A fluorescent clock on the wall hit midnight just as the timer in Tarlo's virtual vision wound down to zero. They were over the drop area. Signalling for his team to fall in behind him he walked over to the side of the carriage and pressed a small button on a panel to the right. With a quiet hiss a section of the wall slid backwards and to the side revealing an opening just wide enough for two men to stand abreast.

With the door now open air began to whip around the container in a flurry driven by the intense winds at such a high altitude. "Huh," thought Tarlo, "I guess these orbital cargo trains really wouldn't be any good at carrying passengers after all." He'd always harbored the idea of scoring big, then settling down to build a transportation empire on his takings.

Looking down you could see the whole of New Trenton in the blink of an eye. What's more even at this altitude you could smell it, the smog and stench of the industrial centre mixing with the rank odour of the various residential areas. Hundreds of thousands in each crammed together like sardines to save money. New Trenton had never been much more than an industrial centre with a few of the nations elite watching over to keep the peace. Such 'Governers','Chief of Police' and the like were really nothing more than condescending babysitters for a working population. Or, as Sandy always called them, "Schmucks with enough money to donate to our cause".

Ahh those had been the days...

Not like today, no today Tarlo had a job to do. So did all the others. With a quick burst from his throat mic he caught all their attentions and with a quick hand signal directed them, one after another, out of the train and into emptiness before following himself.

The descent was not a pleasant one, bumping around this way and that in free-fall with their stomachs rising inside them but at least it was quick and gave them all time to get a visual lock on the target factory. They should be landing on the roof and infiltrating from there. Just a regular raid on some Orrothlean agents working to ship supplies and intel back to the empire. No more than four minutes later they had deployed their black plyfabric wings and glided silently to a stop and landing just 10 metres beyond their ideal target landing.

On landing they brought their guns up instinctively to check the area for hostiles. Nothing looks quite so foolish as grown men pointing guns at empty space. Still, there was no way any of them were going to forgo caution at this stage.

"Roll call," came Tarlo's order over their comm system, "everybody check in."

"Check for Sandy."

"Check for Hec."

They all responded besides Ajax, he simply loomed over them all, providing an answer more definite than any vocal recognition.

They had made touchdown and nobody had gotten hurt, practically a first for their rag-tag band. "People we know why we're here," started Tarlo, "lets get..."

"Shut up man, we know what we're doing, now get going oh great and fearless leader, I wanna get some sleep tonight." Of course Sandy had interrupted him. How could he have anything else would happen.

"Just move smart ass, and if you screw this up you'll become Ajax's personal punching bag, got it?"

"Yeah yeah cap. Just move your lanky ass. This place stinks." And so they descended through a door to the east into the bowels of a factory, the layout more twisted and confusing than even the minds of men.

The End

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