“Clear,” Grizzly bellowed, his teeth now gnashed together. “By the tribe… COME ON! CLEAR.” Monitors beeped and displayed vital signs all around him, as the seconds past the mighty medic became more and more frustrated. Even with all he knew, there was little he could do if he didn’t bring the tiny technician around soon. His brilliant brain wouldn’t last forever without oxygen, and as it was Grizzly was beginning to fear lasting damage.
This has got to work, Grizzly thought as he reached to increase the voltage. “Wake up call boy!” A pair of white disks were pressed against Twitch’s chest and electricity crackled and jolted into him with a sizzle. Had it been any other Terran known to medical science, that surge of energy would only have done harm. But Twitch had never been anything normal in any sense of the word.
“Reboot!” Twitch shouted with a jerk, his eyes now wide open.
“Lay still!” With almost motherly care Grizzly tried to gently reinforce to Twitch the need for him to rest. A quick look to the monitors showed almost completely normal vital signs, some slight elevations but nothing to indicate what his companion had just been through. His contemplation was cut short by a sudden outburst from his pint-sized patient.
“And who’s going to fix things, you ya big oaf?” Leveling his bug-eyed gaze at Grizzly Twitch immediately cocked a half smile. “We gotta reboot the overload faults on the Fold Drive and re-route it’s primary power circuits.”
Shock gripped at Grizzly’s face as his jaw dropped. He had never heard Twitch complete a sentence before. In all the years he’d known the witty wizard of technology he had always stuttered when he spoke. And yet here he was still speaking in his high-pitched nasal tone. “Twitch; listen to yourself!”
“No time,” he muttered as he rose to set up. His Ion Torch was still in his utility pocket he realized, already his mind racing with how to get the Fold Drive back up and running, and fast with the systems he had at his disposal. If he dismantled a few lesser systems he was sure he could re-route things and get the Fold Drive’s overloads to reset at least for a short time before needing fresh parts.
“Patch cables!” Lost in confusion at the revelation of Twitch’s newfound communicative skill Grizzly hadn’t noticed the nimble repairman flip up into some hanging cables and panels above them. “Any day now…” Twitch muttered a slight jerk still present in his movements.
Grizzly looked around and seeing a few patch cables grabbed them up and held them aloft. Without a glance Twitch snatched them with one hand his other already fast at work splicing and soldering. Ace interrupted from the helm, “What in sam-hill is going on back there, who is that talking to you Grizz?”
“Well that’d be Twitch, says he can get that Fold Drive back up.” Grizzly replied still barely able to comprehend recent events himself.
“Wait, What did you do to the boy? One minute he’s fried toast and the next he’s a chatter-box.” Ace had his best poker face on, trying as subtle as he could to make sure he’d wiped the tears away. A fast check of the sensors showed ADU still in the area, it would only be a matter of time before they detected them. Hope flared to life in Ace’s chest; if anyone could pull them out of this bad hand it was Twitch, he was sure.
Eyes closed as Twitch listened to the familiar hum and hidden language of Noble Steed. It purred to him once more like a contented pet welcoming home it’s caretaker. Relieved he dropped back down to the floor with a thud and sighed. “Hit it, Ace!”
Chuckling Ace activated the Fold Drive, noting just as he did an ADU sensor sweep pass over them. “Pursue this.” In a flash space folded around the ship as welcoming as an old quilt, speeding them well clear of Owerth II.
“Hey check this out,” Twitch called out, his face buried in a comm terminal. “Apparently, after ‘intense negotiations,’ the facility on Owerth II is under new management. ADU forces have declared it no longer under investigation and able to return to operations.” Expressionless he turned to his crew-mates adding, “So where to, I should probably mention that was a temporary repair. We’ll need to replace some components as soon as we can otherwise we risk burning out the Fold Drive.”
Once more Ace could hear that old Siren calling to him, tempting him. “Well, only one port close enough that won’t ask too many questions; Coromaur’s Outpost.”
Grimacing Grizzly moaned, a hand planted over his mouth. “Hear we go again. You remember the last time we were there right?”
Ace’s eyes were filled with the prospect of a whole outpost of freelance cargo-runners with full pockets and empty heads. “Hey she wasn’t technically his daughter… I don’t see why he’d dock our pay.” As another familiar debate began Twitch disappeared into his routine maintenance of the ship’s systems. Cause nothing ever fixes itself, or stays fixed, not on this crew.