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NULL SPACE - Part 17

Null crept through the dark tunnels of the mines. It was completely dark but that didn’t even seem to bother her. She had used her nano-machines to improve her eyes, however even that wouldn’t allow someone to see in pitch darkness so she had also added almost imperceptible glow rods in her eyes. This allowed her to see perfectly in the darkness in such a way that nobody else would be able to see.

Still she had to be quiet, she didn’t think any of the soldiers would be searching the mines but it was impossible to know for certain. She couldn’t see anything or hear anything but in caves like this that could change at any moment.

Null had a plan, it wasn’t much of one but it was all that she had to work on. She doubted that the three of them would be able to make it to the ship, if it was even there, so their best option was to lure their pursuers into the cave and capture them there. That would give them enough time to get to a ship and escape the planet. She didn’t have any doubt that she would be able to trick and capture the soldiers, however she wasn’t as confident about the ANGEL Zolurious. She believed that she would be able to defeat him in close combat where her nano-machines were the most effective, however anything father then that and Zolurious definately had the advantage.

Right now she was scouting the caves and trying to build a mental mind of where all the passageways and junctions were. That would be instrumental is using them as part of a trap. It took her several hours to scout the caves to her satisfaction. She had also found three other exits to the mines however they had all been guarded. She had been able to slip back into the caves without being noticed but she wouldn’t be able to leave that way and the soldiers would certain inform Zolurious if the three of them were spotted.

Null returned to find Jeran continuing to train Silvia in the use of a gun. The training had been slow going because of a couple of reasons. First it was dark and that really didn’t help, especially with aiming. The second Jeran had a limited supplied of bullets so he wanted to make every bullet that they used to practice count. Between each shot he had instructed her many times on what she did wrong and how to do it better. Jeran knew this wasn’t the optimal way of training but he had to consider the bullet supplies.

Jeran didn’t hear Null approach until she was right on top of him. He jumped slightly when he realized that she was there. “You are way too silent. You also took longer then I expected you too. Did you find anything interesting like a way to escape?”

Null shook her head, “There were three exits that I could besides the one that we entered through, however all of them are guarded and I’m sure they would cause an alarm if we tried to break through. However I have managed to figure out the layout for the mine and I want to try and draw people in to it and then ambush them. Hopefully I could even force Zolurious to enter and confront him in close quarters.”

“You speak about Zolurious fairly familiarly, do you know something about him that we don’t?” Asked Silvia. She managed to catch onto Null’s speech patterns quicker then Jeran.

“Oh, sort of,” Answered Null, “ANGELs typically pass their names down from master to apprentice. It keeps their reputation and legend up. Also since they pass along their knowledge too they tend to have similar styles. I know about Zolurious because it was Zolurious that captured me the first time, though it was a different Zolurious. I have to assume that the previous Zolurious left an alarm to his pupal in case I ever escaped, that is why he is the one tracking me down.”

“Does that mean that you have an edge because you know what sort of things he is best at doing?” Ask Jeran, he was interested knowing any weaknesses of their opponent. Anything at all would be useful.

“Not exactly. Although they are of the same name there might be enough differences that anything that I know might not be useful. Also he probably have some information on me then I do on him because I am the same person that his predecessor dealt with while he is a different person then the one I dealt with.” Null shrugged her shoulders. “Besides, ANGELs have much more access to forbidden technology then I do. He can probably do things that I don’t except while I only have my nano-machines which I believe are well documented by ANGEL. I am not even sure I can beat him at close range, but that is my only chance.”

“That isn’t very reassuring. Aren’t you supposed to be the miracle worker who tells us everything is going to be fine and that you can deal with everything yourself?” Said Jeran, his humor still not quite lost.

Null smiled, “Sure, just close your eyes and count to three and everything will be better.” Silvia giggled a little, “But seriously, I want you to listen to my plan. I have something that might work but I will need your help on it.”

Silvia spoke up, “Will you be needing my help too?” Null considered quickly, she only trusted that Jeran’s short training would be good enough.

“Sure, however you will need to help your father because I don’t want you two to be splitting up. Now here is the plan. I’m going to start a nano-machine reaction in the deeper parts of the mines to force Zolurious down here to deal with it. I need you away by then because if it is big enough to draw Zolurious’ attention it is big enough to be dangerous to you. Now I want the two of you to go to all three of the other exits and take out the guards there. It is important that all three are taken out so that they don’t know which exit we will leave by.”

