“Oh, you fools! Dance to your heart’s content in that small world of yours! Our world is the expanse of space!”
The wind was filled with the sound of voices. No: a single voice, a laugh. I stumbled toward the Tower, closer this time, so much closer. The broken shapes were coming at me, stumbling, hissing. I seized something from the ground: a sharp piece of bone, honed to a needle-point. I braced for the attack. The laughter grew louder.
“Hunter…” The shriek was insistent and familiar. “We have unfinished business, you and I! We have unfinished busine-“
A slap of Light. “This ketch is getting painful,” I said offhandedly. I shot a charging shank and followed my rescuer, Heisenberg, into cover. The Pilot Servitor was still spinning and firing.
“It’s taking damage,” said my fellow Exo. “We just need to wear it down.”
I took out my sniper rifle and leaned out of cover to shoot. The rounds stripped pieces of metal from its chassis as they passed through. Already the big Servitor looked riddled with bullet holes. It turned its eye away from us, focusing on the control-panels of the bridge.
Drake ran through the open space of the bridge and launched a globe of Void Light at the Servitor. There was a sudden and brief absence of noise as the Void bomb went off, and the Servitor collapsed to the deck, sparking from gaping crater in its side. The remaining dregs shrieked in fury and flung themselves at us, and were immediately mowed down by gunfire.
“Jolly good!” said Farstride in a faux accent. We all clambered out of cover to examine the Servitor.
“Is that…organic?” Magnus pointed at the wound in the machine’s side: something sickly white and glistening twitched inside the Servitor’s housing, mostly obscured by the machinery within.
“That’s not possible.” I leaned closer and reached out, intending to grab the thing and tug it clear of the Servitor’s insides. Then the ketch lurched as if it had struck something and we all stumbled sideways.
Telrik’s little green Ghost practically spasmed with a scan. “We’ve hit Saturn’s upper layer already! We picked up speed!”
“It committed suicide,” I said. “That’s why it stopped fighting us near the end: it’s taking us down with the ship.”
“Can we transmat out of here?” asked another Ghost.
“No, we need to be closer to the outer hull.”
“Double-time to the outer deck! Move!” Farstride’s order had us all running for the exit.
I paused and looked back at the dead Servitor, looking for the pale white invader in its belly. But whatever it had been, it had disappeared. I shook my head and turned to follow the others as the ketch shuddered again.