The head of the U.R.S. gritted his teeth but then Falcon called his name again, urgently this time and he whipped his head up to look over his left shoulder at him.
Falcon was pointing down the aisle to Blast’s right, down towards the wall that halfway up contained the viewing window of the room they’d been in earlier.
But that wasn’t what the Flight Commander had been indicating. What he’d been pointing at was another man, slowly walking down the aisle towards them.
But once again, something wasn’t right. This man wore an orange biohazard suit, the helmet still up, but he was hunched over and was taking slow, stumbling steps, still coming zombie-like towards them.
R.K. drew his pistols and slowly raised them both in the direction of the spooky looking man heading their way.
“Halt!” he shouted. “I am R.K. Blast; head of the United Rebelling Systems!”
But the man just kept coming staggering onwards, now only twenty meters away.
Padfoot also drew his weapon, closely followed by the rest of the group.
“Hold your fire.” Blast commanded quietly over his shoulder then turned back to face the stranger.
“I said HALT!” he shouted this time but once again to no avail. “Halt or I will shoot you!” Blast readied his pistols but he wasn’t sure that if it came to it, he’d be able to actually pull the triggers.
By now the man was mere meters away but this time he stopped.
Blast was unsure what to do.
“Raise your head! Show yourself!” He commanded loudly, unsure how well the man inside the bio-suit could hear him.
The orange-clad man started stumbling forwards again.
“SHOW YOURSELF!” Blast bellowed, although more nervous now than he had been in a long time and once more the man stopped, now just a foot in front of the U.R.S. leader, who if he’d reached out could have easily touched him.
R.K. was breathing heavily and somebody behind him shifted slightly in anticipation, keeping their weapon trained on the spooky stranger who now slowly started to raise their head.
Once more, everybody gasped as the man’s face was revealed to them.
Like the body slumped to the side, his head was green and deformed, being eaten away by the Delta 4 gas, the visor on front of his helmet smashed in. His face was only half mutated, it seemed his suit had protected him from lots of the airborne chemical, but it was still shrunken and green. He still had his eyes but they were set a long way back into his skull and were blank, with no emotion or sense behind them at all.
Blast looked deep into the half-dead man’s eyes, pitying the poor soul, or rather what was left of it, trapped within. This man wasn’t alive any more R.K. concluded with sorrow. He was more like a zombie.
It was at that moment that the zombie-man lurched at the U.R.S. leader, taking him by surprise, wrapping his hands around his throat with an animalistic snarl and a growl.
Blast struggled to wrench the man’s fists from his neck, but he was strong and Blast couldn’t budge them any more than removing a few fingers.
Padfoot rushed over and grabbed the stranger around his neck from behind, yanking him backwards and Blast punched him repeatedly in the stomach.
However it seemed as though the man could hardly feel it and kept a firm grip on R.K.’s throat who was now struggling for breath.
“Watch out!” Padfoot shouted and moved back around to stand by his pal’s side and leveled his gun at the zombie-like man’s head and put a laser straight through it, yellow puss spurting out.
His grip remained strong and R.K. let out a sound of distress as the rest of the leaders moved over to assist.
It took Flare, Hess and Shock to finally pull the creature away from their leader who staggered backwards taking gasping breaths.
The man in the suit collapsed onto the floor on his back and several of the leaders, led by Padfoot fired repeatedly at it, filling it with holes and only stopping when they were certain he wasn’t going to get up again.
Blast rubbed his sore throat and tilted his head from side to side, stretching it out. He could still feel the hands at his neck and it wasn’t a pleasant sensation.
“Are you okay sir?” Padfoot checked with him and he nodded in reply, too shaken to speak momentarily.
“What’s that?” Hess suddenly held up a hand for silence and they listened.
They could hear shouting, getting louder and louder. Getting closer, they realized and then from several different angles between the vats appeared the F.I.S. leaders, charging towards them with their guns aimed, all shouting war cries.
“AMBUSH!” Slash bellowed and Blast shouted, “SCATTER! GET BACK TO THE SHUTTLE!”
