Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 20

Story by rhenthar on SoFurry

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Chapter 20.

Casey and Ash are standing next to Epi, they're both furious. The Lieutenant is solemn and apologetic. His other officers are dispersing behind him, headed back to their various posts.

"I'm sorry about that," says Epi. "I figured we'd have a little more time."

Ash shrugs. "We found out what we needed. Mist was looking for a certain human to buy, not sell. That means Marcus is probably with him."

"The question is, what's he doing with him?" Casey says, fidgeting around on his hind paws, as if he has to go pee.

Ash stares at him. "What's gotten into you?"

Casey points down the hall, to where the skylift tunnel leads to The Clarkson."When that ship takes off, where do you want to be? Sitting here, or on The Hahkota, ready to follow it?"

Ash growls. "But I hate leaving him... I hate this!" she yells, flattening her ears. "Why did he stay?" It's little more than a whisper.

"Lieutenant, thanks for your time. We better get The Hahkota into space." Casey starts walking away.

Ash jogs to catch up. "Wait up!"

He follows a stairway down to the next level, but instead of turning left, he goes right, grabbing Ash's arm and quickly pulling her in that direction. But The Hahkota is to the left, what the hell?

"This isn't how you get to The Hahkota," Ash mumbles, following along.

"We're not going to The Hahkota. We're gonna take Keman's ship, they'll be looking for The Hahkota_and I don't trust its cloak. Not as much as I trust **_his. We** couldn't even sense it.

This is crazy, Ash thinks. Keman's ship has that weird AI on it. She hopes Casey's as good with it as he is with The Hahkota's computing core. "I hope you know what you're doing..."

Ash relays their gathered intel to Zero and explains the situation briefly. "We're gonna try to get onto Keman's ship. Keep an eye on The Clarkson and tell us if it launches." Zero starts swearing but she cuts the channel off. "Zero's pissed...," she tells Casey.

"Zero patience," Casey declares.

They reach the skylift leading to The Jefferson. Ash tentatively steps through the door and walks up to the starship's hull. "Um. Hello?" She knocks on the airlock door, afraid it might shock her, or worse.

"Unauthorized access, permission not granted," squawks a speaker patch next to the door in a crisp, metallic voice.

Casey steps up to it. "Well, look, your friend Keman is trapped on another ship and if it takes off, we kinda want to be onboard, so we can help get him back. Ok?"

Ash looks at Casey like he's insane. "Really? That's your idea?"

" Master repairer is threatened and detained on other vessel?"

Ash whispers, "master repairer?"

Casey waves his arms around. "It can hear you!" he whispers back.

"Which vessel is master repairer detained on?"

Casey grabs Ash's muzzle in his paw, holding it closed, he speaks very slowly. "Not gonna tell you, until you let us board."

"State passphrase for additional access."

Casey starts turning in little circles, Ash yells at him in a whisper, "what now?"

He stops chasing his tail. "Raspberry danish?"

The outer airlock door opens and they both walk inside. The inner door, however, remains shut.

Ash whispers, "how did you know that?"

"It's his favorite food," Casey mumbles, staring at the inner door with a frown. It still hasn't opened.

"I'm not stupid," the voice grates. "You obviously are friends with Master repairer , but I will not let you board until you state which vessel he is being detained on."

"The Clarkson," Casey says. Ash punches his shoulder. "Ow!" he glares at her. "What was that for?"

"It could take off right now and eject us into space?" Ash slaps the top of her head.

They hear a series of clicks, and the inner airlock door slowly irises open. They quickly step inside and find the place decked out with dark red foam on all the floors, silver anodized walls, and spectrum-limited lighting around 632 nanometers, far into the red. The interior smells clean and new. Ash and Casey walk around, both highly impressed.

The voice follows them. "I have been prohibited from intruding into local starport sentient AI per master repairer's orders, until now, since his safety is at risk. I am verifying your proffered data. Verification complete. Master repairer is aboard_The Clarkson_, and that vessel is currently entering the atmosphere.

Casey and Ash both look at each other. "Go after it!" Ash shouts. "Go go go!" says Casey. Zero promptly notifies them of what they already know.

Gravity seems to double and Casey yells, "what the hell! This thing don't have any inertial compensators?"

Ash leans against a wall, looking frightened. The hull is shaking slightly, things are shifting around and pretty soon, she's worried that she's going to start shifting around.

" Master repairer programmed inertial compensators to these settings. Seek restraining seats located on bridge immediately."

"Shit!" Casey shouts, grabbing Ash and running towards the front of the big ship. He's quickly eyeing various doors, reading the labels printed above each. Ash grabs his arm and pulls at him.

"It's at the front, stupid!" She leads him into a spacious room with viewscreens covering the walls, six seats covered in thick gel padding face forward in the center.

Ash and Casey both take a seat and scramble to pull the shoulder harnesses tight over their bodies. The room darkens and suddenly they're floating in space, with stars projected all around them.

Casey lets out a wet burp and mumbles, "oh dog, I hate freefall..."

A targeting reticule centers around The Clarkson and it stretches out, vanishing from this plane of existence as it warps. The Jefferson fires a long line of white-hot plasma for hundreds of kilometers behind it, kicking them forward with a tremendous jolt. Though it doesn't feel like it's been compensated, all organic matter on the ship would have been pounded flat as they pass 40G's of acceleration. The paltry 4G that they're feeling, however, is far more than they've felt in a very long time on any ship.

"Keeeeemann!" Ash screams.

Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 21

Chapter 21. Gravity and lighting have returned to some semblance of normal, if anything on this crazy ship ever is. _The Jefferson_ has reached a Mass Accelerator, a towering structure that looks similar to a nautilus shell. Scattered all over the...

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Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 19

Chapter 19. I wake up like a branch snapping underfoot, choking. Trying to open my muzzle only hurts my nose in a deep, sickening manner. I reflexively swallow what's in my throat. Again, and again. One more time. I roll over onto my stomach, being...

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Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 18

Chapter 18. Marcus has spent the past two weeks in the hospital. After he regained consciousness, he was promptly met by the police. They had some photos of his grandfather to show him. He was found dead in a neighbor's house, and they needed him...

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