Inquiry

"Me... Maze...they....," and he shrugged.

Harker stared at the young blonde woman and could see something in her eyes that he recognized. It was a confidence only experience could bring, despite her youthful appearance. That and the strange gauntlets on her wrists implied she was no jiggling little waif Oberoth had brought aboard.

"I'm harker. This is Nikita." He gestured to Nikita. "We're... uh... well we're assassins. Hired to take out Oberoth. Who are you?"

"I'm Amber," she answered. She recognized Harker from the shop earlier. "Look... someone else is here and they're packing some crazy firepower."

"We noticed," Harker gestured to the troopers that Miles had pulverized. "They're lookin' to kill anyone they find, it seems."

So it's kill the humans, capture the plants? Amber thought. "Look, Oberoth kept an escape vessel in the cargo bay, I know how to get it running. We can use it to get the hell out of here. If you guys want to live, I'd suggest following me." Amber paused, surprised by the ease of which she had offered these strangers a way out. She looked over her shoulder to where the robot was carrying Connor's limp form. She figured the dummy had managed to bring it out of her, that desire to help people.

"You've got such a big heart, Amber." The voice of her Big Sister suddenly echoed in her mind. "It's okay to want to help people, and you're in a position where you can. There's no shame in caring for others."

"I don't need this." She thought to herself. "I can't let them in, not again. I can't go through it again."

"You're a good person, Amber. With a light that should be shared by as many people as you can share it with." Big Sis's words continued to play in her mind.

"Damn..." Amber said under her breath. Then she looked to the trio of weirdos. "Well? You guys wanna live don't ya?"

Harker looked to Nikita. "Sounds good to me. What about you?"

A wayward trooper, clearly on his own and detached from his unit stumbled into the gap between Maze and the trio. Even with a blast helmet on, you could tell he was shaking.

Maze was on him in two steps. He crushed the gun with one hand and held him strong under the other arm. "Want me crush or bring for talkey?"

Amber stepped forward. "Talkey! Talkey! I need to know what his people are after!"

The trooper continued to shake in his armor as Maze held him in place. "Oh god, please, I don't want to die!"

"Then tell me what you and your friends are doing here!" Amber shouted. "What is your interest in plants?"

"We... we're The Garden... We gather the SEEDS and plants and bring them to The Garden. That's our mission."

"SEEDS?" Amber frowned. "You mean lost technology?"

The trooper nodded, and then his helmet made the same beeping noise as the previous one Amber had run into. "My god... you... you're..."

Amber felt a flare of panic, the last thing she wanted was everyone to know what she really was. Thinking quickly, she produced the mini-plant bulb she'd stolen from Oberoth from her bag. "This, this is what you're after? This is experimental plant technology."

The trooper seemed to peer closer at the bulb, it was hard to tell with the helmet. However it did the job of preventing him from spilling her secret. "Where the hell did you find that?" The trooper asked.

"None of your beeswax," Amber responded. "I'm asking the questions. How much do you know about plant tech?"

"I'm just a trooper. I don't know much."

"But you know who does." Amber deduced. "Where can I find your superiors?"

"You won't. You could never find them." Then the trooper let out a bit of a chuckle. "Unless you were to let my people take you alive, that is."

Amber had had enough. She jabbed the trooper in the neck where his helmet wasn't protecting him. The trooper let out a grunt and went limp. Then Amber looked to Maze and the others. "Come on... We should get to that cargo bay and get the hell out of here..."

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