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   Chapter 5 No.5

The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1 By Christina Engela Characters: 5214

Updated: 2018-06-29 12:01


"He was a Commander, last I heard, sir – which was about a year ago."

"Interesting." Falcone commented. "Get me his file. If I have to take him aboard my ship, I want to know all I can about him."

She swallowed. "Yes sir."

Falcone returned his attention back to Nordyke.

"What's their location?"

"They're about a week outside the Hermes system, Captain."

"Helm, set a course – best possible speed!"

"Um – sir, we're on conversion drive at the moment." The helmsman reported.

"I know, Linson – d'you think I'm senile already?"

"No, sir – I…" The young helmsman stammered.

"I did say 'best possible speed', didn't I?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then you might as well point us in the right direction at least, while we wait for something to happen in engineering! Lt. Nordyke – answer the call; tell this d'Angelo feller we're on our way – or will be soon. And get me some more details about the nature of the emergency."

"Yes sir!"

"And get me Commander Nore on the line!"

"Yes sir!"

"And then, " Falcone continued, smiling wryly, "When you're done with all that, you can get the galley to send me up a cup of coffee."

Joel Falcone – who was currently in his element – was going to miss these times.

* * *

All Mykl d'Angelo had done in the meantime, was to patch the communications function through to the galley. He went down there to fix himself a reasonably decent meal, and he certainly didn't want to miss any calls while he did so. Considering the possibility of this being his last meal – or one of his last, he didn't let the use of a little extra power bother him. What was half an hour one way or the other in the grand scheme of things? Besides, considering the degree of his culinary skills, he might die from food poisoning a little quicker than from asphyxiation and hypoxia, which might not be altogether a bad thing.

A late lunch, early supper over with, and no stomach cramps worth being concerned about, he was just planning on getting some sleep in his quarters – that is, if his cabin hadn't been emptied out into space by the force of the explosion. He hadn't gone to look yet – he was saving the big surprise on the other side of his cabin door for later. If he was going to die, then Mykl d'Angelo was determined that it should happen on a full stomach. For the time being, he was satisfied with enjoying the after-taste of scrambled eggs on toast over a steaming mug of coffee. It was plain – the bastard former cook had left with all that remained of the good stuff, but it would do. All in all, it seemed an impossibly short while – onl

y a matter of a few hours before d'Angelo's distress call was answered. It was something that Mykl had been somewhat unprepared for.

For one thing, he hadn't even started talking to himself, or stumbled across a stowaway and got to name him after a day of the week yet. The wall intercom in the galley just suddenly started beeping to indicate an incoming message! He sprang up from the table, and knocked over a bottle of tomato sauce in his haste to reach it before he missed it! When he pressed the key to open the channel, he heard the voice of a youngish sounding man speaking.

"This is the I.S.S. Antares… repeat, this is the I.S.S. Antares… We have your position and are on an intercept course! Please acknowledge!"

D'Angelo grimaced, realizing with dismay that his rescuer was an imperial ship. Well, he consoled himself, at least it wasn't another loderunner whose crew might try to rob him of what was left of value onboard – or a Corsair ship who would likely do the same. But a Space Fleet ship! The six years he'd spent in the service came back to him with unsettling clarity. They were busy, event-filled, hectic years – especially the parts that persuaded him to leave the service in the first place! It took a little work, but he finally shrugged the flood of memories off with a relieved sigh. Hell, any port in a storm, right? He wasn't about to look any gift rescuers in the uniform, that was certain!

"Antares? This is the commercial loderunner Pegasus. I hear you, acknowledged." He said, a relieved smile breaking the tension in his face muscles. He ran a hand through his unruly sandy brown hair again, this time without any sound effects.

"Please identify yourself, Pegasus." The male voice instructed.

"d'Angelo. Mykl d'Angelo… Owner and skipper." There was a long pause.

"Pegasus, are you able to establish visual communications?"

"Ship to ship? Uh – negative. I'm… er – down in engineering… been putting out fires!" Mykl lied. "If you give me a few minutes, I can get to the bridge and sort it out from there."

"Okay, Pegasus – ten minutes."

When Mykl arrived on the bridge, he took a seat at the coms desk and worked the appropriate controls to open the channel from that side. A young, fairly nondescript officer appeared on the small screen in the console. He could tell from the position of the camera pick-up, the officer wasn't sitting in the center seat, but probably at the comms desk. The background was blurred out of focus, a typical military security precaution.

"How's that?" Mykl asked, giving what he hoped was a friendly smile.

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