"Log entry 521. Hammond Sylvain speaking. Today, Sarah Acker died, leaving behind her seven-year-old daughter. This marks the worse day we ever had on this cursed planet. The sobs of the child can be heard in every corner of the station, and not one soul here is strong enough to endure them. We are heartbroken people, stranded on an unforgiving rock. We're just...Log entry over."
Captain Allan Roy was standing in the doorframe of the twins quarters, eyes set on the two of them tightly cuddling Kala that was sleeping in their bed.
What the hell..?
They seemed fairly fine, besides all the dried blood on their clothes. Yet here he had been worried to death, shooting everywhere and impaling enemies to try to save their asses. But really, he shouldn't have worried. They were indeed in good enough shape to have raided their food stocks, the evidence of their excess scattered on the ground. But why was Kala in their bed? How the hell did she manage to tame those two demons? Allan let out a long-suffering sigh. He could feel Lucas, Min-hee, and Hopper that had slid behind him.
"They're fine," he said to them. "Now, let's go back to work. Let's scavenge what we can on that damn cruiser and get the hell out of here."
This job was a mess. Let's make it count.
It took them two hours to scavenge all they could in the cruiser.
When they arrived in the medical bay, they found a trail of dried blood leading to the MedPod, surely left by Memphis. So much blood. In the gore, Allan could see two different sets of footprints, and one of them had really small feet.
When everything was on board, he gave the order to fly away and set a course for the Beeliak System, but not before shooting the other scavengers' ship still docked on the other side of the cruiser. So long fuckers, he thought. They should not have shot a member of his crew. Now the universe counted fewer scavengers.
Then he finally relaxed, shoulders falling. I need a drink, he thought.
Allan went to the living area, and found Min-Hee alone at the table, a bottle of whiskey already in front of her. When he sat down, she stood up, grabbed a glass in the kitchen and poured him some.
"Thank you," he said.
She looked tired. The kind of exhaustion that haunts the soul and not the body. Her bright orange hair was a mess. Since the fight, her clothes harbored bloodstains here and there. Her slanted eyes seemed vacant. At first glance, she always looked younger than 35 years old, but one peek at those eyes and you knew she could have been 100.
"I'm sorry you had to fight today," said Allan.
She shrugged, "I'm not sorry. Something had to be done. I'm glad I could be useful." She raised her glass.
She had been more than useful. This woman was scary, and he was glad she was on his side. She didn't even use guns. She seemed to have an unlimited amount of throwing knives and other sharp objects hidden under her clothes.
But when she joined his crew the year before, Allan promised she wouldn't be part of fights. As a runaway and retired Ushu spy, he recruited her, officially, to be his cook, unofficially to be his information gatherer, and not for her skills in combat. It had been her request.
She must have sensed his inner regrets because she said, "Fighting to save a crew member isn't war or business, it's survival. You can always count on me for that."
Min-Hee has been the last stray, before Kala, to find her way to the Capricieuse. Somehow, that ship always attracted the best kind of people, and Allan was grateful. It was his turn to raise his glass.
YOU ARE READING
Capricious - Lightning Sprite Book OneScience Fiction
The universe had no secrets for Captain Allan Roy and his crew of space scavengers. They had traveled to most occupied territories and to the confines of the Rim. Or at least, that's what he thought until the day they landed on a remote planet calle...