Burning in the Void – Chapter 28

attention seeking _Dominic

Dominic fell towards the core of the Drake, directing his flight with microgram bursts from the systems in his suit to slow his rotation, relative to the ship’s central superstructure, so that when his feet slammed into the metal hull of the ship once again he was moving slow enough that the magnetic grips in his feet were able to latch onto the hull. He ran along the surface of the hull, issuing the mental commands that brought up a tracery of bright lines over his vision of the ship.

>> Show me the way into the ship. Help me rescue Sera.

He directed the thought outwards like a prayer towards the ever-silent, but never closed, communication ports scattered throughout the dark spiderweb of the Drake’s communication network.

There was no response.

His message indicator pulsed repeatedly with incoming signals from Miles, but Dominic silenced them and commanded his system to not alert him to any signals except those coming from the Captain.

He continued to run along the skin of the ship, heading towards the twisted and melted rear of the craft. If he didn’t hear from the Captain, Dominic would crawl through that wreckage until he found an opening that would allow him to enter the core unobserved by members of the Stewards or officers of the Council. It would be easier to use one of the maintenance airlocks that studded the hull at regular intervals, but each of them would be monitored and the passages to them guarded. As satisfying as it would be to slash and blast his way through passages filled with Core Security agents, Dominic knew that he needed to be more stealthy if he intended to rescue Sera.

>> I know you’re there and I know you’re listening. If you let them attack the Kingdom you will be burned again.

Still no response.

Dominic slowed his pace and adjusted his path to the right slightly so that he would complete a turn around the circumference of the Drake before he reached the edge of the damaged section. If the Captain would not reply to his messages, then he would simply have to cut his way in through one of the weakened bulkheads in the damaged area. Doing so carried the risk of exposure to intense radiation, and the area was widely considered a Steward stronghold as they continued to work at salvaging the twisted remnants of the ship, but he was built to withstand radiation and few enough of the Stewards were combat augmented that he felt confident that he could fight his way past any resistance.

>> Are you going to let me in, or do I have to cut my way through? If you thought it was bad having your rear slagged, just imagine how it will feel to have an antimatter detonation rip out your side and break your spine.

Dominic spotted a sensor array, the black domes and glittering metal antennas sprouting out from the skin of the Drake like warts on the back of a dragon. He slowed his pace and, after a moment’s hesitation, turned towards the cluster. Throughout his training, both in Council Security and as an agent of the Captain, he had been indoctrinated with a respect for these protuberances. They were the eyes of the Captain. Even among the most literal minded Melders, that alone was enough to dissuade them from damaging, or even approaching, any of the sensor clusters they encountered. The Captain was undisputedly essential to the functioning of the Drake, and any action that disrupted his perception of the ship or its surroundings was potentially dangerous.