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   Chapter 46 No.46

Free-Wrench By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5270

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02

"The captain doesn't plan. He just dives in."

She smirked. "I thought there was something about him that seemed familiar. I do the same thing."

"So I've noticed."

The thump of footsteps came from above, then Coop and Lil joined them in the hall. Lil was rubbing at her eyes.

"Hoo-wee. I forgot how much that smarts. This is only the second time I been in the fug, you know, " she said. "Last time was back when Cap'n Mack rescued us."

She was still rubbing her eyes when she came upon Nita in the narrow hallway, bumping into her.

"Sorry, I—" She looked up. Her face hardened a bit. "Oh, it's you."

Aside from the initial gathering of the group to announce the plan, Lil and Nita had been kept apart by their duties, but even so it had been clear that she felt a good deal more betrayed than the rest. Gunner glanced up to see the tension between the two of them. He then turned to see Coop picking at his ear and generally being oblivious to the pregnant silence.

"Coop, " Gunner said. "Maybe you and I should go down to the gig room."

"What for?" he asked, digging a little deeper and rolling his eyes in something between ecstasy and irritation.

"Just come with me, you oaf, " Gunner said, snagging his arm.

The two men vanished down the hall. Lil crossed her arms.

"You gonna apologize?" she asked.

"Will it do any good?" Nita replied.

"Worth a shot."

"I wasn't thinking about you or anyone else. I just wanted to do what I could to save my mother, and I ended up doing something foolish, disrespectful, and wrong."

"And you did

g close. If you aren't in the gig room, get there. I'm going to drop you off due south of the warehouse district. When you've got as much as you're going to get, send up one of the flares. I'll bring the Wind Breaker in and we'll hightail it, but be ready to load in a hurry. Glinda and the traitor will stay with me to man the ship."

"How do we know we're almost there, Cap'n?" came Coop's voice. "I can't hardly see anything."

"You'll see it in a minute, if you keep your eyes starboard. Our inspector spotted a patrol. I don't reckon they'd waste their time on any old corner of the city. Time to get their attention. Brace yourselves. This'll be rough."

The captain removed the linking bars for the various control levers and began to push them apart. The turbines groaned against their mountings and twisted the ship into an odd, diagonal drift. One of the turbines started to bind, producing a terrible whining noise. He eased the misaligned throttle just a bit to cut the sound off, but it had done its job. The patrol was on its way.

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