Molly Losoda tapped Logan MacKenzie on the shoulder, smothering a smirk as the other man jumped. He’d been absorbed in mournfully watching some of the ground crew from Shay Memorial move his freighter from the Legacy’s landing bay to the tarmac–so absorbed that he’d missed the NRI agent’s approach. “You don’t have to just stand here, you know. You can get off the ship.”
Dorrin stared at the mottled ball of blue, green, brown, and white below them, looming large after the microjump. He glanced at Molly, who was back at the Legacy’s controls. “Y’sure you can handle landing this thing?”
“It’s just like landing a shuttle, Dorrin. Except about ten times bigger.” She smirked at him. “We’ll be fine.”
A bright light and the pounding of his head brought Logan MacKenzie to consciousness, which he immediately regretted. Throwing an arm protectively in front of his face, he groaned and tried to blink away the glare.
He shouldn’t have even been alive. Forget the smoke inhalation, never mind the blow to his head when he was launched into the forward consoles after the first engine blew. Forty seconds in hyperspace without plotting a course first was probably the most stupid thing he had ever done.
But he was alive. Barely.
Dorrin Drake stepped onto the bridge of the Legacy just as Davil Bullian shut down the holocomm. He arched a brow at the engineer as he took a sip from his mug of caf. “Who was that, Dav?”
“Ari,” Davil answered, heading back over to the console he’d taken over a few days ago, when the group headed out on maneuvers on the edge of the Xenea system. “She’s…I think she’s starting to break, Dorrin.”
The Legacy’s XO’s brow arched higher. “Your sister? Not a chance. I’m sure she’s all right. Probably still feeling echoes of a few weeks ago. Serpindal, Ion, all of that.”
“Maybe,” Davil said, frowning slightly.
Something started beeping on one of the sensor boards, followed by proximity alarms a moment later. The crewman manning the board, maybe two or three years older than either of his superiors, looked sharply toward the two men. “New contact, broadcasting emergency distress beacon, range four thousand klicks starboard.”
Rain sheeted down and thunder crackled even as far up the valley from Shay Memorial as the Drake ranch, several dozen klicks away. The hangar near the house was warm and dry, though, and one of the Drake children was taking advantage of that fact. Xander Drake was underneath the old speeder he’d been working on since before he was tall enough to drive it, still working on fixing up the ‘old girl’ after all the years.
He’d arrived home late the night before, under cover of darkness and festivities—and fleet activity above. He still wasn’t sure what had happened, but he wasn’t inclined to ask, either. That was his mother’s concern, his father’s concern, his brother’s concern. Not his. Not anymore. Not ever.