Before I actually start this week’s instalment of Voyages of the Cerberus, I wanted to address why there wasn’t a Grand Pilgrimage last week. I’m truly sorry about that, but I had an accident and my leg fractured in multiple spots. So, I had to spend Friday in surgery and a couple days afterwards in hospital. The good news is that I shouldn’t miss any more story instalments because of it and, because it is a leg, the injury shouldn’t adversely affect my writing ability. So, I am sorry about that Grand Pilgrimage but things should be back on schedule as normal now.
And don’t worry about the leg. The Doctor says it will fully recover in 6-8 weeks. I just have to refrain from doing any excessive acrobatic stunts or doing my famous fan dance.
The Radiant Healer, Cosmic Wyvern, Snarky Nebula & Elegant Simurgh arrived on the scene. The flying fortress was a pitted hulk, debris still spilling off of it and into space. The Cerberus didn’t look as bad. The Bridge, Engine Room, conference room and medical bay were in one nearly intact piece. The hangar, crew quarters, armoury and mess were missing. Most likely lost amid the other debris.
“Allison and I will latch onto the side of the ship and go in, full atmosphere suits,” Kat said. “Ophelia and Lucy may still be alive. You two get close to that thing and see if you can find any life signs. If you do…”
“Blast away until we don’t,” Leon stated. “We know.”
Allison and Kat moved carefully past the jagged edges that remained where half the ship had been blown off.
“The engine room looks completely intact,” Allison noted.
“Must be the extra shielding power that Grace diverted,” Kat said. “Which is good. It means there’s hope for the Bridge as well.”
They made their way to the Bridge, with Kat making mental note of the visibly damaged areas.
The first thing they noticed was that the viewing screen was cracked and several work stations had been uprooted.
Kat knelt down, noticing something near the captain’s chair.
“Please tell me that’s ketchup,” Allison said.
“Blood,” Kat corrected. “But there isn’t too much. There’s still hope.”
“So, where did they go?” Allison asked.
“Maybe to Medical,” Kat deduced. “If Ophelia was bleeding then Lucy might’ve taken her there. You go back and check. I’ll look in the conference room. Contact me with your communicator if you find them.”
“Right,” Allison said. She hurried off towards Medical. Kat moved through the Bridge and into the conference room.
She spotted Ophelia and Lucy’s atmosphere suits. Lucy rose and limped over to her.
“Katie, you made it out okay.” Lucy said, her voice sounding laboured.
Kat looked down at her, noting the black blood caked on her forehead.
“Looks like you got a bit scratched,” Kat said. “Are you doing okay?”
“I’ll live,” Lucy answered. “Ophelia will too, probably. She was hurt worse than me.”
“How bad is it?” Kat asked.
“She hit her head and mangled her leg,”Lucy answered. “I did what I could and got her into her suit as a precaution, but I really will feel more assured when Paul’s looked at her.” She looked Kat over. “What happened to Paul?”
“I don’t know,” Kat answered. “The shuttle’s gone missing. I’ll make finding it the priority.”
“Start by taking the seating out of the fighters,” Lucy ordered. “You may have to bring them back without the shuttle. You may also want to send a pair to scavenge supplies so that Grace and Yuri have what they need to get us operational enough to get out of here. We definitely don’t want to be stuck here for very long.”
“Right,” Kat said. She switched on her communicator. “Allison, I found them. They’re all right, but Ophelia needs medical attention. We’ve gotta get the seating out of the fighters and find the shuttle.”
“Great,” Allison said. “Just remember which gaping hole we parked at.”
“The missions dealt with,” Leon reported. “My weapons are nearly depleted, but we dealt with the situation.”
“Good,” Kat said. “You and Farah come back and latch on to the Cerberus. Remove your seating and help us look for the shuttle.
“Can we use the Cerberus’ scanner to get a good idea of where they are?” Farah asked.
“Unfortunately, no,” Kat answered. “The scanning system got trashed. We’re going to have to do it the hard way. I’ll work with Farah. Leon will work with Allison. Leon and Allison will find the shuttle. Farah, you and I will do a salvage operation. We need enough materials so that Grace can repair the engines. When we find her, any way.”