Thunderbird: Chapter Twenty

Starting File Sequence…  Thunderbirds
Loading Digital Data…    Chapter Twenty
Initializing Play Back…  Galactic Core
Galaxy:   Milky Way Galaxy
Cluster: Galactic Core
System:   Tartarus Debris Field
Location: Avernus Station
Date:     2186 CE

The Thunderbird dropped out of the relay network. Reacting quickly, Kritt dipped the ship narrowly avoiding several large asteroids. The ship dipped sharply toward the starboard side. Ip slid on the bridge. She crashed into the door to the escape pod. Vurtak slid into the center platform. Scylla lost her footing and found herself airborne. Vicia turned and grabbed ahold of her allowing the girl to grab ahold of one of the bars to the platform.

Large pieces of metal floated out from behind larger rocks forcing Kritt to bank port. On the bridge, alarms blares indicating several objects on a collision course with the ship. Kritt pushed up on the ships controls, diving the ship under a massive asteroid. Tasi, as she stood in the engineering room found herself hovering in the air momentary. She flailed her hands as the ship plummeted.

When Kritt stabilized the ship again, Tasi found herself falling toward the platform. Tasi closed her eyes expecting the impact. It came but much lighter than she expected. She opened her eyes, finding herself in Consensus’ arms.

Kritt backed port threading the needle between two massive sheets of metal. AVI sat in the chair in the medical bay. When the ship banked, she slumped over onto the floor. Her physical body was limp as she used most of her processing power in assisting Kritt in keeping the ship together. After what had happened earlier, Yatka had activated his magnetic boots keeping himself upright in the hallway while everything spun around him.

Slowly, the ship even out at Kritt visibly relaxed, “Sorry ‘bout that. Didn’t expect the massive debris field.”

Visia looked around the bridge, “I assume everyone is in one piece?”

Vurtak shrugged it off, “Heh, been through worse in my sleep.”

“Up ahead,” Kritt reported, “Keep in mind we’re still cloaked. Least until they look out a window.”

The galactic core was an incredibly unstable part of space. Debris littered the area from ships destroyed from attempting to go through the Omega 4 Relay without the proper IFF. The debris field was also a very efficient first line of defense. Not many ships could safely geth through.

Ahead of them was the Cerberus station. It was built out of a massive asteroid. Metal pieces stuck out of the rock at the four cardinal directions with a piece sticking out at the underside of the rock. Vicia took a deep breath.

“Everyone,” Vicia spoke over the ships comms, “Its time! Everyone remember your tasks? Let’s get in position! This starts now!”

Consensus and Tasi walked out of engineering just as Vicia descended from the elevator with Yatka and Scylla not far behind her. They were all heavily armed. Yatka was adorned with his blades, daggers and guns. Scylla was armed with her biotics.

Tasi stood in front of the turian an nodded.

“The intangible is unstoppable,” Tasi placed her right fist over her left chest.

Consensus did the same, placing its hand over its chest. Scylla followed suit and glanced over at Yatka. She motioned for him to do the same. Yatka smirked slightly but in the end placed his fist on his chest.

“The intangible is unstoppable,” Yatka said.

Vicia smiled. She mirrored their actions, “Το άυλο είναι ασταμάτητο. The intangible is unstoppable. We’ll make it through this.”

The towering geth nodded respectfully. Vicia turned and headed toward the shuttle sitting in the cargo bay. Yatka followed close after her while Scylla took Consensus by the hand and guided it toward the shuttle.

Tasi stepped onto the elevator after they stepped off and headed up to the next level. She made her way to the bridge where Vurtak and Ip were waiting.

AVI stepped into the shuttle as the doors closed behind her. She slipped into the pilot seat and started the engine boosters. The shuttle rose, and she drove it out into the debris field. They headed toward the Cerberus station. The Thunderbird flew toward the station and started firing.

Vicia looked out the shuttles window. Explosions rippled through the station. Spheres sped toward the Thunderbird, chasing down the ship and firing several lasers from their bodies. The shuttle continued its course toward the station as the Thunderbird continued firing at the station while also dodging lasers.

AVI steered the ship toward one of the damaged sections of the station. She opened the door and looked over her shoulder. Vicia nodded before running for the edge and led the team jumped out.

Vicia, Yatka, Scylla and Consensus jumped out of the shuttle. With Vicia in the lead, she used her jump jets to steer her toward the station. She managed to find an airlock. Yatka attached a device to the outside of the lock. In a matter of seconds, the doors opened. Together everyone entered, and the door closed while the space pressurized. Consensus took point, activating its hex shield to protect the group. Vicia extended her claws while Yatka drew his circlet daggers. Scylla prepped her biotics.

The doors opened.

Creatures screeched as they charged onto the group. They were like the ones on Capek. Their former form resembled humans but were grey and riddled with blue glowing tech.

Consensus pushed them back with its shield. When it recoiled, Yatka ran along the wall and cut one of the creatures in the head as he landed. Vicia darted under the shield and sliced at several creatures. Together they took care of the dozen or so creatures in no time. Behind them, was another creature. It was in the form of a drell with its greenish grey skin. Its arms were fused with metal making its arms into sharp blades. It charged at them.

Yatka intervened, parrying the blow with his dagger. He used his other dagger and sliced at one of the blue tubes running along its body. Vicia used her claws to pierce the creature’s leg in the knee. The creature fell to one knee allowing Yatka to reach for the hilt of his sword and extend it. In a single motion, he pierced through the creature’s chest before withdrawing it and using the blade to slice off the creature’s head.

Vicia stood and looked over the creature’s body. She looked up at Yatka as he collapsed the sword to the hilt and returned it to his belt.

“I’m sorry,” Vicia said, looking at the creature.

