The InAnna’s alarms erupted and the red emergency lights bioluminesced a crimson glow.
‘’Captain, the Silarans have a flubbing target lock on our ship!’’ Private First-Class Patrick Isley belted.
‘’Flubbing?’’ Captain Dayan chided.
‘’Uh…yes…I am trying to turn a new leaf, Captain. Giving up swearing.’’ Patrick replied. ‘’But seriously, they have launched all their missiles. Five seconds to impact.’’
‘’Evasive maneuvers, Mr. Maka.’’ Commanded Captain Dayan calmly to Newie Maka, the pilot of the InAnna.
’’Don’t have to tell me twice, bro.’’ Newie responded in his diasporic Kiwi accent. Newie was a big man with a face covered in tattoo-like bluish skin markings resembling traditional ta mōcō tattoos.
Strange tentacular appendages wrapping around Newie’s arms and up his neck began to glow in rows of intense blue spots in a pulsatile manner. Newie’s irises that were already a rare light aquamarine began to glow like two deep sea jellyfish. Newie surged with energy. He gripped the controls of the ship. With wild precision, Newie pulled back on the stick causing the Inanna to yaw in a steep pitch, then banked to the right with a sharp roll just over a large bus-sized drifting ice rock. Three of the missiles erupted just behind the quick maneuver exploding the large space debris into a thousand small chunks of ice and dust. The other three missiles continued to pursue the InAnna until they exploded on the surface of the ship. Fortunately, the InAnna was a tough bird.
‘’T.I.M., status report!’’ Shouted Captain Dayan.
T.I.M. made some noises over the speaker that sounded like a mix between an old 1990’s dial up modem and a monk performing a Gregorian chant.
‘’T.I.M., what the hell are you doing?’’ Dayan said again intensified by the gravity of their current predicament being attacked by 4 of the 5 Silaran scout ships.
‘’Um, I am getting that status report, Captain.’’ T.I.M. replied nonchalantly. ‘’I was making noises to show that I was thinking, so that you didn’t think I was doing nothing as I reviewed the damages to the systems.’’
‘’Arghh!’’ Dayan growled in frustration. ‘’Status. Report. T.I.M. ’’ He said icily and unamused.
‘’Yes, Captain. It appears that all systems are working properly. There is some minor damage to the exterior hull. But no breaches. We could probably take 4 or 5 more beatings like that before being obliterated.’’
‘’Thanks for the optimism.’’ Dayan said steely. ‘’Newie, make sure we don’t get…obliterated. While T.I.M. was busy making pointless noises, I just hacked into the Silaran vessel on the port aft of the screen. Get us in close so Patrick can show how we obliterate.’’
‘’Good as gold, mate! Taking her in.’’ Newie replied.
The InAnna’s engines roared with more life as it raced forward at the now retreating scout ship. Patrick locked onto his target just before Newie sent the InAnna into a barrel roll over the top of the scout. Patrick’s twin energy cannons ripped a canyon sized tear into the top of the enemy vessel as the two ships’ roofs passed about a foot apart from each other. Patrick’s heart leaped with excitement as he got a glimpse of his rapid fire piercing the bug pilot inside.
‘’That was for Jæhana!’’ Patrick thought sinisterly. He thirsted for more of those bug guts drifting in space. ‘’One emmeffer, down. Four to go!’’
‘’Newie, keep on those others.’’ Captain Dayan ordered his pilot. ‘’We can’t allow them to pass on another message back to their outpost.’’
‘’You got it, Captain! We be on them like a pack of galambian dogs on a heap of grotty chunder.’’
Newie gunned it after the three fleeing scouts.
‘’Umm…does your programming include knowing how to use these weapon systems to take out that other Silaran scout?’’ Geneva asked her robot companion, Hōrō-Sha, an ancient piece of precarious artificial technology that had recently been added to the Crew after having been freed from a crystal matrix.
‘’Why would we need to take it out?’’ Ask Hōrō-Sha inquisitively. ‘’Are they stuck inside of something that my sensors cannot detect? Would it not be better to use the weapon systems to shoot holes into their ship?’’
Geneva, having calmed down from her blood lust rage of killing the Silaran pilot with her bare hands and claws, looked at Hōrō-Sha bewildered.
‘’Okay. Holes in their ship. That should work.’’ She replied in as polite a tone as she could muster. ‘’So, are you going to do it, or me?’’
She quickly saw that the robot was about to give another confused response and responded, ‘’You know what? Never mind, I got this.’’
