, 01:02 PM
"About another minute until my stealth generator resets", whispered Lokin. "Then I'll go and check the route to the pods." He felt the movement of Cirean's nod.
Working by touch, he extracted an auger from his toolkit and quietly bored a small hole through a joint in the panel, enlarging it just enough to fit a tiny flexible camera. There was nothing visible in the corridor. He cracked open the hatch, activated his generator and slid out, silently pushing the hatch closed again behind him.
They were close to the escape pods already, just a few yards to the passageway, but the doors to the pods were out of sight and a guard might be posted, if the Republic were sufficiently intelligent and paranoid.
They weren't, or at least not to that extent. He went back to the maintenance hatch, opened it, beckoned Cirean out and they both went to the nearest pod. Cirean sealed the hatch while Lokin checked the pod's status. It was still disconnected from the main systems and with the automated engine firing routine disabled, so no-one had found Twelve's work in Engineering. He ejected the pod, which, without further impetus, hovered close to the Warhammer, appearing simply as a lump of debris if anyone noticed it on the sensors.
Lokin sent the pre-arranged signal to the Intelligence patrol craft. Within minutes, it arrived in full stealth mode, clamped the pod to itself, and retreated swiftly.
Once at a safe distance, the clamps were released and the patrol ship pilot manouevred his craft until the two could dock.
While they waited, Lokin and Cirean discussed their options. Both wanted to get Twelve out, if it was humanly possible; Cirean because she loved him, Lokin because Twelve and Cirean were the closest friends he'd ever had, and there was no way he was going to let them down.
"But if we report in to HQ, or if the captain has already reported, they'll just order us straight back to Dromund Kaas. There's no chance we'll get authorisation for a rescue mission", said Cirean dully.
"So we don't report in", said Lokin. "The captain won't have made a report yet, he was to maintain a total communications blackout until after the pickup. If we don't talk to HQ, they can't order anything."
"We're not Ciphers, we don't have the authority to make decisions like this." She was frustrated and close to tears again.
"We're part of a Cipher team." Lokin shrugged. "I imagine that will be close enough for the captain - if we just go for it, he won't think to question the orders until later."
She nodded. "You can do the talking then, you can blag your way through anything." She tried a smile.
He put his arm round her shoulders. "We'll sort this, Cirean. I promise."
Control, passion, diligence: these three principles shape your world.
Lord Scourge: To repeat a mistake and expect a beneficial outcome is a sign of insanity.