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Star Wars: Echoes in the Void/The Horde

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< Star Wars: Echoes in the Void

Star Wars: Echoes in the Void: The Horde
Attribution
Author(s)

Tesh Vohore

Chronology
Era

Rise of the Empire

Series

Star Wars: Echoes in the Void

Preceded by

Star Wars: Echoes in the Void: The Haunted

Followed by

Star Wars: Echoes in the Void: Illumine

It had been a busy day. Starcom Station was expecting a new shipment of goods as well as a new generator. The previous one had malfunctioned due to poor ventilation. Triv reasoned that it was due to rushed planning in the construction of the facility. Since it was a secret, they were able to skip over the Republic regulations. Triv was journeying to the upper level Cargo Docking Bay to retrieve the new generator. Due to its bulk, he would need at least four more able bodies in order to carry it to the edge of the main hall where they would lower it down the central corridor.

He was not looking forward to starting his workday so early. Living in the facility provided for easy work hours. He would sleep in two extra hours, unlike when he worked at the power plant on Coruscant, until the next shift started at ten standard hours in the morning. This would allow him to see his daughter off to school where she usually would be while his wife worked in the education level one story below the Residential Area. He was not used to missing both his daughter and wife leave in the morning. It was starting out to be a bad day.

It had been the first one since they moved there four years ago. Even though he was a trusted employee, he still was not told why the facility was built, what its purpose was. He was not even told why he had to keep it a secret when they had no communication to the outside world, except the Director. It was rumored that he was affiliated with a politician within the Senate, maybe even the Chancellor himself, who ordered the construction of the facility, but they were merely rumors.

”Why does the shipment have to arrive so early?” Triv thought aloud.

He did not realize how audible his voice was until he passed one of his co-workers in the hall. It was Raito Flak, the Bay operator and close friend of the family. Raito was a single Human, who had been recruited from a one of the privately owner docking bays on Naboo. He was a trustworthy man, with a lot of respect for the Republic. He had no idea, either, what was going on at the facility. Out of the entire facility, minus the Director, he would have an idea because he ran the main Cargo Bay, and inspected every shipment that came in. He just was not the questioning type. He was the kind that kept good faith in his government, no matter how corrupt or tyrannical.

”I hear that the reason the shipment came early is because of a new security force that’s coming in to inspect the progress of the facility.” Raito explained.

”Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bother you with my complaints.” Triv apologized.

”Bother me? You’re the only one I know brave enough to finally voice their opinion. Everyone here is afraid of the Director, but you.” Raito assured Triv, “So, how’s the family?”

”I wouldn’t know. I got up before they did. I haven’t seen them awake since yesterday.” Triv explained.

”Ah, well. Let’s both hope that today goes by quickly.” Raito anticipated.

”Yes.” Triv stated as Raito left to head off to work. The first task on Triv’s agenda was to prepare the central corridor for the generator. He had already removed the railing down on the Power Level and secured it. Next he had to work on the upper level railing. As he went to unlock the joints, he heard a cry for help come from the Cargo Bay. He whipped around in shock.

Unsure if what he heard was real, Triv decided to investigate. He slowly walked toward the door to the air lock in between the bay and the central corridor. He opened the lock and stepped in. He was unable to hear any more noises coming from the bay, but decided that he should still help if he could. He walked up to the bay door, noticing that the lock was on. He reached up to turn it off, when, suddenly, it released.

Triv did not have any reaction time from the moment the lock released to the time the door opened. He saw four men, clad in black space suits. Their intimidating black helmets stared back at Triv for a brief second. The next thing Triv saw was a bright flash of red light, which came from the direction of the pilots. Then it was black. Triv’s body lay limp on the ground as the four pilots proceeded into the rest of the facility. His day was over. His wish had come true.


Riina woke suddenly from her nap after a nightmare. She dreamt that her squad had been convicted of treason and sentenced to death by capital punishment. She was forced to see her friends die at the hands of others and she was next. She woke shortly before any weapon was able to touch her, but she woke to see the glowing red eyes of one of the spirits. She let out an ear-piercing scream and within seconds Carpo was in the sleeping quarters with his weapon raised.

