Chapter 338: I Swear On My Fish Biscui
Luminous Flower’s team was already waiting for them at the rescue point, an area the transport ship would be passing through after its flight path was changed. There was no realistic way to stop the ship completely, so the plan was to enter the ship at the rescue point, rescue the people and the goods inside the ship, escape, and trigger its self-destruct sequence afterward.
What this meant was that they didn’t have much time to pull off the rescue at all. Worse, it was getting more and more difficult to contact the people on the ship, and it didn’t take much to imagine why. Two-thirds of its crew was already dead when Hua Xi initially received the emergency call. Less than a hundred was expected to survive during the time they prepared. By the time they finally boarded the ship, only god could answer how many were left to be saved.
Cillin shot Hua Xi a glance. So far, the woman was holding herself together despite the clear look of urgency on her face. This meant that the person or people she was really trying to save was still alive, for now.
“... and that’s all I know including the beasts we’re going to fight later. I’m sorry I can’t tell you more,” Hua Xi said after telling Cillin everything she learned from the people on the ship. Unfortunately, it was still far from sufficient for a mission like this.
Hua Xi and her men didn’t have enough antibodies to protect everyone due to the suddenness and urgency of the situation. So, they bought the ones the Eleventh Squad was using from Cillin. They were told the same procedure the Eleventh Squad was taught earlier, and that was to inject the first syringe now and use the second syringe if they were wounded by the creatures.
“It’s here!” Moon reported.
A dot entered their scan range on the display. It was the transport ship Hua Xi was talking about.
Hua Xi had already sent Cillin the rough layout of the transport ship. They would be invading it from the entry point they had discussed earlier.
As the transport ship grew closer and closer, they started noticing some obvious signs of abnormality. For starters, its signal lights was blinking erratically and disjointedly. The areas around the command center was completely dark, and there were obvious signs of explosions here and there. It was most likely the result of the transport ship crew trying to defend themselves from the bioweapon beasts.
“How’s the transport ship looking?” Cililn asked.
Moon sent him the scan result and said, “Most of the ship is functioning as normal. You can remove your breathing mask after you get inside.”
That was good to hear, but they would still need to wear a protective suit to prevent being contaminated by the creatures’ blood when they fought, and other unpredictable things that might happen during their stay on the ship.
“That works. Let’s carry out the plan then.”
Cillin made a hand gesture, and their spaceplane took off and slowly approached the transport ship. On Luminous Flower’s side, a couple of spaceplanes were leaving their starship and approaching the transport ship as well.
The Eleventh Squad waited as Luminous Flower opened a hatch on the transport ship. It was as discussed earlier.
After Luminous Flower’s first team successfully created the entry point and boarded the ship, the Eleventh Squad followed closely behind.
For now, the entry point seemed to be parasite-free. The entry point led to a main corridor that ended in a goose-foot.
“Where do we go?” Cillin asked Hua Xi.
Hua Xi toyed with her communicator for a long time before she finally managed to make contact with the transport ship’s crew again. Even then, the signal was so bad that they could only hear some garbled voices.
“Yewu, we’ve arrived at the third entry point corridor. Where are you right now?” Hua Xi asked urgently.
“Perfect timing. We’re stuck in a section between the third and fourth entry point now!” The person on the other side of the communicator heaved an obvious sigh of relief when they heard that Hua Xi had arrived. “There were too many parasites, and we were forced to shut down the double hatches on both sides and lock ourselves inside. I don’t want to rush you, but we’re dead the moment they break through either hatch, so…”
“Got it. Just hang on! We’re coming for you right now!” Hua Xi checked a map on the wall and quickly identified the path that led to the section the transport ship crew were trapped inside. “Let’s go!”
They barely took a couple of steps before they encountered their first enemies. The two creatures blocking their way wore suits that identified them as members of the ship, but their bodies had been fully mutated by the parasites. Their skin was dark gray, their face was beastly, and their fingernails had elongated into bird-like talons. The ugly bastards even had three rows of half-a-meter long spikes jutting out of their backs, when one was enough to send chills up one’s spine. The moment they spotted the humans, they let out an inhuman screech and rushed them.
Hua Xi ordered her men to kill the beasts immediately. They were human up until the point they were infested by the parasites and mutated into bioweapons. Their blood and even their minds had been warped into that of a monster’s, so the woman felt no qualms killing them and giving them the mercy they deserved.
After the two beasts were killed, Luminous Flower’s rescue team rushed toward the section their contact was trapped inside. Moon and Sigma however, stayed behind to collect samples and send that information back to their starship. It was so that Tico and Xi Mu could create the specific antibody they needed to counter the parasite as soon as possible.
Hua Xi didn’t try to order Cillin’s crew around. For one, she was too worried to bother. Two, the Hunters wouldn’t listen to her even if she tried. Three, there was no time to waste on petty nonsense like this.
That was how the Eleventh Squad came to lag behind Luminous Flower.
