“We’ll have to leave the Baron in the Healer,” Leon stated. “We don’t have an atmosphere suit for him and, right now, the artificial atmosphere in the Cerberus isn’t functioning right, except in the conference room and we’re not sure that’ll last.”
“That’ll make treating Ophelia difficult,” Paul mused. “I’ll have to hurry.”
“And I’ll find something for the Baron to eat,” Leon said. “Oh… and the cat too.”
“Grace and Farah will be relieved,” Paul said. “How is our emergency ration situation?”
“Not great,” Leon answered. “But I’m more worried about what happens when people come looking for that battleship. Our survival is going to depend on Grace’s ability to fix the ship up enough to get out of here before they come looking for it.”
The Healer and Nebula latched onto the remaining section of the Cerberus. Paul went to medical to retrieve some supplies before heading towards the conference room while Grace and Allison carried Yuri to engineering.
“Glad to have you back,” Lucy greeted him. “I take it you’ve been apprised of the situation?”
“I have,” Paul answered. “Help me get her atmosphere suit off. I’ll examine her while you keep an eye on the atmosphere in this room. If it starts malfunctioning, we’ll abandon the examination for the time being.”
“I can get out myself,” Ophelia said. She sounded tired.
“You need to rest,” Paul stated. “Just let us help, okay?”
They managed to help her out of the suit and Paul went to work.
“Please tell me what your level of pain is,” Paul said.
“An eight, mostly,” Ophelia answered.
“Mostly?” Paul asked.
“Sometimes it goes down a little,” Ophelia said. “Guess I get used to it.”
“Not surprising,” Paul mused. “You’ve fractured your left leg pretty badly. That bump on your head isn’t inspiring confidence either. I’m going to give you some medicine to get the swelling down and some pain killers. Normally, I could fix your leg to get you up and about in a week, but it’ll have to wait until the atmosphere is stable. Can you hold on until then?”
“I’ll manage,” Ophelia said. “Thank you, Paul.”
Paul nodded. “Now, Lucy, let’s take a look at that cut.”
“I feel fine,” Lucy said.
“So I gathered,” Paul said. “but it could become infected. Just let me take a quick look.”
“If you insist,” Lucy said.
“Connect this,” Grace muttered. “That seems to be everything. I’m going to start her up. Stand back.”
Allison obediently moved, watching as Yuri’s fingers twitched. Finally, her eyes opened.
“Yuri, are you okay?” Allison asked.
“Do you have any memory loss?” Grace added.
Yuri turned her head to give them a sideways glance. “I am Y4-R1,” she stated. “Who are you?”
Allison and Grace glanced at one another. “Did I connect it wrong?” Grace wondered.
Allison just broke out crying. “Yuri is…” she sniffled. “Yuri is…”
“Please do not cry, Allison,” Yuri stated. “I was attempting humour but I seem to have taken it too far.”
“You’re all right!” Allison declared, hugging her tightly. “Don’t pretend to lose your memory like that!”
“My apologies,” Yuri said.
“The Cerberus is in bad shape,” Grace said. “I’ll need you to go outside and seal every spot in the hull where there’s a breach. I’ll get started on sealing the segment that tore off. The atmosphere system is functional, we just don’t have containment right now. Once that’s done, we need to rig a propulsion system to get us out of here.”
“Won’t that take forever?” Allison asked.
“Weeks, even with both of us working around the clock on it, but there’s not much choice,” Grace stated. “The Cerberus’ main propulsion system fell apart with the other half off the ship. Unless…” She paused, looking thoughtful. “Allison, I want you to go with Kat, Leon & Farah. See if you can find the Cerberus’ other half and if the propulsion system is salvageable. Alternatively, check to see if the warship’s propulsion system is relatively undamaged and steal it for me.”
“I’ll let them know,” Allison said. “We’ll find you something to use.”
“We can only hope,” Grace muttered.
“You were hurt worse than you let on,” Paul chided.
“What’s wrong with her?” Ophelia asked.
“Her third and fourth espel nerves were damaged,” Paul answered. “Right now, I doubt she could muster the strength to give out even a small command.”
“I can still sense people’s intentions,” Lucy said. “Besides, you humans manage without them.”
“Yes, but they aren’t a part of us,” Paul said. “The good news is, I don’t believe the damage is irreparable. Once the atmosphere is stable, I can perform the surgery for it.”
“Ophelia goes first,” Lucy said.
“Very well,” Paul agreed. “First Ophelia’s leg, then your espels.”
“You doing okay, Leon?” Allison asked. “You know, we could go back and I could have the hairy babies in my ship.”
“They’re fine,” Leon said. “More importantly, Farah and I have found the Cerberus’ main propulsion system. Well, part of it.”
“How bad is it?” Kat asked.
“If this piece is a good indication we’re looking at it being in over a hundred pieces,” Farah answered.
“Does anyone have a strong glue?” Allison asked.
“You two, join us in checking the warship,” Kat stated. “If the Cerberus’ is that bad, Grace won’t be able to use it.”
“Understood,” Leon responded.
“Where do they keep the main drive on this thing?” Allison wondered.
“There’s no telling without the schematics,” Kat answered. “This whole ship is strangely designed, using experimental parts all around. Once we all rendezvous, we’ll board it. If the computers are still functioning, at all, I might be able to get the schematics we need.”
“I’ll help,” Farah volunteered. “I’m pretty good with computers.”
“And if they aren’t functional?” Leon asked.
“Then we borrow either Yuri or Grace to help us figure out where it is,” Kat said. “Assuming it’s in one piece.”