She jumped in the cockpit command chair, swiveled around and gripped the controls. Her hands had grown impressively larger in the last few days due to her evolving mutations. The foreign controls of the bug’s ship seemed so awkward in her new palms. She took a breath in to calm her anxiety. Shooting was not her strong suit. In fact, Geneva really didn’t know what her strong suit was anymore. It used to be computers and databases. She once loved crunching numbers and writing code, providing analytics for field operations. But that all mow seemed like a foreign world. Her mutations were not just changing her outward appearance of claws, pinkish orange hair and patches of shiny ebony skin, she felt that her mind and personality were changing too. She focused on the single fleeing scout ship and squeezed the trigger.
Missiles burst from their newfound ship’s missile tubes in a maelstrom of phosphoric fire and fury. They found their target. The fifth scout vessel was no more. She had managed to hit the Silaran’s reactor core. A Shockwave knocked their ship, inadvertently and advantageously turned their ship towards the racing InAnna. With more bewildered skill, Geneva trying to mimic what she had seen Newie do before pushed the throttle bar forward. The captured Silaran ship started to move towards the InAnna to regroup with the crew.
‘’Hōrō-Sha, can you open a direct communication link to the InAnna.’’ She was very careful not to use any confusing idioms this time.
‘’I have the open communication link with Captain Dayan on channel 626.’’ Hōrō-Sha replied.
‘’Captain, we have the Silaran vessel and our two breaching pods intact. We are heading your way.’’
‘’Roger that, Geneva.’’ The captain replied. ‘’Keep your distance until we neutralize the threat.’’
‘’Roger, that!’’ Geneva flip the switch to the comms, then hit a few more hoping they would help her pilot. How did Newie make this look so easy? Her heart was starting to pound faster as she imagined what she would do once the two vessels were closer and needed to dock. Her imagination began running wild with several kill scenarios each ending in a engulfing ball of flame each time.
‘’Roger? Did you and the captain both change your human designations to Roger?’’ Hōrō-Sha asked.
‘’Changed our names? No, silly. That is just radio talk. It is like saying ’Yes’ or that you received the message correctly.’’
‘’So I am to still call you Geneva? And Captain Dayan, Captain Dayan?’’ Hōrō-Sha asked.
‘’Ah. You mean, Roger.’’ Hōrō-Sha concluded.
‘’Exactly. See, you’re getting it.’’
‘’What am I getting? Was I supposed to receive something?’’
‘’Uh. You know what? I’ll take that win, big guy. Baby steps.’’ Her anxiety began to lift. Even though the robot was far from human, she felt very safe with him.
‘’But neither of us are babies. In fact, I am incapable of being a baby, Geneva.’’
Geneva just chuckled at the new image of a chibi Hōrō-Sha baby in her head.
‘’Nope, Hōrō. You definitely are not.’’ She chuckled again as she just finished programming the scout ship to rendezvous with the InAnna.
Back on the bridge of the InAnna…
The last two ships spun around in a Split-S maneuver, then barrel turned to level off with the InAnna. They broke formation in order to try and flank the InAnna on one side.
’’Capt’n, they’re comin’ round again!’’ Newie shouted.
’’Let’s finish this, Newie.‘’ Captain Dayan said cooly. ’’Patrick, do you think you take them both?’’
‘’Here they come!’’ Reminded Newie.
‘’I can hit them but I am not sure my hits will penetrate without having enough time to focus.’’ Patrick admitted.
‘’That will be fine, Patrick.’’ Dayan assured.
Dayan’s drones, Three and Four, were busy computing some code into the ship’s command station, while drones One and Two seemed to be processing and analyzing the data they were receiving from the viewer at the front of the bridge.
‘’Private, wait for Newie to evade their flank. Strike just as they converge together.’’ Dayan commanded.
‘’Aye aye, Captain!’’ Barked Patrick back to his Captain.
The main viewer had split into three screens. Two tracking the converging scout ships and one in the middle showing the InAnna’s trajectory. Newie’s eyes surged with a pale blue glow as the cephalopod-like tentacles did something to him to improve his piloting abilities. He took a deep breath as if he were taking a hit of a new street drug. Then, twisted the maneuvering controls back and forth. He was able to weave through the piranha missiles and narrowly avoid colliding with the crisscrossing scout ships.
Just as Patrick saw the two scout ships both appear in both side monitors he fired his target locked cannons. Space did not allow for the sound of the blasting cannons to reach any ear. But that didn’t stop Patrick from imagining the repeating thudding sound ripping holes into the two Silaran vessels. Despite not emitting audible noise, Patrick noticed that each of his shots tore right through their hull bypassing any energy null-point shielding.
