After wrapping up their talk, Persing had one of his guards, the same one who piloted one of the Anacondas, escort Nick back to his ship. As the pair walked, Nick finalized the details of his plan. During their meeting, Nick was able to glean something important from Persing. The Anaconda’s that escorted him here were gifts from Whistmire. If he could simply get access to one of the ship’s navigational logs, he could potentially find their source.
Once the pair reached the Anaconda, the pilot broke away to return to the ship. Now alone, Nick walked a little further down the hall before stopping to look around. The assassin spotted a small maintenance hatch, walked over and pried it open. While it was easy for him to lose his way in the modular layout of most stations, the tunnels and pathways that ran underneath were much easier for him to navigate. After a few moments, Nick found another hatch which lead right into the guard’s hangar bay. He pushed it open, and noticed the massive pilot walking towards the ship’s boarding ladder. Carefully Nick took hold of the rifle on his back, set it down, and pressed a small button on the side. In turn, the rifle came to life, extending a barrel, scope, bipod, and grip. Nick then pulled a small power cell from his belt and inserted it into the rifle. Taking aim, he waited for the man to reach the ladder.
With a single shot, the pilot fell to the floor. Satisfied, Nick climbed out of the hatch and made his way down to the hangar floor, returning his rifle to its place on his back. As he moved closer to the downed pilot, he could see the damage that he had done. The entire left side of the man’s helmet had been scorched and melted, centering around a small crater, which marked the point of impact. A quick, if not particularly clean, kill.
“I need your ship and I didn’t think you’d let me just take it,” Nick said, kneeling down to search the body. “Now, I’m gonna need some sort of data-”
A large, dark hand shoved Nick back with surprising force. As he fell, he struck his head against the metal floor.
“Ah, Fuck!” he cursed, his hands checking the point of impact for damage. He didn’t find any blood, but the headache was not reassuring. Before he could do anything else, a heavy, black boot planted itself firmly on his torso. The hulking pilot was now standing over him, trying to pull his helmet off. Nick had no idea how the man could still be alive, but he didn’t stop to figure it out. He immediately reached for the rifle on his back, just as the man freed himself from the helmet. Before he could open and aim the gun, the pilot threw his helmet into Nick, slashing his brow and breaking his nose. Stunned, he was unable to stop the pilot from knocking the rifle away from him. Satisfied, the pilot reached for the pistol on his chest, but Nick had recovered just in time to blind him with the flash weapon embedded in his gauntlet, buying him a few seconds of extra time.
Nick moved swiftly, drawing the knife from his shin guard and burying the blade in an opening in the pilot’s armor, just behind the knee, and followed by taking hold of the pilot’s boot. Nick then threw his legs up, planting his heels on the man’s hip. Like a dying tree, Nick used the pilot’s own weight against him, causing him to fall backwards moments before he drew his pistol and fired.
Though the metal slug only narrowly missed him, Nick did not hesitate to move away the moment he was free. No longer held down, the assassin immediately rolled towards his rifle. As soon as he reached it, the two men turned and fired. The pilot’s slug pierced Nick’s armor, embedding itself in his right shoulder. Nick’s shot, however, made contact with the pilot’s neck, severing an artery and tearing away much of the flesh surrounding the throat. The pilot’s hand immediately went to the area, but, in spite of the damage, the pilot raised his pistol once more.
“Just die you fuckin’ freak of nature!” Nick shouted, firing several more shots into the pilot. Nick only stopped when he started to hear his rifle beep at each pull of the trigger, telling him that the magazine had long since run out. The assassin sat there, panting heavily, as he watched the pilot for any sign of movement. There was none, so Nick forced himself to stand, sending waves of pain through his shoulder and face. He carefully wiped some of the blood off of his face as he examined the pilot. The skin had been burned away in several places, including the side of the pilot’s face, revealing scorched wiring and metal plates that had been grafted to bone. Of the few bands of exposed muscle that hadn’t been charred, most of the flesh looked discolored. Nick couldn’t sworn that it gave off a metallic sheen when he looked at it right. If he were to guess, the man probably had more than a healthy share of chemicals running through him as well. After a careful search he found the pilot’s datapad. The screen was shattered, but still responsive, so he pocketed it and started to climb up the ship’s boarding ramp.