Chapter 7 - The Skin Of Her Teeth

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Eve waited for as long as she dared then slipped out the unlocked brig door. Keeping her eye out for armsmen she sprinted down the ship's cramped corridors.

Eve wasn't sure where she was running to. She had nowhere to go. She couldn't go back to her quarters; that was the first place they'd look for her. Without being fully conscious of the decision Eve found herself running towards the Cherubim Bay.

Eve dodged past people walking in the opposite direction. This was difficult given the confined space, and she nearly plowed straight into several of them.

"Eve!" someone cheerily shouted.

It was Lydia, an old friend of Eve's from school. She was with her fiance or maybe husband Zacharias.

"I heard you were arrested!" she continued.

Eve had to think quick. She decided it would be too suspicious to keep running so she stopped.

"You shouldn't believe gossip," replied Eve.

She laughed nervously, and scanned the corridor with her eyes. She was still catching her breath.

"Well you're going to be soon if you keep running in the corridor," said Zach.

"Where are you off to in such a hurry?" asked Lydia.

"Astrogation," said Eve, a little too quickly.

It was the first department she could think of that was in the direction she was running.

"Whatever for?" asked Lydia, with a giggle.

Eve's pupils dilated. She swallowed as best she could with her dry throat.

"I'm taking up astrogation, of course," she offered.

"Instead of being a Cherubim pilot?" demanded Zach, incredulous.

"I thought it was... time for a change," said Eve.

It sounded more like a guess.

"What's really going on, Eve?" Lydia asked.

"Gotta run, talk later," replied Eve, and she bolted.

She didn't risk looking behind her to see the reaction of her friends. Eve didn't dare stop again until she reached the Cherubim Bay.

* * *

Eve came bursting into the Cherubim Bay with such force that all eyes turned on her.

Leah, a low ranking technician, broke the long silence.

"Eve?" she asked.

Eve hadn't thought things through any further than this point. She was at a loss as to what to do next. She fought hard to catch her breath.

"What are you doing here, Eve?" asked senior technician Thaddeus.

"Just visiting...?" guessed Eve.

"We're very busy, Eve," said Thaddeus "It's not appropriate to visit while we are working."

Eve continued to pant. She said nothing, but couldn't help but begin stealing glances at the Seraphim. A plan was beginning to form.

Thaddeus crossed his arms.

"Gad, page the Lord-Captain," he said "I don't believe our 'visitor' is being entirely forthcoming with her intentions. Jesse," he indicated one of the armsmen "If you would?"

Jesse walked towards Eve with purpose. It was now or never.

"I suppose you've become aware of the fate of the new Seraphim," said Thaddeus "This is not your decision, Eve. It is the will of the Emperor."

The whole time Eve's muscles had been tensing, her body flooding with adrenaline. Like a coiled snake she shot past the armsman and made a beeline for the Seraphim.

"Stop her!" screamed Thaddeus.

Two technicians made uncoordinated attempts to grab her, but Eve was running for her life. She dodged them both.

The door to the Seraphim's cockpit opened wide in anticipation of her arrival. As soon as she was close enough Eve made a running leap inside. It immediately sealed itself behind her.

Jesse and his fellow armsman drew their pistols and fired at the Seraphim. The bullets bounced off the machine's armor and ricocheted into some of the nearby equipment. A plasma torch was hit and began to leak fuel.

"Don't you idiots!" Thaddeus yelled "Do you think you can hurt a damned Seraphim with those things?"

The armsmen looked skeptically at Thaddeus, and the Seraphim began to move.

Thaddeus ran to the primary console and roughly pushed Gad out of the way. He began the process for Cherubim launch.

"What are you doing?" demanded Jesse, pointing his weapon at Thaddeus now.

"She's in the Seraphim now," said Thaddeus, not looking up from the console "If she wants to she can blast her way out of here, depressurizing this entire section of the ship and killing us all. The ship will probably also lose enough oxygen to become uninhabitable. So unless you want to die today put your damn weapon away and stop distracting me."

The two armsmen looked at each other, then to the Seraphim, then back at Thaddeus.

"Rot in Hell, Eve," said Thaddeus, and he flipped the switch to begin the launch sequence.

The Seraphim created a shower of sparks as it slid along a rail designed for a much smaller machine. The heat from the friction melted and warped the rail into an unusable mess behind her. After picking up speed Eve's Seraphim shot out the airlock and into open space.

* * *

Once again Eve found herself at the trailing edge of her plans. Now she truly had nowhere to go. She flew her Seraphim towards the debris field, hoping to find a hiding place. Hoping to find anything.

Eve knew the oxygen supply in a Seraphim was impressive. She wondered if it would last long enough for her to starve to death.

Before she reached the edge of the debris field a flashing indicator on her panorama caught her attention. She turned to look.

Rising slowly out of the ancient detritus was the Jules Verne. 

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