FILE ENTRY 35.0

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Bella strode from the kitchen to the dining room, and without hesitation, slammed the head of the wrench into the case protecting the katana swords, shattering the glass into tiny fragments. An alarm didn't sound. A cage didn't drop from the ceiling to trap them and keep them from getting away with the ancient weapons. Because of that, she knew the Celestial Sea's staff had every intention of moving the display case back to a secure location, likely a storage room with a certain level of security measures. When the infection spread and the Sea Breeze Deck descended into total mayhem, the staffers had ran for their lives. She was sure some of them had turned into flesh eating zombies too. That fact alone cemented Bella's decision to use the swords. The ship had become a war zone and a war required weapons. Effective weapons, not wrenches, broom sticks, and screwdrivers. It was time to step up the anti on this pleasure cruise and take back control of the ship.

With a demented gleam oozing from her eyes, Bella folded her fingers around the black hilt of a sword and eased it out of the rack holding it in place. The weight of the blade wasn't overbearing but it was noticeable as she raised it to a vertical position in front of her. She dropped the wrench in the display case and gripped the hilt with both hands, left hand on the bottom, the top of her left thumb touching the bottom of her right palm. She squeezed the hilt and felt the firmness in her grasp. It felt good, similar to the bamboo sword she used back at Neptune Shores, but this sword was the real deal. She remembered an old movie series that she'd seen on the data stream when she was a child. It became popular in the late twentieth century and really took off in the early twenty-first century. Star Wars. Holding the katana made her feel like a character in the movies...a Jedi. A warrior. Her weapon of choice wasn't a light saber, but it'd do just fine.

She snatched the wrench from the bottom of the dispatch case and handed it to Halo. "Here, I don't need it anymore."

"Bella, you've never wielded a real katana before. If you're not careful you could seriously hurt or kill someone."

"That's the idea."

"Is that what you really want to do?"

"Only the infected, and only if necessary, but we can't risk getting bitten like Astra."

Halo nodded in resignation. "Just be careful. The blade is extremely sharp."

"What are you going to do with that?" Draco said from behind her.

Bella spun on her heel and gently lowered the blade to the floor, planting the tip in the tile, using the hilt like she held a walking cane. She wanted to smile smartly and let Draco know she was more than a graduate only one year removed from high school. But she couldn't summon enough of her usual adventurous spirit to even fake a smile. Instead, she sighed, deflated, in no mood to engage Draco at the moment. All she could think of was Astra...and Caprica...and how there was probably nothing she could do to save them.

Bella turned away and offered the other sword to Halo, the one with the red hilt. "Give the wrench to Ms. Draco. But keep an eye on her, she probably doesn't know how to use it."

Halo nodded, lips pressed into a thin line. "Sure thing."

There was a crash of glass that came from the automatic door they'd wedged shut with Halo's broom stick. Cries and growls intensified, but the hallway leading to the cafe's dining room remained free of the infected's.

"We should move on," Bella said. "I'm not sure how long that door will hold."

"I don't like the idea of a school girl running around with a sword?" Cygnus Lo said. "What if these people are only sick? Is it right to just kill them?"

"Says the man with the blood stained dagger," Bella replied.

"We had to defend ourselves out there, but going around killing them for sport is another thing altogether."

"He's right," Draco added.

Bella gnawed on the inside of her cheek and gave Draco's personal assistant a dead serious glare. "I'm well aware of that. And I have no intention of doing any of this for fun. This is life or death. Can't you hear their bloodthirsty cries? They only want one thing...to eat you and me and everyone of us standing here. My only goal is to keep Adrianna safe, reach the bridge and try to get a message out to Earth. Obviously, something terribly wrong has taken place at the helm of ship. We're not moving. We're adrift and the next space rock could crack us wide open."

Right on cue, a loud boom echoed above them, an asteroid crashing into the canopy over their heads. The roof over the cafe was solid, not clear like over the pool area, but the thought of space rocks compromising the integrity of the hull was nerve racking.

"She's right," Halo said. "I'd say the captain and his first mate are probably chowing down on the rest of his crew right now."

Lo stared at Bella and Halo and their formidable weapons. His eyes narrowed into slits and his jaw tightened with concern. Bella supposed he didn't like being the one with the smaller weapon. Draco seemed uncomfortable with the wrench as well. Having the swords meant they had the upper hand on them and Bella was certain they didn't like that at all.

Bella pulled Adrianna in close, looping her free arm around the girl's shoulder. She wished she could tell the girl that her parents were okay, but Bella had seen what the girl's father had become. And Adrianna had witnessed what her mom had become too, seen the transformation with her own eyes. Both of them had been infected. Both of them had turned. Changed into monsters.

But no matter what they encountered, they had to keep going. Sounding the alarm to Earth was all they could do. It was their duty. Their responsibility.

Another crash of glass and the sound of wood snapping in half. Bella knew what that meant.

The cries of the infected turned into howls and hisses of cannibalistic predators closing in on their prey. As the first one rounded the corner of the hall into the dining room, even with their newly found weapons, all they could think to do was run...run for their lives.

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