All the Little Lost Boys and Girls, Chapter 71.

My patrons have voted and the newest update for this month is live; a continuation of our science-fiction horror. In this update, we’re still with Alexei and Duty Before Glory in the final days of their lives. Fresh from the horrors of Gemini Pax, they’re responding to a distress call from an Imperial vessel, hoping to learn what is happening in this region and what the Imperium is doing.

Be careful what you wish for, though. Some things are better left unknown and forgotten. Some things should never be looked for and when we find them they’re not at all what we were hoping for.

Below is an excerpt from this chapter; the Coalition teams have boarded the Imperial vessel and Sergeant Tamar Taka is leading just one of those units on a sweep-and-clear through the derelict. In the wake of a particularly grisly find, the sergeant and his team discover something else, something that most certainly shouldn’t be on this ship…

What have they found and what does it mean for them and their mission? Check out the links above to find out!

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As if on cue, his motion sensor pinged. His head came up, and he lifted his weapon. He looked to Coopers, the squad’s scan specialist. The private nodded in confirmation, pointing down one of the cross-corridors. Taka signalled, his marines readying themselves. The contact was moving towards them. “Remember,” he ordered softly. “We stay alive, but the captain needs intel, not bodies.”

The contact continued towards the group of Marines, but it stopped well before it reached the corner, a couple dozen meters up ahead. It didn’t come any closer and the marker faded from the sensor board. Standing there. Watching. Did they know the Marines were here? How? Tamar tongued his cheek, then nodded to himself. He gestured for Zimeckis to follow him. They tried to be quiet, but there was only so much you could do with a suit of power armour.

“We’ve got a runner!” Coopers shouted. Taka ran too, taking the corner in a blur, but the contact was even faster than the Marine. All he saw was a flash of movement from the next junction, a flicker of stained fabric and a small body disappearing around the intersection.

He ran after them. There was a crash from up ahead and he spun around a corner. A grated panel that had been covering a ventilation duct was on the floor and his auto-senses picked the sounds of hurried elbows and knees on metal, but by the time he got to the vent, the figure had disappeared out of sight, well down the air shaft.

“Was that a girl?” Zimeckis asked. “What the fuck is a kid doing on this ship?”

“Find her,” Tamar said as the rest of his squad arrived on the scene. “Sergeant Taka to Colonel Montoya,” he reported. “Confirming live contact, Deck Thirteen, section seven. We didn’t get a good look, but we think it was a child. She ducked into the vents before we could get to her.”

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