“We have a vessel following at the very edge of our sensor range,” Lucy reported. “Anyone care to bet on who it is?”
“It’s obviously the pacificans,” Leon said.
“If it is, they aren’t using the vessel they were,” Lucy stated. “It’s a very light craft. One, maybe two people on board.”
“That’s unusual,” Ophelia said. “Normally pacificans don’t do subtlety.”
“Well, these ones are,” Lucy said. “The plan is likely for this one to follow us while the main ship follows them. Alternatively, they’re going to follow us and send a signal the moment we stop.”
“That would be risky,” Ophelia said. “We could jam their signal. So, I think their comrades following them at a distance is more likely.”
“As do I,” Lucy said.
“So, we fire a quick burst of weapons, destroy the small ship and get out,” Leon said. “Easy.”
“We aren’t within weapons’ range,” Kat reminded him. “By the time we deal with it the main ship will be a lot closer and ready to fight.”
“Besides, it would be unethical to fire on a ship that poses no real threat to us,” Farah added. “What, why are all of you looking at me like that?”
“I guess that makes laying out mines a no go,” Ophelia said.
“We wouldn’t want to be unethical mercenaries,”Lucy added.
“You don’t have to tease me,” Farah muttered.
“Sorry, it’s just so much fun,” Ophelia said. “Especially when you get started with your idealistic talk.” She glanced at her controls. “I do have an idea for how to deal with that ship though. I’m going to need Yuri to pilot one of the fighters. And I’m going to need Grace to fit a small cloaking device onto it. It won’t need to last long.”
“I’ll see to it,” Lucy said. “It’ll probably take a couple hours.”
“Then I’ll make sure to meander a bit,” Ophelia said.
It took Grace some time, but she managed. “Once we activate it, you’ll have about thirty minutes to an hour before the ship’s detectable by normal sensors,” she said.
“I will have my mission complete by then,” Yuri stated.
“Still, I’m surprised you’re using the Nebula,” Grace said. “I mean, doesn’t it bring back bad memories?”
“Yes,” Yuri stated. “However, it also brings back good memories. Allison and I spent a great deal of time together around and within the Nebula.” She gently stroked the side of the ship. “She was very fond of this ship. It would be unfortunate for it to never be used again.”
Grace nodded and activated her communicator. “Ophelia, we’re ready to begin.”
“Yuri go out in two minutes,” Ophelia ordered. “Finish as quickly as you can.”
“Acknowledged,” Yuri stated.
She piloted the Nebula back towards the unsuspecting pacifican craft. She manoeuvred around it, not wanting the pilot to see her through the view screen.
She had forty minutes at most, ten at the least. She attached the Nebula onto the pacifican ship and tore open the latch.
As she entered, a pacifican female in a space suit was readying her weapon. Yuri moved her hand with mechanical speed and precision, disarming the woman.
She proceeded to knock her unconscious. She put the pacifican craft on an auto-pilot course that would quickly lead it away from the Cerberus. She dragged the pilot onto the Nebula and quickly made her way back to the Cerberus.
The Nebula was not detecting any other vessels when the cloaking device failed. Hopefully, that meant the main pacifican craft was too far away to detect anything amiss.
“Lock her in the conference room,” Lucy ordered.
“I still say we could just kill her and be done with it,” Leon said. “It would be much easier.”
“Maybe, but most of the crew would rather avoid bloodshed if possible,” Lucy said. “Your loving boyfriend being a prominent example.”
“Point taken,” Leon said.
“She does not appear to be carrying any equipment that she could use to contact her ship,” Yuri reported. “I would request that Paul check her over to make sure she is not concealing anything internally.”
Lucy nodded. “He’ll want to make sure she’s okay after being knocked out any way. Leon, you stand guard while he looks her over.” She activated her communicator. “Love, let’s get moving on course before they figure out they’re following an unmanned ship.”
“When that happens they’ll have no idea where we are,” Ophelia assured her.