In zero gravity, fire forms into globes. At least the physics model got that much correct. The flaming spheres floated down the corridor, igniting any crewmen they touched. Screaming, burning men in uniform flailed in midair as the two scaled lizardmen scrambled up the ladder.
“Two more decks up, and we’re at the bridge.” Said the larger of the two, with a slight nordic singsong in his voice. “When we come through the portal, stay low, and head to your left towards the bank of consoles. We can hole up there and keep the humans busy until the rest of our team shows up.”
“Right behind you Jesper!” shouted the other. “We’re gonna take all those humans out!”
The two climbed further through the starship, pausing only to take some blaster shots at the few surviving humans they saw.
“It’s a total rout, I’m not sure their computer core will be defended at all. Jacob, swap to your grenade launcher, and lob a few once I’ve hacked the lock.”
A wicked looking piece of artillery materialized in the smaller lizardman’s taloned hands and he readied himself next to the hatch.
The larger of the two worked at console. “Hatch open in 3…. 2….”
“ahem” A gentle metallic voice sounded behind them. “I apologize for interrupting your leave Pilot Iverson, but your presence is required in Uchinoura.”
The larger of the two lizardmen turned to face the image of the stylized carp that had appeared behind him. “Do I have time to finish this game, Herman?” It asked.
“I apologize for the inconvenient timing, but you do not. A skimmer will be arriving in 2.78 minutes. With a 9.222 minute travel time, there is a 5.381 minute margin of error if you are to make your suborbital flight on time.”
The larger lizardman turned to the smaller, “Duty calls. Wiping out humanity will have to wait.” The holographic ship deck, the lizardmen, their weapons and the security console all vanished as Jesper Iverson removed his game interface helmet. Only the image of the carp remained. “Sorry kiddo, we’ll have to pillage their computer core when I get back.” He stood and watched his younger brother turn the game off.
“Tell Mom and Dad I got called to Japan.” He ruffled Jacob’s hair. “I’ll be back before you know it.”
Jesper grabbed a pre-packed knapsack from the closet, wrote a quick note to his parents, and walked out the front door just as the skimmer floated down into the front yard. After stealing a quick glance back over his shoulder, he climbed on board.
“My leave was scheduled to last another 16 days. Why the recall, Herman?”
The carp re-appeared in the seat next to Jesper. “My apologies, Pilot Iverson, but I am not at liberty to divulge that information to you right now. The directors have instructed me to download all relevant data to your terminal once you have boarded the suborbital.”
Unease settled on Iverson’s face like a mask. He sat in silence all the way to the suborbital platform. When the skimmer landed, he sprinted to board the suborbital.
“Again, I apologize for being unable to provide any details.” The carp appeared behind him as he bent over the documents on the screen. “And I also apologize for what will prove to be your final assignment from the ISD.”
Jesper slumped into his seat, letting the terminal pad thump to the floor.
“I must however, insist that you buckle your harness for liftoff” Herman’s voice was nearly drowned out by the roar of the engines.