While he had complained about it before, Jeran no longer had any complaints about the busyness of Ark-Neon. The crowded streets that had in-convinced him before were now perfect cover for hiding from the Myth military. However it as Null which he was most surprised by. She led him through alleyways and down streets that he didn’t even know existed. She pulled him through a bar and out the back entrance giving the barkeep a short node of her head.
“Where are you going? Are you sure this is the right way to Aben’s store?” asked Jeran as they passed one unfamiliar street after another. He was now completely lost and didn’t know where way they were going or which direction was which. It was like a laborynth that he didn’t even know existed inside the city.
Null nodded in response, “Yes, this is a shortcut that should keep us off the main streets and bring us to Aben’s store without getting noticed by the people who are chasing us.” She apologized to several cooks as they walked through a kitchen and out the front doors of a restaurant, it seemed that on Ark-Neon this sort of behavior was not entirely uncommon.
“Alright, but how do you know that. This is the first time you have been to Ark-Neon, I’ve been here many times but I didn’t even knew that this part of the space station even existed.” The two of the ducked beneath some pipes that crossed a narrow alleyway.
“Well, I would think that was obvious. You always spend your free time locked away on the ship so of course you don’t know anything about the city. If you had spend more time exploring or just walking about you would know more. I have spend the last couple of days enjoying myself and bar hopping. Most of the interesting things that go on in the station are done behind the scenes. Did you know that there is both a circus and a freak show here?”
Jeran fumbled his lines for a few seconds, suprised to see a side of Null that he had not realized even existed. He know she was coming back drunk but he really never imagined what that must have entailed. A Null going from bar to bar in the middle of the night surrounded with strange people seemed disconcerting to him. He wondered of the safely of such an activity.
“All right then, lead the way.” Said Jeran reluctantly. He didn’t like being lead about but it looked like he didn’t have much of a chance this time. This was the best way to Aben’s shop without getting cause and he wasn’t going to let that chance escape.
I wasn’t too long before Null stopped them and they peered around the corner. Aben’s store was just a little bit down the street, however there were two guards standing just outside the shop. The Myth military apparently didn’t trust Aben any more then Aben trusted them.
“We need to find another way in.” Whispered Null, “There might be a back door or some other way to get into the shop.”
Jeran shook his head, “No, those ways will almost certainly be guarded. You might know the good ways around the station but let me deal with this.” Jeran moved silently and quickly along the edge of the building toward the guards, by the time the two guards noticed him it was too late. He had already reached them and before they could even react he hit one and then the other with his stunner. The two men dropped down on the ground without even getting to scream a warning into their mic.
Jeran turned back to Null, “Alright, that is dealt with. However we will need to act fast while we are in here, it will only be a matter of time before they find out that these two are not responding in. We have to get in and out before the backup arrives. He then opened the door into Aben’s store and looked around. Aben was nowhere to be seen, maybe he had some sort of secret entrance which he had used to escape but Jeran didn’t know where it could be.
Instead in the back room there was an labeled box which said, “Use with care, you know where to deposit the money.” Jeran quickly picked up the box and began to head out. “Jeran, hurry up!” He could hear Null yelling, it seemed that the Myth reinforcements where arriving here quicker then he had anticipated.
“Alright, I have it.’ Said Jeran as he left the store. Then he could see why Null had been so impatient. There were Myth troopers coming from both directions at once and there were at least a dozen of them. They must have anticipated their coming and gotten reinforcements nearby earlier in case this happened. He handed the box the Null and said, “I don’t suppose you can do something with this box of tricks in thirty seconds because I don’t think we have any other option.” His eyes darted around for exits but he didn’t see any place that he could run that he could get to fast enough to escape from the Myth Military. They were well trained enough to foil any escape plan he could come up with, it almost made him a little proud.
“Surrender Jeran, you can not escape.” General Solvar himself stepped out of the troops and toward Jeran. Jeran had reported directly to General Solvar before Jeran had escaped and abandoned his duty. The fact that the General had come all the way out here himself to capture Jeran showed the severity of Jeran’s crime.
Jeran raised his hands in surender. He didn’t know if he would be able to escape from his current situation and even if he could it would almost certainly result in the deaths of many of the soldiers here, many of which had been the ones that reported directly to him and he didn’t think he would be able to do that.
“All right Solvar, you got me. Now what are you going to do with me.” Jeran was banking on being able to escape later when there were less people surrounding him. However what he was really worried about was Null and what would happen to the box of stuff that they had gone all this way to get. If that disappear then all his effort would be for nothing and he wouldn’t let that happen.
“I’m afraid we have to do this the hard way even though your surrendering. I know you better then anyone and without taking drastic measures I know you will try to escape once you have the advantage.” Solvar pulled out a stunner like the one Jeran had used. It was probably strong enough to knock him out for several hours. Damn, he wouldn’t be able to escape if that happened.
“Fine, if that is what you have to do but let the woman go, she is a mercenary hired by me and she was just following my orders. Once I am gone she won’t be any problem for you.” Jeran wasn’t sure if it was a bluff of not, he wanted Null to be able to escape but it would also have need good if she finished what she needed to do and would be able to rescue him… or something.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that Jeran. She is going to have to come with us too, at least until we can truly determine why she is with you.” Solvar’s voice was grim and cynical. He wouldn’t give Jeran any chance to escape and Jeran could see it. Soon there wouldn’t be anything Jeran could do except let him and Null be captured. At this point it seemed inevitable, however Jeran could not leave his daughter to die. He was about to do something crazy and dangerous when everything suddenly got a whole lot worse.
An alarm wen’t out across the entire space station. The piercing alarm warned everybody to enter their homes and stay inside until the alarm passed. People who had been watching the display with interest broke in fear and began locking themselves away in their houses. These sorts of alarms are usually ran when there was a chance of space combat and that could easily result in the penetration of the hull of the station. Then there would suddenly be no atmosphere and any still caught on the streets would die. This make for a very good reason for people to go inside.
The Myth military however didn’t even seem to notice the warning. They were trained soliders, used to dangerous situations and probably knew how to hold onto something before the emergency shutters closed the opening. Solvar however seemed to think this was some sort of plan by Jeran. “Did you thick that a simple emergency signal would be enough to give you time to escape? For a former Myth solider you sure sink low.”
Jeran was about to respond with what he though would be impressive comeback where there was a giant flash of light. Then as the light began to partially fade he began to see the source of it. There was a man floating in the air down the street and there was glowing light coming from behind him. Jeran barely had time to gasp when Null gripped him strongly by the arm and rushed him at the Myth guards in the other direction. Using the distraction caused by the man and the light they were able to break their way through them and into one of the alleyways. Once they were there they were able to keep running without looking back.
“What was that?” Asked Jeran as he continued to run back toward their ship.
Null seemed to be running as fast as her legs could carry her and was barely able to gasp out a word…