"Neoma," said Mayin quietly to her niece. "I need you to go with Reaver. You have to be very quiet and do exactly what he tells you to do. These two," she indicated the business-suited woman and Sharvon, "will be going with you too."
"If you're good," added Reaver, "I might be able to show you how to tie up the bad guys with their own underwear."
Neoma smiled at him shyly, and the business-suited woman added, "That would be very educational for all of us, I'm sure." She smiled reassuringly at Neoma.
Mayin turned to the camera man. "Sharvon, when you get to the lift head, can you send a drone down the support column to make sure it's clean?"
"You think that it won't be?" Sharvon started doing things with his control interface.
"I think that if I was running their operation," replied Mayin carefully, "and I didn't care who or how many other people got taken out so that I could be sure that I got my target, then I would have booby trapped the lift support columns. All of them."
"But we only need to worry about the one that we're using," said Reaver. "Footage of the lot guarding the lift we're after before we get there won't go astray either."
"I assumed you'd want that." Sharvon swiveled a screen so that Reaver could see it. "This what you're after?"
The bigger man took a moment to take in what he was seeing. "Yes. thank you. Now I'll go first, and you three follow me. And no talking," he added before saying to Neoma. "This is supposed to be a surprise. If we're quiet enough and I'm quick enough, then I won't have to hurt them, just knock them out before I tie them up with their underwear."
Neoma nodded and took the suited lady's free hand when it was offered to her, then the three of them moved off. Mayin had a moment to appreciate that the expression on Wraith's face was probably not the one that his civilian workmates were used to and moved off quickly to intercept the two interlopers heading for the sound console.
The pieces were in motion and Mayin had no need, or way, of keeping track of everything at that point. She engaged the interlopers just as they'd challenged Georas, her brother's friend, and the comms guy, Hitch, to come out from behind the console. Mayin thought she was a little slow and rusty, but the second boy barely had time to notice that his companion had taken a G149 butt to the back of the head before the same object hit him in the face. Mayin didn't think that she'd done either of them a fatal injury, but she turned them into the coma position as she relieved them of their weapons and some very useful cords. It was probably a technicality, but she didn't so much take the cords as redeploy them to restrain the owners. The weapons she kept.
Georas had risked a peek over the sound console, and asked, "Mayin? What are you doing here?"
"I brought one of my nieces to see the ceremony as a suitable educational experience," replied Mayin drily. "She is unimpressed and doesn't like it. Now, Georas , Hitch, we have an exit strategy. You two ready to roll?"
At the mention of his name, Hitch stuck his head up over the edge of the console too. "Thale? You here to get us out of this?"
"We have a plan, yes," agreed Mayin, "but now we need to move to make it work. Follow me and keep down - there's likely to be shooting over near the podium."
There was shooting over near the podium. It started with G149 fire, then there were two short, sharp snaps from a large energy hand gun. Mayin was prepared to bet good money that the weapon was embedded in the Oberxiao Huhn Jan-li's prosthetic arm, and she hoped that whoever had been surprised by it had thoroughly deserved it. She and her two charges moved fast enough that they avoided encountering the intruders' lift guards who’d started heading towards the podium once the shooting started.
When the three of them arrived at the lift they found that Reaver had indeed tied the two men up with their own underwear. Sharvon was running a drone down the lift support column and maintaining a situational awareness screen with the rest of his little machines. His equipment was how they knew that Wraith and Oberxiao Huhn were screening the steady retreat of the official party in the direction of the lift that Reaver was unlocking. Neoma was offering to jump on the prisoners' stomachs so they would feel too unwell to make trouble. The lady in the suit was, very practically, suggesting that making the bad people throw up by jumping on them would give everyone else the problem of them having been sick, including smells. Neoma agreed that this was a good point.
"Do we know where their drone is?" Mayin had hunkered down beside Sharvon.
"It's trying to find a way around Wraith and the guy with the prosthetic arm," replied Sharvon in the tone of someone who's busy doing things that aren't the subject of his conversation. "I have no idea how he's doing it, but the prosthetic guy is acting like he knows what their drone is doing."
Considering the things Huhn Jan-li had done in connection with her since arriving on planet, Mayin wouldn't have been surprised if he had hacked the interloper's drone. She didn't mention that. What she did say was, "Is there any way I can take their drone out?"
"If you can see it, then I'm sure that you could shoot it or something," replied Sharvon, "but the question is, can you see it? If it's anything like the professional media drones, then the rotors will be the width of the palm of your hand. The rotors and as many components as possible will be made of transparent materials, and there won't be any flashing lights - they are designed to be unobtrusive so they don't interrupt or distract from the event they're being used to document."
"Okay, won't be shooting it out of the sky," agreed Mayin. "How does the lift column look?"
"Fine as far as I can tell," he replied, "but I'm not expert. You want to take a look?" He reran the shot for her. "What do you think?"
"It looks clear," agreed Mayin. "Reaver, I'm going to help the official party get here."
"Fine," he nodded. "Let's see if we can uncomplicate everyone's lives by not being up here when law enforcement arrives to sort things out."
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