The spirit shifted at the sight of Carpo and the glowing flicker of the viewing screen in the living quarters. In one swift move, the spirit raced through the wall and into the next room. Carpo walked up to Riina to comfort her slightly, although he distanced himself because of emotional conflict. He did not want her to suddenly view him as anything more than her commander, but that his thoughts could have been faulty. At that time, Ruin and Lymn entered the sleeping quarters.

“It’s all right. He’s gone.” Carpo stated, “Glad to have you back.”

Riina just sat there, trying to catch her breath. She could feel her heartbeat race, and feared fainting again. Carpo turned around and nodded at Lymn. Immediately, Lymn retreated into the halls. Carpo walked back to Ruin and whispered into his ear.

“It was back. At least I’m assuming it was the same one.” Carpo stated.

“RT-317 did say they were a group. Maybe that one told the others and they’re going to start attacking more constantly?” Ruin wondered.

“If so, then we better find a way to defend ourselves. Until then, let’s assume she’s just being stalked by one.” Carpo clarified, “We don’t want to completely scare her.”

“Yes, sir.” Ruin replied and returned to the living quarters.

Carpo walked back into the sleeping quarters, where Riina was lying. Her head was resting on the pillows as she tried to control her breathing. Carpo looked down at her and reached out to grab her hand. He gently pulled her up, bracing her as she stood up to her feet. She was about five centimeters shorter than he, but she held her head high. She was one of the few females that had impressed Carpo when he was forming the Retribution Squad. To her, that accomplishment was her life.

As a little girl, she had spent her time doing things to prove she could do them. In school, she got good grades to prove she was smart. Outside of school, she would take on men in a fight just to prove she was tough. It worked for the most part, but she constantly felt empty inside. She felt as if she was not good enough, which is why she signed up with Mek I’mero and Carpo. She wanted one more thing to prove she was capable of doing – whatever it was that made her feel whole.

This was partly due to a rough childhood. Her parents never beat her, or discouraged her; they simply never seemed to care. They were always disappointed in her performance, even when she did the best she could. She was a top grade student throughout her academic years, but it was not enough. So, she went into engineering, after her father, but he felt that was not her place. She transferred to Economics, after her mother, but that was not enough. So, she dropped out completely, and finally ran from them. She hoped that by running from the disappointment, she could finally find something she loved doing and could be proud of it. She had been running since then.

Carpo led her out into the living quarters and back into the kitchen. He guided her over to the couch to sit down. Riina insisted that she could do it on her own, but Carpo, being the boss, refused. She collapsed on the couch just as Lymn entered with both RT units following close behind. He walked up to Carpo and whispered in his ear. Riina could only hear bits and pieces, but she was able to pick out that Lymn had found them arguing in one of the storage rooms in hall R4, the one she had explored. He also stated that RT-317 seemed angry at RT-897 for something. The rest was muffled when Ruin walked up. Carpo turned to address both droids.

“Did you find the records?” Carpo wondered.

“Yes – sir, I did. Apparently there are only four recorded Wanderers. Two male and two female. Here is the holochart to show you. However, I remember five.” RT-317 stated, handing Carpo the holochart.

Carpo looked over it. It was a record of all the sightings, of both Wanderers and Stationery, but no names were given. With each listing, there was the location of sighting, description of the spirit, label, status (hostile or subdued). Carpo was able to determine both Triv and his daughter and started to fill in the rest of the information, as well as giving them their name. He noticed that there was a female sighting near the Power Room, and figured that that was Triv’s wife. When he was done looking at the holochart, he handed it to Lymn, who stored it in his pack. Carpo looked back at RT-317.

“Why were you arguing with RT-897? What did he do to make you mad?” Carpo wondered.

“What makes you think that I was arguing?” RT-317 questioned.

