambling back up::
Damian Raen: :: runs to Meinta's side, grabs her arm:: Let's go! Come on!
Meinta: ::reaches the cave and leans against the wall, wincing:: Where do we go now?
Damian Raen: :: stands beside her, aiming his guns toward the cave entrance::
A.J.: :: runs and pops off a few more shots as she enters the cave. Stays just inside the cave entrance, watching for any more enemy units::
Kristof: ::Sighs in relief seeing the WP group safe for the moment in the cave. Checks his plasmagin again, returning the display to the previous map, then slowly makes his way to the cave entrance.::
Jason Patterson: ::Looking at the map of the tunnels he had copied from Elijah Thomasí coded message.:: Keep going further into the tunnel. There is a big room we can gather in right back there. The tunnels branch off from there. The other transports from the dome were to wait for us there.
Damian Raen: ::to Jason Patterson:: We'll have to guard the entrance. Or is there a way to seal it off?
A.J.: ::looks for a way to seal off the entrance:: We might be able to cause a cave in, but is there a back door?
Jason Patterson: You could block it, but this close to the entrance it would collapse on top of us.
Meinta: ::takes a step and gasps, almost falling::
Damian Raen: :: reaches for Meinta to steady her:: Are you all right?
Meinta: Yeah, just sprained my ankle or something...
Governor: ::to Karrina:: Are you all right?
Karrina: I'll be fine - see to those that really need help.
Governor: Mikko, take her back to the room Jason mentioned. A medic can wrap her arm to stop the bleeding until they can take care of it.
Kristof: ::Kneeling just outside the cave entrance, he watches as his plasmagin indicates the Redmine group is tracking around the burning craft. Looking over his shoulder to see if they are in sight.:: Just a few minutes more, you worms. Letís have some funÖ
Narrator: ::Gov and another WP man carry the stretcher while Jason leads the group to the back room.::
Gabrielle: ::stands a bit away from the group against the side of the cave::
Narrator: ::Mikko and Karrina walk back to the large opening::
Meinta: ::to Damian:: What about you? You okay?
Damian Raen: Yeah, yeah, I'm fine... arms are a little sore, though... ::grins::
ESTORN: They're in that cave, trapped like rats. Shoot to kill. Weapons and ammo are free. ::Redmine group heads toward the cave entrance.::
A.J.: :: watches for people following them, sees the Redmine group and shouts:: We have company!
Damian Raen: :: Moves into position on the opposite side of the door from AJ:: We've got to keep moving deeper... we can't hold them here
A.J.: ::nods:: I agree.
Damian Raen: ::fires off a volley::
A.J.: :: fires off a few more shots:: I'm out of ammo! :: throws the weapon down:: I have one more gun, not nearly as powerful. ::grabs other gun:: Ok, everyone move out. Jason, lead the way!
Jason Patterson: ::One more look at his map of the tunnels:: O.K. folks, this way.
A.J.: ::follows Jason and company deeper into the cave::
Meinta: ::hops, awkwardly leaning against the wall::
Governor: ::grabs Meintaís arm:: Come on, hon.
Damian Raen: ::moves away from the entrance, still watching for enemies.::
Gabrielle: ::goes over to Jason and looks at the map with him:: Uh, did we ever clear up if there's a back way out of this place?
Jason Patterson: ::turns on a light and studies the map from Elijah:: Gabi, there is a side exit back here. According to this map, there are about a hundred different openings to this cave. We canít stay here for long or we could have the UU and Redmine breathing down our necks without us even knowing it until they are right in our face. ::to Gabrielle:: Give me your plas and I'll scan this map.
Gabrielle: ::hands him the plasmagin and takes a big breath:: I think I know how I can get back home. Might buy you some time too. ::she pauses:: I'm going to make a run for it. If I can get one of the UU ships, I can take it and distract them.
Jason Patterson: ::raising an eyebrow:: Are you sure youíre up to it?
Gabrielle: ::bites her lip and looks away from Jason Patterson:: Any one game to go with me?
Governor: Yes, I donít want you to go alone.
Jason Patterson: ::hooks the two plasmagins together and transfers the map data.:: Here, I've programmed it into your plas, it will tell the way. Just follow the outlined marks.
Gabrielle: Okay, just donít let me lose my nerve.
Governor: Gabi, I want to get the people on their way to safety. Then we will send you out. All right? Mr. and Mrs. Mark Jens are going to go with you. Mark is a fine security Guard, he will be able to get you through.
Narrator: ::moving slowly, sticking close together, the group follows Jason deeper into the cave.::
Gabrielle: All right, weíre deeper. Now, anyone game to make a run for it with me?
Jason Patterson: ::smiles and laughs to himself::
Kristof: ::Wondering for a few minutes making several turns:: This should be good. ::Enters a final command into his plasmagin and sets it firmly in a crack in the wall and runs down a branching tunnel.::
ESTORN: ::Using the POD, he carefully brings his Redmine assassins around the last corner, all weapons trained on the location indicated by the signal on the POD.:: This is it. Letís do it. ::They round the corner, guns raised and ready to fire. ESTORN spots the plasmagin tucked nicely into a small crack in the tunnel wall.:: AGGGHH! That weasel! I am going to enjoy ending his extraordinarily long life! Back track, all of you! They went down the other tunnel! MOVE!
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