“So, how did you and Farah do?” Ophelia asked.
“Superbly,” Lucy reported. “She exceeded my expectations, actually.”
“That’s rare!” Ophelia exclaimed. “Since when did you start praising the crew so enthusiastically?”
“I’m the first to praise them when they do better than I expect,” Lucy said. “I just have high expectations so it rarely happens.”
“And complimenting them for doing their jobs would be meaningless,” Ophelia said. “I know how you feel about it.” She tapped her fingers against her chair.
“Maybe we should throw her a ‘compliment from Lucy’ party,” Allison suggested.
I think that’s going a little far,” Lucy said.
“I don’t,” Ophelia said. “It is, after all, such a rare event. Allison, I’m counting on you. Oh, make it for Paul as well. His work may not have made us any credits, but it did get us some serious appreciation and we can always use important places that owe us favours.”
“Got it,” Allison said. “The joint party for the Doc and Farah. I’ll make it amazing.”
Paul boarded the shuttle as Yuri and Leon dropped the last load of supplies off.
“Welcome back,” Leon said. “Handle the emergency?”
“I helped,” Paul said. “And then I assisted the doctors here in catching up on their regular patients, but I’m afraid they’ll be behind for a while yet.”
“I am certain that you accomplished everything within your power, Doctor,” Yuri said.
“He knows that,” Leon said. “He’s just wishing that he could do more.”
“Leon, Dear Heart,” Paul said. “I don’t need you to speak for me. I did what I could. I helped save some lives and I’m satisfied with my work today. Just a bit tired. Ready to head back to our quarters and rest.”
“You’ve got it,” Leon said. “We’ll be back on the Cerberus in no time. You can fall asleep on the way there if you like. I’ll carry you to bed.”
Paul woke from his nap and grabbed his glasses.
“Doctor,” Ophelia’s voice came over his hand held.
“I’m here,” Paul said. “Is there a problem?”
“Come to the commons room immediately,” Ophelia instructed. “I’ll explain when you arrive.”
“On my way,” Paul said. He grabbed his emergency satchel, just in case.
On his way to commons, he ran into Farah. She was rushing in the same direction.
“Hey, Paul,” Farah said.
“You shouldn’t run down the corridors,” Paul scolded. “You could slip and fall.”
“Sorry, Dad,” Farah joked. “I’ll be more careful. So, where are you heading?”
“To the commons,” Paul said. “Ophelia needed me for something.”
“Huh,” Farah said. “Me too. Do you think it’s a new mission?”
“Possibly,” Paul said. “But if that was the case I’d think we’d be on the way to the conference room.”
“Then what?” Farah wondered.
The two entered the conference room to be greeted by a sudden blast of confetti.
“Okay, what’s the occasion?” Paul asked.
“Just to show our appreciation for your hard work today,” Ophelia said.
“And a round of applause to the one who organised it all,” Allison said. She held up the Baron. “Who’s a good morale officer?”
“Don’t worry so much about the why,” Leon said. “Come on, dance with me.”
“You can’t dance,” Paul said.
“I can follow your lead,” Leon said. “Or try to.”
“You boys do what you want,” Grace said. She held a hand out to Farah. “Come on, let’s dance.”
“I’d love to,” Farah said.
Allison and Yuri were on the bridge with Lucy.
“Can we have another party?” Allison asked.
“Pay attention to your instruments,” Lucy said. “Remember, we are wanted by the Alliance.”
“I know,” Allison said. “But we haven’t seen them, or done anything really, in days.”
“Ophelia will find us a job,” Lucy said. “Just wait.”
Ophelia’s voice came over the intercom. “Lucy, bring us to a full stop and everyone report to the conference room.”
“Speaking of,” Lucy said. “Let’s go.”
Ophelia waited until the entire crew had gathered. “I’ve gotten us a job. It’s away from Alliance space. But it is in Pacifican space.”
“What would they want with us?” Kat asked.
“Are we helping them practice fighting?” Leon asked.
“Please tell me we’ll get protective gear,” Allison added.
“They want us to find some lost cargo,” Ophelia said. “One of their transports went down. They found the ship itself, but there were a couple crates of high-powered pistols missing. They want us to go to the third moon of Pacifica VI where it went down and find them.”
“In other words,” Lucy said. “They couldn’t find it immediately and now they want us to go in and do it for them.
“Pretty much,” Ophelia said. “It shouldn’t be too difficult or dangerous. There’s no one on the moon and we know where the wreck is. Allison, Leon, Yuri & Kat can go down in suits and find the crates. Farah, Lucy and I will take the bridge. Once they’re found, we turn them in, get our credits.”
“I love these simple jobs,” Allison said. “They always turn into something way more complicated and we get another story about kicking death in the nuts and living to be awesome another day.”