Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Lucas
"Of the 300 kilometers danger zone, only the 10 kilometers nearest to the warship will not send us into a blackout."
After the systems came back online, Yao Yuan didn’t instantly continue their journey to the warship husk. Instead, he parked the shuttle to initiate multiple checks. He wanted to know their distance from the husk and the shuttle’s internal conditions.
The examination lasted for 10 minutes, and after it finished, Yao Yuan shared the results with the rest of his party. Certain that everything was back to normal, they continued on to their destination.
The area of blank space came as a surprise, but it was definitely all show. However, as the shuttle came ever closer to the warship husk, Zhang Heng and Chou Yue both felt a tingling sense of incoming danger. Nevertheless, the feeling was not one that screamed of immediate threat… in fact, it was not unlike how they felt prior to the earthquake that shook the meteorite base.
This insidious feeling assaulted Yao Yuan as well.
This didn’t raise any alarm for the party though because they had already expected to face some sort of dangerous encounter within the husk. In any case, they could not turn back now because humanity’s ultimate survival in space depended on the success of this mission. The technological advancement that could be salvaged from within the warship would provide humanity with a better standing in the great cosmos. As the saying goes, with great risk comes great rewards, so as dangerous as it might be, this was a mission that they must see to its very end!
Yao Yuan was ready to sacrifice a lot to claim the technology within the alien warship, be it a few more decades of the Hope idling within this star system, the death of his partners, or even his own!
This was because all the mentioned sacrifices combined were still less important than the 200 years that humanity would need if they were to enter their fourth industrial revolution the traditional way.
"…4 more kilometers to our destination. Everyone, we are nearing the husk. To be safe, let’s all review our mission. First, Zhang Heng, Chou Yue?" With his hand over the controls, Yao Yuan asked of the party.
Zhang Heng replied hurriedly, "I am to sense the presence of immediate danger like the activation of internal defense mechanism."
Chou Yue hesitated. "Mine is to sense threats that are more long-term or drawn out, like the possibility of a self-destructive device in the warship husk."
Yao Yuan nodded before passing the question to his Black Star comrades.
"The Black Stars’ mission is to be vigilant for traces of movement while protecting Zhang Heng, Chou Yue, and Ren Tao. Also, we are to set up a safety perimeter during searches and pit stops," Lee said, representing the whole group.
Ying added, "Using my power, I’m responsible for sniping high-armored machinery."
Ebon followed, "I’ll provide backline support, but when normal weapons fail, I’m told to use the Gaussian gun."
"As the one responsible for everything explosive, it’s my job to demolish locked doors or safe boxes with the smallest damage possible to the surroundings," said Wa Luo.
"As the information relay person, I will keep a constant eye on everyone’s internal communicators. In situations where they are jammed, I will help relay information using the multi-frequency communicator to ensure a constant stream of communication," added Xiao Yan.
"As the so-called Thinker, I am tasked to provide solutions if we’re stuck in an ambush or trap… But is that really useful?" Ren Tao finished.
Yao Yuan chuckled. "Frankly, I myself can’t tell, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’m not going to let anyone die because we’re unprepared.
"Okay, we’re officially entering the husk…"
Yao Yuan circled around the husk looking for an entrance. To be fair, since the warship husk was already torn apart, there were plenty of open apertures, but none of them served as a valid landing spot.
"It’s no use. Fine, we’ll use the mechanical arms to clamp the shuttle to the warship."
A stymied Yao Yuan announced. Guiding the shuttle to one of the biggest apertures, he released the shuttle’s mechanical arms when they were about 1 meter away from the warship’s edge. The arms latched onto the warship’s metallic edge, and after a brief, violent shake, the shuttle stood secured in space.
"Right, I hope everyone’s ready for an adventure."
Yao Yuan stood up from the driver’s seat. Grabbing the space rifle beside him, he strode to the front of the party. Then the shuttle door opened to reveal a world of darkness. It was as if they were staring into a monster’s gaping maw. Undeterred, Yao Yuan stepped out of the shuttle, yelling, "For Glory!"
"Or for death!" echoed the rest of the Black Star Unit as they moved to follow Yao Yuan.
The last to remain were Zhang Heng, Ren Tao, and Chou Yue. Without hesitation, Zhang Heng too jumped out of the shuttle yelling the slogan. Finally, when it was only Ren Tao and Chou Yue, he asked, "So… who first?"
Pouting, Chou Yue mumbled, "That is such a corny slogan. Why did they pick something so cringe-worthy? Even the ‘I’ll be back’ from Terminator 6 might be better, and that’s saying a lot… Anyway, you know I don’t like to be the last one out, so I’ll go first."
Ren Tao smiled, and after Chou Yue got off the shuttle, he whispered under his breath, "I quite like the slogan actually." With that, he too descended the shuttle.
Standing at the entrance to the warship husk, Yao Yuan waited patiently for the whole party to assemble. After everyone was there and the Black Star Unit had their weapons at the ready, Yao Yuan finally switched on his wolf-eye flashlight.
The rays of light revealed a scene of absolute wreckage. There were punctures and holes made by explosions and tearing while metallic baubles and parts of differing sizes littered the general area. However, based on the husk’s inner structure, the party still managed to envision its original glory.
In all honesty, there was a hint of disappointment that threaded through the group. This was because they were expecting a scene that was much more high tech and not something that looked so similar to the inner chambers of the Hope. With the exception of the walls and partitions that were thinner than the ones on the Hope, making the space wider, the structure was about 70 to 80 percent similar to the insides of the Hope.
Nevertheless, since there was neither danger nor findings in the entrance area, the group moved deeper into the husk. Wary of the zero-gravity environment, extra cautiousness was present in every step taken. That combined with the lack of lighting and the multiple of obstructions that littered the floor made their progress regretfully slow.
Hugging the walls, the party moved steadily into the husk. About 10 minutes later, they saw lights flickering some distance away before them. This meant that the corridor in front of them still had access to an electrical current!
"…Proceed cautiously. Be mindful of your partner," Yao Yuan advised.
The group then moved carefully to the flickering light source. As they stepped closer to their destination, the amount of damage they could see around them got significantly lesser. The area they were heading toward was making out to be the most fully-preserved space after the devastation. If there was a discovery to find, this would be where they were going to find it.
As they reached the end of a long corridor, a dim, red light suddenly flashed around them. Almost instantaneously, both Zhang Heng and Chou Yue shouted, "Danger! Danger incoming!"
Hearing that, Yao Yuan yelled, "Retreat! Move back to the place where there are no flashing lights!" Turning around, he used the wall to climb his way back to safety.
Others did the same. However, before they could get even 10 meters away, a metallic partition started to drop down further down the corridor they were in, intending to cut off their path.
"Sh*t!" Yao Yuan instinctively grabbed hold of his rifle, but he soon realized that that was futile. All the structural weak points had already crumbled during the previous destruction, and sadly, there was no opening big enough for them to pass through in sight.
Finally, the partition closed with a tremor, and the party had no way left but forward!
The mysterious source of danger was also imminent…
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