"Why do we continue to wait?" he slammed his fist into the cold metal to drive his point.
"You know why Captain." the female ambassador didn't even turn in his direction. Her eyes were fixed on the view screens and their ultimate target. "Any change?" she didn't address any one particular person but she didn't need to.
"No. There is a constant rotation of at least four fighters and they have eyes on us. If we make a move, they'll know it and be waiting." one of the crew reported. "If they had even half as many we might be able to get past them. The main ship would be no problem of course."
"We need that ship!" The engineer sounded desperate. For months they'd been laying in wait - looking for the opportune moment to make a move on Unity. Unfortunately that moment had yet to present itself. She hadn't anticipated the purple haired woman discovering their actions so quickly. "The resources on it could restore at least half our fleet..and with the Quuvarii closing in..." she trailed off. They all knew an attack from their enemy was imminent and they'd be decimated this time.
"What of the device?" she asked, still watching the steady rhythm of the fighters that were currently protecting their mothership.
"It's working - although the subject was more stubborn than anticipated initially." The desperation in the engineer's voice was replaced with anxiety mixed with a twinge of pride.
The ambassador nodded but didn't say anything for some time. The captain, who was long ago ready to be rid of these people, fumed silently. "Summon our kin."
"It will take them several days to reach us."
"Of course" She finally turned away from the screen and locked eyes with the engineer. The two exchanged a silent nod and the engineer immediately left the bridge without a word to the captain or anyone else. "We attack in seven days."
His arm was hanging like dead weight over Freya's body and she bit the inside of her lip so she wouldn't groan and possibly wake him up. Carefully and slowly, she shifted herself until she was flat on her back and then slid out from under his arm. He moved slightly as his arm fell to the bed; Freya held her breath and watched his face. After another moment he rolled over, still asleep. Freya threw on her clothes and slipped out of the room into the darkened corridor.
After a quick shower and a pit stop by the kitchen for some coffee, Freya walked into the empty hospital she'd carved out for herself when she'd become a permanent resident of this place. She turned on every light in the room, including the large ones she used during surgery. There was a stack of follow ups she could be doing - even at this early hour - but instead she laid down on one of her operating tables and stared up into the near blinding lights.
Giggling, Freya rolled over to face Julian. She clutched the blanket around her body but she smiled. "That was..." she let out a soft breath and giggled again. "I love you Julian." she scooted closer to him and rested her chin on his chest and grinned at him.
Her smile faded and was replaced with concern and confusion - Julian's expression was cold as he gazed back at her. "Are you okay Julian? Are you hurt?" She sat up quickly, the blanket falling in a puddle around her and she went into doctor mode. He'd only had the alien spinal implant for a couple weeks but his recovery had been astonishing to all of them.
"I'm fine Freya." Julian said, his voice was hard and lacked all its usual tenderness for her. "I think you should leave now though."
Freya pulled back from him, "Julian?" His words seemed foreign to her, why was he suddenly pushing her away?
He blinked several times and Freya was sure she saw pain cross his face but it was gone in an instant. "I'm tired - and I have no use for you now. You need to leave."
She wanted to argue with him but she was paralyzed by his manner and words. Before she could formulate a response, he had put her clothes on the bed next to her and left the bedroom. She stumbled through the motions of getting dressed, fighting back the tears in her eyes. She spent several minutes looking around the bed for her engagement ring before she realized he'd taken it with him when he left. Full of raw emotion and confusion, she followed him in the living room, "Can I have my ring back?" she asked.
"I don't see why...as I said, I have no use for you now." he said without even turning to face her.
"Julian what are you saying?" Freya asked. She felt like she was grasping at quickly fading strands of hope.
"Do I have to spell it out for you? That's so pathetic..." Julian said, turning towards her and placing his hand on her arm. He walked her to the door as he spoke, his words full of malice. "You are dead weight to me Freya - you'll drag me down to your insignificant level and I can't allow that. Goodbye Freya."
Freya's eyes spilled over with tears as the door slid closed behind her. "Freya? Are you crying?" Ash asked, his voice sounded alarmingly close and her eyes flew open. She was blinded by the bright operating room lights but there was Ash, looking down at her. "Are you okay?"
Freya mumbled something about the bright lights causing her to tear as she wiped away the tears. "I'm fine." she muttered. Three months; three months had passed and the wounds still felt fresh and deep. Meng had been broken out of the brig right after that and the revolution had surged - sweeping her away from Julian and keeping her busy enough to forget him, most of the time anyway.
"Really? Because you don't look fine." Ash persisted.
"I'm just fine!" Freya snapped, glaring at him. He held his hands up and backed down. "What are you doing here anyway?"
"Oh yeah - note." he held out a slip of paper to her. Paper was an odd sight but there were still a few people who used it.
Freya took it and read the message twice. There was no name or indication of who it was from, only a time and location. "Who gave this to you?" Ash just shrugged as he left the hospital and sent her a mock salute. "Ash!" she ran after him, shoving the paper into her pocket. He'd already disappeared into the maze of corridors and tubes but still she jogged, looking for him.
