Garinath had been more than pleased with his new hostages.
“Without this nutcase the other scum will likely cave in and come over. Pity.” he reflected. “My Marines could have done with the training excercise.”
“Well happy to etc. etc……” said Laura. “It looks like our business takes us to this other station.”
“Might be a rusting deathtrap if he didn’t come back” said Garinath. “I’ll put it in my report, anyway.”
And so they had parted company on the previous day. The Satis would reach their new destination in just over twenty four hours, in the middle of the night. They needed the rest, so waited till morning.
Searching the records had turned nothing up on the station: this wasn’t as mysterious as it sounded – there were an unknown number of private claims and small scale mining enterprises in the belts, mostly trying to evade UWC registration as much as possible.
The station was drilled into the side of one of the many asteroids making up the Main Belt. Typically this provided material for construction, provided shielding from the radiation in space and made the base difficult to detect. To anyone observing from a distance, it would appear little different from the thousands of other objects littering the Belt.
As the Satis approached the asteroid, their sensors picked up a shuttle attached to a port on the side of the asteroid. A second, and open, shuttle port was nearby.
“Segall’s shuttle,” said Anthea “Codes check out.”
Once again, Holly was their shuttle pilot, and she docked effortlessly at the second port. Rackham winced as he suited up – he still had some ugly bruising near his ribs from a shove from the Walker Suit.
“Remind me to avoid any knife fights with Hump Its” he complained.
They had not detected any active sensors tracking their movements, nor had there been any attempt to hail the shuttle. No automated system requested entry protocols or identity.
“Odd” said Laura. The team could only access the open port by overriding the outpost’s system and forcing their way in.
“Let me” said Franz shyly. Zola looked on with quiet scepticism, but after a few minutes the door cycled open.
“I’ve not damaged it” explained Franz, “We can still lock it afterwards.” Laura nodded.
The group prepared themselves, and entered into the station.