Null asked Jeran for his mini-terminal, “I will put the map of the caves and directions to the exits in your mini-terminal so that you will be able to find your way to them. I’ll also mark some passageways I don’t want you to travel on. These will be the probably entrance paths of Zolurious and I want you to stay as far away from him as possible.”

“Once you’ve taken out all three exits I want you to come and meet me here again. Wait here until I arrive but if I don’t get here within thirty minutes assume that I was unable to defeat Zolurious and try and escape by yourself. Don’t do anything stupid, if I can’t beat Zolurious then there will be nothing that you would be able to do either.”

“Alright, is there any questions about the plan and what you need to do. It isn’t very complicated because I don’t have much to work with however it is the best shot that we are going to have to escape.”

Jeran asked, “After you defeat Zolurious,”

Null interrupted, “If I beat Zolurious.”

Jeran glared at her before starting over, “AFTER you defeat Zolurious which exit do you plan for us to use. The north one is probably the best on for getting to where are ship might be. However the western one is probably the least likely to be suspected.”

“I was planning on exiting the same way that we entered in. Going back through the glass city and trying to catch a ride with anybody who comes to morn is out best bet. The enemy will probably not guess that we would use that exit and since it is the exit that Zolurious guards it probably doesn’t have any ofter defense so you too don’t need to check it for guards.”

Jeran nodded in agreement, “That sounds like a good idea. Is there anything else we should know about this plan?”

Null hesitated for only a fraction of a second, Silvia didn’t noticed it but Jeran didn’t however he didn’t show it. “No, that is the entire plan. Is there anything else you want to know?” Said Null.

Jeran could tell that she was lying but he didn’t know why. What was she going to attempt which she could tell the two of them. He was worried about what might happen but there wasn’t much choice but to go along with the plan.

Null waited for a minute to ensure there were no more questions before said, “Alright, follow me. I’m going to lead you to where my part of the plan if going to take place.” Said Null as she began to walk off down a passageway. Jeran and Silvia followed her as she continued to speak, “When I give the signal I’m going to begin building up energy. That is when I want you to begin heading off to the different entrances. You should have about five minutes of safety before Zolurious detects what I am doing, make sure you don’t attack any of the guards before them.”

Null finally lead them to a large cavern underground. Jeran though it felt ominous because it looked similar to the cave that he had found Null trapped in. Null moved to the center of the room and looked up at the rocky roof while Jeran and Silvia stood near the entrance to the cavern.

She paused for what began as a moment and then stretched into several minutes. Silvia and Jeran just stood there watching her. Finally Null turned to the two of them and said, “I am going to start now. You should leave.” She paused for a another second before continuing, “Good Bye.”

“See you later,” said Jeran as he grabbed Silvia’s hand and began taking her through the tunnels. He didn’t like it that she had said ‘Good Bye’ and had wished he had said something else. It made the exchange seem more final then he had wanted and he was worried about what Null might do.

“Null will be alright won’t she?” Asked Silvia, she sounded a bit worried. She must have caught on the to strangeness of Null’s behavior as well. She was generally more perceptive then Jeran so it wasn’t a surprise.

“I am sure that she will be fine. She can handle herself and doubt she would make a plan like this if she didn’t think she could succeed.” Said Jeran doubtfully. He was a soldier and knew that this was exactly the type of plan someone would make if they didn’t think they could succeed. It involved sacrificing on person so that the others could escape and he didn’t like it a all. However all he could do was hope that it would succeed.

They arrive at the first entrance before the five minutes were up. Jeran waited around the corner so that the guards wouldn’t be able to see the light that his mini-terminal was giving off. He set it down on the floor and drew his gun. Turning to Silvia he asked, “Do you remember what I told you? This will be your first engagement so if at any time you don’t think you can continue head back.”

Silvia responded by drawing her own gun and said, “I think I can do it. I won’t stay helpless.” Jeran smiled, though Silvia couldn’t see it in the darkness.

“Alright then, while I would rather not kill these people we aren’t left with much of a choice. Just aim like I told you and you should be fine. Once they start shooting take cover. They are much more experienced then you so don’t take chances.”

Silvia nodded and Jeran continued, “Alright, Let’s go.”