The Blazer had seen better days. That was certainly true. They’d also seen worse…
“Everything is on fire!” Antoine shouted.
Probably seen worse. Elijah looked around the bridge. The fires were relatively small and contained, for the moment, but they couldn’t take many more hits.
“We have to get out of the line of fire,” Elijah said. “Ussie, I want you to vent the plasma from our weapons around the ship for a smokescreen. Antoine, when she does that, set off an EMP. It won’t do much, but it should take out their radars long enough for us to escape. I’ll pilot us out of here. Oh, and we should probably start putting out these fires once we’re clear.”
Ussie and Antoine went into action. Elijah immediately took the Blazer past the trio of ships that was bearing down on them.
He almost thought they were free, until two more ships moved in.
Elijah sighed. He hated when he kept getting attacked by people with no chill. It was ever so inconvenient.
“There’ssss another ship approaching,” Ussie reported.
Antoine was running around the bridge trying to do some damage control.
“One of the ones we left behind?” Elijah asked. The Blazer shook from torpedo fire.
“It’sss the Cerberussss,” Ussie answered.
“Great, now they’re hunting us too,” Antoine muttered.
The Cerberus unleashed a volley against one of the attacking ships.
“No, they’re helping us,” Elijah said. The second ship moved about to face the Cerberus only to get hit by both the Cerberus and the Blazer.
“Messsage incoming,” Ussie said.
Elijah nodded. “Hi, Ophelia,” he greeted. “You look a bit thin. Have you been eating properly?”
“We can exchange pleasantries later,” Ophelia said. “For now, follow us out of here.”
“Kay,” Elijah said. He switched the communications off “That woman really should relax, you know?”
“Maybe you should be less relaxed,” Antoine suggested.
“Too much stress is bad for you,” Elijah said.
The Blazer followed carefully behind the Cerberus.
“Another transsssmisssion,” Ussie sad. “They’re inviting ussss aboard.”
“Should I wear a tie?” Elijah wondered. “Wait, do I even own a tie?”
“You don’t need a tie,” Antoine stated, rubbing his forehead with his palm.
“Oh, that’s good,” Elijah said. “Well, Ussie, let’s go. Antoine, check on our guests and make sure they’re okay.”
Elijah took a shuttle over to the Cerberus with his serpentine right hand.
Lucy and Yuri were there to greet them.
“I attempted to contact you,” Yuri stated.
“Did you?” Elijah asked. “Interesting.”
“Our long range communicationssss went down after a mercenary attack,” Ussie explained. “How did you find usssss?”
“Ophelia and I used your last known location and referenced the general area against areas with increased mercenary activity,” Lucy stated. “Come on, she’s waiting on the bridge.”
The first thing they noticed when they reached the bridge was Filorya.
“Passssifican,” Ussie hissed.
Elijah gave her a sideways look. “Have we met?” he asked. “I feel like we haven’t…. Have we?”
“This is Filorya,” Ophelia introduced. “She just joined our crew recently.”
“And I thought you had ssstandardsss,” Ussie muttered.
“Ussie, chill,” Elijah said. “I’m sure she’s perfectly nice. We can trust Ophelia and her crew.”
“Glad you think so,” Ophelia said. “Because I want to know just what the hell you’ve done?”
“Like, recently or ever?” Elijah asked.
If anyone else asked that, I’d think they were being a smart ass,” Ophelia said. “I mean, why are so many mercenaries after you and why are they saying you’ve abducted princesses of Swieth,” Ophelia clarified.
“Oh, that,” Elijah said.
“You really ssshould have been able to figure that out,” Ussie stated. “You ssspend too much time sssmoking that weed you cultivate.”
“Cannabis isn’t a weed,” Elijah said. “It’s a wonder of nature. And too answer your question, Ophelia, we didn’t abduct anyone. We found Azilla and Vivuna at a port. They asked us to help them find somewhere their parents couldn’t find them and that’s what we’re doing.”
“I feel like there’s more to the story than that and you’re just not extrapolating on it,” Ophelia said.
“That’ssss correct,” Ussie said. “It ssseemssss the princessssesss became intimate after getting to know each other. Sssince sssuch love isssss forbidden on Ssswieth, they ssstole an experimental sship and fled.”
“I don’t get why their parents can’t just be understanding and give them their blessing,” Elijah said, scratching his head. “But they have to be, pardon my language, anuses about it.”
“They would certainly lose face if it became public knowledge,” Lucy said. “Given the political climate on that planet.”
“All right,” Ophelia said. “We’ll help any way we can. Lucy, gather everyone together and try to figure out a place for the princesses. I’ll take our ships into an area with high interference where, hopefully, we won’t get caught by mercenaries any time soon.” She looked at Elijah. “Unless you had someplace specific in mind.”
“You know he takesss on thingsss like thisss without thinking,” Ussie said.
Elijah just shrugged. “What can I say? I like to help or meddle, depending on your point of view.”