Sweden picked himself up off the floor. Pain stabbed sharply though his chest as his fractured rib screamed in response to the exertion. He was not entirely certain what had just happened so he stayed crouched and looked around warily.

The delivery pod sat at the opposite end of the dome. The usually silver skin was glowing a dull shade of orange and it was making ominous pinging sounds as the metal rapidly cooled.

Sweden picked up the hilt of his sword. The blade had snapped three-quarters of the length down but the jagged piece that remained could still be used effectively as a dagger. He moved quickly over to Antigua, keeping a wary eye on the pod. He cut her loose from the bulkhead, being careful to ensure that her hands and feet remained securely bound and manhandled her over to the dome wall. He held her up in front of him with one hand around her waist and kept the shattered blade of his sword against her throat with the other. He held his breath, clenching his jaw in nervous apprehension.

“What fresh wizardry is this?” he hissed into Antigua’s ear.

“It’s probably an engineering crew.” she responded with some difficulty, the blade was pressed tightly to her throat. A small rivulet of blood trickled down her neck pooling in the slight depression of her collar-bone.

Sweden had no idea what an engineering crew was but he did not like the sound of it.

Inside the pod the three engineers were watching their visor display monitors intently. These were showing a live feed from the cameras inside the dome.

“What should we do?” Mali said, breaking the tense silence.

Guam grunted. He flipped up his visor and tapped an instruction in to the pod console in front of him.

A klaxon alarm sounded outside the pod, the sound barely audible to them. The exit to the dome hissed open. Sweden spotted the escape route and dragged Antigua through.

“You’re letting him escape?” Chad exclaimed incredulously.

“Mistress Antigua can look after herself.” Guam responded tersely. “We have a more pressing concern. Did you notice the dome temperature reading?”

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