“My partner overheard you just before he retrieved you. Now, what were you arguing with him about?” Carpo insisted.

“I can assure I was not arguing with him.” RT-317 remarked.

“Last chance to give me an answer before I shoot you.” Carpo stated, raising his rifle at RT-317.

“I miscalculated the gap between two boxes and I dumped a paint can over. He was yelling at me because I am supposed to be a cleaning droid, not the opposite. He felt that I was incompetent.” RT-897 spoke up.

Carpo looked at Lymn for confirmation. Lymn remembered that tone, if droids could have tone, in RT-317’s voice, and there were a number of boxes tipped over. Lymn gave him a hesitant assurance shrug. It was enough for Carpo. He kept his gaze fixed on Lymn and charged his rifle.

“It’s the truth, sir!” RT-897 shouted.

“Odd that a droid is begging for another droid’s life. Droids aren’t alive so they can’t fear death, and have no heart so they can’t have compassion.” Carpo retorted.

“You’ll find that we are not your usual droids, sir.” RT-317 stated.

This statement disturbed Carpo and his team. If they were not the usual droids, then what were they? What did he mean by it? At that time, the Jedi appeared before them. His appearance had changed. Carpo figured it was because he had seen his dead body, or something to that affect. Then he realized that he was a spirit. Do spirits have emotions? His thoughts returned to the droids when he saw the Jedi give them a sharp glance.

“We have to find Triv’s wife. Which means we have to get to the power room. However, it has a security seal. We need a security card, which Triv has on his possession, up in the Cargo Bay. Our mission is to retrieve the card, find his wife, get the ring, turn the power on, gain Triv’s trust, and figure out what the frig happened here.” Carpo explained.

“Seems simple enough.” Ruin joked, smiling.

“You two are coming with us.” Carpo remarked as he walked past the droids.

With that everyone exited the room. The rest left the first residential hallway and into the central hall. They marched back up to the first level, where the cargo bays were located. They walked up the stairs and back into the central hall. The cold was finally beginning to settle in their bones. They had been there less than twenty-four standard hours, but it was enough to allow it to seep through their insulated pilot suits and helmets, which they had not removed since arriving at the facility, not even to sleep.

Once back on the first level and in the central hall, they walked passed Triv, who was still sitting in the same position as when they first saw him. He just sat there. To Lymn, who had spent the most time with him, it appeared as if he had lost the will to go on, but was stuck - stuck in the monotonous routine of waiting for his family to return to him. Lymn sympathized with him. Lymn walked over to him.

As Lymn walked over, Triv shifted his focus from the end of the ledge to the group. As soon as his gaze was fixed, the two droids left the stairwell and entered the central hall. His eyes did not shift from them, even when Lymn tried to get his attention. Eventually, Lymn had to just start speaking, hoping that Triv heard him. It was eerie, and Lymn made a mental note of it to tell Carpo later on. He remembered hearing Carpo talk about how he didn’t trust the droids while they were waiting for Riina to come to.

“Triv, I need your help, again. You said that your body was in the cargo bay to your left. Which one exactly is it and is there anything we should know about what’s on the other side?” Lymn corresponded for the group.

“It’s Cargo Bay two. It’s the main one. The other two are for smaller cargo, such as food supplies and water. The last one is for personnel such as the director and inspectors. The one I’m talking about was used for equipment.” Triv explained, still staring at the droids.

“Equipment?” Lymn wondered.

“The day I died, I was retrieving a new power generator for the Power Room two levels down. The old one had blown due to poor ventilation. That’s the kind of equipment that was shipped to the Cargo Bay, if that answers your question?” Triv stated.

“What exactly happened the day you died?” Lymn insisted.

“I told you. You have yet to gain enough trust. Give me my wife’s ring, and I’ll tell you exactly what happened. Just let me see my family.” Triv’s gaze shifted back to Lymn as he spoke.

The sincerity in his voice was enough deny any of Lymn’s fears of being attacked. The man just wanted to see his family. It was now Lymn’s goal to see that accomplished. Lymn stood up and walked back to the group. He pulled Carpo aside.

