“Do you think the whole station just lost life support or just this room?” I asked.
“Depends on how lucky we are.” For a woman chained to a wall in a high military research station who was trying to outsmart a Sun Speaker who could tell the future, she sure sounded confident.
“Assuming this room is airtight, I guess we have about two hours worth of air. Seems like we failed this mission.” I tried not to sound too defeated, but it was hard. I’m not sure if I was more disappointed to be dying or that I hadn’t had a chance to kiss Onyx yet. No, it was definitely the second part.
“You’ll get a chance to kiss the handsome doctor. Don’t worry,” Diamond said with a chuckle. Just when I was about to ask if she was psychic, she replied, “I’m not psychic, but I recognize attraction when I see it.”
“Too bad. It’d be nice to have a psychic on our side. It might counter the Sun Speaker.”
I sat down and Diamond said, “I realize we’re in the dark and all, but would you mind picking the locks on these chains?”
“Tired of hanging out with me?” I asked as I found my lockpicks. Maybe ‘lockpicks’ is a generous term for a small cutting torch and various tools.
I’d cut through the shackles around her ankles and one hand when I heard a deep rumbling. I hurried with the last wrist and Diamond pushed me towards the door.
“Did you know this room is on the outside of the station?” she asked.
“Sounds like a dumb place for a jailcell,” I replied, needing to shout over the sound of metal grinding.
“Where’s a prisoner going to go, into the black? They’d rather protect the experiments from stray asteroids and radiation spikes.”
I started to see sparks and then all noise stopped. I stepped forward and Diamond stopped me. The wall blew outwards and what was left of our air followed right behind it. We were sucked into the cold dark of space and for a moment I felt like every part of my body was being pulled and pushed in all directions. It wasn’t a fun feeling.
I thought my lungs were going to explode and suddenly strong hands were pulling us into the Revenge.
When the airlock recompressed, I was shivering so hard I thought I was going to chip a tooth. Onyx ran in with blankets and wrapped us both in them. “When you two can walk, I need you to get fully checked out.”
Diamond stood up, something I found extremely impressive since I wasn’t sure what part of me did that. She said, “I need to be on the bridge. We need to get out of here.”
She managed three steps before collapsing into Flint, who’d finished taking off his space suit.
I looked around and counted when I finished, I counted again. I was definitely suffering from oxygen deprivation. I said, “Piloting Sphene the ship is?” That didn’t sound right and I tried again, “Ship is Sphene-ing the pilot?” Nope that wasn’t it either.
Onyx smiled, it was much too distracting a smile, and said, “Yes, and I think you need some oxygen.”
Time passed and between the oxygen, blanket, and his smile, I started to feel better.
“They’ve got to be following us,” I said, suddenly panicking. I got up and headed towards the bridge. Sphene was sitting in the co-pilot chair and at some point Flint must have taken over the pilot’s chair.
“How many?” I asked.
“No one’s following us,” Flint said with a small drawl. “I’ve used four jump gates and switched our transponder twice. It would take a psychic to follow us.”
From behind me, Diamond said, “Even then they can’t track us. Flint, get us to home base and then we’ll talk. Garnet, I need you and me to head to medical and get checked out.”
I wanted to protest, but she was right. I needed to make sure this ringing in my head was just stress and the cold of space and not something worse.
Onyx gave me a quick check and then put me under a scanner while he checked on Diamond.
“You could improve that holo-emitter by using a stronger power source and using a small engine capacitor to stabilize the image. It would make it harder for someone to know.”
With a slight chuckle, Diamond said, “That sounds good. I’ll write that down for my replacement.”
Both Onyx and I said, “Replacement?” at the same time.
“Yes. This is my last job. I have enough money and my heart’s not in this anymore. I’m going to settle down with Ronnie and retire.” She looked us both over and said, “I’m retiring, not dying. Diamond has always been a mantle and it’s past time to pass it on.”
I didn’t know what to say. The idea of retiring was completely alien to me. I spent my life expecting to die in combat, fighting the great war that was coming, and when I ran away, I assumed I’d be hunted and killed.
“Good for you,” I said awkwardly.
“Let’s just get to home base and send these plans out. You did get them, right?” Diamond asked.
“Yes. Why didn’t you ask earlier?”
“You’re not the only one with issues right now,” she said.
Onyx clapped his hands and said, “You’re both going to be fine. You need some food and rest, but you’re healthy otherwise.”
“Talking about food, do you have any of that spaghetti left?” I asked.
Alarms went off and Flint’s voice came over the speaker. “We’ve got company. There are three dreadnaughts and a lot of destroyers between us and home base. All Black-Sun.”
Dreadnaughts were the largest ships in the Black-Sun fleet, averaging six kilometres long, with a crew manifest of over thirty thousand. I’d never heard of three of them ever being deployed, other than in training missions.
Read Chapter 10 (October 2021)
While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:
- 2020 – Point Zero (Superhero, Sci-Fi)
- 2019 – Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station (Sci-Fi Adventure Mystery)
Want to learn more about what Sun Speakers are? Check out what the one in our solar system is up to.
In the distant future humanity has spread to the other planets in our solar system. These stories follow Hal (a prophet for a godlike entity that lives in the sun), and his friends, as they try to make the solar system a better place.