‘’Take use back around, Mr. Maka.’’ Dayan ordered. ’’Patrick’s shots combined with their lack of shields should have been effective enough to neutralize the threat.’’
‘’Can do, Cap!’’
Newie engaged the retro thrusters slowing the InAnna to impulse speed and used their gentle forward momentum to create a radial arc turn. He then plotted a course to intercept the neutralized, but still moving scout ships.
‘’We should reach the first ship in approximately five minutes. I’ll engage a tow cable to round them all together.’’
‘’As Newie brings us around, Patrick, can you open a channel to the two surviving Silaran. I wish to make a deal for their lives.’’
‘’Captain, I have to decline. Those bugs are worth their carapaces. We won’t get anything from them. Just more trash. The only good bug is a…’’
‘’Dead bug.’’ Dayan interrupted. ‘’Yes, we’ve heard this from you before.’’
‘’The cap’s right, bro.‘’ Newie added. ’’We need them alive to do so much more good.’’
‘’Always the idealist, Newie.’’ Patrick said defensively. ‘’You didn’t see the horrors they did on Praxis 9. Those moons still are stained red with the blood of my brothers. We can let these two get away with that.’’
‘’I may not have been there on Praxis 9, but did you remember who were the first colonists to meet the Silaran?’’ Newie retorted. ‘’It was the Tamocosapiens…MY people. Them bugs took out several dozen of our generation ships. We were bred to be scattered across the stars and prepare the worlds for the rest of you to join us. Thousands of us didn’t even not what hit us before we became bug meat. At least on Praxis 9 you and your mates knew what to expect.’’
‘’I…I didn’t know Newie.’’
‘’Nobody does. That was the ’measure of our creation’…at least that is what the videos they played over and over kept saying in our brood factories. Look Patrick, I have made peace with it. But, we need these guys. Not because we are gonna give them a free pass to run away to the wop wops. But because they may have information we need to prevent the death of other people like those who have already died. ‘Sides, it may lead to you shooting more in the future. Whatta you say, bro?’’
‘’I have a secure channel to the bugs, Captain.’’ Patrick said, sliding his two fingers on the panel to increase the volume of the overhead speakers.
‘’This is Captain JiDeon L.K. Fab of the InAnna. We have disabled your vessels, but we are willing to spare your lives if you will cooperate explicitly.’’
Newie looked back at Patrick and mouthed, ‘’Gee Dayan El Kay Fab?’’
‘’Go eat…drrufak, human pigs!’’
‘’I think that is the Silaran word for ’a heap of dag’, Capt’n.’’ Added Newie.
‘’Thank you, Newie. Though, I am not sure what dag is either.’’
‘’Ya know. The squishy stuff that comes out a sheep’s bum.’’
‘’I thought that is what you meant.’’ He pressed the button on his command station to open the communication channel. ’’I’ll give you one more chance to reconsider.’’
‘’I would rather gupkrrat your hive mother!’’
‘’I think he is saying…’’
‘’I get the general idea, Newie.’’ Interrupted Dayan. ‘’Patrick, you may do as you wish to that one. We only need one to talk.’’
‘’My pleasure, Captain.’’ Patrick said sadistically gleeful.
He target locked the first ship, then sent over a volley of blasts probably twice as much as was needed to demolish the entire vessel.
‘’Woah, bro!’’ Newie complained. ‘’I wanted to collect more of their exterior hull. We are still working on our device, remember. The more samples we get the better we can understand it.’’
‘’Not from THAT one.’’ Patrick said coldly.
Opening the second communication channel.
‘’Well, it appears that your comrade was not so agreeable. I hope you will be more accommodating, so we can spare your life. I give you my word that we will give you the fairest, most accommodating quarters to be held in, in exchange for just a few questions and your cooperation. That is all.’’
The comm was silent for several minutes after Dayan’s agreed arrangement.
‘’Hello? Do you agree to these terms?…’’
‘’Yes. I agree to those terms. I do not wish to die.’’
‘’Captain, he can’t be trusted.’’ Patrick objected again.
‘’Progress requires us to take certain risks, Patrick. Your objection is duely noted.’’ Returning again to the channel. ‘’Silaran pilot, we are sending over a team to acquire you with some medical assistance.’’
Just at that moment Geneva and Hōrō-Sha’s commandeered Silaran scout ship came into view.
