“…no ma’am, I don’t have an ETA for it to be fixed. Lieutenant Bullian is down there working on the hyperdrive as we speak.”
Commander Dorrin Drake stood on the bridge of the Legacy, looking far to in control for the way he actually felt as he stared at a split-screen image of Admirals Indiana Bridger and Karen Wood.
“And what, exactly, did he say was wrong with the hyperdrive, Commander?” Karen looked none too pleased at being informed that the tough little Acclimator would be out of commission.
“He said something about an imbalance in the reactor, ma’am…and then he uttered a sequence of words that good manners and better sense prevent me from repeating in front of his mother.” Dorrin stood at ease, hands clasped behind his back…mostly to keep them from seeing how white his clenched knuckles were.
Indy nodded. “Very well, Commander. Keep HQ informed of your progress with repairs.”
“Hey Lucky, we’re off-rotation again. What gives?”
The blue-skinned twi-lek pursed her lips as she stared at the duty roster. Sure enough, Ice Squadron was passed over once again for a patrol rotation. “I don’t know, Crank.”
“Well where’s the boss?”
Lucky shook her head. “Don’t ask me, he didn’t say anything before he left.” Which was, of course, strange since she and Rameth shared the same quarters.
Commander Robert Drake walked along the corridor of Tempest Command, listening to the tech on duty bring him up to speed on agent activities.
“…and Agent Drake hasn’t reported in. She’s missed two 24-hour check-ins.”
He stopped short and looked at the girl beside him. “She hasn’t?”
The girl looked alarmed. “N-No sir. We just assumed she was on assignment for you again.”
Bobby looked grim. “Not as such, but let’s keep it under our hats for now. She’s a capable agent, she’ll be fine.”
“Hey Dav? How are the ‘repairs’ coming?” Dorrin ducked his head into the crawlspace Davil Bullian was currently occupying, working on one of the myriad internal systems of the aging Acclimator-Class ship, the Five-Star Legacy.
“Just fine. How’d the report go?” Davil bit his lower lip as a shower of sparks rained down on him as he repaired a frayed wire.
“Well enough. I think your mom knows more than she’s letting on.”
Davil grunted. “Of course she does, she’s my mom. She raised Mikey, nothing gets past her. Any word from…?”
Dorrin shook his head. “No word. Whatever he’s planning, it’s deep.”
Davil winced as an electric current bridged the gap between tool and finger for a brief second. “Be nice to know, wouldn’t it?”
“Yeah, but come on. It’s Cay. He asks us to cover for him, we’re gonna do it.”
Davil just nodded, sucking on his burned finger. “Of course we are.”
“Wayfarer Control, this is Xanadu requesting final approach.” Xander Drake reached up and flipped a couple switches in the cockpit of his YT-2000 freighter.
“Xanadu, this is Wayfarer Control. You are cleared for landing on pad C-29. Purpose for visit?”
Xander grinned as he brought the nimble ship into the busy traffic pattern around the massive space station. “Pleasure, Control. Just a pit stop before I head to the surface.”
“Roger that, enjoy your stay.”
He switched the comm channel from the station broadcast to a private one.
“Okay, I’m heading in.”
“Be careful, Xander.” The concern in Crystal Qel-Droma’s voice was both touching and a little annoying. “I’ll leave Crystal Palace online if you need anything.”
“Don’t do that, Krissy. Go see your dad, I’ll be fine. This is our business, we’ll handle it.”
“If you’re sure…”
“I am. It’s all planned out. Xanadu out.”
“Okay. Crystal Palace out. Good hunting.”
He guided the ship into a smooth landing on one of the upper landing pads of Wayfarer Station. As he shut down the ship, he wondered a little if he’d been telling her the truth.