Vicia crossed her arms in thought. She stood on the top deck with Raala, her arms crossed in thought. In the distance, Consensus finished the repairs on the wing. The large gaping hole was now a patchwork of metal plates welded together. The geth synthetic was now applying the finishing touches, sanding the metal plates and making the wing more aerodynamic.
The turian turned her attention back to Vicia, “Are you sure this will work?”
Raala motioned to the sand covered bow, “It’s not like we have much of a choice. Unless you want us to dig out the ship with our own hands. That would take days if not weeks.”
Vicia nodded, “I guess it will have too. We don’t want to be out here longer than we need to. Who knows what else is around.”
“The sooner we get off this planet, the better,” Raala agreed.
“As soon as Consensus finishes the wing, we’ll get on the move. Any other repairs will have done while we’re on the move,” Vicia called over her shoulder as she walked away.
Raala looked around, “That will defiantly be interesting.”
Miru’s voice came through their suit comms, “I have some news that you will want to hear. Please meet me in the Research Lab.”
Vicia stopped and looked back at Raala. Together the two women descended to the second floor. On the right side of the hall was a room with two entrances. When the entered the doors slid open. A heavy humid mist hung in the air. Along the outer edge of the room was a trough filled with dark rich soil. Clear plastic dividers were pushed to one side on the curtain rod. Underneath the troughs were small metal cages. Each had a single large egg inside in a makeshift nest of dried plants. A red heat lamp shown down on each egg. Between the two doors was a large desk. Scientific equipment was scattered on the table. Miru stood in front of a monitor with a holographic keyboard. When the others entered, Miru turned to greet them.
With hands clasped behind her back, she spoke, “Good day. Are you both feeling well?”
Vicia nodded, “If we need medical attention, we’ll come to you.”
“Why is it so hot in here?” Raala asked.
Miru smiled slightly, “Ironically, that question is related to my asking of your health. It is fact that we are running low on dextro-amino protein paste. Low levels in appropriate food will result in low energy. That is why I have begun gene splicing to create plants capable of sustaining us for long periods of time.”
“You’re creating new plant life?” Raala asked, “Plants that both we and the others can eat?”
“How about protein?” Vicia looked around the room, “Fruits and vegetables are good but we need other methods of nutrition
Miru nodded, “I am in the process of creating such a plant. The seeds should be ready shortly. As for other means of nutrition, I am in the process of that as well. While I was roaming the ship, I found a sealed case still running on its own individual power. Inside were these eggs. After slight genetic alterations, they will be able to be eaten by both parties without any negative side effects.”
“How many are there?” Raala asked.
“There are nine cages and nine eggs,” Miru responded, “Given their state, it is safe to presume that this is some kind of bird. It seems easy to maintain and doesn’t need much space. Sing it is a kind of fowl, it should lay more eggs and if needed, hatch them.”
Vicia smiled, “Good work, Miru. If only a certain asari and krogan would take such initiative.”
Miru bowed slightly, “It is my duty to assist in every way I can.”
The door opened and Consensus walked in. It paused slightly, “The repairs have been completed.”
Vicia turned to Raala, “Let’s do this. Time to put what we practiced to work.” She turned to Miru, “Let the others know we’re taking to the air.”
Raala nodded. She motioned to Consensus to follow her to the Engine room. Visia headed toward the first floor. She road in the elevator as Miru announced over the intercom for the others to meet in the BNC.
Vicia stepped into the Battle Navigation Center. Widow was already sitting at her station. Silently waiting to play her role. Vurtak sat at weapons while Naryxea kept an eye on the scans.
“Where’s the robot?” the asari lounged lazily in her chair.
“She’s busy,” Vicia stated as she stepped onto the platform. “You’ll be taking over shields.”
Naryxea rolled her eyes and pulled up the shields, “So what simulation are we doing this time? Crashing into the side of a canyon?”
Vicia ignored as Vurtak chuckled. The screens came to life around her. The forward screen was dark while the port and starboard were only half visible. She looked over her shoulder, “Not quite. We’re flying this thing for real, as soon as we get out of this sand dune.”
The asari and krogan stared at each other in disbelief.
“Activate the sails,” Vicia commanded. “Put the thrusters in reverse.”
Widow paused. She looked down slowly at the screen in front of her, sliding her fingers, reversing the thrusters. This increased the power demand, kicking the drive core into gear. The core pulsed to life. Raala looked at the screen in front of her, balancing the system. Consensus, assisted in monitoring the systems temperature.
With a firm grip on the tiller, Vicia gave the command, “Fire the front cannons.”
“She’s insane,” Vurtak grunted.
“Just do it,” Naryxea muttered. “If she blows up the ship, we’ll just lock her inside while the whole place burns.”
