Grace finished her inspection of engineering.
“How long do you need?” Ophelia asked.
“For just the Cerberus, at least a couple weeks,” Grace answered. “If you also want the fighters back up before we disembark it’s gonna be well over a month and that’s with the bare minimum restoration of functionality. Not all of the upgrades completely on line and ready to go.”
Ophelia nodded. “That’s about what I thought. I’ll have Yuri assist you. If you need anything we don’t have on hand just tell me and I’ll pick it up for you. I’m giving you forty days before we leave Ca’urrg.”
“Understood,” Grace said. “I’ll start with the Cerberus and then move on to the fighters.”
Paul returned to the Cerberus, after making Leon promise to stay put. He hurried to Medical. Allison was in one of the patient beds with Yuri standing beside her, holding her hand.
“Heya, Doc,” Allison greeted. “Sorry you had to come all the way back here.”
“don’t worry about that,” Paul stated. “Just worry about getting better.” He carefully removed the bandages from her head and examined the wound. “Have you experienced any nausea, fainting spells, sensations of vertigo, headaches or anything else unusual?”
“No,” Allison answered. “Well, maybe some headaches.”
“All right,” Paul said. “I’m going to do a quick scan of your brain, see if everything’s all right. It will only take a minute, okay?”
“Just so long as I get a lollipop for being good,” Allison said.
“Think we can find any jobs on Ca’urrg?” Ophelia asked.
“Possibly some menial labour work,” Lucy answered. “But I wouldn’t count on anything good coming up.”
“Splendid,” Ophelia muttered. “We’re going to barely make a profit off of this job.”
“Look on the bright side,” Lucy said, leaning up towards Ophelia. “I can think of plenty of ways to occupy us while the repairs get done.”
Ophelia laughed. “You are so naughty.”
“Isn’t that why you went monogamous for me?” Lucy asked.
“Ophelia.” Paul’s voice came in over the communicator.
Ophelia sighed. “Hold that thought,” she said, flipping the switch on her own communicator.”How’s Allison doing?”
“It’s nothing serious,” Paul answered. “She has a very mild concussion. I’ve given her treatment. She just needs to take it easy for the next few days.”
“Good to hear,” Ophelia said. “Send Yuri to help your sister. We’ll let you return to Leon.”
“Acknowledged,” Paul said.
Ophelia looked at Lucy and smiled. “Now, let’s hear more about your naughtiness.”
Grace looked over the re-wired and re-fitted backup generator . “All right,” she said, hooking a device into it.”Put her on line.”
Yuri flipped the switch and they watched as the backup generator hummed to life. It quickly began supplying power to the device and Grace ran a diagnostic.
“Power output is only about seventy two percent of what it needs to be. Disconnect the backup. We’ve still got work to do.”
“Will the Cerberus be fully functional in time?” Yuri asked.
“Definitely,” Grace answered. “We’re already ahead of schedule, thanks to your help. We may even be able to get the Cerberus in peak shape.”
“Guess who’s all better?” Leon asked, barging into Medical.
“From context, I’d say it’s you,” Paul answered without looking up from his microscope.
“Come on, you can’t still be mad,” Leon said. “Please don’t still be mad.”
“Why must you always pull reckless stunts and get yourself hurt?”Paul asked, sighing heavily.
Leon sat down and looked up at the ceiling. “I guess it’s because I know you’ll always be there to patch me up.”
“I wasn’t there this time,” Paul said. “You very nearly died before I could get to you and I can’t heal everything, you know. When I see you like that, it terrifies me. I start thinking, what if I can’t get to him in time the next time? What if he gets so badly hurt that I can’t do anything? You have no idea how torturous it is.”
“I really am sorry,” Leon whispered. “It’s just hard for me to take the slow, cautious approach to things. I like to rush forward and get shit done, but, for your sake, I’ll definitely be more careful in future.” Leon held out a wrapped parcel. “Forgive me?”
Paul took the parcel. “You’re lucky that you’re so cute.” He carefully opened it. “The Canterbury Tales?”
“Managed to snag a super old copy,” Leon said. “I know how much you like that kind of thing.”
“It is a really thoughtful gift,” Paul admitted.
“So, will you let me take you out to celebrate my recovery?” Leon asked.
“No,” Paul answered. “I’ll take you out to celebrate your recovery. I already made some reservations.”
Farah moved to the hangar. She was holding the Baron and Hyper was following closely behind.
“Farah!” Grace cried, moving over to her. “And my little Baron.” she stroked his head while he wagged his curly tail. “Thanks for looking after him. To what do I owe this visit? Curious about the Simurgh?”
Farah nodded. “Well, not just that. I mean, it’s my ship and I’m curious but I also haven’t gotten to see you much lately. You’ve been so busy…”
Grace leaned close to her. “Lonely without me, huh. I’ve missed you too.” She kissed Farah’s forehead. “I can’t wait to get everything back in good enough shape that I can spend more time with you.”
“It’s fine,” Farah said. “I know it’s important work.”
“Tell you what,” Grace said. “I’ll take you somewhere in two days. We’re close enough to having everything we really need done and we’ll have almost a week to work on the non-urgent stuff. I can afford to take a night off. Would you like that?”
“Absolutely!” Farah answered.
“So would I,” Grace said. “It’s a date!”