CHAPTER 50

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Everyone gathered around the eBoard screen, eyes shifting to Sarah as she spoke, and then back again to the display of the station map on the tablet. Her eyes caught Phoenix's attention as she glanced his way, reminding him of a pair of marbles he played with as a child, clear and sapphire blue, bursting with flecks of silver.

She removed the eBoard from the pole mount and touched the screen, enlarged a section of the layout and said, "The main laboratory is on the third floor, middle corridor, past one of the spoke tunnels, in Sector C."

"What are we waiting for then?" Phoenix said.

"As I said before, we need to split up?"

"That doesn't sound smart," Callisto replied. "You said, yourself, that Sergov could be thawed out by now."

"We believe his molecular structure is resistant to the cold. He's immortal and he's a monster," Sarah said, a slight quake in her voice. "Not a wonderful combination, but nothing we can't handle."

"So," with a bit of a frown and a wrinkled brow, Phoenix surveyed the group, "as Dr. Lawson suggested, three of us go for the cases in the main lab, and the other three pay a visit to the pod bays on Sector A. Then we meet up in D, and scoot."

Ariel mumbled something beside Phoenix. "What was that?" he asked.

She scratched the side of her neck, eyes wide. "Just said, 'It sounds simple enough.'"

When Phoenix looked up from Ariel, Nova was staring at him. He held her gaze for a moment, wondering if there was any part of them as a couple that still existed inside her...anywhere? A thought occurred to him. Could Nova be jealous of Ariel? That look was strange enough, but the fact remained, he'd spent most of his time aboard the station paired up with the doctor. If Nova felt anything, even a remnant, a sliver of their past, then she might remember more.

Phoenix eyed the screen. "We'll find out what we can concerning the whereabouts of your husband. You still consider him your—"

"Yes, he's still my husband."

"Just checking. Okay. Nova and Dr. Lawson can go with me then."

"You're not thinking like a sailor or an officer," Nova said, shaking her head.

Phoenix raised his chin. He suspected she might resist. "I'm an astronaut, you heard the Admiral."

Nova said to Sarah, "We should split up by rank. I'll take Callisto and Luna. We can secure the cases."

"Absolutely not." A lump of fire burned in Phoenix's chest. He couldn't lose her again. He had a mind to walk right up to her, take her in his arms and kiss her. Would she remember anything then?

"She's right," Sarah admitted. "Commander, you can lead our group. Dr. Fairhaven can go with us."

Luna raised her hand and cleared her throat. "What about weapons?"

"And what, blast a hole in the station and suck us all into the vacuum of space?"

Standing next to Luna, Callisto said, "What about the Sergov...thing?"

Sarah remained quiet.

Nova picked up on the fact that Phoenix's gaze kept drifting toward her. "I'll be okay," she said. He was still thinking about laying a kiss on her, but knowing Nova, she'd deck him. That wouldn't get him anywhere.

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