‘’Captain, we have returned and are ready to come aboard. The other scout’s reactor was hit leaving nothing left to salvage.’’ Said Geneva over the overhead comms.
‘’Perfect timing, Geneva.’’ The captain stated. ‘’We are just about to send the Rosette over to pick up the last survivor. How did it go with you and Hōrō?’’
‘’Better than expected, sir. This ship is still completely functional, with intact shields and weapon systems. Hōrō believes he should be able to pull some technology from it for either the InAnna or Rosette.’’
‘’That is good news.’’
‘’Uh, Gen, you might want to put on your retros. You are still coming in hot.’’ Newie said with increasing concern in his voice.
‘’I would love to…er…if I knew how.’’
‘’If you knew how?! What?!’’
’’I’m an analyst, Newie! Not a pilot! All I kept thinking about was that I was going to crash into a drifting asteroid for the past 25 minutes. I am lucky I was even able to put in you coordinates to get me here.’’
‘’Okay, I’ll walk you through. First, there should be a row of switches somewhere up top to your right.’’
‘’Uh…Newie, there are no switches there. In fact, there are no switches anywhere above the forward viewport.’’
‘’Oh duh! Of course there’s not. It’s designed for Silaran appendages.’’
An alarm started to beap in front of Geneva.
‘’That appears to be a warning, Geneva.’’ Hōrō-Sha chimed in from behind her.
‘’Newie! What’s going on?! There’s an alarm and flashing light.’’
‘’Right. That’s the proximity alarm. We need to act quick.’’
‘’Just calm down.’’
’’There’ll be time for calm when this is done. WHAT DO I DO!!’’
‘’There should be two more control stickers just behind the main joysticks.’’
‘’Grab them, but don’t let go of the main controls, or you’ll go into a spin.’’
The proximity alarm started to beep and flash faster.
‘’I can’t do that. That’s impossible, I only have two…Hōrō!’’
‘’Yes?’’ He asked calmly.
‘’Grab these two sticks.’’
The alarm beaped faster.
‘’Certainly.’’ Said the robot.
‘’Now ease the main sticks forward while engaging the toggles on the backup sticks and pulling them in towards your body.’’
‘’What?!! That doesn’t even make sense!’’
The beaping became louder and faster over the comms.
‘’Geneva, you got to do this now!’’
‘’But I can’t seem to…‘’ Geneva’s comm cut out.
Suddenly, the InAnna lurched forward unaffected by the inactive inertial dampeners. The Crew on the bridges braced themselves against their command stations.
‘’…uh, sorry about that. We got it to work just ar the last second. I don’t think we damage anything permanent.’’
‘’Just glad you’re safe.‘’ Newie said with a sigh of relief. ’’I will activate the docking sequence. Get ready to meet us in the docking bay in the Rosette.’’
’’Capt’n, approaching the scout ship now.‘’ Newie reported from the Rosette. ’’I will be starting docking procedures in just a moment.’’
‘’Uh, Newie?’’ Patrick reported from the InAnna.
‘’Copy that Patrick, go ’head.’’
‘’I am reading some unusual energy readings emitting around the scout ship. I am having T.I.M. run an analysis.’’
‘’We are not seeing anything from here, Patrick. I think you are just being a bit chooked, bro. It looks sweet as out here. Pretty sure the A-team can handle this should be a piece of piss. When we get back, I promise we won’t leave you out of having a big one on the turps with us mates.’’
‘’Newie, hold back for just a moment.’’ Yhe Captain said calmly.
‘’I got this, Capt’n, no worries.’’
‘’Newie, that’s an order. Let’s run the analysis, and then proceed.’’
‘’Man, everyone’s a bit tight in the togs today. I am holding back. Plotting new course for 00.675.94.Niner to await approach.’’
‘’That will do nicely, Newie.’’
‘’Sure thing, Cap. By the way, I was thinking while you and Patrick are interrogating this bug, Hōrō and I could take a zero-G walk and start dismantling the craft to bring inside the InAnna’s cargo bay. Hōrō believes if we remove the engine the rest of the crew compartment and ship systems should fit from aft to stern of the bay. Would that be alright?’’
‘’Yay, sure. That shouldn’t be a prob…’’
‘’Captain! GET OUT OF THERE!’’ Patrick shouted through the comms. ‘’The ship’s core is going nucular!’’
Newie didn’t even correct Patrick’s pronunciation of ‘nuclear’, he quickly throttled up put in a course and gunned it while flipping the Rosette around like a Mexican top.
