Part 3 of the Caverns of Tantalus
In the last episode, Rugen and Tee survived a pit trap and an attack from a giant spider. They found the entrance to the laboratories on the lower level.
We made our way down the metal staircase that took us into the laboratories that had been meticulously excavated from the caverns. Instead of rock, the walls and floors were made of metal. As we carefully wound through the hallways, we heard the clank of footsteps on the metallic flooring. I peered around the corner. Two armed men in gleaming red power suits stood in the hall, blasters drawn. Fortunately, they faced away from me.
"Imperial legionnaires," I whispered.
That was my mistake. The artificial walkways acted as an echo chamber and the sound of my whisper carried to the troopers. They turned and fired but I ducked behind the corner. I could hear them rushing towards us. I looked at Tee; he nodded; in a blink of an eye, our plan was set.
We jumped into the hallway, surprising our foe. I leaped forward and slashed my foe. My stun blade shorted his suit and he collapsed. The other trooper turned toward me, but Tee blasted him. He stumbled backward, wounded but saved by his suit. He tried to activate his comm device, but I was too quick. My blade hacked through his helm and he went down as well.
We tried to find our way through the maze of corridors but soon became lost. We entered a room that held a lot of technical equipment. As we peered around, we heard a voice.
"Halt!" it commanded.
We turned to look. Facing us with a drawn blaster was a Federation security bot.
"What is your business here?" it demanded.
"We are Templars serving as agents on behalf of the Federation. We are acting on official business."
"What is the password?"
My mouth dropped. Password? I looked at Tee, my expression of surprise clearly indicating that I did not recall receiving a security password during our mission briefing. Tee just shrugged his shoulders.
"If you cannot provide a password, you are clearly intruders. Prepare for elimination." The bot raised its blaster at us.
"Elimination? Wait!!!" I yelled, raising my hands.
"Password reset, authorization code Alpha 3281 Uniform Tango." Tee commanded.
"Password reset initiated," replied the bot. "State Federation security ID code."
Tee then rattled off his ID code and proceeded through the lengthy security protocol. We were then rewarded with a friendly "Password has been reset. Welcome to Inventory."
We then had a brief conversation with the bot. It had not seen any Imperial troopers but it was able to provide us directions to the main laboratory. With a courteous but unnecessary thank you we headed to the door.
"Remind me to have a little talk with Mission Planning." I commented to Tee.
Just then we heard a stern "Halt!" I turned to see the bot pointing its blaster on us again!
Will Rugen and Tee survive the fickle moods of a deranged security bot? Tune in to find out in the next episode of . . .
TALES OF THE TEMPLARS.