Yatka looked over at the creature that used to be a drell, “Don’t be. That wasn’t a drell anymore.”

Vicia nodded and held up a fist signaling a pause as she listened around their surroundings. Alarms blared as the station shook from the firepower from the Thunderbird. It was safe to assume that most of the staff were headed to escape pods to escape the facility.

With a deep breath, Vicia ran ahead with the others right on her tail. They went down the main hall of the facility, not trying at stealth. Vicia stopped them at a cross roads as Cerberus agents ran towards the intruders. Consensus stepped out into the open activating its shield. Behind it, Scylla slammed launched several orbs striking her enemies from afar before they got to close.

Behind the agents were a dozen creatures, a mixture of humans and drell charging up behind them. Scylla did her best to hold them at a distance. Yatka cloaked turning invisible while Vicia charged forward in a powerful biotic field.

Vicia slashed through several agents with her claws, constantly reducing the distance between her and them. Ahead of her, creatures fell with a single bullet to their head while others were suddenly sliced to ribbons.

When their enemies were downed, Yatka came out of his cloak. Together everyone headed deeper into the facility until they came to the center. It was an opened area leading to many different sections of the station. Vicia motioned for them to stop when she saw two figures already waiting for them. The two Agents stood on a balcony above the Thunderbird crew. One was familiar. It was the vanguard Slayer from the geth research base around Ammut. Apparently, he escaped just before the EMP disabled the station and everything around it. The other Vicia only recognized slightly from the invasion of Cerberus on Omega.

He was dressed in the elite Cerberus armors, black with orange highlights. However, he had a yellow visor helmet that had him stand out from the rest. Around them, the sound of people approaching echoed in the several other hallways. Vicia and the other created a defensive position as Cerberus agents continued to fill the room.

“Hello! I’m Phoenix. Welcome to Avernus Station,” the leader said with almost genuine sincerity. Just by the sound of his voice, Vicia could almost see the smirk on his face, “See, normally I’d give you the tour, but based off the several reports I’ve received recently—” Phoenix raised a hand and signaled the Agents under him to attack, “I’ll be finishing you off instead.”

Consensus brought up its shield. It pulled out its spitfire and unleashed a rain of bullets upon the attacking Agents. Compartments opened on its back, its mobile turrets disconnected and flew off providing cover fire for the group of four.

Vicia stayed behind the shield, using her heavy pistol to pick off Agents from afar. She looked over her shoulder at Yatka. He too was pinned down by the barrage of bullets coming from the agents. Even though he was more suited to staying in the shadows, he seemed to be equally relaxed on the front lines. Scylla slammed her fist creating a wave of biotic energy.

“We can’t keep defending like this,” Vicia said to the others.

Consensus nodded, “Affirmative.”

“We’ll end up dead at this rate,” Yatka muttered.

Vicia took a few more shots, “Then let’s make a dent.”

She used her biotics to charge forward out from behind the shield. Vicia slammed her fist into the ground. The force threw several agents away from her. Over her shoulder, Yatka used her as a launch. He flew over her, throwing his daggers to either side. The circular blades struck several agents as they flew and circled around. He landed just in front Vicia as he drew the hilt from his sword. It extended as he pivoted and caught both of his daggers with his left hand. Behind him, Vicia got to her feet with her claws extended.

They stood ready, back to back. One of the agents to Vicia’s left raised their weapon. Yatka pivoted and threw the daggers at the agent. Following his motion, Vicia pivoted and slashed at the closest agent to her right.

There was a motion out of the corner of her eye. As Vicia turned to focus on her next target, one of Consensus’s turrets flew passed. With the distraction, Vicia charged forward. She launched over a barrier and sliced at the agents that crouched behind it. An agent aimed his assault rifle at her. She grabbed the muzzle of the gun with one hand and used her elbow to knock him back. Vicia threw the weapon at the agent closest to her knocking them off balance.

Biotic orbs struck several agents around Yatka. The drell did a side flip while the agents tried to recover. He threw his daggers. One struck an agent in the shoulder while the second struck another agent in the leg. Yatka took his sword and with both hands he brought his blade down on an agent. He landed, grabbed ahold of the dagger from the chest of the agent and threw it at another.

Scylla stayed in the back, launching orbs. Consensus stood as an iron wall between her and the agents attacking in front of them. The geth took a step forward, throwing its full weight at an Agent as they charged for the shield. They flew to one side, crashing into another agent. It used its spitfire as a major deterrent, but it frequently needed to cool down between bouts. When that happened, it pulled out its plasma shotgun, charged it to its full power.

Frightened, the agents slowly began their retreat not wanting to meet their end at the hands of the group of invaders. Before long it was only the four Thunderbird crews and the two elite Cerberus Agents left.

Phoenix crossed his arms, chuckling a little to himself, “Interesting. I guess we’ll have to deal with you ourselves. What do you say, Vanguard?”

He stepped onto the balcony railing and dropped down to the floor below. Phoenix fell to one knee with a thud. The gauntlets on his forearms glowed with biotic energy as they seemed to charge. Shortly after, a long lash made out of pure biotic energy emerged from each gauntlet. Phoenix rose slowly as Slayer landed lightly just behind him. The vanguard drew two blades as he prepared for the fight ahead.

Vicia stood at the ready and looked at the others. Yatka nodded. He held his blade in one hand and one of his daggers in the other. Consensus effortlessly carried both its weapons in its hands. It made a series of clicking and electronical guttural noises. Scylla looked up at the towering geth and nodded.

The station shook, and the alarms continued to blare in the back ground. Vicia glared at the opponents before them.

“We won’t back down,” Vicia said.

Phoenix tilted his head in an almost gleeful manner, “I count on it.”

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