Filorya was a warrior. Always had been. When she was old enough, she’d joined a crew of warriors.
She’d never expected them to be surrendering their hard gained map or to be the one sent to follow the crew they surrendered it to. Truthfully, she’d disliked the assignment. But she’d carried it out or had tried to, any way.
She was sore when she awoke and unhappy. Her hand felt strange too.
“Stay still,” the human tending her wounds was bald with a crimson goatee. He looked fairly well muscled, for a human, but he had a weak energy to him. Filorya knew his type. A soft human who would rather talk and lecture than fight. He’d probably never once raised his fist in anger.
The one behind him was the concern. Dark in hair, flesh and eyes. Muscular and with the eyes of a true warrior. He had a laser pistol in hand and would, most certainly, use it the instant she made a move.
The woman was difficult to figure out. She didn’t look quite human. Filorya didn’t get any sense from her.
“The one who raided my ship,” she muttered.
“Worry about that later,” the one tending her said. “You’re suffering from moderate exposure. I’ve gotten your symptoms treated but you need rest.”
Filorya sat back. “How did you come in through space without a suit?”
“I am an android,” She answered. “I am capable of operating in the vacuum of space for several hours without damage to my systems.”
“And how did you all know I was there?” Filorya asked. “Vis’hsal said your sensor array was an old model and if I kept you at the furthest reaches of my scout ship’s sensors, you wouldn’t spot me.”
“Although our model is a little older, Grace has upgraded it to the point where it can match any newer model,” The android spoke very factually.
“You fooled us,” Filorya muttered. “So, why am I here? Am I to be held for ransom? Perhaps taken as a trophy?”
She felt a reassuring hand on her shoulder. It was the weak one. “You won’t be harmed,” he assured her. We only brought you here so you couldn’t contact your main crew. After we’ve finished our mission, you’ll be released at the nearest space station.”
“Just don’t cause any problems,” the warrior chimed in. “Or it won’t actually be unharmed.”
“Leon, there’s no need for that,” the weak one said. He turned back to her. “I’ll get you some food. You sit back and rest.”
“She had a hidden tracking beacon under the skin on her right hand,” Paul said. “It wasn’t activated. My guess is she has to do something specific to get it started.”
“You removed it, I trust,” Ophelia said.
Paul nodded. “I also treated the area around the chip. Whoever planted it wasn’t careful. It probably caused her a great deal of discomfort.”
“Whoever planted it probably didn’t care,” Lucy pointed out. “Pacifican warriors are expected to deal with discomfort.”
“Well, we’ll leave Yuri to stand watch over her,” Ophelia said. “When we arrive at this Mausoleum, I’ll take Kat, Leon and Farah to check it out. Lucy, you keep watch around us. If you have to escape with the Cerberus, do it and come back for us.”
“I doubt we’ll have any trouble since this thing hasn’t been found yet,” Lucy stated. “But I’ll keep it in mind.”
“Ophelia, it looks like this android wants us to go into the Davonros asteroid cluster,” Kat reported.
Ophelia whistled. “No wonder it hasn’t been found.”
“Are we actually going to try it?” Farah wondered.
“I think the Cerberus is technically small enough to make t through,” Kat said. “But if this Mausoleum is somewhere inside, it won’t be that simple.”
“I may be able to pilot the shuttle in,” Ophelia said. “It’ll be cramped with four of us, but we’ll have a lot more room to manoeuvre.”
“If we find anything useful, we’ll have to have one person bring it back to the Cerberus and leave the others behind,” Kat pointed out.
“It shouldn’t be a problem,” Farah stated. “We’ll just make a lot of trips.”
“But it will make for a greater risk of us getting found by another ship,” Lucy pointed out. “That’s my concern.”
“Both groups will have to be in constant contact,” Ophelia said. “That’ll give us a warning if you have to temporarily retreat.”
“It would help if we had some kind of excuse for being here too,” Farah pointed out.
“Mining,” Lucy said. “I’ll have Grace use one of the fighters to gather materials from an asteroid at the edge of the field. It won’t get us a lot, but it should provide a viable excuse.”
Ophelia nodded. Then let’s suit up and get going.”