“We need to help him as soon as possible. He said that his body was through the main cargo bay over there.” Lymn explained, pointing at the bay behind Carpo, “He also said that if we can get him his wife’s ring, he’ll tell us what happened to him. I think it would be safe to assume that what happened to him, happened to all of them here.”

“You think? Well, you know the famous cliché about assuming, so I don’t have to repeat it. If you’re wrong, this could cost us. But, I’m going on faith that you’re going on yours. That is what you call it right? Faith. In your religion.” Carpo replied.

“Yes. I have full confidence that this man will keep to his word. He’s been without his family for long enough; he’ll do anything to be with them.” Lymn stated.

“Fair enough. We’ll retrieve the ring, and I’ll let you return it to him. My goal is to get this facility up and running so we can get to the bottom of what happened here quicker. I have a promise to keep to the Jedi.” Carpo explained.

“And I have one to Triv. Also, there is something that I thought you should know.” Lymn reported.

“What is it?” Carpo insisted.

“You said, last night, that you don’t trust the droids. Well, when they came out, Triv’s gaze shifted to them and stayed on them until he spoke of his family. When he first saw them, his eyes seemed to widen, almost as if he was surprised to see them with us. I figured you should know.” Lymn clarified.

“Thanks for informing me.” Carpo whispered, and then turned to the rest of the group, “Alright, we’re headed into the main cargo bay. We retrieve the security card and proceed immediately to the power room. Is that understood?”

Carpo heard a scattered confirmation from his team and RT-897. RT-317 never looked at Carpo; his gaze was focused on Triv. It was as if RT-317 could see him, even though from where Carpo stood, he could not. He walked over and tapped the droid on the shoulder. RT-317 turned around.

“Rusty! Do you understand me?” Carpo shouted.

“Yes, sir.” RT-317 confirmed, almost hesitantly.

Carpo motioned for R-317 to return to the group who was already headed for the bay door. A large C-2 was painted on the door to mark the entrance to the airlock. Ruin walked up and attempted to open the door. He was able to budge a couple millimeters, suggesting that the airlock was sealed on the other side. The others walked up and helped him pry the door open. Once they were in, they shone their flashlights in and entered into the hall.

It was darker than the others. Carpo figured it was because their eyes had adjusted to the darkness in the rest of the hall that it appeared light enough for them to at least see where they were going. This was the same affect when they entered the Residential hall. At first, Carpo could not see a meter away, but as he continued into the hall, his eyes adjusted and he was able to make out the most of the features.

It was a hall like the first bay they had come from. There was an eerie red hue to the hall as it led to a transparisteel window and the second door. There was a sectioned off room to the left of the hall about a meter and a half from the door. The team walked up. Since it was sectioned off with transparisteel, they could look in to see it was the control room for the bay. It was similar in design to the one in the first bay, only it was more spacious. There were more terminals for cranes and such. Ruin looked in and surveyed what each terminal operated. He noticed a single red light at one of the terminals.

He looked for a panel to open the door to the control room, and realized that it was an old fashion manual door with a handle. He took the handle by hand and slowly opened the door. He was not sure if there was a ghost inside just like at the other Bay. He raised his weapon and flashlight to scan the area. It seemed clear. Leaving the rest of the team behind to view the Bay, Ruin entered the control room. He walked up to the terminal and analyzed the red light. Underneath was written in basic, unlike at the other Bay, “Cargo Bay Door”. He leaned in as far as he could to get a good look at the bay doors. They were closed.

Suddenly, a foul stench reached his nose. Since his suit filtered any air that might be in the facility, as well as produced its own, it took a while for any smells outside to get to his nose. He scanned the room one more time and noticed what looked like a body setting on the ground behind the last desk. He walked over and noticed it was propped up against the wall.