‘’I bet the Commander couldn’t do that!’’ Newie thought to himself. Suddenly the scout ship erupted in a violent fireball of plasma sending a shockwave towards the Rosette and InAnna. The lack of inertial dampeners on the Rosette sent the Crew into a toss.
‘’Captain, are you guys okay?’’ Patrick came across the comms.
‘’Your warning was opportune, Patrick. Just some minor damage, but we lost our prisoner. I am reading that there is nothing left. We’re returning to the ship. Maybe we can get some useful data from the ship Geneva and Hōrō-Sha brought back.’’
Back on the InAnna, Dayan with the help of Newie uses some spare cybernetics gathered from the wreckage of the Charon to recalibrate his drones to be able to assist in repairing and breaking down the scout-class ships. The four hovering orbs start playing around, zapping each other with their new repair tools and making hooting noises like two pairs of giddy dial up modems.
Once the drones are ready, Newie, Hōrō-Sha, and Captain Dayan with his repair drones take a spacewalk to begin the long arduous task of harvest the crew compartment of one of the ships. Hōrō’s measurements were impeccable. The torn in half ship just fit inside the cargo bay door by no less than 4 mm. Once on the InAnna, the other members of the Crew began investigating the pilots quarters and computer mainframe, while Newie and Hōrō-Sha rested.
‘’I am beat tired.’’ Newie admitted to Hōrō as he began taking off his sweaty Hawaiian shirt readying himself for a shower. ‘’How ’bout you? Do robots get tired?’’
‘’_Beat tired_? I am unclear of this reference. Did you get knocked around in your suit to cause further damage? And does this make you want to sleep when you get hit?’’
‘’Uh…never mind. I’m just going to hit the shower.’’
‘’Did the shower do something wrong and deserves punishment?’’ Hōrō asked inquisitively.
‘’Not yet. But if Geneva used up all the hot water again washing her hair, I will be dealing out some serious punishment or at least some choice words.’’
Newie threw off his mechanic coveralls and boots, then grabbed his towel. He turned on the water. It was cold but was warming up. Hopefully he wasn’t out of luck.
Hōrō-Sha went to his quarters to decompress and run a diagnostic of his systems. While he did not get sore like his fleshy companions, certain servos got overloaded and needing reseting. He had not sustained any damage, and thus did not require repairs. But, that walk had worn him down enough that he needed to go over all his systems to ensure he was working properly for the next mission. During this systems process, he took his energy axe (more of a halberd if you asked Newie) and started to clean it from the shards of chitin and the hemolymph left by the bug pilot he had disposed of with Geneva.
Patrick, Geneva and Dayan began working the crew Compartments and getting information from the computers from the ship sitting in the cargo bay. The ship was entirely plated with this strange alloy Newie and Patrick had be working with that allowed it to be nearly undetectable to electromagnetic sensors. Just looking at it was a bit nauseating. You knew it was there but if you stared directly at it, it looked like a big hole in the cargo hold. It was hard to tell that the ship was even a three dimensional object as it had no shade or reflective references. Furthermore, the only ‘visible’ areas were certain places where the external integrity had been damage could clearly be seen. These were where the internal alloys could be seen.
Patrick began scanning the ship as Geneva and Dayan and his drones began accessing the computers.
‘’Captain, not to be the bear of bad news again.’’ Patrick reported. ‘’But I am picking up an unhealthy amount of curies coming from this internal alloy. The outer abyss-steel doesn’t seem to be admitting any curies, at least none that my sensors can detect. In fact,, I think it is actually absorbing the radiation, much the same way that it absorbs visible light. Nevertheless, due to the now gaping hole Newie made by ripping off these engines, radiation is leaking out like a sieve. I estimate that at the current rate, we’ll all be dead in 48 hours.’’
‘’We need this death trap off my ship now! Geneva, pull out we need to get out of here.’’
‘’But Captain, I almost am in…’’ Geneva suddenly fainted.
‘’Patrick! I need some help in here! Geneva just passed out!’’
Patrick looked down at his scanner at the quantity of curies reading on the moving bar, then looked at the entrance where Geneva was. He shook off his reasoning and better judgment, threw down the scanner on to the nearby table holding some parts Newie had been working on several days ago, and ran head on into the scout ship.
Dayan and Patrick pulled Geneva’s large body from the bug ship and out of the cargo bay. They collapsed to the deck of the hall just past the closed door to the hangar. Geneva started to come to.
‘’Man, girl! Are you still growing? I swear you have gained another 4 inches from your last mutation.’’ Patrick chided to lighten the gravity of the situation.
