There wasn’t much activity in the outside areas of the facility. I would have thought there would be some workers walking around, drones, or anything, but I recalled that this was supposed to be non-working hours. Everyone must have been off site.
There were a few large trucks carrying equipment between the buildings, but they all stayed on yellow lit paths, and it was easy to avoid their automated activity. Five minutes later I parked the limo outside of what Eve had told me was the office building, and we were talking through our next steps.
“We still can’t get changed? You are kidding me,” Z shook her head angrily at me, and the motion made her breasts strain against the dental floss covering her nipples.
“There are cameras everywhere. If you two step out of the car wearing your street clothes, someone might ask questions. If you wear that, it is a pretty clear visual about why he is taking you inside.”
“Shit. Fine. You are bringing the bags? I don’t want to wear this while we are escaping gravity. This get up is already violating Newton’s Laws.” The blonde woman gestured to her breasts, and I had to agree that I didn’t understand how everything was staying in place.
“I’ll bring them.” I turned to the plump Asian man. “I will open the door; you will exit with the women. I will open the door to the building. Then we will go inside. You will take us to your office there. If anything other than that happens, the last thing you will see is a bullet tearing through your retina. Understand?” I asked through the open divider.
“Yes.” The man gulped.
I got out of the driver seat and walked back to the door of the long luxury car. I took Z’s hand to help her stand, and then I moved aside so Uwuwto could get out, and then I helped Eve. The vampire woman’s hand was warm, and her fingers gave mine two brief squeezes before she let go. Our eyes met for a second, and I felt my tension relax a bit.
They waited while I stepped into the limo. This was one of the parts of our plan with the least amount of leverage over the man. Eve didn’t have a gun out because of the cameras, nor did Z. The man could break free of both women and then make a sprint to the door.
Fortunately, he didn’t think about escaping, and I managed to get our gear from the car without issue. I took the lead to the door, and then I opened it up so that the three of them could enter.
There was another pair of guards inside. They weren’t wearing armor, though. These were just men in cloth uniforms, security badges, and hats. Each of them had a pistol on their belts, and they stood as soon as we entered.
“Boss wants to show the girls around,” I spoke before the men could ask what was going on.
“Ahh na,” said one of the guards as he eyed the two women. The fucker was actually licking his lips like he was starving.
“What in bags?” the other one asked in a heavy accent as he pointed at my load.
I looked at the two men and then nodded my head so that they would step with me to the side of the room. Uwuwto continued to walk with the two women, and they reached the elevator of the lobby.
“Toys,” I whispered to both of the men and wide smiles spread over their faces. “He wants to keep this a bit of a secret. Like the last time. Here is some cash for you guys.” I pulled a roll of bills I took from one of Uwuwto’s guards and handed it over. “Can you turn off the cameras again? He doesn’t want his wife to find out.” I had no idea if the men would shut down the security stuff, but I figured it was worth asking.
“Where ahh you take ahh them?” one of the men asked.
“To his office.”
“No camera there. We turn off the, ah hallway ones,” the other said.
“My boss thanks you,” I whispered as I handed the men another roll of bills. “I’ll mention to him how good of a job you are both doing.”
“Ya. Have fun. Ahh maybe if he’s done he can let us ah play?”
“Maybe.” I shrugged and tried to keep the disgust off of my face.
I walked to the other side of the lobby and stepped into the opened elevator a few seconds after my companions. Eve’s fingers were still wrapped around the back of the man’s neck, and she gestured for him to press one of the buttons. He hit the icon for the top floor and the doors closed.
We were almost there.
“I can’t wait to get into this man’s office,” Z hummed as she kind of ground Alwin’s leg. I thought this was weird for her to say, but I noticed the cameras on the ceiling also had a receiver that could have been a microphone.
The doors chimed and then opened to show a well-lit hallway. It was generic corp styling with gray walls, gray carpet, gray ceiling, and propaganda artwork adding the occasional splash of color. We followed Uwuwto to the end of the hallway, and he slid his thumb over a control panel for his office. The wood doors opened, and the four of us walked in.
“There are no cameras in here,” I told the women as soon as I closed the doors behind us. The room was large, and a three-meter long fish tank sat in the middle. On the other side were the man’s wooden desk, couches, and a wet bar.
“You sure?” Z asked as she looked at the ceiling. “Can I get out of this thing?”
“Yeah. Then we need you to--”
“I know. I’ll have a much easier time hacking their system from this fuck’s desk. Ugh. Do you have any idea where that sack of shit touched me? I need to shower a few dozen times. So gross.”
