"I hear sirens. Must be the fire suppression services," Aukous said.
The assailants stopped firing, but did not leave.
"Orin! Are you hit?" asked Doc.
"No. I got cut with some glass, I guess," Orin replied.
"Going to get really hot here in a minute," said Pace, holding her arm and swearing.
"We might be able to use the confusion to make it to the other building. Get ready," ordered Aukous.
"Orins passed out. Loss of blood," the Doc announced.
"I'll carry him. Pace can you run?" Aukous asked.
"Yeah. I can fight. Just smarts a bit," Pace said.
"Hold still while I sew your arm, or you'll be a goner," said Doc looking at Aukous.
"Be swift. We'll need to move fast in a moment or two," Aukous said.
"What should we do with Hulmara?" asked Pace.
"If we can, we'll come back. Otherwise, the military might be able to provide some support," Aukous answered.
They were coughing, and having trouble breathing as the smoke became thicker. Then water from the fire suppression teams began leaking through the ceiling, streaming through the doorway, and window.
"Let's go," Aukous began firing at the back wall with his, Hulmaras and Orins weapons.
Doc and Pace fired as well, and the wall blew out. Aukous grabbed Orin, and they ran into the street.
"Over there," Pace pointed to store with an available sign in the window.
Aukous took out two of their pursuers carrying the larger weapons. Then he scooped them up as they made it into vacant store. There was another door leading to the next street which took. Aukous stopped a transport, which they commandeered leaving the owner standing in the middle of the street with a hand full of jewels.
"A lot for this wreck," Doc said referring to the value of the gems.
"She won't provide reliable info to anyone. She won't give up a fortune in gems to get this back," explained Aukous.
"There's somebody coming up on us," said Doc looking out the back.
"We'll need better transport then this," Aukous said.
"How many gems do you have left?" asked Doc.
"Not enough. Hold on," replied Aukous.
Aukous took the transport through the traffic going the wrong way, dodging one way then the other. Aukous entered a parking garage and spun into a space, jumped out, grabbed Orin, and commanded Doc and Pace to follow him.
"Excuse me! My friend has been cut with some broken glass. Could you help us to a hospital?" asked Aukous of a female walking toward her transport.
"Oh! He looks really bad. Please over here," the female said.
"The closest is about three mile east of here," the stated.
Doc was explaining the extent of the injury as they left the garage as one of their pursuers pulled in.
"How did the accident happen?" the driver asked.
"A gas build up in one of those buildings, or something blew as we were walking by," Pace replied.
"You don't look like you're from around here?" asked the driver.
"We are Lucatharian. We've been traveling around for a long time," said Doc.
"Wait! That hospital won't have the right blood type. Could you take us to our transport instead?" asked Doc.
"Sure. Your moored at the central port?" the driver asked.
"This is the receipt," Aukous said handing it to her.
"Yap. Central it is," the driver answered.
Driving along the mooring stations, and coming up on their ship, it was clearly covered with beings not selling pastries.
"Mam, these are yours if you park in that empty space over there, and walk to that commerce building. We need to wait a few minutes before we can enter our ship," said Aukous, holding out his hand with several gems glistening in the sunlight.
"Nobody likes those guys. Keep your gems, you might need them," the driver said.
"No, really, take them. Your help has been invaluable to us," Aukous said.
The driver looked at the gems, picked one of the blue ones, and left the transport wishing the crew good luck as she went.
"What now?" Doc asked.
Aukous pulled out a remote, "Let's send them on a phantom chase."
The ship suddenly emitted a cloud of choking smoke covering several hundred feet, then tore away from the moorings, and took a nearly vertical path away from the planet.
"Hopefully they will think we snuck abort," said Aukous.
The beings that had been watching the ship made their way to their transports as soon as they could walk, then sped away.
"Looks like it worked," Aukous said with a note of surprise.
As soon as he was sure they were not being watched, Aukous brought the ship back.
"Let's go," Aukous said in a raised voice while throwing Orin over his shoulder.
They made their way into the ship, then away from the planet.
"One coming up behind us." announced Aukous. He then ordered the weapons system to neutralize the target. "We're in the clear. How is Orin?"
"Too early to tell. How long before we can meet up with the military? They should have the complete medical ship," Doc asked.
"Their sending coordinates to their med ship now. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes now than we've cleared the asteroid belts," Aukous stated.
Soon they were aboard the med ship. Orin was taken directly into surgery, Pace went to the infirmary, Doc and Aukous were escorted to the central command ship for debriefing.
"Commander. This is Lutenant Aukous Bellway and the Doctor from the group looking for Ventan," an officer stated introducing them.
"One of our remote observation teams said you had a narrow escape," the Commander said.
"Very narrow, they were waiting for us. Someone set us up," Aukous stated.
"So, it would seem. Captain Zeller here will provide you with whatever we have. Good luck. We all want Ventan and his associate," the Commander said as an officer handed him folder.
Doc and Aukous followed the Captain to a room lined with electronics. In the center was a glowing table with two officers maneuvering small objects from one position to another.