I moved on to the other bays, going through the same process. As the third bay jettisoned, I heard a metallic clang echo farther down the hold.
I pulled out my Mark II and stood, as a woman with bronze skin and black hair jumped out from a crawlspace under the floor. She raised a disintegrator cannon and pointed it at me. I dropped to the floor just before her first shot hit the bridge door behind me and showered sparks down onto the floor grills. I fired a three-shot burst and she dropped down in the crawlspace again, while minimal damage was done to the aft bulkhead. At least it gave me the opportunity to run toward the bridge door, where the impact mark from her first shot still glowed. Eager for cover, I ducked into a small alcove at the front of the hold as another shot struck the wall. Sparks fell at my feet while I pressed my back firm against the cold hard metal. My heart beat faster than it had in quite a while.
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