The body was rotted. Any unique features were slowly disintegrating. There was one, however. It was an earring on the left ear. The head was tilted slight to the right to expose the earring. Also, just below the right collar bone, a seared wound was present were a laser bolt had pierced it. Ruin heard a faint beeping noise in the background coming through his comlink, but he ignored it. He was too busy trying to analyze the body, which was not his strong point. The beeping noise grew louder, enough for him to realize what it was.

It was the same noise as before when he was in the other bay’s control room. There was a spirit present. It grew louder and louder. His heart started to race. His eyes shifted around the room. He stood up and started to circle around the terminal. He spun around, flashing his light in every corner of the room. Suddenly, it cut out when Carpo spoke up.

“Ruin!” Carpo shouted, “Get over here.”

Ruin stopped in his place and looked over at the rest of the team. None of them had seen his panic, none of them except RT-317. Ruin walked back towards the entrance and passed the Cargo Bay Door terminal. As he passed, his flashlight focused on the chair and he saw a grey outline form quickly then disappear. He stopped in his tracks. He spun around and lowered the light at the chair again and saw a spirit leaned up against the terminal, with his head down. Ruin looked back at the team, who were staring at him. He cried out to them.

“I’ve got a spirit!” Ruin shouted.

At that, the spirit lifted its head and turned to look at Ruin and Ruin returned the gesture. It was a male. Ruin figured it was the control room operator. His eyes were grey, which calmed Ruin, but another unsettling feature became present. Located on the spirits left ear, a gold earring, just like on the body, rested. Ruin looked back where the body was, then back at the spirit. They were more or less the same body. Finally, the spirit spoke up.

“Who are you?” The spirit asked.

“Uh, sir. What do I do?” Ruin inquired, slightly alarmed.

Carpo walked in and realized that Ruin was talking about the spirit in the chair. The spirit turned and looked at Carpo. He spoke again.

“Who are you?” The spirit asked.

“Should I answer it?” Ruin wondered.

“Let me.” Carpo turned and looked at the spirit, “I am Captain Carpo Vas. This is my First Lieutenant Ruin Malth. We are members of a four person freelance mercenary group known as the Retribution Squad. We were stranded here and are helping a Jedi figure out what happened. Do you remember anything?”

The spirit looked back at the terminal. “No.” He sighed, “I fell asleep while at the controls. It was so early, earlier than our normal shift started. I fell asleep when two new ships came in. One was a private shuttle and the other was a cargo liner. I remember four people getting off the shuttle, but that is all.”

“Do you remember what they were wearing? Any distinguishable features?” Carpo asked.

“They were wearing black uniforms, like yours, only more armor-like than space suit.” The spirit explained.

“Thank you.” Carpo replied and walked out.

Ruin started to follow when the spirit cried out again. The spirit reached its hand out to grab Ruin, but merely went through him. Ruin felt an ice-cold shiver run through his arm, almost as if he had stuck it in a barrel of ice water. He turned to look at the spirit.

“Do you know what happened?” The spirit insisted.

“We’re trying to figure that out.” Ruin replied.

“Can you tell me how my sister is?” The spirit wondered.

“Uh – we haven’t explored far enough to really identify anyone. But if we find her, we’ll let you know.” Ruin lied. He had no intention of returning to the bay to inform him that his sister was dead, if they could find her in the first place. It was a long shot for anyone to be identified.

“Take my earring. It was a gift from her on my twenty-first birthday. She said that since I was of age, she would get me something that I had always wanted. She’s looked after me for quite some time. She even agreed to come with me, here. Here of all places. Away from family, friends, and her love. But they needed a teacher and I needed a sister. Can you promise me, you’ll come back and tell me if she’s alright?” The spirit insisted.

Ruin hesitated. He did not want to be burdened with the promise of having to help someone as well. He looked over at the team who was trying to pry the transparisteel door open. He noticed that they were struggling with it. He sighed and turned his gaze back to the spirit.

“I’ll promise if you can help me with something. My team needs to get into that bay. How do we undo the airlock seal?” Ruin inquired.

