Extract: The Opal Deception
'It's a trap, Commander,' said Holly without hesitation. 'We were the ones at Koboi Labs a year ago. The goblins hold us responsible for the rebellion's failure. If we go in there, who knows what's waiting for us?'
Root nodded approvingly. 'Now you're thinking like a major. We're not expendable. So what are our options, Trouble?'
'If you don't go in, many will die. If you do, you might.'
'Not a nice set of options. Don't you have anything good to tell me?'
Trouble lowered his helmet's visor and consulted a mini-screen on the perspex. 'We managed to get the terminal's security scanners back on line and ran substance and thermal scans. We found a single heat source in the access tunnel, so Scalene is alone, if it's him. Whatever he's doing in there, he doesn't have any known form of weaponry or explosives. Just a few beetle bars and some good old H2O.'
'Any magma flares due?' asked Holly
Trouble ran his index finger along a pad on his left glove, scrolling down the screen on his visor. 'Nothing for a couple of months. That chute is intermittent. So Scalene is not planning to bake you.'