The U.R.S. broke apart and dashed away in various directions as the oncoming F.I.S. leaders started firing upon them.
‘This is the second time in a row they’ve managed to ambush us!’ Blast thought furiously as he dashed between two vats. ‘This is just like Ryloth all over again!’
Falcon was being persued but he couldn’t tell whom by. He leapt sideways between two close-together vats and glanced backwards as he did and spotted Jelli chasing after him.
“Falcon!” she shouted but it didn’t sound angry, she sounded upset, just like the last time they’d met. But he couldn’t allow himself to fall into a trap and he knew that if he stopped, she might not actually want to talk and could quite easily kill him. He used to think that he knew her well after he saved her life above Coruscant, but after her betrayal, he didn’t know if he really knew her at all.
“Falcon, please!” she cried but even though it pained him to do so, he refused to listen and kept on running.
There was a loud, metallic clank that echoed around the large room as a laser from Rogue’s sniper rifle missed Shock by millimeters as the Lieutenant dashed behind a towering vat.
Rogue was stood up on the catwalk, using it as a perfect vantage point to fire down upon the U.R.S. as they scrabbled around among the bubbling tubs of acid, leaning on the railings for steadied aim.
He kept his sights trained on the vat which he’d just seen Shock hide behind, ready to take another shot as soon as the enemy showed himself.
There! He fired again as the U.R.S. Lieutenant ran out between two of the vats but again the shot missed, instead puncturing the side of one of the towering metal containers.
Smoke hissed out of the hole as green acid started leaking out. Slowly at first but then it started eating away at the hole until there was a steady flow creating a pool on the ground.
“Whoa.” Rogue mumbled as he saw what had happened, accidentally losing track of Shock in doing so.
Blast clambered over a low wall of piping and continued running, trying to find the exit of the maze and not having any success.
“Blast!” an angry shout came from behind him and he spun around, pistols in hand and fired multiple shots towards whoever it was chasing him.
He saw that is was Phoenix who ducked for cover behind a vat, which now had several holes in due to Blast’s wild shots and was starting to leak.
“You can’t escape this time!” Phoenix shouted as he appeared around the vat in front of the leaking one. He leapt over the pool of green liquid on the ground and continued after Blast who had kept on running before hiding behind one of the massive containers.
Phoenix stopped, sensing Blast was close by and slowly crept forwards, treading softly to try and sneak up on the head of the U.R.S.
Blast stayed silent behind his vat and kept completely still so as not to give away his position.
He could hear the betraying scout creeping ever closer and when he felt the time was right, he spun to his right into the center of the aisle and dropped to one knee, arms out ready to fire… But Phoenix wasn’t there.
“Ha!” the triumphant laugh came as Blast was whacked over the head with the butt of Phoenix’s gun from behind. He was knocked to the ground and he realized that the Ex U.R.S. scout must have somehow snuck around behind him while he was hiding.
R.K. rolled onto his back facing Phoenix who was stood, ready to fire at him. Blast managed to shoot first, however the betrayer dodged the shot, which then hit the vat behind him. Green chemicals spurted out and hit the rear of Phoenix’s helmet.
He realized what had happened and cried out as he staggered to the side, out of the way of the flow and yanked on his helmet, pulling it off. Blast scrabbled backwards and leapt to his feet to avoid the growing puddle on the ground.
He then looked over at Phoenix and was about to shoot him when the scout yanked off his helmet, revealing himself to in fact be General Callum of the F.I.S..
Blast was thoroughly confused and momentarily shocked into not moving,
giving the F.I.S. Elite General time to detach the gas mask from the front of Phoenix’s helmet and use the straps on it to place it on his own face.
Blast shook himself out of his trance and fired again at Callum who leapt out of the way behind another vat, laughing at R.K.’s obvious confusion as he ran off.
BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? FIND OUT IN PART 11: PART 2! COMING SATURDAY 22ND JUNE!
If you are a fan of me, my work or are just one of my friends, why not join Blast's Updates!