“Alright, Merk, you know what to do.” The Kasatha whispered harshly but the android he was referring to did indeed understand.
“How many guards do you reckon there is Fritz?” Merk asked.
“Go find out, we need that bounty and I’d prefer it sooner rather than later.” With that Merk was promptly pushed out from the shadows towards the back alleys of the prison. There’s a shuffling in the shadows. Fritz and Zeir were preparing for taking down the necessary securities once Merk reached their destination.
“Hmm.” Merk scanned the walls finding the cell they were looking for.
“That’s pretty far in,” Merk mumbles.
“Can’t fit in the vents… Oh, an empty cell, that should help me in.” Merk uses the hydraulic pistons in their legs to hurl themselves to the window of the empty cell. The bars bent for Merk with ease, and they were in. Merk sighed in relief.
“I’m lucky the alarms aren’t going off. Wait. They definitely should be. What if that was somebody trying to escape? Maybe it’s because the cell’s empty but then it still should because somebody could be breaking in like me though I suppose that’d be unlikely and probably kind of redundant-”
“Would you shut up Merk? The bounty,” Fritz says over an earpiece to Merk.
Merk flinches as they jam the lock open but upon hearing no footsteps, slinks into the hallway. The hallways get progressively hotter as Merk gets closer to the rumored live core that powers the prison. The hallway curves and widens as it opens to the main protection hall for the core. Merk flattens against the wall as guards march by.
“Okay, I’m here but I need a distraction and the fields to be taken down.”
“Which one? Lot's are coming up here.” Fritz asks through the earpiece.
“Okay, the main field is field J2-Y and I think there’s a second one called J1-Y on my scanner,” Merk says.
“Think you got those mixed up buddy,” Zeir says through the earpiece.
“Not if you count them outside to inside-”
“Who cares about who’s correct?” Fritz says, “I’ll be a distraction but it’ll take a second to get there. (Sigh) This better be worth it…”
“Okay, I’ll be out just as soon as the fields are down,” Merk says.
“Okay, I got it, how much chaos is there?”
“A lot! Gotta go.” Merk leaps out and lunges to the platform the core’s connected to before everybody could react to what was happening.
“Umm, do you know how to remove yourself?” Merk asks the core. Nothing happens for a second but a screen popping up on the core displaying an ellipse. Then as gunshots start firing at Merk, it shows an image of how to unplug each cord connected to it.
“Huh, didn’t really expect that to work. Thanks,” Merk says, following the instructions. The screen shows a thumbs up. Merk takes some hits to the back as the surrounding workers try to take them down. Merk grabs the core under their arm and lands some retaliating blows with their own blaster rifle. Then there’s an explosion as a door is blasted open, revealing Fritz.
“That’s our cue to get out of here. Come on core.” Merc leaps over the large gap between the platform and the rest of the room towards Fritz.
“You got the core, good. Come on, Zeir should have the ship running.” Merk nods and takes their position behind Fritz and holds the core close to their chest, taking as much of the fire as they could from behind as they all run away.
“Blast that wall down!” Fritz yells to Merk. Merk nods and lightly tosses the core to Fritz, runs in front, and smashes through the wall ahead. Fritz fumbles with the core a bit and uses a grappling hook to fall to the ground safely.
“Incoming!” Fritz yells to Zeir as he runs into their ship. Zeir sits up straight and starts to prepare to lift off.
“Hold ’em off until we’re out of range!” Fritz says to Merk through the earpiece. Merk pulls out their gun again and starts to shoot down the front line of guards that’s starting to form, backing up to grab onto the exterior of the ship as it starts to rise from the ground.
After a certain altitude, the guns stop firing and Merk gets inside of the ship.
“I think that went well. We got the core, Merk only looks like they were shot 50 times, and I haven’t even gotten a hangover yet,” Zeir says.
“You better not have, you still need to fly us back to base,” Fritz says.
“You can work the ship too.”
“Yeah well, I don’t feel like it.”
“I wonder if the core knows how to fly a ship,” Merk says.
“Oh yeah, the core. Here, you can have it. Just don’t break it,” Fritz says, tossing the core to Merk. Merk nods and walks over to their room. It was plain and small but it had a bed and a door for privacy and that was all Merk really needed. Though a poster or book wouldn’t hurt. Merk sits on their bed and places the core on their lap. The core suddenly starts to glow a bright orange and floats up into the air with a simply rendered cartoon face.
“So your name’s Merk then, right?” the core asks.
“U-um, yeah? You can talk? And.. float?” Merk asks.
“Of course! I showed you pictures back there ’cause I thought it’d be faster that way and man, did that prison drain me.”
“Why did you let me take you if you’re this... advanced?”
“I liked you. Why you are a mighty strange android though I’ll tell you that, I almost mistook you for some sort of.. well I don’t know… but I didn’t think you were an android as they normally are.”
“Yep,” Merk says, sighing and lying back on the bed, “My creator must’ve been one cooky mechanic.”
“So who are you guys stealing me for?”
“Oh! Um, our captain. Sashba. Though it’s actually for the guys who sought her out to get you I guess.”
“How much they paying you?”
“99 credits for each of us but it’s pretty much customary to try to haggle it higher.”
“HAH! Those guys are ripping you off! Sure it was far too easy to get me but… (wheeze) sorry it’s just… I am worth so much more than 396 credits! HAHAH!” The core was tumbling through the air with laughter.
“W-well, how much are you worth then? I mean I know you must have a lot of power to charge one of the most powerful prisons in the Diaspora belt but-”
“You better believe I’m powerful! But that’s for another time.” The core flies out of the room and towards the cockpit. Merk sits up and walks after it.
“Merk, what did you do to the power core?!” Fritz yells as Merk peers around the bend.
“Haha, oh please Core’s just fine, that’s what you called me before Merk, right?” Core says.
“The thing can talk?!” Zeir says.
“Of course I can. If I can power a prison, who’s to say I can’t talk?” Core hums and flies around to Merk.
“I like your friends, they seem fun,” Core says before humming off to the rest of the ship.
“God, I hope our clients will accept this,” Fritz says. He pulls out an alcoholic beverage and takes a swig.
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