"Okay, easy now. We don't know what's behind that door." Lainen's words crackled into Vickers' ears. He adjusted the receiver dial on his helmet with one hand, with the other sliding his machine into a gap between roof supports. Dust whirled away in clouds. The headlights faded to nothing and the craft became still; another quiet piece of debris drifting in the chamber, coincedently with weapons lined up on the large metal door.

"Hang on, I thought we had the blueprints." Zercho spoke into his microphone, gliding across the central space; headlights illuminating derelict machinery. He brought his little craft to a halt, hovering behind a dusty lifter and switched off his lights.

"I meant we have no live data, might have a collapse behind there." Lainen moved a little joystick to enlarge the hologram of the chamber ahead.

"So what're we going to see if it isn't just rubble?"

"Okay, you'll see a big room, squareish, ceiling same height as the one you're in now, floor about three hundred metres below. The opposite wall is two hundred and fifty metres away and it's two-fifty metres wide. Watch out for walkways, and there might be floating debris in there." The hologram rotated as different keys were pressed.

"Got that, all set Vicks?" Zercho set the Vauss barrels spinning and gripped his controls.

"How many points of entry?" Vickers queried.

"Oh, sorry, one large corridor in the centre of each wall, numerous doors along each, and four large doors in the floor, probably locked down." Different overlays flickered across the hologram, from doorways to ventilation units, each with a different colour, reflecting from many dark screens in the dingy room Lainen sat in.

"Thanks, let's go!" Zercho was impatient, Vickers could tell.

"Okay Lauksmé," Lainen said, many kilometres away in the support shuttle. On the other side of the room, Lauksmé remotely manipulated the doors circuitry from her console. Hundreds of metres underground electromagnetic locks disengaged, and the massive plates began to slide apart. From his cockpit, Vickers could see the dull red glow of emergency lighting through the widening gap. The two pilots waited in their machines, hardly breathing. Zercho tense and wide-eyed, Vickers regarding the doorway through the crosshair. Zercho lifted his machine and eased forward over rubble and twisted metal. He hugged the left hand wall to better cover Vickers, who was inching forwards on the right. Vickers peered into the ruddy gloom. Onboard LIDAR began mapping out what could be seen from the node on the front on his craft, sending little details which manifested themselves on Lainen's holographic display, on which two blue dots made their way to the doorway. The dots stopped moving as the pilots drew up either side of the gap.

"After you."

The End

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