Burning in the Void – Chapter 31

behavioral counseling _Dominic

I ought to seal all my airlocks and let you stay out here until your systems shut down, the Captain whispered into Dominic’s brain as he stepped back from the ruined sensor cluster.

Dominic could never be sure if the Captain was listening to his thoughts, so he composed a message and sent it to the same port he had used before.

>> I was desperate. It’s been a long time since I heard from you.

After a moment the Captain replied, True, but your actions are still inexcusable. You have behaved like a spoiled child hitting its parents to get attention. 

Dominic was not in the mood to take behavioral counseling from someone who had allowed thousands of people to die and the political situation aboard the Drake to deteriorate and fracture while he sat in a sulk for nearly thirty years.

>> Sera. You must know who she is.

Yes. She is safe, the Captain replied.

>> She was taken by the Stewards. They killed Kamon and…

Before he could finish composing the message the Captain cut him off. I know. You have my sympathy, but now is not the time for mourning or blind retribution. 

>> But what about S…

The Sybarites have her now and I will see to it that she is rewarded for delivering the message. 

>> But the antimatter….

Trust me, Dominic. Do you think I had forgotten it? Do you honestly think I didn’t know about it all along?

That made him pause for a moment. He had thought that he knew the Captain as well as anyone else aboard the Drake could claim to, but event Dominic, Miles, and the others sworn to his service did not know if the ancient intellect truly saw and remembered everything that happened aboard the ship.

After a minute spent gazing along the expanse of the ship’s hull, Dominic nodded to himself and said, “What do you need?” He might not like the Captain’s plan, but at least it would give him some means of acting against those who had wounded him, killed Kamon, and even now threatened the whole ship.

The Captain replied, Go back and gather the others. The time has come for us to act and you must move with speed and stealth.

Dominic nodded to himself, then turned away from the remains of the sensor array and trekked across the skin of the Drake until he had reached the edge of the trench in which shaft four spun. As he walked, he worked on composing a message to the other members of his little group. Each of them had somehow come in contact with the Captain during a moment of intense personal tragedy and, with the Captain’s guidance, had pulled through and managed to put their lives back together. Part of the motivation for their recovery, Dominic knew, was the promise that each of them would be of service to the Captain and the rest of the people aboard the ship. Now that moment had come.