Captain Clarendale watched the bulk of the Hyna’s Dread as it floated in space before the Revenge. They were fortunate they had a good crew, Norrin’s detection of the radiation trail saved them from serious damage to the ship. Now, she just had to wait for Felix and the other pilots to bring the main crew of the Dread back to the Revenge for questioning.
Norrin had already scanned the several times for life signs as the pilots went inside. And she brought up something interesting in her findings.
“Eight crew members, almost all on the bridge,” Norrin informed the captain as she brought up the scanner readings on the command console. “There’s Felix and the others, but it seems they’ve caught someone. And, as odd as this may sound, Captain. With the close proximity of the ships, I’m getting much better readings. I think that is a Pantheran.”
Crena’s ears perked up and she looked to Norrin. “By the Great Mother, what is a Pantheran doing on a Jackai ship? I know that there are Pantheran pirates. There’s even a couple of Vulpine pirate ships, but they usually don’t get along with Jackai raiders very well.”
Norrin merely shrugged and shook her head. “It does appear as though Felix is questioning him. There was no phaser fire, and I think they pulled him out of an airlock. Not one hundred percent sure.”
The mystery was soon solved as the communications link indicating Senia was calling in sounded out. “Go ahead, Left-tenant,” Captain Clarendale said as she quickly opened the channel.
“We’ve found Agent Renna Towneth,” Senia reported. Norrin and Gor’lan, who was ever present next to Crena, listened in carefully. “He ith a member of the Pantheran Thentral Counthil and wath aboard the Tiger’th Claw when it wath attacked. He hath thecretly been on board all that time.”
Crena looked to Norrin and Gor’lan. They were each as surprised as she was to hear that a special agent, close to the Pantheran government, was secretly on board. “Do you believe him to be a threat, Left-tenant?”
“No Captain,” he ith willing to join uth in detaining the Jackai crew.
“Be on the watch, Felix,” Norrin stated as she placed a hand on Crena’s shoulder. “Sensors detect there’s at least eight crew, mostly on the bridge.” Crena nodded to Norrin, a wise choice to inform Senia about the extra crew.
“Thank you, Mith Norrin,” Senia replied quickly. “That will help a great deal. I can contact Colonel Dawkinth, let him know our thituation.”
“No Left-tenant,” Crena stated. “I’ll do that. You take your team and contain the Jackai. Captain out.” She hands flew over the console again as she brought up Dawkins comm signal. “Captain Clarendale to Maverick Leader One.”
“Maverick Leader One reading you loud and clear, Captain,” Dawkins responded quickly. “What’s the situation?”
“Felix found a Pantheran on board the Dread. And Norrin has detected only eight crew on board.”
“Running a bit light for a ship this size, aren’t they?” Dawkins scoffed. No wonder they were out matched by the Revenge and the Midnight Squadron.
“All things considered, they’re lucky,” Crena said with a sign. “Had they met with any Pantheran vessel, they might be floating in space right now. Request you send two more pilots to assist the team in the ship.”
“Done, Captain,” Dawkins replied, anticipating her orders as was the usual case in situations like these. “I’ve sent Maneyard and Hardigar inside to join them. That should even things up a bit.”
“Well done, Colonel,” Crena said. “Let’s make sure this is quick.”
The four Vulpine and the Pantheran waited behind a control shield as the two extra pilots landed their craft. Billings and Hardigar soon joined the small unit when the doors were closed and the air reset. Once together and weapons check, along with Agent Renna, they began to move slowly down the halls of the ship.
“One thing before we continue on, Agent Renna,” Senia said in a low voice as the group stopped in the hallway not far from the bridge. “We may be in Pantheran thpathe right now, but they attacked our ship. I’ll take command. Are you willing to take orderth from me?”
“Part of me wants revenge for the slaughter of the Tiger’s Claw and her crew,” Renna stated with a low growl. “But I also know that you want them alive. They do need to be questioned. This is your operation, I’ll follow your lead. Besides, I don’t think you’d act any different if our roles were reversed.”
Senia nodded and began motioning to the others to come closer. “Billings, can you get a read out on the bridge crew and their pothitionth?”
“I’ll have a three dimensional map in just a few seconds, ma’am,” he said with a nod and began reconfiguring his scanner.
“We’ll thtay in cover of the hallway for the time being,” Senia informed them all as she pulled a phase pistol from her hip holster. “The hallway will give uth cover, and give them no choithe but to try and rush uth all.” She handed her pistol to Renna. “I notithed you are without a weapon. Familiar with thith kind?”
“A bit small, but I can handle it,” he said with a nod as he took the pistol and checked it over, making sure it was on the stun setting. “Personally, I’d like a face to face lashing of the captain, but I know the situation well enough.”
Senia nodded and began directing the pilots to take up positions in the hallway. With Renna’s help, they dragged in cargo crates to use as cover, littering the hallway with obstacles that would make it difficult for the Jackai should they attempt to make an offensive and bring the fight to the seven in the hallway. Taggart and Senia flanked the doorway, as Billings and Edgewick crouched down behind a cargo crate that had a full view of the door and hopefully would give solid location of those inside. Maneyard and Hardigar each took a position next to a service door, busily welding it shut to counter any rear attack in case one of the Jackai used an air vent to come at them.
“I’ll knock on the door,” Renna suggested. “It’ll be a surprise and make the captain mighty angry. You stay in positions and wait. Take out the guards as they come out. I’ll duck into cover as soon as the firing starts.”
“There’s three near the doorway,” Billings piped up as he looked over his scanner. It had been rigged to give a display of the room in front of them. “Two on the left and one on the right. Two more at what could be a command console an’ I figure the captain is right behind them. There’s two other figures to the right, maybe tryin’ ta get power diverted.”
Renna stepped back to look at the scanner display. He growled and looked back to the doorway. “Something’s wrong. The signatures aren’t moving like a crew desperate to repair their ship, it looks more like…” He paused and looked to Senia. “They’re getting into defensive pattern. They know we’re here.”
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