‘’…uh…what happened?’’ Geneva asked, confused.
‘’I think you may be more susceptible to the radiation due to your mutation.’’ Patrick hypothesized. ‘’You passed out. Good thing is you now grew a tail to match everything else.’’
Geneva suddenly became alarmed.
‘’W-what!?’’ She quickly looked behind her.
’’I’m just kidding, girl.‘’ Patrick laughed, then gave her a big hug. ’’I’m just glad you’re okay.’’
Geneva reveled in this hug. Patrick had distanced himself ever since she became open about her mutations. While she wasn’t always comfortable with his previous advances that were down right chauvinistic, she did miss his friendship.
‘’Um…I am…glad you’re okay, too.’’ She said awkwardly, blushing past her onyx mutation marks on her face.
‘’Woah, woah. No get soft on me, girl.’’ Patrick said pulling away from the hug.
‘’Speaking about soft, are you not packing your pistol anymore. Is it stowed away already in your gun closet?’’ Geneva said smugly, then thought, ‘’Dang, Geneva don’t go there. That will just push him away again!’’
‘’Nah, I just left it on the table.’’ Patrick said nonchalantly not even adding a double entendre. Had Patrick really turned a new leaf as he said?
‘’Yes, Captain Dayan?’’
‘’Alert Newie to get that radiation toilet out of my hangar immediately! Then start the decontamination process and check the InAnna’s systems to see if the radiation caused any damage to our BIO-SHIP!’’ He crescendoed frustratedly at the last word, then hit his fist into the deck.
‘’How the HELL did we miss this?’’ This was very uncharacteristic of the usually cool captain.
‘’We just missed it, Captain.’’ Patrick consoled. ‘’We need to set up procedures in place prior to bring aboard foreign objects…and guests. As security NCO I will take full responsibility of this in the future. I assure you I won’t let Newie’s idiotic ideas hurt this crew again.’’
Just at that moment Newie came running around the corner wearing a bright yellow towel with what looked like a cartoon dish sponge with a big upturned nose, funny eyes and brown pants. The towel caught on the railing the runs the course of the halls. Newie’s forward momentum prevented him from recovering the towel quick enough, leaving him stark naked in front of the rest of the Crew huddled underneath Geneva’s arms on the deck of the ship. They could see that Newie’s ‘tattoo’ markings ran all over his body like blue tiger stripes. Their sea blue glow was starting to fade. It was also apparent that the organic ‘devices’ on his neck, arms, and back resembling a strange mix between starfish and octopuses were not removable even to shower in.
’’Capt’n, came as soon as got the message ‘bout the bugger in the hangar. Reporting for duty, Capt’n!’’
Forgetting the towel completely he struck a salute.
‘’Can we not have a normal gosh dang, flipping Crew?’’ The captain said shaking his head and covering his eyes with his face-palm. ‘’Get some clothes on, then get that radiation…’’ He took a deep breath to calm down, ‘’…mess out of my ship.’’
‘’Aye, aye, Capt’n!’’ Newie barked. He then ran back to his room to put back on his suit.
He passed Hōrō-Sha’s room, then caught himself at the door jam. Newie pulled himself back to the portal and called to Hōrō-Sha still carefully cleaning his axe.
‘’Hey, Hōr! I need your help getting the bugger off this can.’’
‘’Bugger off this can?’’ The robot repeated back. ‘’Is it trying to get into your food?’’
‘’Nah, but meet me in the hangar.’’
‘’I can do that.’’ The robot concluded.
For the next several hours Hōrō-Sha and Newie worked tirelessly to get the fragmented scout-class Silaran ship back out into space. Then, due to their respective immunity and resistance to radiation, worked in relaying information from the Silaran computer to the InAnna to discover the Silaran Empire’s bigger plans. The rest of the Crew was able to sort through all the encrypted data. They learned that the Silarans did in fact have the plot to conquer the Khasyyq Systems. Furthermore, the Silaran’s had a means of faster-than-light communication allowing all of their ships to stay in near constant contact. This meant that the rest of the Silarans would know about the five missing scouts, and the Crew of the InAnna had done it.
There was no time to spare. They needed to take this evidence back to the Khasyyq to warn them of an invasion. Hopefully, their contact, Sassy was to be found. And with luck would listen, and not think the Rag Tag Crew was crazy. With the command of Captain Dayan, Newie set course for the nearest wormhole to the Khasyyq System, while Patrick shot a few direct shots into the remaining scout ship reactor cores. As the InAnna raced away, the remaining scout ships lit up like two stars in the distant void.