“The Calpernia’s weapons array just came online,” Ma-rye-a advised me in my ear bud.
“Get out of here!” I shouted.
Jake looked at me as though I lost my mind. I motioned to my ear. He knew I kept in contact with my ship. “Calpernia’s weapons just came up,” I informed him.
Jake stepped to the console and started trying to shut the system back down.
“Come on girl, talk to me,” he coaxed the Calpernia. “Daniel!” he shouted.
“Working…” Daniel answered and continued to push images of data round on the flat in his lap.
“Arr!” Jake hissed.
Arr didn’t even bother to answer. He was humming so loud I thought I could feel the bulk heads vibrate.
“I do not wish to countermand your orders, Captain, but you might need us close at hand for a hasty EVAC,” Ma-rye-a pointed out in her logical, calm voice.
“You can’t EVAC if you are blown up,” I countered. “Get out of here and hide until I call you back. That’s an order!”
I saw her start to pull away through the viewport on the bridge. At the same time we all heard the Calpernia let loose with her Phase IV Plasma Blasters.
Ma-rye-a did a quick roll to the left and the shot just missed her hull.
“Punch it!” I shouted.
Ma-rye-a shifted into hyper-drive and disappeared.
“Daniel!” Jake growled again. “We just almost lost our ride home,” he warned.
I knew that wasn’t all of Jake’s worry. The Calpernia was like family to him. It had been his father’s ship and his home for most of his life.
“Almost there,” Daniel assured us all.
The Calpernia’s thrusters hit full power and the ship took a hard left, pointing her nose toward the last position Ma-rye-a just held. Everything on the bridge went flying including me, the platter of sandwiches and all our mugs. Jake grabbed for the console in front of him. Arr flew out of his chair and onto the floor. Luckily Daniel remained seated. Being a newbie to space he had felt more secure being strapped in.
We could feel the Calpernia cranking up to make the jump into hyper-drive in order to pursue Ma-rye-a.
“No,” I cried. We couldn’t let the Calpernia catch Ma-rye-a.
Jake drew his blaster. He aimed at the console. This was not a good idea. Using a blaster aboard a ship was very risky - especially when the Calpernia was making erratic maneuvers. The shot could go wild and punch through something vital. Like one of the passengers.
Jake put the nose of his blaster on Calpernia’s main computer screen. With his other hand he palmed a kiss to her console.
“No!” Arr cried. The Calpernia’s memory banks would be fried. She would never be the same again. Even a Refitting Station would not be able to retrieve her decades of data.
I scrabbled to me feet.
At that moment…The ship went dead in space. It was like the engines failed, total shut down - from absolute chaos to total silence.
We all turned toward Daniel. He was wiping sweat for his brow with the sleeve of his shirt to keep it from falling in his eyes, but he had a huge smile on his face.
“Zack’s program works,” he announced. “It works!”
The ship began to vibrate and at first we all looked panic stricken, thinking the Calpernia was powering up again.
“It’s the Hummer,” Arr said. And we all took a deep calming breath.
The ship literally vibrated from the deep tone of the Hummer’s voice.
“Damn,” Arr said under his breath.
“What?” Jake asked, as he holstered his blaster.
“It was a test. A damn test,” Arr hissed. “They didn’t believe me when I told them we could stop the virus from spreading further. They decided to give it to the Calpernia and see if she could really get rid of it.”
We all looked at each other in disbelief.
“They’re ready to help us now,” Arr said, as he hummed back.
“Hell of a way to show their cooperation,” Jake growled and flopped into the pilot’s chair.