“One quarter power,” I instructed. “Let’s back away slowly.”
Ma-rye-a came to life and slowly and carefully we edged away from the Maelstrom.
“We have made the first sighting of the entity in the Maelstrom,” Ma-rye-a stated. “I wish I had been able to record it.”
“I think we should contact the Valarian officials at the academy. When we get up to full power see if you can get us a connection.” I continued to sit immobilized in my chair. I was a bit shaky still. It had been a very close call.
“Tea,” Horus announced, as a hot mug appeared in the prep unit at my elbow.
I moved the tea out of the unit. “I think I will be needing something a little stronger than this, Horus.”
“Hot or cold?”
“Hot. I think my blood has frozen,” I admitted.
“Hot coco with a shot of Marson’s Nectar.” Another mug appeared.
I took a sip. It burned nicely all the way down. “Better, much better, thank you.”
“My pleasure,” Horus replied. “Ma-rye-a shut us all down. We are now back up to speed and we have downloaded what information there is in her processors. What did it look like?” Horus asked.
I took for granted Horus’ curiosity, but it was really unique. Daniel was truly a programming genius. “It was frightening and fascinating at the same time. It was spiracle with globes that seemed to be a part of it, like attached probes. It radiated like pent up energy. It glowed. The scary thing was the derelict ships that it appeared to be towing.”
“I could not scan with the power at minimum, but I believe the entity may have been magnetic and that the ships were not towed so much as unwontedly attached,” Ma-rye-a added.
“Spooky,” Cassie chimed in. “To think the crews were probably still inside.”
I took another gulp of my drink, to hell if it was blistering hot, it made me feel alive. “Let’s not talk about it anymore right now. I will be looking over my shoulder for months.”
“It is not following us,” Ma-rye-a stated in her crisp official ship voice.
“Good, but all the same, I want to put a lot of space between it and us before we go to full power,” I ordered. “Call me when we are far enough away we can contact the Valarians. I’m going to take a shower. I feel like I have been violated after having that think ooze over the viewport for over an hour.”
“You feel like you have been violated?” Ma-rye-a said. “Sam? Can you get the scrubbers to the outside hull right away?”
“Will do,” Sam affirmed as I headed toward the shower.