Achet burst through the doorway followed closely by a quick burst of rifle fire from the alleyway to his left. The rounds pounded into the wall where he had stood moments before. Luckily the doors had swung open at his approach, otherwise his mad sprint into the communications center could have had a much more painful, and abrupt, end. But now that he was inside he figured he should be safe. Well, as safe as anyone can be while a firefight is raging around the building that you’ve been tasked to infiltrate, and then extract data and personnel from. The important thing was that there shouldn’t be anyone else inside the comms center besides him and the extraction target. At least that’s what their intel told him, and nobody should be able to follow him inside, given that the Bagh Mari team on the opposite rooftop held position, and those guys were notoriously difficult to dig out once they were set up. Ok, moving forward. First the terminal, then the target. As he moved through the hallways, shotgun shouldered and ready (in case their intel was off) Achet ran through the hacking programs he had received in his most recent debrief/training. It seemed to him that every mission devrief included a completely new way to hack a console. No matter how on top of tech trends he forced himself to be, there was always a new and better way that he had to learn within the six hours between mission call and mission start. Fairly frequently he found himself wondering why he had volunteered to be trained as a hacker. Things were simpler when all he had to worry about on a mission was who was on the over side of his spitfire. As he neared the control room door he slowed his pace and measured his footsteps. Slowly placing one foot in front of the other, he eased himself to the door and checked the lock. It was open. That was never good news. Confirming his grip on his shotgun, he shouldered his way into the room with a sudden burst of speed, sweeping his weapon to each of the four corners as he moved laterally along the wall and away from the door. Empty. Good. Moving swiftly now, he crossed the room to the main access terminal and simultaneously switched on the console with one hand, while reaching up and flicking on the hacking overlay that he had integrated into his helmet. Fortunately, the motion of moving his hand up behind his helmet’s rabbit ear to reach the button caused him to dip his head and angled his vision slightly to the left. As he did so, he saw, on the far bank of computers, a figure peeling itself apart from where it had been standing. Its camouflage program made it appear as if it was melded to the terminal, and only now as it stepped away could he discern that what had appeared to be just an extension of the computer bank, was in fact a person. Who was raising a rifle straight at him. With a yell Achet hurled himself backwards and to the ground, pulling his shotgun up from his chest harness where it had been slung. At just that moment his hacking visor flared into life and filled his vision with colors. Readouts from the various electronics in the room, picking each one out with a detailed description, highlighting them in red and purple and yellow. Inundated with this sudden overload of information Achet almost couldn’t see where his attacker had been. But there, in the midst of it all, partially hidden behind a scrolling purple speech bubble, was a shape. It still appeared to be made up of the components of the floor to ceiling computer banks in the room, but it was detached now, it was deadly, and it shot him. God how he hated infiltration missions. Yes he was a Sikh Commando. Yes it was in the job description. Yes he had volunteered to join the corps. But there was a distinct difference in what he was doing now, and what he had been doing when he first joined up. Back then all he had to do was drop in from a low altitude flyby, land behind a building, and maneuver himself around to the enemy's’ flank. From there he would ideally be able to take out two or three of them before they even knew where he was shooting form, and by then he would already be pulling back to a new position and waiting for them to come to him. Then their battle lines would be weakened, allowing a Knight or a Guarda to waltz in with their heavy armor and clean up the rest. Easy peasy. That was what he was good at. That was an exhilarating high stakes game of cat and mouse. That was nothing like this. This was god damn terrifying. Achet wasn’t sure if it was luck, years of trained combat reflexes, or the Almighty that saved him. Probably some combination of all three. But as the roar of shotguns filled the cramped quarters of the control room, Achet was sure he was going to die. The shrapnel fired from the camouflaged figure clipped him in his left shoulder as he fell backwards to the floor. Filling the space where his center of mass had been just moments before and leaving large gauges in his shoulder plate armor. His own shotgun found itself pressed into his right shoulder, and roared twice before he could even think. The rounds caught his assailant in the chest and drove it back into the wall where it remained for a few moments before slumping down onto the ground, shotgun clattering next to it. Once there the camouflage program that had been masking his assailant flickered, went out, and revealed the Hunzakut trooper market with Druze insignia on shoulder and helmet, dead as he could be. Picking himself up from the ground, Achet checked the main console again. Luckily nothing had touched it. It would have made his job a lot harder if a stray round or two had knocked it out of commision. But it was in one piece, and after a few quick moments of hacking, which felt like hours as he stood with his back to the door, he was able to find the data he had been sent to retrieve. After it had been uplinked into his helmet, too much interference to send directly to the ship he would have to be there for a direct link, he pulled up his shotgun and blasted the terminal.