I jumped out of bed and found that everyone else was already up and helping to keep objects from flying away. I didn’t notice how chaotic it was because our tents were being saved from the winds by energy shields.
When I tried to leave the tent and exit the energy shield, I almost blew away. I’ve never seen winds blow this fierce before. We had sand storms on Sola, but not like this.
Someone was approaching me and I saw it was Kiko, followed by Rei who was attached by a cable. Kiko was wearing long spikes that strapped around her lower leg and boots. They were used to stomp into the ground to keep from flying away. Rei was wearing smaller spiked shoes since she wasn’t the main anchor. They were both wearing coats and a mask to protect against the wind.
“Did you need to get somewhere?” Kiko asked after entering the shield and taking her mask off.
I would definitely need her to get anywhere since she was the only one strong enough to penetrate the dense ground with such long spikes.
“No, I was wondering what was going on,” I said, throwing on more clothes.
Rei wiped away dirt and debris from herself, “Apparently the weather fluctuates in random intervals at the extreme, ever since the stone broke the protective layers. It came out of nowhere just a short while ago and Cashel told us to help gather items from the other tents since all the power they have is going towards our tents only.”
We can probably thank Breccan’s love for Kiko for that.
“I can help out too,” I said as I finished putting on my boots.
Rei took off the cable and spikes on the soles of her boots, “Nah, don’t bother. They seem to be doing just fine by themselves.”
We watched as several of Breccan’s larger crewmembers were anchors for the smaller members. There were a few large species that looked like they weighed a ton with giant shells on their backs, supporting many crewmates with cables. They all worked quickly to tie down or move items from tent to ship.
I saw Lux and Breccan outside and cabled as well, giving orders and directing traffic. I was surprised to see how efficient they were, considering my first impression of him and his attachment to Kiko.
Then, without warning, a large panel ripped off from the Breccan and slashed through a small crewmember’s cable. Like the panel, the small crewmember was swept away, fighting to grab ahold of anything.
Lux and Kiko reacted at the same time, but only Kiko was unrestrained from the cables. She shot out of the shielded tent and caught the drifter just in time as more of the ship’s large panels broke off and went flying towards them.
“Look out!” I yelled out through the shield, though she probably couldn’t hear me.
I don’t know how she did it without a mask, but she swerved left and right and jumped out of the way of all the panels that flew by them with someone hanging off her back. When they were safe from the flying debris, Kiko made her way back to our tent since it was closer and let the stranger down from her back.
“Thank you for saving me… Breccan’s lover” said the girl underneath the cloak and mask. It was the ship’s lead mechanic, Pippa.
Rei burst out laughing as Kiko’s mouth dropped open, then she stormed out of the tent and marched to where Breccan was giving orders, passing Lux on the way.
Rei was still laughing when Lux entered through the shield.
“Thank you, for saving her,” Lux told me as she went to check on Pippa who was now joking around with Rei in the tent.
“Kiko was the first to react,” I replied honestly.
“My gratitude would go unheard if I told Akiko that to her face.”
This was especially true right now. I hope she doesn’t murder Breccan, at least she didn’t take it out on Pippa.
“Pippa, let’s go,” Lux called out in our tent.
“’kay!” came Pippa’s voice as she reappeared to leave.
Lux attached her cable to Pippa and they headed back out, “Sorry to bother you,” she said as they left.
I didn’t have a chance to reply as they marched through the wind back to Breccan’s ship.
The rest of the day remained windy and it finally died down the next day, though there wasn’t much to do that day either. Tammy and Cashel spent all their time creating the proximate stone locator. Rei spent her free time laughing with Pippa, and Kiko spent all her time avoiding Breccan so she wouldn’t kill him. This left me with nothing much to do.
In my spare time I ended up exploring Breccan’s large ship. He could easily fit hundreds of people of different species on his ship which was almost filled with all his crewmembers. They all had a job they were working on and were busy most of the time, especially the mechanics of the ship. It was funny to see a little, redheaded, eccentric girl give orders to the other older mechanics, but even though she was young and small, they still treated her with the same respect they would give Breccan. Rei was usually with her because Pippa always made her laugh.
Lux came up from behind, “Enjoying the ship?”
She caught me by surprise, “Yeah, it’s enormous.”
“We’ve had to upgrade it a few times to accommodate all the crewmembers.”
“I can see that…” I said, watching a small crew member walk through a large doorway and a bigger crew member squeeze through it.
