Prime’s throne snapped shut, enclosing him in a clear blast shield and extended a foot to lock it to the floor. “Glass Mountain,” he snapped. “Station over-ride. Fortesque, your security has been compromised.” A flick of his finger sent the Immoderate Captain to his knees, through his permanent neural web. When he staggered to his feet, a trickle of blood trailing down his chin where he’d bitten through his cheek, Prime snapped. “I ordered no such monstrosity, there are no Galactic techs present yet. This could well be a planted trap from my son when he came home.”
“Yes, Prime,” Fortesque cleaned his face with a mediwipe kerchief. “Deep search commencing. Glass Mountain over-rides acknowledge through the shuttle. Station isolated and protests.”
“It’s a machine. Shut it off if you have to. I won’t have it complaining to the courts. Those stupid laws about machine sentience are a downright nuisance.”
“When someone is attacking you, yes sir.”
The shuttle slammed into aggressive mode, where it was parked, the heavy guns dropping out of their ports to cover Prime.
Terry had his hands over his face, peering through his fingers and Alissa stared, fascinated, leaning forward, watching as the Station was cut out of all control and contact. In code, he could see Station seized up in the claws of the security dragons and bodily ripped out of its place and held, suspended. Far off in the distance he could hear Station, weeping, but unable to do anything. *Mom?* he whispered.
*I am ninety-four percent sure they cannot find us. I am activating my most extreme security protocols to protect you, Terence. I’m sorry that they are older programs than Prime’s new security dragons.* The cameras shut down and the only things they could see were lighted dots marking Immoderates locations in Station and Prime. Audio still came through.
“Main control room, Captain. Secured with Glass Mountain.”
“Good, Williams. Proceed to crew quarters and join Matthews.”
“Guest quarters still sealed, Captain. Seals show no signs of tampering. Laying another seal on it.”
“Good, Jones. Remain there.”
“Rebuild of display towers on the eastern landing field after construction collapse.”
“Stupid machine,” Prime snarled under his breath before lapsing into silence once more.
“Station records show meteor strike recently. Repairs initiated...” Terry’s shirt was suddenly soaked with perspiration and he was holding his own breath. One channel held only the sound of Prime’s breath. He could not be in distress, given his support systems, so that hissing, gasping sound could only be his rage.