Syndicate Files: The Sister - Part 12

We were all hurrying back to the side entrance when Sami commed again, and I put my neocom on speaker, "I've got some good news, and some bad news. And you aren't gonna like the good news."

"Well, just tell us both." Envelan looked impatient.

"Bad news is that with the alarm going off, they've locked down the way you came in, and they are working to lock me out of the system. Good news is I managed to keep another way out unlocked..."


"And it's the front entrance."

Envelan and Auvy both cursed, and I admit I might'a said a couple words that mama Tarva would have hit me with a spoon for knowing. There wasn't much to be done, though. We followed Envelan's lead toward the front.

Sami still had access to some of the internal surveillance, so she helped us avoid a lot of the 'ristas goons in the maze of corridors that made up most of the HRW complex - which meant they were coming up fast behind us when we broke out across the lobby.

Sia was bringing up the rear, limping in her single shoe, clearly not as used to running for her life as me or Envelan - or Auvy, since she'd started hanging around with me.

We stopped at the last corner before the lobby. A quick peek showed the 'receptionist' had found a mag carbine and a couple armed friends somewhere, and an auto-turret nosed around suspiciously from its mount in the ceiling. Things were looking bad.

Then the sharp, piercing bark no spacer wants to hear: The hull breach alarm.

It was only moments before the insistent blatting was almost drowned out by a rush of air past us and doors slamming shut behind us. The lobby doors slammed open as atmo was sucked into HRW. Flashing arrows lit up urgently indicating that out the door and well away would be a better place to be, and a pressure door started dropping across the entrance. Dropping slowly.

The three in the lobby ran for it, too distracted to notice the auto-turret now hung limp, swaying listlessly in the gale.

One of the arrow-strips near me started scrolling words, "Get going, love Sami."

We made a break for it across the empty lobby.

Once we were outside, we picked up the pace. We were barely outside before someone had over-ridden the alarm and gotten the internal doors back open. Guristas swarmed out of HRW like fighters out of a Nyx. We dodged down a side corridor, cut through a stall selling knock-off Dessuetto bags and then dropped down a level via a service staircase. Sia finally lost that lone shoe.

I was in front as we burst out of the stairwell, so I'm the one that bounced off a wall wearing a grey Huas suit. The others skidded to a halt behind me.

We were facing a semi-circle of big and ugly. These weren't your Syn-a-dozen muscle. These were people with enough wiring and modification that they probably needed a permit to walk down the street anywhere except Syndicate. Veterans of fights where being all-human meant being dead. These weren't Knuckles' goons, they were a whole better class of thug. One of them gave us a nasty smile, "Boss wants to see you."

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