“Well, enjoy yourself.”
She smiled and walked away. There was something about her smile, it always made my heart flutter.
By the end of the second day, Tammy finished the creation she’d been working on for the past two days straight. It was pouring rain when she walked up to us in the housing tent.
“I’ve finished the PSL,” she announced to the Jago crew while cleaning her hands on a cloth.
We all got up and hurried to her work tent to see the device. Pippa was also in the room putting something together; she dropped her work when she saw us enter. It was larger than I thought it was going to be. It took up a small table with a large antenna-looking thing sprouting out of the base of the machine.
Pippa was too excited to contain herself, “It’s amazing right? Isn’t it? I never imagined someone being able to extract this much power from the sage using these techniques! I mean who would’ve thought to use Sttromb’s formula for re-hashing the sage’s natural biomechanical makeup?” she ran over to a hologram board and started writing stuff only Tammy would understand and continued to explain to us how the PSL worked.
We all looked to Rei, sending her a mental message of please stop her.
Rei smiled at Pippa’s enthusiasm, “Uh… Pip…” she finally said.
“Yeah, yeah! What’s up? Should I go into more detail about the sage’s decomposition from quasars emitting from the black hole?” Pippa asked as she stopped drawing on the hologram to look at us. “Is this simplification too simple?”
“We just want to know how it works,” Kiko said bluntly.
“Oh,” Pippa poked the hologram board and the screen she was writing on closed. “Just push the power button.”
Tammy was already waiting for us, with her finger on the button, when we brought our attention back to the machine. It hummed and lit up when she pushed it. The antenna began rotating in circles as if trying to lock on to something and a small hologram appeared in front of the machine. The antenna finally stopped moving and the hologram flickered, giving us a heading.
“Excellent,” Cashel admired. “Go back to your ship and tell Breccan we leave early in the morning,” he said to Pippa.
“’kay, will do!” she saluted before taking off.
Kiko examined the machine, “How are we using this thing Tammy?”
“I did not have enough time to enhance the PSL and make the signal range stronger; therefore it will need to be transported along with the expedition group,” she explained.
“We’ll have to lug this thing with us?”
“Yes, and it will need to be re-synced every 5 hours in order to maintain an exact heading using your location coordinates.”
“How would we do that?”
“You wouldn’t. It’s best to have someone who knows how the PSL works, Pippa knows this as well and so she has volunteered to go with you.”
Cashel interrupted, “That’s right, you three will be traveling with five others, including Breccan.”
“Why does he have to go?” Kiko snapped.
“We’ve both agreed to have a captain in charge of each group, therefore his orders are on the same level as mine and are to be followed,” he emphasized with a slow nod and wide eyes at Kiko.
“What!” she flared, “There’s no way I’m taking orders from him!”
I have to admit I didn’t like the idea either, and I couldn’t imagine Kiko taking his orders seriously, or even just listening to him.
“We’ve both agreed that he’s more physically prepared for the journey, plus my expertise is needed here with the ships.”
Kiko grumbled and stormed out of the tent, with Rei following close behind.
Cashel sighed and turned to Tammy.
“Can I talk to Sarth alone for a moment?” he asked her.
She nodded and walked over to a table filled with tools, wires, and mechanical parts. She picked up something small off the table, walked over and placed it in my hand.
It was a wrist hologram projector like the ones that everyone in Breccan’s crew have.
“This is for you,” she said before leaving.
“Thanks,” I said. I didn’t know how it worked but I put it on my wrist anyway, next to the sync ring.
After she left, Cashel sat on a chair and stared at me with studying eyes. I felt like I had done something wrong.
“Are you okay with going on this excursion?” he asked finally.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going or not. It always seemed like I was just dead-weight, but the fact that he initially included me in it made me surprisingly happy. In fact, I wanted to go.
“Yeah, I am,” I said, picking up my confidence.
Cashel saw this and smirked.
“Good. I’ll need you to keep an eye on those two out there. I’m sure Kiko will be more understanding with you around.”
I thought about Kiko’s attitude toward Breccan, “Right…”
Then he slapped his legs and jumped to his feet.
“Well, I’m gonna get started working on these two ships. Get some rest, you’re gonna need it for the next eleven days.”
He left the tent, leaving me alone in the work tent with the PSL.
Will this trip really be all right?
© Copyright 2017 Anon Amous. All rights reserved.
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