“What’s wrong, Cillin?” Dias asked.
Cillin had walked back to the goose-foot to stare at a depot down another passage. The depot had a black-and-yellow symbol on it; the radiation symbol.
The hunter shook his head at the question and said, “Something doesn’t feel right.” Then, he shot Czedow a look before pointing at the depot, “Go check if there are other radiation depots in this ship, and where they’re located at.”
“You think these monsters have something to do with radiation?” Eudy asked as they resumed walking.
“It’s just a hunch, one that I need to clarify before I can say anything about it. Also, it’s strange that there are so few bioweapon beasts at the third entry point. Like I said earlier, something doesn’t feel right.”
Cillin didn’t reveal the biggest reason he suspected something was afoot—that he actually recognized these bioweapon beasts!
He hadn’t encountered these creatures in person, but he had read about them a long time ago. They were created in a lab, and the people behind them were…
Has the conflict intensified to this extent?
“What’s wrong, Cillin?” asked Wheeze while patting his cheeks with its paw. “Did you realize something that’s super important to this mission or something?”
Instead of replying directly, Cillin asked in a very serious tone, “Can you fly in space, Wheeze?”
“Of course I can! I have a pair of wings now!” Wheeze lifted its chin proudly as it replied.
“That’s not the same. No amount of flapping will help you in space.”
“No, seriously, I can fly without needing to flap my wings. I just need to change my form to make it work,” Wheeze answered proudly.
“You sure? Absolutely, one hundred percent certain?”
“Yes, I am! Meow dammit, I swear on my fish biscuit that I can fly in space!”
Well, damn, that is a pretty vicious oath coming from Wheeze…
After obtaining confirmation from Wheeze, Cillin said to the crew, “The situation has changed. We’re going to work faster and try to solve this in an hour tops. If we fail, then leaving the ship becomes our first priority!”
Meanwhile, Luminous Flower had already fought the creatures blocking the way. By the time Cillin and the others reached them, the parasites were all dead on the floor. Hua Xi was currently speaking to the person on the other side of the communicator and telling them to open the hatch.
Hua Xi exhaled in relief when the hatch opened, and everyone inside seemed to be safe and sound. The transport ship crew had been reduced to just a dozen or so people, but at least Yewu and her primary rescue target were still alive.
Yewu and an old man she was supporting were the first ones to step out. Over half of the survivors were injured, and a couple of them heavily injured.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how glad am I to see you again!” Yewu beamed at Hua Xi despite her fatigue.
Yewu was none other than Hua Xi’s partner, the dual blade wielder Cillin had fought during the Sector Championship. She was a member of Golden Willow Corporation. There were many times she had felt like giving up while they were escaping the bioweapon beasts, but she forced herself to stay strong all because of the old man she was supporting.
After a brief conversation with Yewu, Hua Xi turned to the old man and greeted him respectfully, “I’m sorry for not coming sooner!”
The old man smiled kindly at her and waved. “Please, I’m the one who should thank you for the timely rescue.”
However, Cillin interrupted their reunion and said, “This is not the time to talk. We need to leave now!”
Yewu shot Cillin a dissatisfied look before facing Hua Xi. “They’re not Luminous Flower, are they? Are these the hunters you hired to help us? I didn’t even see them when you were killing the parasites just now, they arrived after the battle was over. What kind of hunters are they?!”
Hua Xi tried to explain, but was interrupted by an urgent report from her subordinate. He pointed at the live feed and said, “First miss, a ton of parasites are moving toward our position right! There’s at least 200 of them, and many of them haven’t have a host yet!”
The team had set down monitors along the way because the transport ship’s own cameras were out of control. Otherwise, they would’ve just hacked those cameras to watch their backs.
“We need to leave now.” One look at the live feed was all the motivation Hua Xi needed to check her holographic map in a hurry.
They hadn’t opened the hatch to the fourth entry point because there were a ton of parasites on the other side. It wasn’t as numerous as the army of parasites that was rushing toward them from the third entry point, but it was still too many.
“We’ll withdraw via the fifth entry point!” Hua Xi declared. It was the entry point with the least amount of parasites and bioweapon beasts, and it wasn’t so far away that it was impossible to reach.
But Cillin rebuked the order, “We can’t go there! The fifth entry point is a dead end, and the layout allows the creatures to attack us from all sides! The best thing to do here is to fight our way to the fourth entry point!”
“How do you know that?” Yewu asked. She knew how many parasites there were on the fourth entry point. It would be incredibly dangerous to force their way through.
It was at this moment the old man spoke up, “Do as he says.”
“But…” Hua Xi hesitated. The stakes were just too high.
“You’re not sure what to do yourselves, aren’t you? In that case, we may as well do as this youngster says. They are more experienced at dealing with bioweapons than us.”
All this time, the horde of parasites and beasts were coming closer and closer. There’s no time left!
Cillin made a hand gesture, and the crew immediately formed a formation in front of the hatch.
“Open the door, Moon!”