5. Evasion

5. Evasion

The narrow back alley of New Jericho, the sprawling, semi-dystopic capital city of Horus Prime, was crowded with tent dwellers, junk hawkers and members of the lowest class who were far beneath the upward gaze of Oligarch Morinth’s future plans for his planet.

“We need to disappear,” Kleeger Crass said. “Dodge, evade, whatever until we hit the target.”

“Wonder what happened to the other group,” Wyler Verex asked. “Think they made it into the city?”

Kleeger Crass had followed Lord Orn before the last embers of the galactic civil war died out. Once a common mercenary for hire, he enlisted in Commander Marcus Orn’s Eagle Squad when they were dispatched by The Protectorate to his homeworld of Jasper to repel a Tribune occupation. Before they arrived, Crass’ family was captured and killed. When Orn’s squad made quick work of the Tribune’s battalion, he swore to follow Orn to the grave.

Wyler Verex was something different. A latecomer to Lord Orn’s band of pirates and self-appointed liberators, Verex proved to be a mysterious, yet invaluable jack-of-all-trades. A competent hacker and scout, Verex was also handy with a rifle and dangerous during close quarters combat. He kept his past a mystery, and so long as he did his job and pulled his weight, Lord Orn didn’t mind.

The third member of what was left of the second infiltration team was Raul Irvo, demolitions expert and noted pyromaniac, as evidenced by burn scars up both arms that resulted from a near-deadly combination of stolen spiced rum, matches and too much time on his hands one winter as a youth.

“Either way, we have a payload to collect,” Irvo said as he retrieved two pipe bombs from a ragged satchel slung over his shoulder and turned to face the way they just came. “We need to plug this hole to slow our trackers down.”

“You really are nuts,” Crass said as he reached over and snatched a bomb from Irvo’s hand, motioning to the countless citizens who lined the alley. “This planet’s Oligarchy is our enemy, not the planet itself!”

“You saw that monster that swept into our camp with guns blazing,” Verex interjected. “That was War Hammer’s dog unleashed. We need an edge. Something to take him down.”

Irvo grabbed the pipe bomb back from Crass and nodded. “This is something.”

“If that was the dog,” Crass wondered aloud. “Where is his master?”

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