The corridor was pitch black, apart from the occasional light from a security drone’s movement sensor as they patrolled the area. The large, black floating orbs were armed with electro beam freeze guns to incapacitate any intruders until backup arrived. Most of drones followed a programmed route, but there were still a few that followed randomized paths, choosing a different course through the building every time. In the event of a drone being deactivated it would send out a silent distress signal that brought all nearby drones to the scene. The system was supposed to be foolproof as it was being pretty much constantly upgraded to keep up to date with even the most modern of thieves. They even had sensors that could see through stealth fields and rendered all electrical equipment useless.
For this reason Slagir had opted for a more traditional approach; crossbow slung across his back he sneaked along the ceiling, attached to the ’gripless’ metal by the natural stick of his hands and feet. The drone ahead of him finished it’s scan of the immediate area around it and moved forwards, unaware of the explosive-packed bolt currently being aimed at it’s back. Slagir pulled the trigger and heard the bolt impact with its target. The explosion it made as it hit was only big enough to knock out the drone, but it was the noise it made that made up for it. Slagir, being a Lithian, was unharmed by the sound as his hyper sensitive ears instantly shut as the noise level exceeded the maximum they could cope with, saving the inner drum from damage. With snake-like speed he sped out of the nearest window and along the outside wall until he was a safe distance from the scene that would soon be crawling with security, both live and electronic. Now all that stood in his and Claria’s way were the guards outside of the drone control centre and the Agetian guards outside the safe.
When Slagir reached the control room the two guards were both lying on the floor outside, he didn’t bother checking if they were alive or not, Claria was too good at her profession to make mistakes. She was, in fact, sitting inside the control room on one of the recently vacated seats with her feet up on filing cabinet. Slagir slunk into the room with reptilian grace and looked around the room with unblinking eyes, the light from the lamp on the ceiling did not reflect off his dark blue scales the way that most people would have guessed it should because of the powder that he had rubbed over them before setting off, his long, scaled tail, that was curled round this right leg, uncurled for better balance, ‘Ssso,’ he hissed, his forked tongue flickering out of his mouth as he did so, ‘how did it do?’ Claria bared her teeth at him, the sight of which would have sent any sensible mammal running fast in the opposite direction. ‘Beautifully, the guards didn’t notice me until they were dead and the codes for the daytime shut down were in the technician’s pocket.’ The being in question was crumpled in heap in the corner with four deep claw wounds in his back that had begun to ooze onto the floor, Slagir flicked his tongue and flinched in dislike, ‘Did you have to leave him lying there?’ he asked. ’He isss beginning to tassste rather ssstrong.’ Claria looked at him sceptically, ‘You think that you’ve got it bad? Try having to smell that every time you need a meal. Anyway I don’t plan to be here long. Hack into the damn drone network, shut them down and then lets get out of here.’
Grimacing again at the taste of the blood lingering in the air, Slagir walked over to the command console and tapped in the entry codes for the shut down, swore quietly as it asked for finger print identification, drew the second item that was strapped across his back next to the crossbow and his quiver, a nine inch knife with a razor sharp edge, cut off the thumb of the technician lying in the corner and, with another hiss of disgust, pressed it to the scanner. Finally granted access he set about shutting down all the drones that stalked the dark corridors. After a few seconds on the network all the night patrols were deactivated, and after a few more he was viewing the security cam footage of the route that they would have to take to take to reach their objective.
Claria was a Farclas, a cat-like people that had long been friends with the reptilian Lithians, she had unusually dark fur for her species and was deadly accurate with her two inch long claws, she could fall and jump great distances without harm and the power in her spring was enough to break a man’s neck, which it often did. She worked with Slagir for several reasons, one of them was their childhood friendship, another was the fact that they made a perfect team, with Claria’s slick power ,dark fur and lock picking skills and Slagir’s climbing, shooting and hacking skills nothing could withstand them, nothing was safe.
As the two friends stalked down the corridor Claria kept making impatient twitchy movements, sheathing and releasing her blade-like claws. She nearly gutted Slagir when he tapped her on the shoulder to ask what the matter was.
‘It’s nothing,’ she replied ‘it’s just, well, we’ve never gone after anything like this before. We can’t even be sure if what we came for is even here, all we have to go on is that freak’s advice that the artefact might be in here.’ Slagir looked at her quizzically in the dark,
‘You do not trussst her?’
‘Good, never trussst your employer.’
Claria laughed quietly and continued to wards the small light ahead of them,
‘I know that’s true. Come on, let’s find out how trustworthy her advice was.’
The three Agetian guards stood outside the large vault door. Eight foot chunks of solid muscle, the Agetians had one distinct advantage over the average bulk that the poorer class usually used; they were very smart, something that not everyone looked for in a guard. They were smart enough to know that there was a market for their services and that, due to their size and physical strength they would be in heavy demand. Several now worked as bodyguards for rich and powerful families across the galaxy. Their mental prowess meant that they could very accurately judge a job’s difficulty and would demand wages accordingly. The ones guarding the vault door that stood between Slagir and Claria and their goal were dressed in full battle armour, huge plates of expertly crafted, ultra light metal that could deflect any blade and reflect any laser blast with ease. The helmets covered all of the face except the eyes, which were made of hydroglass.
Claria peered round the last corner,
‘Drjavic!’ she swore, ‘There’s three of them, all in full armour too, they must be taking this position seriously.’ Slagir, standing just behind her, replied quietly,
‘They take every posssition ssseriousssly.’ Claria glared at him, ‘Any ideas?’
Slagir peered round the corner then pulled his head back. He leant back against the wall, his tongue flickering in and out of his mouth. After a few seconds he pulled the crossbow off his back and, under Claria’s questioning gaze began to take it apart and lay it out on the floor, after taking a few components out of his bag he began to reassemble the crossbow without the explosive attachment and equipped instead with a powerful armour-piercing bolt. He put the left over parts into his pack and lifted the re-assembled crossbow onto his shoulder,
‘I should be able to take out one of them before they notice me, can you dissstract at least one of the othersss, I’ll take care of the lassst one. Their armour hasss a break right at the neck where the helmet endsss, get a claw under there and you’ve won. Ssstay in the shadowsss until I have taken out my target.’ ‘Right’