“The airlock is not sealed if the Cargo Bay doors are closed. It means that the pressure on the outside and the inside are equal. To open the door, merely slide the employee ID card through the door. It is magnetized and not run on power. That will remove the seal. However, not all ID cards are the same. Certain cards work for areas related to that employee’s particular occupation. This was to prevent people from wondering into restricted areas.” The spirit explained.

“Restricted area?” Ruin noted.

“Yes. Only those authorized to enter were allowed in. I was not one of them, so I do not know anything about them except that they are restricted.” The spirit continued.

“Thank you, uh…what is your name?” Ruin asked.

“Raito Flak.” The spirit replied.

“Thank you, Raito Flak. I’ll be sure to come back to you when I find out anything on your sister.” Ruin replied.

“You can use my employee ID card to get into the bay. After that, there is not much you can use it on except other bays and ventilation panels.” Raito explained.

Ruin acknowledged his final words and walked over to the body. He took the earring and searched for the employee card. He found it on the left chest pocket and returned to his team. They were examining the transparisteel window separating them from the hangar outside. Ruin slid the card through the key slot next to it, and they heard a faint hissing sound. Ruin pulled out a vibro-knife he kept in his left chest pocket and started to peel the door open.

The others quickly joined him and together they slid the door sideways. Immediately, they started to scour the area. Ruin, Lymn, and RT-897 head off to the left, heading off towards the docking bay door, while the others headed to the rear. The three heading towards the entrance noticed four medium-sized transports resting on the bay floor. The rear landing ramp was lowered to one. Lymn pointed it out and the three of them walked over to it. As they reached the ramp, Ruin ordered Lymn to go inside with the droid while he covered the entrance.

The transport was unique, unlike anything Lymn had seen. It contained three levels of passenger seating, with a lower level for storage. As he and RT-897 walking onto the first passenger level, Lymn noticed that each seat was occupied with a body. The stench had built up for many years and was just potent enough to seep through the air filters, causing Lymn to gag as he walked forward. Trying to keep his composure, he examined the bodies. Each one was wearing an identical work uniform, with the Republic symbol on the left breast pocket and a nametag above the right. They were the workers from the facility.

Not able to hold it any longer, Lymn leaped out of the transport and gasped for air. He removed his helmet, hoping that there was air in the facility. There was air, but not clean air. But he was too close to the vessel and the smell lingered in the air, and Lymn threw up. Ruin went to assist him, as RT-897 walked out. Ruin looked up at him, and motioned him to “come here”.

“It’s obviously not the best environment in there for someone with senses, so I need you to go in and report back to me everything you see. I’m doing this in faith that you’ll help me.” Ruin explained.

“I’ll do it to the best of my ability.” RT-897 responded accordingly.

“Now take this comlink and tell me everything you see.” Ruin explained one last time and watched as RT-897 entered the ship one last time.

It took him a while to respond; maybe he was having trouble working the comlink. The trigger was small, after all. The thought amused Ruin, a droid with technical difficulties. Eventually, RT-897 did report back. He described the nature of the bodies, how they were past the point of decomposition. He suggested that they had been there for years, around the time of “the incident”, as he put it. He regurgitated everything he saw in each level, even pointing out some names that he recognized. None of them meant anything to Ruin. Finally, when RT-897 was done, he returned to Ruin below, who was helping Lymn still recover from the smell.

“That was everything I saw. Does it help you any?” RT-897 inquired.

“A little. You said something about an ‘incident’. Was that when all these people died?” Ruin wondered.

RT-897 did not respond. He merely walked over to Lymn, who was still bent over dry heaving. He bent down with him and muttered softly to him, something Ruin had never seen a droid do. He knew something was up when RT-897 tried to avoid him when he walked over to Lymn as well. Ruin glanced over at the others down the bay. They appeared to be getting nowhere. The group rallied around and joined them at the their end of the cargo bay. When they arrived, Carpo inquired of their progress.

