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Part of USS Cardiff: Thagomizer // Lost Fleet and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Shatterheart

Paxtar// USS Cardiff
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     “Yes, yes! This will work! This will work, Captain!” 

     Reva turned from Kaalir to the usually dour Koban, whose face fairly glowed. Seeing joy was a rare thing these days and even rarer for Koban. The engineers had been working with Tallos on compatibility between the Federation and Sikkaran tech, while the others had been gathering equipment located by Reva’s odd connection to the ship.

     “Well done! How easily can it be implemented?” Reva asked.

     “Not the easiest thing to do, but certainly not the hardest, Captain.” Wynright looked to Tallos, “biggest problem is we need vats of something the al’raj calls mage metal. He says he can get our replicators to… encourage growth… but we need seed metal.”

     “Got it.”

     “Pardon?” Wynright’s voice faltered. Reva chuckled, gesturing to a pile of equipment near the doors. They’d collected quite a bit. 

     “Cannisters of narrallym, syrrallym, parallym, and ostrilym. Also, microvials, two portable depth wells, fully charged, a brace of charged rods, two canisters of Technomancer mites, and a wealth of information.” Reva held up a handful of glimmering data rods. 

     “That is correct, Captain. You have an uncommon familiarity with Sikkaran ships for one who had no prior knowledge of us,” Tallos said.

     “I agree.” Reva pinched the bridge of her nose. Her headache had grown as she’d led them unerringly through the ship. Her right eye felt like molten lava, a hot, deep ache that left rainbow light filling her vision. “If you have an explanation, I’ll be glad to hear it. If you have a cure, better yet.”

     “Captain…” Murr warned as his scanner shrieked urgency. Reva h

     A low thrumming tone stopped his words. 

     Lyssha amarro. Kobante antossi. Evacuate. Implosion in 10 minutes. Reva’s mind translated. Ten minutes was not enough time to get back to their ship. 

     “Tallos, how do we stop an implosion?”

     “We need to leave, Captain.” Tallos launched himself above them and dove at the pile of equipment. Coming up with two bundles, he darted around to a drawer and pulled out a heavy-looking bag that clinked as it swung beneath the odd creature. “NOW.”

     Reva let out a slow sigh. Embraced the pain. 

     “Right. Okay, everyone, let’s gather what we can and make our way to MaaZhe 23.”

     “Maa what now, sir?”

     “Flight Bay 23.”

     Five minutes later, the group skidded into a hanger bay. Flickering light revealed two rows of small aircraft. Reva loped to larger ship at the far end and slapped her palm against the side. She darted through the hissing door, tossing the stuff she carried lightly to the side in a small storage room, and headed to the front. Breckin and Kaalir caught up as she settled into the pilot’s seat. 

     “Captain, I should…” Breckin began.

     “You won’t be able to do this first part, Ensign.” Reva looked past him to the others. “Everyone take a seat and buckle up.” A shiny harness locked over Reva, emphasizing the point. 

     I am sorry for this. I do hope we survive. 

     Reva gave a slight hiss as her palms touched the console. Threads of metal spun out of them and locked into ports. The engine hummed to life. Reva stared blankly ahead. 

     “Final warning.” A chorus of clicks followed. “Breckin, be prepared to take over with Tallos’ help. You’ll know when.”

     “Aye, Captain!”

     Reva splayed the fingers of both hands in a two-two-three-one pattern, then pressed her right hand down into the console, suddenly turned holographic. Around them, the monstrous ASF Planeswalker and mountain that encased her rumbled, explosions shaking their small ship. The sharp burning pain engulfing her body took Reva’s breath away as she twisted her right hand hard to the left and pressed down. 

     Shatterheart prepped for jump. All hands prepare. The voice of this ship was different from the Plansewalker itself, and from Tallos, who seemed to be some kind of synthetic construct, though there was no indication at all that he was other than flesh and blood. He says thats as it should be. Only a Technomancer, and ‘Old One’, or and al’sienko can bring out his soul chip. That Urzas had been the last. 

     Think of the Cardiff. See it from the front, as if hanging in space. That’s how to get home.

     She fought to hold the image vivid in her mind. The Cardiff. Her ship. Her people to protect. There was a loud pop. She heard yelps and screams of pain. Breckin and Murr eased her out of the pilot’s chair as alarms began blaring. Before the pain took her away completely, Reva saw the jeweled gleaming of their Cardiff. She faded listening to Kaalir and Jakka hailing the ship.

 

 

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     “Stay down, Captain.” Murr gently pushed Reva back when she started awake. “Breckin’s about to bring us in for a bumpy landing.”

     “You’re coming in a little fast there, Ensign Breckin.” Gareth’s voice sounded way too calm. 

     “Doing my best, sir! She’s harder to herd than a clowder of cats!” Breckin called back. There was a sharp thud, and the ship slowed abruptly. They snapped free of the tractor beam and skipped into the shuttle bay. Reva passed out again while wincing at the sound of crunches vibrating through the hull and her blinding headache. 

     The second time Reva woke to find Dr Rrr’varric beside her and Tallos sitting on the foot of the bed. 

     “How is the headache, captain?” Rrr’varric asked.

     Reva blinked, rolling her neck. “It’s gone now, doctor.”

     “That’s good. Your serotonin levels are back to normal, and the pressure in your right eye has returned to normal. YOu were having an acute bout of glaucoma. Had to hurt like hell.” 

     “Oh, it did.” 

     Reva’s vision was sharp and clear, and no trace of pain lingered in her head. She sat up and looked at her hands. “YOu did good on the hands.”

     “Hands, Captain?” Rrr’varric cocked her head “You had no injuries coming in. Only the elevated neurotransmitter levels and ocular pressure.”

     Reva frowned, looking at her hands. There’s no way she’d imagined those cables linking her to the Shatterheart’s console. What the hells was going on here?

Comments

  • What a mystery! Alluded to previously but now on full display here. Very interested to see where this journey takes Reva, and what more we learn about the Sikkarans and their technology. So far, it’s very unique in comparison to anything we’ve seen in our galaxy.

    June 27, 2023