Melancholy Hawk #8

Weapons Cargo to Mars #8

Read episode 7

The cargo finally arrived in the Tsubata system. As expected, even with all the precautions Rob took in the hyperspace, the ship has suffered other damages. Zoey released the nanobots immediately: the quarter they sealed has fallen apart.

Grimmthain scanned the system:

“The Naja are gone…”, he said.

“With the pieces we lost in the previous tunnel and in Jaddhire, they will have to investigate… but we have little time”, commented Nobu. “Let’s go to Ichi. I know a ship owner there, he is not too expensive.”

“O.K. I make a list of what we need”, agreed Zoey.

Rob took carefully but quickly the direction of the Arathi planet Tsubata-Ichi.

When they arrived at the spacio-port of Gakun, Nobu and Chaszmyr went to meet the Arathi ship owner. Zoey started the reparations she could undertake with the materials she already had on board. The captain and the Neanderthalian prepared the flight plan…

Did the Naja know where they are supposed to deliver the cargo? If they did, it would have been silly to pursue them randomly as they did… So, they wouldn’t probably wait in the solar system. Their first idea was to take back the initial plan: going through the Nabu system of Wode and directly to the solar system to join Mars. A Naja ship went to Wode to pursue a drone… would it still be there? Or would it have rejoined the fleet when they discovered the subterfuge? Making detours would only give Shabaka and his ships more time to find them… and they wouldn’t be so lucky the next time the Hawk would meet them…

“Let’s take the first plan then…”, decided Grimmthain.

“If we repair quickly enough and they don’t find us before…”, concluded Rob sombrely.

Nobu and Chaszmyr returned to the ship with what the mechanic asked. The Arathi seemed peeved: his friend should have won the bargaining battle. Always a shame for an Arathi to be beaten in that field… All the crew helped to fix the cargo, but the repairs took another two hours… Rob and Grimm exchanged a concerned look as they returned to their position.

“The Hawk is ready to flight, captain”, confirmed Zoey. “It will take more time to get it in its best shape… but we will fix this on Mars. The nanobots are still working in the meantime.”

“Then, let’s go”, simply said the captain.

He was concerned but determined: it would bring nothing good to stay here any longer. The Naja would be there or not. Hiding was not a long-term solution anyway.

The ship, always with its sought-after cargo, left the planet. In space, Grimmthain looked carefully on his screens and radars: nothing to worry, no Naja ship to be seen… but the journey wasn’t finished…

 

Read episode 9

 

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