“Sir, we still have yet to find Triv’s body. Now, he said it was in here, so I believe him. We just need to find it.” Lymn suggested.

“Let’s face the facts, no one in this haunted place trusts us, no matter what we do. After what just happened, I don’t trust any of them either. And if Triv said his body was in the bay, where is it? I haven’t seen it yet.” Carpo stated.

“We’ve had a difficult time getting into our ship. It looks like you weren’t even able to even get into yours. But, I am sure he’s in here. He’s probably just hiding.” Lymn stated.

“Wait. What are you suggesting?” Carpo wondered.

“It could be a trick to distract us from the main mission, which as far as I’ve seen has worked.” Lymn whispered.

“So, you’re saying it was all a set up?” Carpo tried to understand.

“Yes.” Lymn replied, confidently yet still quietly.

“Do you think our ‘friend’ over there was in on it?” Carpo questioned.

“I have no reason to believe why not. He is, after all, a part of this facility and he would hold its benefit in his highest interest. It is part of his programming as a maintenance droid to make sure it’s functioning.” Lymn explained.

“So, what do you suggest we do?” Carpo inquired.

“Try harder.” Lymn proposed.

Carpo chuckled. He placed his hand on Lymn’s shoulder and nodded. Lymn immediately started remembering what Triv had said about his last known location. He remembered him saying something about the entrance to the bay. But there were no bodies there. He then remembered how almost every body, with the exception the Imbr’itn’alloto and Raito Flak, had been placed in the shuttles. He looked over at the bay entrance, and then located the nearest transport. It was the one he had attempted to search. Since Triv’s body would have been the nearest one, he would have been placed first, logically. He walked over to RT-897.

“I do need you to help me with something. You remember Imbr’itn’alloto’s father, Triv?” Lymn stated.

“Yes. He was a good man and a hard worker.” RT-897 reminisced.

“Well, he has the security card to the power room and we need it. I’m figuring his body was in the transport we looked through. Do you remember seeing his name?” Lymn wondered.

“I called out everyone I recognized. I did not find his name. I am sorry.” RT-897 apologized.

“No need. Did you check everywhere?” Lymn asked.

“Yes. At least, I think I did.” RT-897 tried to remember.

“Did you check the cockpit?” Lymn inquired.

RT-897 paused. “No.”

“Take the comlink and go check it. If you find him, search the body for a security card and return it back to us.” Lymn ordered and RT-897 raced off towards the transport. Carpo walked over to Lymn and whispered in his ear.

“Why would he be in the cockpit? He was an engineer not a pilot.” Carpo wondered.

“Yes, but the people inside weren’t leaving. Triv told me the day he died he was getting a new generator for the power room, which is right over there.” Lymn pointed at the generator, “But there is no transport fitted for equipment.”

“What do you mean?” Carpo insisted.

“Whatever thing did what happened here came and left in the same transport. The transports we see here aren’t for leaving in. It’s a mass grave.” Lymn stated.

The thought disturbed Carpo. The fact that Lymn had been able to deduce that also surprised him. He knew that Lymn was a calculating guy, but there was an intellect about him that had yet been discovered. Carpo made a mental note to resort to him more often to hear what he thought of situations; in case there was something he missed.

It did not take RT-897 long to reach the cockpit. Sure enough, he found his Triv’s body. It had decomposed beyond the point of recognition. If it hadn’t been for the nametag, no one ever would have guessed it was him. The droid search every pocket looking for the security card. He eventually found it in the back pocket, near the buttocks. He removed the card and returned to the group. He handed it directly to Carpo, almost in a sign of good faith, and stepped back to the rear of the group. Carpo examined the card and confirmed it was the correct card.

Exiting the docking bay, the Retribution squad and acquaintances made one last search of the area. Ruin returned to control room and talked to Raito, confirming that since they had found the security card to the power room, he would be able to look for his sister. With that, the group left the bay. When they left the bay, they left behind the ignorance they once had. But more importantly, they left behind the horde to rest in peace. They were trying harder.

To Be Continued...

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