Lockdown - 06 by Alexander Shaw

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SUMMARY: As a reminder, this story used to be called 'The Neutral 3 Incident', has been changed to 'Lockdown'. Thanks!

Chapter 6 – Level 112 ‘Chaos Cluster'.

--/Day 3 17:01 Hours/--
--/Docking Bay 315/316 lounge/--

The panic was still in full swing down here. Six hours after the lockdown had been declared the entirety of 3-112 through to 11-112 had been sealed off from the outside of the station. Clever move that. Sorrell knew that Deck 112 had more mercenary and old soldier drinking holes than any other part of the station. Extra security locks had been put on every way off that level so that, during Lockdown situations, those bastards would just keep rampaging until they'd run out of ammo.

Colonel Kliess had been the strongest supporter of this motion, despite the fact that it was known more than half of his green-uniformed security regiment frequented the drinking holes across this deck. If they got themselves killed, he advocated, that was their problem.

Of course, at that exact moment in time, Pate Coleman didn't give two short fucks about what Colonel Kliess had been thinking. He reloaded his assault rifle, the bandage on his upper left arm was still seeping blood. There were three corpses scattered around his feet, each punctured with a dozen smoking bullet wounds. Pate glanced around, his trained eye telling him that he was the only man left alive in this docking lounge. Strange that, what with the bodies and all.

"Now, now Pate." He warned himself verbally. "Vanity is an ugly, ugly thing." He grinned as he said it, placing his rifle on the ground and pulling a chunky slug-pistol from his belt. He reached over to the first of the corpses, quickly rummaging through the trouser and jacket pockets. Most of them were sticky with blood, but this wasn't something that bothered Pate. If they had cash, that got taken. If they had valuables, they got pocketed. If they had guns, they got kept.

"Drop the slugger." A voice surprised him. Damn, whoever they were, they were stealthy. "Real. Slow." Whoever it wasn't messing around. Without turning, Pate slowly lowered the gun to the ground, shaking his fingers free of the grip.

"Any idea who I am?" Pate asked patiently, still not turning around to look at the newcomer.

"Yep." The voice said quietly. "Coleman, right? You own the Gas Chamber?" It was more of a question than an accusation, not what Pate had been expecting. Pate took a deep breath, ready to turn on his galaxy famous charm.

"Yeah, that's me. You know the place?" He ventured, eyes fixed ahead. He hoped this worked.

"Course, yeah," the voice turned enthusiastic. "I love that place man, it's wild! I mean, it's a party!"

"Yeah, well, that's what I was going for, you know." Pate said sarcastically. "So, what's your name?"

"Oh, Micane. Tex Micane. Nice to meet you." The voice continued. Pate nodded knowingly.

"That's great Tex, say," he began, "no chance you wouldn't mind if I turned around and stood up? You know, because my old knees are beginning to ache something bad." Pate said innocently, stealthily moving his left hand to the second gun on his thigh.

"Well... I guess so, but I got my piece trained on you, so don't try anything funny, ok?" Tex stated, a bit more cautious now.

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