Riley had made it back.
They were all gathered on the bridge again, only now without Martin. Eve stood by the windows at the front, staring out of them, trying to get that image out of her mind. It was becoming difficult to focus. She could still see the blood flying on the air, the way the creature had shredded through his suit of power armor...
With an effort, she contained herself, reigned in her emotions. She turned to face the others, who were strewn out across the bridge. Captain Case was sitting in a corner, still smoking, four cigarette stubs on the floor beside him. He hadn't cracked or broken down, she surmised, there just wasn't anywhere else to sit and he didn't want to get in anyone's way. Riley and Ferros were standing before a screen to one side, studying a readout. Santos sat in her chair, having basically run out of things to do now.
"What are we looking at?" she asked.
Riley sighed. "It's not exactly simple. The engines will be easier to repair, and the parts we need are up here, on this deck. The communications is harder to repair...and the parts we need are downstairs," she explained.
All of them looked at Eve, who sighed heavily, considering the situation. Either way, they were open to danger. Either they fixed the engines and risked themselves in the engine bay, or they fixed the comms and risked themselves in the storage area. She stood there for a moment longer, running it through her head.
Ultimately, she came to two conclusions.
The only wrong decision was no decision and, it was a shitty idea to put all your eggs in one basket.
They were both old and cliched sayings, but they weren't wrong.
"All right," she said, "Riley, Ferros, and Sullivan will suit up with me after we grab the parts for the engine. Riley will wait by the comms array while we head into the engine bay. From there, we'll grab the parts for the comms array and Ferros will head back outside. The two of you will work on the array. I will work on the engine while Sullivan watches my back."
"Do you think you can fix it?" Riley asked.
"You said it was simple and I have a lot of experience with tech. Just tell me what needs to be done," Eve replied.
"All right," Riley said.
They spent a moment going over the information. Riley outlined three things that needed to be replaced. It would be basically a patch job. The engines wouldn't be fully functional, but it would be good enough for now. Eve recognized all three of the parts and knew she could do it in about five minutes' time. Five minutes was a long, long time when you were under constant threat of death that could come without warning at any second.
She'd have to trust Sullivan to watch her back.
"I guess we'll just keep staying here and hold down the bridge," Case muttered.
"Yeah. And make sure you keep us appraised of any changes. By now, the cargo deck should be a deep freeze," Eve replied.
"It is," Santos confirmed.
"All right, come on. Sooner we get going, the better."
All of them had stayed in their suits. They hadn't even taken the helmets off. All they'd done was opened up their vents to both stop using their suit's oxygen and to take new oxygen in passively. Eve made her way back out of the bridge. She didn't like leaving the door unguarded, but there just weren't enough of them left to cover all the bases anymore.
"Sullivan..." Eve began, preparing to call him forward.
"I hear something," he said, interrupting her.
YOU ARE READING
Lethal Cargo (A Shadow Wars Companion)Horror
A companion short story set during Into the Void. While dealing with the fact that her boyfriend is leaving, both her and their job, Eve is given what should be a simple assignment: escort some precious cargo across space. But it's always supposed t...