Veiled Sun Excerpt
Elliott, you wanna lend me a hand here?”
looked a few feet away and found Mesina was bearing up under a wide panel on
the side of the extractor machine. Hurrying over he hoisted it away and sat it
down. Mesina rubbed her hands together and squeezed his arm. “Thanks.”
said nothing. His arm stung a bit from where she had just squeezed him.
Whatever her kindnesses, the pinch was a reminder that even Mesina was on
another side from him.
I have to make a move.
he had no idea what the warehouse’s layout was like. He needed to see Mesina’s
over to the robot he was to siege, Elliott produced the little interface device
Mesina tossed him and hooked it into a service panel on the hulking machine. As
he began to reprogram it, he knew what he had to do.
a minute or so, he spoke up. “How’s it going over there?”
she answered with a grunt as she twisted loose the last bolt on the extractor’s
controls circuitry. “How about you?”
tapped in a few more lines and said, “Done.”
Seriously?” She stood back from her own work, though it wouldn’t actually show
her what Elliott had done. Which was good, because that would ruin everything.
put a hand on one hip and leaned away as if regarding him with awe, or perhaps
suspicion. “Nice work,” she said, her voice soft.
Since we’re running behind, want me to go get started on the next robot?”
was quiet for a minute, not moving or speaking. Without adding a word to the
silence, she produced the digital page and pointed to a highlighted location on
a schematic. Elliott’s heart raced. It was along the most direct route to one
of the room’s three exits.
pulled back the map and pocketed it. “I’ll join you soon,” she assured him.
lump formed in his throat for the warmth he heard in her voice. “Okay,” he
managed to reply. He spun around and walked to the next robot. Pretending to
reprogram it, he waited.
heard her yelp of surprise and didn’t look back. Sprinting for a door he’d
chosen, he heard via an earpiece the concerned inquiries as a terrible metallic
crash rang through the room. Elliott’s robot had just zoomed off to crash into
the next shelf’s extractor and tore the huge thing free, tossing it to the floor.
was pretty sure Mesina was okay, but he had other concerns. Ahead was the lanky
form of a MetaDonia team member who had turned toward the source of the sound,
which meant he was looking right at Elliott.
blew past him, not even breaking stride. Behind he heard the sieger cursing and
knew he was after him.
to shake him, Elliott cut left at the end of the shelf and pushed himself
faster, skidding into another row, this one empty. A blessing.
had to cut back at the end of the next shelf if he was going to make it to the
door. He spared a glance back and couldn’t see the sieger. As he made the turn
to get back in line with his preferred exit, the man exploded from behind the
shelf. He hadn’t been tricked at all!
sieger tackled Elliott at a full sprint, sending both to the floor in a tumble.
As familiar aches from his last escape attempt flared all over Elliott’s body,
he forced himself to his feet. He couldn’t afford to get into a scuffle now.
“What are you doing? You’ll damage the camera!” he shouted as he edged away
toward his goal.
not stupid,” the man, Lobo, called back.