Angela, Paul & Lucas worked feverishly producing and administering their cure to the residents of Turing Station. Once they were done, they began tests for side effects and work on decontaminating the station. They worked for several days with barely any sleep among them, but they were finally able to declare Turing clear.
“Thank you for your help, Paul,” Angela said. “Will you and your crew stay around for a while?”
“I shouldn’t think so,” Paul said. “Ophelia likes to keep us moving. I rather think most of the crew enjoys travelling through the cosmos.”
“You say that like you don’t,” Angela said.
Paul rubbed the back of his head. “I do quite enjoy the journey. It’s the dangerous missions I’m not fond of. I mean, there are times like this where it’s gratifying to be able to help people who really need it. Then there are the other times… Times we come under fire or where our people go into dangerous territory to save some trinket or other. I always wonder, is it worth it?”
Angela gently hugged him. “You lost someone recently, didn’t you?”
Paul didn’t say anything. He rested his head on her shoulder and nodded.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Angela said. “But they’re your family and they need you. Especially at a time like this.”
“I know,” Paul said. “Thank you, Angela.”
The two of them looked down. Hannah had her toy robot near Paul’s legs. She glared up at him.
Paul moved away from Angela. “I’m sorry, Lass, was I too close to your mom there?”
Angela laughed. “Don’t feel bad, Paul. She doesn’t even like it when Femi and I are too affectionate in front of her. I think she just doesn’t like to share attention.” Angela knelt down and picked up her daughter. “She is her mommies’ little diva.”
“Isn’t that the truth,” Femi said, walking in. She scrutinised Paul and held out her hand. “Thank you, for your service to Turing. Should you or your crew ever need a haven, we will be glad to have you.”
“Thank you,” Paul said, accepting her hand.
Leon stood behind them, biting his thumb. “Too close to my Paul,” he whispered.
Farah nudged him. “Calm down,” she said. “They’re just being friendly.”
“I’ll see you at the next akumillian medical symposium,” Angela said. “If you need anything or just want to chat, you can write me.”
“I will,” Paul said. “Thank you.”
“Yo,” Lucas spoke up. “Is it all right if I mail you too? you know, if I need advice or anything.”
“Of course,” Paul said. He put a hand on Lucas’ shoulder. “You’re a valued colleague.”
Lucy waited until the Cerberus had pulled away from Turing and was well on the way before moving to the communications console in her quarters. She activated all the privacy protections before making her transmission. A chubby akumillian appeared on the screen.
“Well, well, if it isn’t Luciverianna,” he said. “Is the Cerberus looking for intelligence work?”
“You know why I’m calling, Methilis” Lucy said. “Let’s not pretend. And don’t worry. This is a secure channel.”
“So it is,” Methilis confirmed. “I’d heard your crew got called to Turing.”
“It was a solid plan,” Lucy said. “Make the evidence suggest that the alliance had framed akumil. Sure, they mistrusted you for a while but after finding that it’ll all be cleared up. Do we really need allies that badly?”
“The need is not grave,” Methilis stated. “But it is prudent to have as many as possible. You object?”
“Strongly!” Lucy declared. “You made Turing highly vulnerable, which could have grossly backfired. Not only that, but you dragged our ship and crew into it.”
“You knew and yet you still played your part,” Methilis said. “We thank you for your service, Luciverianna.”
“And I warn you,” Lucy said. “If you ever pull us into your machinations again, I will make certain that the entire truth comes out. My mate and I are not your pawns. Our crew is not your pawns. We will not, I emphasise, not be toyed with.”
“Message understood,” Methilis said. “We will not rouse your anger further.”
The transmission cut off.
Y4-R1’s Personal Log:
I am entering Yujin’s orbit. I will attempt to land the shuttle with Lunais’ garden. There are things I must discuss with her. If things go well, I may be able to return to the Cerberus soon.