Scene Nine (for real this time): Ice Stations Zebra. Bitterly cold, with occasional blinding snow storms. Daylight.
The Sulas Tine, privateer corvette that serves as ship’s boat to the Parindra II has ferried a small assault team to the surface of the planet, Captain Chabra at the helm. The assault team consists of Captain Chabra, Gunnery Chief Mala, Engineering Chief Vãhakah, the new Bosun of the ship Saiful Kaffir, and a handful of Janya Outcaste brawlers from Mahanadi currently between refinery assignments. A member of the navigation crew from the Parindra II is piloting the corvette, and the captain leaves a series of timed instructions for the pilot.
Captain Chabra insists on accompanying the team, having a particularly vivid vision of the catastrophe that awaits if he doesn’t. Chief Vãhakah is being brought along because of zher engineering background and Savant physique, with the expectation that zhe can help with security systems and pacifying any resistance. Chief Vãhakah and the Bosun have shipsuits and meteor pistols, the brawlers have shipsuits and dazers. Chief Mala has his paired dazers, and a civilian grade hardsuit.
Captain Chabra leads the assault team himself, sneaking their way through the hills surrounding the location identified from orbit most likely to be the prison camp. The team arrives at the area designated “Landing Zones One and Two”. It’s twenty-five meters wide and a few hundred meters long, generally running magnetic northeast to southwest. In the southwest corner (LZ2) are four hardened (open) hangars. Inside each is a Chekhov class orbital interceptor in good condition. They aren’t occupied or spun up, but look as though they could be in fairly short order.
To the west, across an open and clear space, the bunker entrance to the underground building complex designated Bunker B. To the south, across an even further space, Bunker A. Bunker B is closer, so the team moves that way, swiftly and silently. Two industrial sized reinforced doors block access to the complex, but Chief Mala makes short work of the mechanical controls.
The doors retract sideways into the front of the entrance. Inside, a five meter wide hemispherical tunnel that extends downwards at a fifteen degree angle. There are a series of flickering grim actinic lights illuminating the path downwards. There is an alcove immediately to the side of the entrance, with a rotating amber light indicating the doors are open. There are also monochrome monitors of the external cameras outside the bunkers and the landing zone. Everyone hustles in, Chief Mala operates the controls, the doors close (and the amber flashing light deactivates).
Per the plan left with the corvette, it clears the hills between the landing site and the prison site, and opens up on the vault doors of Bunker A (to the south of the tunnels the assault team is currently occupying). They rush down the inclined tunnel, hoping any resistance will be distracted by the explosions echoing through the complex. Sure enough, by the time they encounter the Makara heavyweights who serves as wardens, the assault team makes a bold attack and renders them unconscious and bleeding.
Further down the tunnels, Pretya overseers are supervising the enslaved Janya mining crews. Used to dealing with the helpless Janya captives, they provide little enough resistance to the determined assault team. Once the Pretya are disabled, forty or more Janya prisoners are liberated for the tunnel complex.
As the Sulas Tine rockets through the atmosphere to dock with the Parindra II, the first of the Solar Navy Third Quadrant Fleet begins to arrive in orbit…