“Mistress, you have an incoming call from Auriuth. Shall I transfer it to the holo-screen?” X.I.N. asked over the loudspeaker.
There could be only one person on Auriuth that could have access to this channel. I thought to myself. “Audio only X.I.N. I need to focus on flying.”
As requested, X.I.N. transferred the call to the loudspeaker.
“You’re heading to Terra,” the familiar voice of Alfran stated, he was clearly angry. No doubt he was monitoring her flight console back in her hideout, there was no use lying to him.
“Yes,” I replied as I focused on avoiding a severe storm cloud, one wrong move during a Calm and it was game over.
The line remained silent for a time, she could imagine the old Steward to be seething at that admission, possibly even reaching into his subdermal storage cell to grab my Kill-switch.
“Why?” He asked, a hint of resignation to his.
Yes, he most definitely has my Kill-switch in his hands. Perhaps it was foolish to leave it with him.
“When I regenerated, I snuck into the Imperial Palace and took the skin of a soldier that was guarding the War-Room. I didn’t know what had occurred while I was… dead. While there, I overheard Korv’s plans.”
“You mentioned something about him wiping out our race in the fighting pit, right?” Alfran asked, curiosity overcoming his urge to flip that switch.
“Your people, Alfran, not mine.” I snapped, I hadn’t considered myself San’Dreki for centuries, I was something else entirely… I was nothing.
“You’re still San’Dre-” he tried to counter.
“Just, stop,” I pleaded, “Let me continue.”
He went silent.
“Korv plans to wipe out all alien races in Xaabos space to solidify his rule.” I stated, letting that sink in before continuing, “I have done some pretty horrible things in the name of truly despicable people, but I draw the line at genocide and so in my mind and my heart, that makes my contract with him null-and-void.”
“So, why go to Terra then? If not to fulfil your contract.”
He still doesn’t believe me.
“Go into the departure logs from two weeks back, what do you see?” I asked, hoping to see him some evidence.
“Two separate ships navigated the Calm and left Xaabos space, heading towards Terra.”
“Korv has hired two bounty-hunters to bring the Princess and her Helsian friend back, alive. The others… are not part of the bounty.” I said the last part in a tone that made it perfectly clear what that meant.
“You mean to stop them?”
“I mean to try,” I replied, “They have two weeks on me, but this ship is faster than theirs and at worse, I’ll be a day behind them when I land.”
“I just hope that is enough time,” Alfran replied, I heard the whir of gears over the comms, he’d placed the Kill-switch back in his storage cell, I’d won him over… for now.
“I need to focus on flying now Alfran, this Calm is anything but that, but would you call again once I’m free from Xaabos space? It’s nice to actually have someone to talk to for a change… Other than X.I.N.”
Didn’t think so…
“Okay, I guess it couldn’t hurt.”