image

Harrak returned fire, furiously pounding her weaker discharges against the other ship. “Harrak, are there any shield generators operational?” A confirming signal chimed through the smoky bridge. “Charge the debris from your hull with them, and fling them at Braxi.” Hull debris was immediately caught in a kinetic wake from the shield generators, and flung at the enemy vessel with incredible speeds, as the Harrak used it’s remaining generators to accelerate them.

Impacting at the shielding of Braxi, the first few pieces downed the shielding of the patriarchists ship, opening the way for the next waves.

Another weapons discharge from Braxi struck Harrak but dealt only damage to the hull, supplying Harrak with more ammunition for the improvised rail gun. 

After a few moments fire from the Braxi seized.  

Cyril watched the display in the auxiliary bridge, noticing that the Braxi was adrift. “No life sign on the bridge,” someone commented. “Radiation leaks all over, neurological pathways are necrotising!” 

“Can we jump?” Cyril heard herself say. “Affirmative, destination?”

“The mammalian ship. And get the leaks under control.” Cyril sat down in the place of the commander, a spot she had hoped to sit in once Fyra retired.
“Only by mass acceleration of hull debris did your commander win that battle? That is impressive!” Jane was genuinely impressed. Although executed in a high tech way, it was, basically, a low tech strategy, equivalent of flinging rocks.

“Sadly, commander Fyra died. Before we jumped she had suffocated, the breathing mask couldn’t filter out all the toxic gas and ash.” The Harpy studied Jane’s expression. 

To her, humans showed a broad variety of emotion on their face, while Harpies conveyed their emotions much more subtle. And the humans reeked. Their bodily odours were repulsive, but she slowly got used to the stench.

“I have noticed that you are receiving the Digitalys logs. Did you have chance to read them yet?” 

Surprised at the sudden change of topic Jane looked to the desk, her tablet rested there, with the translated logs open, as she was reading every now and then.

“As a matter of fact, yes. I currently am reading through Cruq’s logs.”

Unnoticeable for the human woman, Cyril made an acknowledging face. 

“I must say, I am glad that you are our liaison, instead of the men you serve under.” Confused and suddenly uncomfortable Jane shifted. “How so?”

“Men are erratic, impulsive and unstable. And quite often they don’t consider the consequences of their actions.”

“Cruq seems to be thinking ahead.”

“Just wait.” Cyril got up, prompting Jane to do so as well, although now again way taller than the Harpy, she still felt on eye level. “We need a few supplies to fix some of our damage. In the meantime Harrak will retreat to a more safe distance, there still are radiation leaks and there is cause for concern with the engines. They might become unstable.”

Vowing to take matters into her hands Jane complimented Cyril out, activated her glasses to go over the inventory of stored materials from Ericsson. 
Disappointed by the fact that they couldn’t meet most of the needs to fix the Harrak, Jane wandered through the beta garden. Still there would be transports.

Hylia had suggested to send medical supplies as well, to treat the damaged neurological pathways of the ship. 

Ferrying materials to the Harrak was conducted by the tiny beak flyers, as the Harpies called their one to three person ships.

As she crossed into the hallways outside the gardens she noticed that the makeshift fortifications had gone, as well as most of the armed guards. Two were sitting at the other end of the corridor, watching both her and a display. 

O’toole had pressure plates installed, detailing how much weight was on them, and where in the corridor the subject, or object of the weight was. That way anyone using even a personal cloaking device could be detected. 

“Good evening.” She tweeted to one of the two men. Wolfgang. 

“Hi gorgeous. I still have an hour until my shift ends.”

“I’ll wait with dinner.” Winking at him she walked on when the other rose, his gun raised. “Section alpha three!” He barked, Wolfgang pushed Jane behind their table, also raising his gun, pointed at the same location in the hallway. With her eyes she couldn’t make out anything in the direction the two were aiming, but a glimpse at the monitor refealed that something was there. 

It was about as heavy as a Harpy. 

Quickly she undid a small gun she had hidden in her trouser leg, it only activated with her subdermal implant, so she didn’t fear theft of any sort. “Deactivate your mechanism.” She shouted, using the translator to make sure her message was understood. 

The guard closer to Jane moved his gun, as the displayed weight on the screen moved. Firing a shock dart as a warning did only speed up the cloaked harpy. Suddenly it disappeared from the weight plates, only to reappear a lot closer. Again Wolfgang’s colleague fired, as did Wolfgang.

“Their cloak is also ablative to projectiles!” Jane shot her laser, mere two meters from her a harpy dropped on the floor. 

Partially still cloaked to the naked eye, partially the cloak had failed. “It’s a male.” Jane cowered next to him. And a patriarchist I presume. 

“Honey, go into the garden and call for Cyril. You, call O’toole over here, with a security detail and a medic from subalpha.” 

Wolfgang hurried to the garden, while his colleague stood petrified next to her. “Don’t you dare pull rank on me, Sergeant, I’m only doing what’s necessary.” She yelled as he still wasn’t moving a millimeter. 

Sighing she kept her gun aimed at the Harpy on the ground, raised the other hand to her glasses, calling O’toole herself. “Sir, get over here, bring a security detail and a medic. We have a situation.” 

Advertisements