“Let’s focus on the job, you can shower later.” I said as I set down the duffle bag with the women’s clothes in it.
“Easy for you to say. You weren’t even there, and your girlfriend has bodysuit and skirt on. Look at my outfit. This guy just put his fingers wherever the fuck he wanted,” Z said as she glared at the man.
“I thought you were an employee of the clu--” the chubby president began to say, but Eve interrupted him.
“Let us continue. We have limited time.”
“Yeah. Okay.” Z grabbed her clothes, shoes, and gun holster from inside of the bag. Then she walked over to the desk on the other side of the fish tank.
“I will wait until she is done before I change,” Eve said to me. “It is easier for me to read him while I touch his skin. They’ve given him some training to resist.”
“I won’t do anything. Please let me live,” the man whined again.
“I’m changed!” Z shouted from the other side of the room. “I’ll start on this computer. Can sleazebag log in? It'll make it easier.”
“Confirmed,” I said as I yanked the man away from Eve. I nodded to the bag with her clothes, and she smiled before she kneeled down to grab her things. The movement allowed me to see down between her breasts, and I turned my head away before I was completely distracted.
“Sit here and unlock your terminal, Mr. Toad,” Z gestured to the large office chair at the desk. The blonde woman was wearing a pair of black military pants, military shirt, and light armored vest.
“I will. Just don’t--”
“Yeah, I get it. Just unlock the damn thing.”
Uwuwto typed on a keyboard for a few seconds, and then Z kicked the chair away suddenly.
“Don’t get any fucking ideas. Asshole,” she seethed.
“What did he do?” I asked as I pulled out my pistol and set it against his head.
“He tried to send a message. Slimy bastard.”
“No, I was just logging in. Please!”
“Keep an eye on him. I don’t think he sent it.” Z leaned over the desk and began to hammer away at the keyboard. The hair on the half of her head that wasn’t shaved fell over her eyes, and I noticed the sound of her typing speed didn’t decrease when she lifted one of her hands to push the blonde locks behind her ear.
“We look okay. He didn’t get it out. I’m checking his messages. Give me a minute. I’m going to see if I can figure out what ships they have on deck. If they have anything ready to fly, I’ll look for the manual and see if I can find launch codes.”
“What will the launch codes give us?” I thought it was kind of odd that there was an additional layer of security, but I supposed they didn’t want a random employee jet-setting with a hyperdrive craft.
“I’m not really a pilot, but you are going to need a few codes. First is the stuff to turn on the ship. Second is the ones which can open the fly bay. The third one will make it seem like the take off is approved by the government, aka Elaka Nota Corporation, or else the surface-to-air missiles will take us out,” Z explained. Maybe Eve already thought of all of this, but I hadn’t.
“Thanks,” I said to her.
“Huh?” she turned her eyes away from the screen and looked at me with her mouth opened.
“Thanks for helping us. We couldn’t have done this without you. We owe you. Even if we don’t get out of here. I am thankful for your help.”
“Oh. Uhhh. Yeah. It’s fine.” Z’s cheeks blushed a bit, and she cleared her throat. “Just keep an eye on that fuck. I don’t want him messing anything up.”
“Confirmed. Do you need him for anything else?” I asked.
“Nope. I’ve got everything I need here. I can dive through their whole system since he has full access,” she said.
“Good.” I brought the bottom of my pistol down on the man’s head, and he fell out of the chair with a thud.
“That’s one way to handle it,” Z said as she looked away from the screen again. “How long before he’ll wake up?”
“Probably an hour, but he’ll be groggy.” I didn’t tell her that he might not wake up. Things like this worked in the movies, but when someone tended to get knocked unconscious by a head injury in real life, it often took them days to recover.
If they even woke up.
“I have finished changing,” Eve said as she walked from around the fish tank. The woman was wearing almost the exact same outfit as Z, only the blonde woman’s vest was of soft fabric armor, and Eve’s chest piece was crafted with light synthetic plates.
“I’ve got some ships. Here, I’ll put them on the screen behind us.” The blonde hacker jabbed her finger against the display of the monitor where she worked, and the image projected onto the blank part of the wall. “Are they called spacecraft, or spaceships, or space vessels? I’ve always wondered.”
“Loose definitions. Anything with a hyperdrive is really a starship because it can go between solar systems, but they are all considered spacecraft,” I said.
“Okay. These eight have hyperdrives,” Z said as she clicked on one of the touchpads on the desk. I looked at the blueprints on the wall and tried to make sense of the size of each ship.
“We can’t go too big because we don’t have much of a crew. Anything over two hundred and fifty meters will be too large for--”
“That one,” Eve interrupted me. The dark-haired beauty raised her finger to point at one of the blueprints on the wall, and I directed my eyes to follow her finger.
