We barely made it out the door when we heard a loud crash behind us. Klemperer rushed over.
“What the hell happened in there?” he shouted.
“The computer system didn’t like being hacked,” Nolan said. “Kicked off a lockdown, and tried to notify the Central Authority.”
“Dammit,” Klemperer said. “Did the transmission get out?”
“Stopped by the Zephyrus,” I said, trying to catch my breath. “Luckily our AIs realized what was going on in time.”
“That speed enhancement capability came in handy too,” Nolan said. “We’d still be in there if it wasn’t for that.”
“The strength enhancement might have helped us get out of there,” I said.
“Maybe, but I suspect there are limits,” Nolan said.
“One way to find out.” I walked back to the door, opening it. About five feet in was a metal door, not there before.
“That came down from the ceiling,” Nolan said. “Wonder…
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I pulled out the Holographic Communicator chair and sat in it, motioning for JJ to sit on the bed behind me. I turned it on and paged Vermillion, the holographic frame projecting in front of me. Vermillion’s face appeared in a moment.
“Good, you got my message,” he said. “Obviously we had to leave for a while.”
“JJ’s in here.”
“I see her behind you. You’re both feeling better now, I take it?”
“Not a hundred percent, but improving,” I said. “What’s happening? Did we get discovered?”
“No. Worse, actually.”
“One of the manufacturing bases?” I asked, my heart stuck in my throat.
“One of the Overlords operatives was at the main plant. He got off the planet.”
“Dammit,” I said. “How?”
“Shuttle. Unauthorized take off. Got on the far side of a moon there before we could shoot him down.”
“He’s still at large?” I asked.
“No, he’s dead…
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Ted sat in the passenger seat of the big black SUV, looking at his iPhone. “Should be just around that bend.”
Special Agent Simon Keith was driving. He was in his late thirties, but didn’t look it. He was robust, with thick brown hair, a handsome clean-shaven face, and eyes like a hawk.
“Look. Three dirt bikes over there, in the bushes to the right.” He parked.
“What are you doing?” Ted asked.
“Checking to see if the engines are warm,” he said, getting out. He trotted over, looked at them for a moment, felt the engines, and rushed back.
“Well?” Ted asked.
“Stone cold. A full-sized bike and two child’s bikes. Nice ones, too. They aren’t locked up. Nobody would just leave them like that if they had a choice.”
“Calling it in now,” Agent Joe Cooper said from the back. He was a rookie, with black hair, always…
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