Ophelia and Lucy sat together at one end of the long conference table. Farah took a seat on the side between Katie and Grace. Paul, Leon and Allison sat at the opposite side.
“We’re heading to Sector 47 near Bacchus,” Ophelia said. “I’m sure you know what that means.”
“Scum of the universe,” Allison stated. “Smugglers, pirates, proselytisers.” Farah heard Grace suppress a chuckle.
“Exactly,” Ophelia said. “One of the pirate groups stole an important drive from the Orana Conglomerate. We’ve been hired to retrieve it.”
“There are a lot of pirates in the area,” Allison said. “How do you propose we find the right group, much less the right ship? I suppose all of us could get in our pajamas and put a video on the net asking the pirates to come party with us.”
“Simple,” Ophelia answered. “Grace and Lucy are going to patch into their communications and send a tracking signal designed to ping the drive.”
“It won’t work if they’ve got it turned off,” Grace said. “Unless it’s one of those ones with a black box feature. But they’re probably trying to hack into it to look through the information or they will soon enough. We should be able to find it without any problem. I’m assuming that you have the information we’ll need to identify it.”
Ophelia nodded. “Once they locate the right ship we’ll attack, being careful not to destroy them. Grace will stay in the engine room to make sure everything is functioning perfectly. While we’re engaging them, Kat, Leon and Allison will get in their fighters, move carefully up to their ship, latch onto it and break aboard, retrieving the drive. Paul, I want you on standby in the medbay in case anything goes wrong. Farah, you’ll be on the bridge with Lucy and I. I want you to run the sensors.”
“Yes Ma’am!” Farah saluted.
“Girl, you are taking this way too seriously,” Allison said. “Would you lighten up if I grabbed your bum?”
“Don’t you dare!” Grace declared, her voice suddenly turning cold. She glared at the other woman.
“Ooh, scary,” Allison said. “You sound almost as jealous as Leon except he’s actually got a relationship going and isn’t just crushing on someone.”
“I’m not jealous,” Leon said.
“I’ve seen you punch a dude because you thought he was smiling too much when talking to Paul,” Allison said. “You are totally jealous and possessive.”
“I didn’t punch him that hard,” Leon protested. “It was totally just a warning.”
“Now, now,” Lucy said “let’s not fight. Why don’t you all go prepare for the mission and Grace and I will get things started.”
Farah went to the bridge with Ophelia while everyone else went to prepare for their parts.
“You do know how to run the sensors, right?” Ophelia asked.
Farah nodded. “It’s not super complicated. We learned at the Academy. We also studied how to use the weapons’ arrays and basic evasive maneuvers. Just in case we ever got assigned to a ship.”
“For now just focus on the sensors,” Ophelia said. “Lucy will handle the weapons and I’ll steer.”
“Yes Ma’am,” Farah said.
“You really don’t have to be so damn formal,” Ophelia said. “Just call me Ophelia. We aren’t a ship that really does protocol. We all have our jobs and we take care of them.” The two sat in silence for a while. “So, how do you like it here so far?” Ophelia asked. “Settling in okay?”
“Sure,” Farah said. “I’m not completely used to everything yet, but I’m sure I’ll get to that point. I just wish that you’d let me do more, you know?”
“It’s coming,” Ophelia assured her. “Lucy my be overly cautious but she also works quickly when she investigates someone and she’s always fair so you don’t have to worry.”
“That’s good to hear,” Lucy said. Farah nearly jumped, having not heard her enter but Ophelia didn’t respond. Farah wondered if Akumillian’s had some way of seeing things without using their eyes. She hadn’t heard anything about it, but the only time she’d seen Lucy with her eyes open was when she’d first seen her on the bridge, and she’d closed them pretty quickly.
“You and Grace finished,” Ophelia said.
“Of course,” Lucy said. “At maximum speed we should be able to overtake the target ship in just under an hour. Assuming that they keep to their current course and speed and no other ships decide to try their luck.”
“Great!” Ophelia declared. She hurriedly input the coordinates and flipped a switch near her chair. “Attention, Everyone. We should be arriving at target point in fifty seven minutes. Standby and prepare to commence the operation.”
Farah watched her console. It was her first mission and she wanted to do well.