A round-robin story
Part 6 by Allen Billings © 2006
Eduonda ne Khenota was walking the deck where his parent’s cabin was on. He was very anxious, but it wasn’t the fight the previous day that had him upset. It was worry about the package he’d picked up from Hyjinx.
The ore raider ship and its crew had tried to hide after being pursued by the Ripclaw, but they’d failed and had taken a last stand while diving through an asteroid field. It hadn’t helped them, because the Ripclaw phasers tore apart an impulse engine of the raider. This unbalanced the pirate craft, preventing it from being able to dodge in a tight maneuver, and it crashed into a larger rock, cracking up into several large pieces.
The warp core detonated as a result, releasing the matter and antimatter onboard in an explosion of energy. This in turn had shattered the asteroid the ship had collided with, creating an expanding cloud of rock and refined metal of the raider itself.
In the end, Ripclaw had to stop and attempt to pick up what pieces of the raider ship their sensors could determine might be recoverable. The cargo decks and secondary hanger decks were filled with broken and twisted pieces of the ship, as well as having what few survivors that were picked out of the wreckage being in the brig.
But to Eduonda, that wasn’t his concern. The battle, which hadn’t lasted more than fifteen minutes at most, had forced him to evacuate from the crew cabin his parents had been assigned to and report to the inner safer section. The package had been left behind, and the section had taken a hard hit that had penetrated the ship’s shields. He’d hoped the small package being sent to Chakona hadn’t been damaged, but until he could see it with his own eyes, he wasn’t sure what had happened to it.
Eventually, the repair crew reported to the Captain that the section was now cleared to be opened up again. Eduonada wasn’t the first through to check on their quarters, but as he opened the door to his parent’s quarters, he noticed that the furnishings were scattered about the main room.
"Oh, nooooo*," he moaned softly, hurrying to his room, seeing that his bed had slid across the room to slam against the hull. The voxxan child felt his stomach drop, as he tried to open his closet. The door opened partway, then jammed, but it left a gap big enough for him to peer into the darkened area. To his relief, he saw the box was still intact. He reached out for it, picking it up and bringing it out into the open when he heard a voice from behind him.
"What’s that, hun?" asked his mother, almost making him drop the box on his feet.
"Agh," he gasped out, turning quickly in surprise before exclaiming. "Oh, hi Mom."
"Don't ‘Hi Mom,’ me," she said, as she looked down at the box. "Where’d you get that?"
The younger voxxan turned it around, to let her look at the shipping labels on the box. "I picked it up at Starbase 16," he replied. "I met a chakat cub by the name of Hyjinx, who was trying to deliver it to Chakona for a friend back on Earth."
Aileas glanced over the package itself, seeing that the ship’s own security forces had checked it out and had cleared it to enter the ship. "What’s inside of it?" she asked, reading out that it had been onboard the cargo freighter Blowfish before her son’s note was entered on it.
"I don’t know. All I got told was that it was supposed to go to Chakona." Eduonda shrugged.
His mother smiled, as she passed the package back to her cub. "You didn’t plan on the raider ship, did you?" she sighed, seeing how badly the room had been damaged by the fight.
Eduonda shook his head as he set the package down by the door, and moved to push the bed back to its normal position across the room. "No. Have you heard where we’re headed next?" he asked.
"We’re due back at Voxxa," replied Aileas, assisting with the movement of the bed. "We took a bit of damage, so we’re headed home to get it repaired."
The voxxan cub shook his head. "Great. Now how am I going to see about getting the package on its way?"
"That, young man, is your responsibility, not mine," she said to him. "You took this on as a debt of honor, and its up to you to see it on its way."
"There’s no way we can slip over to see Chakona, so that’s out," he muttered, more to himself than expecting an answer.
"See Chakona about what?" asked a deeper voice as Eduonda’s father walked in into his son’s room.
"Our son has accepted a package from a chakat cub, which was destined for Chakona," replied Aileas. She pointed to the box by the doorway.
Eduonda ne Khenota felt like melting thru the deck of the ship, as his father picked up the package. "The Blowfish? I know of them," Anasti said, reading the packing lists. "A good pair of shippers, who are currently headed to the Haley system."
"I picked it up from their cub, Hyjinx," replied Eduonda.
His father set down the package, then helped to move the bed to its normal area of the room. "Well, we’ll be here for another day or so, because we got told that the U.S.S. Starwave is going to arrive and assist in picking up what’s left of the raider."
The voxxan’s ears perked up. "Really? Isn’t that the ship which has our cousins on it?"
"Yep. And if I recall, they’re expected to head to Chakona afterwards," said Anasti.
Eduonda’s face lit up. "I could ask Isaut to take the package for me," he said, knowing his younger niece would be willing to help out, once he’d gotten the package to her.
"See?" replied his mother. "This little delay isn’t going to set you back more than a few days at worst."
(* All the conversation was done in Voxxan, translated to Terranglo for your convenience.)
Continued in The Package, part 7.
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