“Well, Dad, the Sixth didn’t fall apart while you were gone,” Mikey said to his father as their shuttle glided toward the ISD-II Justicar, the seat of Michael Bullian, Sr.’s command. The pilot frowned when his father didn’t answer, glancing sidelong at the other man, who hunched over an oversized datapad with a stylus, muttering under his breath. “Dad?”
His father glanced up, blinking as if startled. “Were you saying something, Mikey?”
“Never mind. What’re you wrapped up in? Someone frak something up while we were gone and I didn’t hear about it?”
One corner of his father’s mouth twitched toward a smile and he shook his head. “No, nothing like that. Just a design I’ve been tinkering with since we left home.”
“I wish you didn’t have to go,” Indy murmured, sliding her arms around his waist and burying her face against his chest. She listened to the quiet thudding of his heart as Mike folded his arms around her, inhaling deeply the scent of her hair. The wind keened outside the covered hangar. The transport stood about twenty meters away, on the rain-sodden tarmac. It was due to depart within the next twenty minutes, and he had to be aboard. If he wasn’t aboard, he’d never make the military transport dispatched to Wayfarer to take him and other personnel out of the sector, back to their postings.
“More caf, sir?”
The engineer’s head snapped up, attention abruptly drawn away from specs and equations scrolling across his datapad. He blinked a moment, the tech’s question taking longer than it should to process. Davil Bullian managed to smile as the answer finally registered. “Please…Tomil, was it?”
The technician, barely as old as he was, nodded. “Yessir. It’ll only be a few minutes, sir.”