“This one?” Z asked as she zoomed in on the blueprint.
The craft had measurements on the side indicating it was one hundred and sixty meters long. It would be small enough to land on a surface world, but I imagined a ship that size would have at least two subcraft which it could launch for planet visitations. The shape of the starcraft was slightly strange. Most craft seemed to be either a circular shape for gravity purposes, traditional whale shaped, geometrically shaped like building blocks, or styled after the ancient airplanes of Earth. This vessel looked a bit like a manta ray, except the wings weren’t extended out from the main body to the same proportions, and there were diamond-shaped formations rising from the sides like it wore shoulder armor. Even though the blueprint was confusing to read, I could still visualize the elegant sweep along the flanks.
“That one. That is our ship,” Eve said with a finality that made me wonder if she had planned on that exact ship as soon as she freed me.
“You’ve picked the only ship that doesn’t have codes to open the fly bay or get take off approval. Can you pick one of the other ones?” Z asked as she hammered on the keyboard. It sounded like there were three pairs of hands typing, and her fingers were a blur.
“No. That is the one with the folding technology. We want that one. It has called to me for years. She will take us where we need to go.”
“I don’t see anything in here about the folding tech. Says it has a hyperdrive, warpdrive, uhh, two shuttles and three one-man fighter craft. Accommodations for up to a hundred and twenty. A minimum crew of ten. Huh. That’s some good automation tech. No mention of folding tech. I would have thought they would have put it on a larger ship.”
“We can’t really pilot it,” I said to Eve. “We don’t have enough people.”
“We will get more crew. That is our ship. Doesn’t it call to you, Adam? She has told me her name for years. She was born to be ours.” Eve’s red eyes burned into mine, and I found myself nodding.
“Official name is HAD-35-11345-243-5432B.” Z rattled off the name.
“Hades, but that will not be the name we will call her. Can you get the bay codes?” Eve asked the blonde woman.
“Uhhh. There just aren’t any. If the president of fucking weapons doesn’t have them, you know what that means?”
“What?” I asked.
“This bird wasn’t meant to fly, not anytime soon. It probably doesn’t have any chairs, or amenities, or anything on it that we are going to need for the trip into deep space.”
“She is ready for us. Can you hack the codes for the fly bay? How about the take off approval codes?” Eve asked Z.
“That’s not really how this works. If there is something there I can find it, if there is nothing there, then I can’t find it. I’m not a god. I don’t just--”
“Create it. You are a god on the computer. Create a new set of bay codes so we can leave and another for takeoff approval.” Eve pointed to the computer and then shrugged her shoulders.
“Okay, I can do that, but there are a bunch of other problems. I get you like that ship. It is good looking, but there are two others around that size with hyperdrives. I have the complete codes to those. We made it this far already, and we are somehow alive, we can get off this rock in less than a quarter of an hour if we just take one of them.” Z bit her lip after she spoke, and I guessed the girl had known Eve’s answer before she gave it.
“No. It has to be that one. How can we help you create the codes?”
“Fuck.” The hacker sighed as she covered her face. “I can’t do it from here. I’ll need to get to the bay’s control tower. It will be kind of simple to just create new bay codes, but the approvals are going to be a pain.”
“Where is the control tower?” I asked.
“Here,” she said as she typed on the keyboard. The map of the facility popped up, and the tattooed woman tapped a spot on the map with the nail of her pointer finger. “It’s in the main building where the ships are docked.”
“Confirmed. Let’s--” I began to say, but she interrupted me.
“It’s two kilometers away.”
“Confirmed. We can run there in--”
“Through five control locks, and past three security checkpoints.”
“Hmmm,” I growled.
“If we went straight to the bay and took one of these other ships. Whoosh!” Z made a flying motion with her hand. “If you want to go to the control tower…” The girl made a gun shape with her hand and then flicked her tongue across her lips with a gun firing sound.
“We aren’t leaving her. Let’s go to the control tower,” Eve said quickly.
“Okay. Fuck, here I was thinking we are going to get to live after all. Let me see what I can do about these locks,” Z started hammering on the keys again. “If I take care of the locks, are you two going to be able to handle the guards?”
“Yes. That’s my job. I will do the killing,” I growled, and the beast was already pushing against my stomach.
It wanted to be released. It wanted to roam in this building and kill everything that stood between us and our freedom. It wanted to give Eve the ship she wanted. It wanted to protect her as much as it wanted to hear the dying screams of my enemies fill the air.
I let it fill me.