Where: The Velvet Fist
When: Just before Harris engaged the mercenaries
Her thin, bruised face bathed in light from the monitors projected schematics, Cass' fingers danced over her handheld as she struggled to manage the myriad demands she was making on the Slave System
"There's the Captain" she murmured "Gamma squad should be there in a moment..."
"'Ow are ze ozer squads doin'?" Le Souteneur, standing behind her, asked impatiently "Sont ils encore en place?"
"What *is* he doing there?"
Cass enhanced the view of the Captain waving a gun at that creepy little pervert that used to hassle her while she was dancing, and surreptitiously diverted the audio stream through to the handheld's memory for later analysis
"'Ah don' care what eez doin', jus' as long as 'eez seen to. Maintenant, putain: Ah said: 'ow are ze ozer "
"Yeah, yeah... Good, and no, not yet; they'll be in place in a bit...
Le Souteneur bristled at her disrespect, but quickly forgot the slight as one of the monitors bloomed with the firefight between the Gamma squad and Harris' incoming security team
"Non! Non! Non!" Le Souteneur shouted "D'où venaient ces idiots viennent de putain?"
"Dunno" Cass responded, distractedly "They just happened by; there's no way they should be able to see any of this on their monitors. Perhaps the Captain called them in earlier?"
She winced, as an explosion tore through the shuttle hanger, scattering bodies and debris everywhere
"Non! Zis ees not good enough!" Le Souteneur screamed, a vein pulsing on his forehead
"Ok, ok" Cass snapped, only distantly aware of how dangerous her new-found temper might be "I'd need a neural interface to work any faster, but I'm on it. The Slave wasn't designed to just take over the ship on a whim..."
"Just get me ze Capitan" Le Souteneur snarled "...or die; your choice"
Frowning, her face smarting with the effort, Cass quickly pulled an array of schematics up; the information blossoming over a half dozen monitors as she quickly parsed over it, killing redundant processes and mining deeper before she finally arrived at where she needed to be
"There..." she murmured, accessing and enhancing a fresh series of view cams
"How about a soft target instead?" she indicated the screens
"Ah ha, oui" Le Souteneur chuckled "Ah lhak ze way you 'tink... Activate Delta, Beta, and Epsilon"
"Yeah, but give me twenty minutes - please!" Cass begged "I need time to cover these extra squads you're fielding! We need to do this right!"
"Dix minutes!" the Le Souteneur snapped in response and turned to stalk away, leaving Cass working feverishly, but with the ghost of a smile playing across her lips
"So what you're trying to tell me" Jay snarled through clenched teeth "Is that you've no idea where these thugs have come from, what they're doing, or where any of them are at the moment?"
Harris shuffled his feet a bit and looked a little embarrassed
"Um... No, not as such..."
"Organise a lockdown and sweep"
"That's just it Captain!" Harris interrupted "We can't do a lockdown! Doors, security monitors, cameras, sensors, everything - we don't have control over any of them!"
"Can't Holly do anything?"
"Nope, he's just been insisting that there's nothing wrong"
"Smeg..." Jay breathed rubbing his temples "If it wasn't for the fact that I just got evidence of Eckerslike's treachery against the entirety of humanity, I'd be worrying about how this was going to look on my record!"
"Ha! That's the spirit!" Harris smiled, slapping Jay across the back in good humour "Things aren't so bad - At least the comms grid's still working, so our squads can coordinate; we might be able to salvage something of this yet!"
Jays' communicator chimed: an incoming message:
FSS do *NOT* react to this, you're being observed
Been forced to subvert security or endure torture and a lingering death :(
Grid going down imminently
Order searches of prom. bars and a couple other likely locations that mercenary types might come from
Oh, and try to get to your current girlfriend sharpish - She's out buying industrial strength mouthwash from Boots at the moment
Hope you understand
"What the!?" Jay tried his communicator "Katrina!?"
It was dead
"Katrina!!" he yelled into the device, but it was useless: The comms grid was, as promised, offline
Cass silently watched the Captain for a moment or two longer; she felt bad about cutting ship wide communications when he so obviously needed them, but as nice a guy as he was, she didn't trust him not to immediately give the game away and start barking orders into his communicator which, in her precarious position would be disastrous for her
An icon flashed in the bottom corner of the view screen
"Bugger!" she hissed.
Someone had found the forgery she had hidden near the plasma conduits