Station personnel were running through the corridors carrying boxes and bags. Those with children clutched them to their breasts as they ran. Sam ran out into the hall and grabbed one of the Station porters as he jogged by. “Hold on a moment! What they hell is going on? Is is a general evacuation?”
“Let me go old man!” The porter tried to pull away but Sam was much stronger than he looked for his age.
“Tell me!” Sam squeezed the mans arm even tighter causing him pain.
“Fine! Civil war has broken out on Capitol Planet. The Navy ships are firing on other Navy ships. Armed troops took over government buildings and most of the heavy industry locations. Here on the station security has blockaded the Governor’s office and are threatening to vent the station! Now. Let. Me. Go!” Sam released the porter and he ran off toward the docking ring. Sam returned to his office and tried logging in to the station’s new update service. There were vids playing of fighting in the Empire and some footage of Naval vessels shooting at one another at the San Diego Fleet supply. Nodding his head Sam made an internal decision and activated his basic warehouse defenses. The front door and outer bay doors still needed to be manually closed and locked so he hurried off to go do that.
As he approached the bay doors he saw movement reflected on the shiny internal walls. Sam ducked to one side and pulled up his monitors on the tablet in his pocket. All cameras were off. This station had manual controls and they were located next to the doors. Weaponless, Sam made the decision to run. He reversed course and ran for the main warehouse. Sitting just inside the doors were two War Bots. They were still wearing signs advertising his business. He never did figure that one out. He clearly remembered buying them from one of the rarely visited colonies out on the fringe. That was a story he should tell sometime, he thought to himself. The family that ran that planet was just plain crazy but they had neat stuff. He was pretty sure that the two robots had been nonfunctional. Very strange. Pressing some buttons on he tablet he sent the signal that would activate them and gave them orders to guard the door. Without an operator that was all they would do until destroyed. The radio signal frequency, basic connection protocols, and an apology showed up in his mailbox about a week after the incident. The note was unsigned.
The front door area was clear of intruders so he quickly closed and locked the warehouse. His office was armored against basic attack. Too many customers over the past few decades thought that the ‘old man’ was easy pickings. Checking the security monitors he caught sight of what looked like a military strike team engaging the two War Bots. There was only a couple of reasons that the military would attack him and none of them were good. Grabbing his go-bag out of his desk, Sam pushed the desk forward three feet exposing the hatch inset in the floor. Time to go.
The hatch opened to a ladder leading down about fifty feet to a large bay. In the middle of the bay was an old Colonial model 798 Heavy. In this part of the galaxy the 798 was a very rare ship. Originally designed as a passenger ship the 798 was his personal freighter and storage ship. Checking the fusion storage Sam estimated that he might make Mars. It was time he paid an old friend a visit.
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