Widow drew heavy pistol and aimed it at the asari. The silent threat was clear. No one was going to hurt the self-designated leader without some resistance. Naryxea stood up, her fists glowing a misty blue.
“Better hold on to something,” Vurtak stated. With a press of a button, the cannons fired.
The close impact shook the ship and blew sand high into the air. Naryxea stumbled back into her chair. Raala and Consensus paused in their work. The metal around them creaked. Vicia signaled Widow to increase the thrusters. There was an audible hum as the engines roared.
“We’re still stuck,” Vicia reported. “Fire cannons again.”
Vurtak did as he was told. Again, the ship shook and creaked. With great effort, the ship jolted backward. The ship dipped and tipped to and fro. Widow’s fingers darted across the screen as she struggled to steady the ship.
Dust and sand settled, clearing Vicia’s view through the screens. As the ship steadied, so did the cameras. Vicia smiled as she looked out upon the sand. Next to the data screen on the far wall, a hologram appeared. It hovered quietly. It looked like an orange round ball, similar to a holographic combat drone.
“The ship has been freed from the sand,” KIDD reported. A sound vector vibrated each time it spoke. It brought up an image of a tower appeared on the screen, “Would you like to go to the energy signature located 650 kilometers north as we had discussed?”
Naryxea raised an impressed eyebrow, “Well isn’t that impressive. Fido learned a new trick.”
“It’s our best chance of getting off this planet,” Vicia confirmed, ignoring the asari’s comment.
The holographic ball nodded, “Confirmed.” A map appeared showing their projected route. “As repairs were being made, I have explored the ships many functions and acquainted myself with their specific duties. I am now capable controlling and monitoring most of the ship. This includes an auto pilot system. Would you like me to engage?”
Vicia paused a moment before nodding her approval, “Get us there in one piece. Make sure to keep the ships scanning technology operating. Alert me as soon as you find anything suspicious.”
“Confirmed. Auto pilot engaged.” The ships thrusters activated sending the ship forward. As Vicia released the tiller, KIDD updated the ships progress, “We will reach our destination in approximately three-and-a-half hours. Our targeted cruising speed is 100 knots. Drive core is within safety parameters. Will there be anything else?”
“Activate intercom,” Vicia instructed.
“Confirmed,” KIDD stated. It vanished.
“We’ve got three hours to prepare,” Vicia spoke loudly. Her voice rang throughout the ship, “I want everyone battle ready. Who knows what we’ll find when we get to this tower. We know that this planet has the potential of hostility. We’ve seen the wars. What we don’t know is what else is on this planet. And I want us to be ready.”
“Bout time,” Vurtak smirked.
“Well, since we got it moving,” Naryxea started, “Shouldn’t this hunk of bolts get a name? I mean it would kind of suck to have to yell out ‘get back to the ship’ or ‘oh no, the ship is going to crash’ without having some kind of nickname.”
Vicia shrugged, “Anyone have any ideas?”
Raala took a break from her typing down in the engine room. She spoke up, “What about the Traveler? If we manage to accomplish what we intend to do, this ship will be traveling very far from where we found it in the dunes.”
Vicia glanced around, “Any objections? The Traveler it is then. Now, let’s go!” Vicia clapped her hands together dispersing the group.
…Across the Sand…
The ship grew smaller as it sailed off toward the north, blue holographic sails fluttering in the wind. It was already too far to see the glint of a spyglass as it watched after them. The figure, clothed in white robes, turned quickly before sliding down the sand.
A small ship, round and boat like in nature sat idle with a second figure inside. The second figure stood as look out, armed with a long range weapon capable of heavy damage. Looking over its shoulder, it saw its companion running toward the small dingy. Acting quickly, it raised its weapon, aiming for the top of the dune expecting something approaching but nothing appeared.
The first figure jumped into the boat, “Come on! We need to back to the others!” There was a feminine tone to the figures voice.
“What is it Nych?” the second figure questioned. His voice was deeper, “Did they spot you? Are we compromised?”
“They flew the pile of bolts, Xarot! I thought Narak said that the whole thing was unsalvageable. All it needed was lousy patch job,” Nych situated herself into driver’s seat. Xarot wasn’t so convinced.
“Are you sure?” he asked. “Maybe we should follow them in order to make sure. Maybe disable it ourselves.”
Nych laughed, “Two against seven? Your good Xarot but not that good. Not to mention they have that strange four legged creature with them. We don’t know them. They came from the sky. We know nothing about who they are or what they want. If we want to have the advantage, we need to play it smart.” She looked over her shoulder, “Are you in?”
Reluctantly, Xarot jumped down from his perch and situated himself in the back seat. The back propeller spun wildly, pushing them forward. Nych turned the boat around, speeding off toward the south east.
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