An explosion just a few precious feet away from her ripped through the walls sending her flying backwards along with a cascade of metal shards and debris. Freya blinked the blood from her eyes a few times before the darkness crept around her and swallowed her.
Andy slumped against the bulkhead and rubbed her eyes. "One step forward, two steps back." she muttered as she made notes on her notepad. Every time she made progress against the damage done by the aliens it seemed to make more damage somewhere else.
She looked up curiously as she heard sparks and a long string of curses. Dex threw the tool across the near empty bay and whirled on her. "Damn this ship and damn those aliens to Hades and back!"
Andy didn't reply but she could appreciate his frustrations. If they came out of this mess in one piece and ever assembled their engineering staff again, Andy had every intention of locking herself in her quarters for about a month's worth of sleep.
"You have any luck with that gorram thing?" he asked, nursing his now singed fingers.
"I did...for about five minutes. Then there were multiple system failures elsewhere." she tried to hide the massive yawn but Dex saw it and started to say something before she cut him off. "Forget it, I'm not going to bed yet.."
"Well I am! This beast will be the death of me yet." Dex said, stomping toward the doors.
"Hey Dex!" Andy called, jumping to her feet. "Have you seen any signs of sabotage...I mean beyond the alien stuff..."
"Sabotage? You mean from the inside? Nah, all major systems are locked up tight to keep the damn rebels from crashin' us..." Dex practically spat.
Andy cringed at his anger toward the Sons, although she wasn't fighting with them she felt empathy toward them and if it hadn't been for the serious need for Engineers on this side she probably would have followed Freya's example. "Okay Dex. Get some sleep for me too eh?"
"Not happenin'! Get your own damn sleep!" Dex said with a grin.
Andy smiled as he left. Despite his anger toward the rebels - she knew his loyalties were to the ship itself rather than to the Council. Someone had to keep them flying.
She returned to the bulk head she'd been tampering with and dropped to the floor. The bay was eerily quiet with the near constant stream of curses from Dex or chattering of other engineers. The silence sent a shiver along her spine and she was forced to turn on a bit of music for background noise. she flipped through the sheets of her notebook as she formulated a new attack plan.
Static permeated her music choices and Andy frowned. She started trying to clear it up and the static slowly turned to more garbled noise. It sounded familiar and yet, not quite something she could ever remember hearing before. "Calculating." the electronic voice of the computer chimed. Bright red letters filled the screen in front of her "Translation in progress...."
"Translation? For what?" Andy asked aloud.
The static and noise was broken up by voices. "....the subject was...an anticipated initi..."
"What the hell?!" Andy asked. "Computer what is this?"
"From where?" Andy said, her fingers flying across the computer keys to bring up a map of the space immediately around them.
"...attack in seven..." Static filled the room as the transmission seemed to end for good.
"Unable to determine exact location of origin." the computer replied.
Andy flipped to a new sheet in her note pad and scribbled furiously on her notepad and tore off the sheet of paper. She ran out of the engineering bay, dropping the rest of the notepad behind her.
She was halfway to the bridge when she felt the familiar rumble of an explosion somewhere on board. She stumbled into the wall and held on for several seconds, waiting for it to end. She felt a hand on her arm and yelped and jumped. "Oh damn Julian! You scared me!"
"I am sorry." he said simply. "You're out of breath Andy." he noted.
Andy nodded. "Um, yeah have you seen the Captain? I need to find him right away."
"He's not on the bridge - which appears to be your destination. I just came from there." Julian said. "I think he said something about getting a meal."
"Oh thanks, I just overheard the weirdest thing..." she wasn't paying much attention to Julian now as she attempted to decipher the fragments of conversation she'd heard. One thing she'd heard for sure was "attack" and if they were close enough for Andy to accidentally ease drop, that couldn't be good for Unity.
"Andy?" Julian said loudly. He was walking along side her and seemed to have been trying to get her attention for several moments. "I asked what you overheard." he said once she looked at him.
"Oh! They're going to attack!" she said it quietly - as if terrified to be overheard. "The aliens I think!"
Julian's brow furrowed. "What makes you think so? They've made no inclination of making a move in weeks." Andy quickly recounted what she'd overheard to him and Julian couldn't helped to agree with her suspicions. "But seven what I wonder..."
Andy shrugged. "I don't know, the transmission cut out then and I couldn't find anything else."
Julian nodded. They were now on the deserted main deck and headed for the mess hall. Almost every shop on the Deck was closed, the windows turned dark or covered with thick sheets of metal to detour looters. A few had closed shortly after the revolution truly began and the rest had closed the longer their problems with the aliens persisted. There weren't enough resources, bodies or need to keep the shops open and the shop owners were scared of being targeted by the rebels.
"Damn!" Andy said, looking through the darkness of the mess hall. Captain Hunt was nowhere in sight - in fact, there was no one in sight.
"Perhaps he took dinner in his quarters." Julian suggested.
"Right! Of course!" Andy said, turning toward the lifts. "Thanks Julian!"
"Don't worry Andy, we'll find him." Julian said with a small smile.
"Yeah. I'm glad you're here though - this place is kind of creepy with no one around..." Andy said with a weak chuckle.