The young Captain stopped breathing, waiting to see where the next punch would land, waiting to see what Timothy would do and how his body is going to be torn all to pieces.
But nothing happened. Not for a second at least.
Then Timothy just decided to take the helmet off as he frowned and looked at Marv.
“Damn,” he said. “They still build helmets like they used to. I hardly felt that at all.”
Then they both turned around to look at the young Captain who still stared at them in breathless horror.
“What’s up, Slicky?”
Then they both started to chuckle, and their laughter grew stronger and stronger as they stared at the dumbfounded expression on the young captain’s face. Eyes-watering strong as if it was the funniest thing in the whole wide galaxy. Even embracing each other arms in a brotherly fashion, as if congratulating each other on the performances.
It took a long moment before either of them could talk.
“You think of yourself as so smart, don’t you?” Timothy said, Marv folded in half still trying unsuccessfully to calm his laughter down. “You have no idea what happened on Linux Grand,” he said through the tears.
“So, better just shut up.”
“So the helmet is good?” Marv asked in the end, wiping off his own watery eyes.
“I think so.”
“But then I did not hit you very hard.”
“I know you didn’t.”
“Children, children, I work with children,” Sornia said as she shook her head in disapproval and disbelief. “If you’re done playing, we better make final arrangements. Ten minutes till arrival.”
Marv approached Slimy, the laughter still in his throat. “I actually scanned and checked out your complete DKNA. You’re actually only twenty-five years old. No prior rejuves. So, don’t give me that, ‘you have no idea how old I am’. And you think you can get smart with only twenty-five years of life? To stand up to the likes of me and Timothy the Seventh there? What the hell is wrong with you, boy?”
“He’s a baby,” Sornia said in a maternal voice. “A sweet little baby.”
“A baby,” Timothy repeated. “A baby called Slickly.”
As Marv went back to the cock-pilot seat, he left the room for Timothy to approach the young captain and look him deep into his eyes.
“No more games, Slicky. I do not need your games. And I do not need your pain. And I do not need your life. I will tell you what I need, and you will do what is asked of you. Either that, or we both get what we don’t need. Understand?”
Slicky nodded his head. After all, what was there not to understand?
Six minutes away from the ship and they could scan it on their radar. Actually, they got the scan of over twenty different ships in its near vicinity.
“Probably just the freighters offloading the last of supplies.”
“They were also waiting for the transporters from Ravni Nine,” the young captain said. “We are to haul some artifacts from there. I do not know what it is, but it has very tight military security.”
Timothy and Marv looked at each other. “See, he is smart,” Marv said. “He’s trying to help. He gets it.”
“We’ll see how much he is trying really soon,” Timothy answered. “They probably have us on their scanners for the last ten minutes. You better approach us, Sornia. Usually these transporters like to fly in tight formations.”
“Ah, now you remember me, huh? No more, what was her name?”
“Sergeant Xera,” Marv was fast to answer and Timothy slapped his arm in a reflexive move.
“Yeah, Sergeant Xera, oh, she shoots so good, she is so wonderful. I’ll get close to you, you stupid fuck, but that’s as close as you’ll ever have me.”
Timothy sighed deeply. “I can’t believe you’re jealous,” he said.
The answer suddenly came as a bump on their right side that made the ship suddenly tilt to the left, so violently that if not fastened, they would all come of their seats. Little good it did to the young captain who shrieked in pain as his body was moved without his control.
“What the hell is she doing?” Timothy asked.
“She bumped us,” Marv answered. “Don’t fucken’ provoke her, man.”
"Yes, please, don't provoke her. Pretty please," the young captain said in a pleading voice, still trembling from the pain.
Timothy took over the hand control and fired the stabilizers and it took him a few moments till he evened the ship up and readjusted his flight route. Then he turned back on the autopilot and then scratched his head. he sure was missing something. He got up and moved to the young captain.
"I'm gonna take off those shackles. I trust you only once, not again, do you understand?"
"Yes," the Captain said. "You will get no problem from me."
"Thank you, thank you so very much," the Captain said, finally free to rub his sore hands.
Suddenly, a red blinking light started to indicate a communication request, and Timothy hustled back to his seat and pressed the blinking light to establish the comm link.
“This is Command Center, FSO Reiner on the line,” came instantly over the speaker. “What the hell are you people doing and what the hell’s going on with your ships?”
“Sir, we just had some minor engine trouble,” Timothy said in a calm voice, but his fingers pointed nervously toward the electrical collar Marv was playing in his hands.
“I don’t see any abnormality with your engines,” FSO Reiner said in a cold voice. “I want you all inside the Med lab as soon as you arrive. We will see how much of that engine problem is in the level of alcohol in your blood.”
Even as FSO Reiner was speaking, Marv placed the caller around Timothy’s neck and pressed it tight.
“This is Captain Ramixton,” Timothy started to talk, his voice coming out sounding identical to the young captain’s. “It’s not us, First Security Officer Reiner. You can scan our transporters and you’ll see we suffered some serious damage.”
“Our scans indicate some damage, but you will still go the labs, soldier,” Reiner said in a stiff voice. “And I better not find anything funny there. And if I do, the damage to those transporters will be ducked from your pay, in addition to other things.”
“Yes, sir,” Timothy answer. “I’ll get my troops to the lab right away, sir.”
“We are busy here with loading the last of the cargo. Use the gate Sixteen. Control tower, take it from here.”
“This is Control Tower, Battleship RAX 21, Third Officer Marian Lendel talking,” came a young woman’s voice seconds later. “I heard you've had some trouble. Please, identify yourself again."
“Understood, Officer-" the sudden bump from behind made Timothy turn around and stare at the young captain who pressed his free finger up against his lips.
"... Lendelcita," the young captain said in a voice, echoing a smile on his face suddenly. "Nice to hear your voice again. This is Captain RT, the new authorization code C5DT1."
"Authorization confirmed. Good to have you back, Ram," Officer Lendel answered. " I hope you did not have too much fun down there."
"No, I myself did not. But the boys and girls were almost out of control," the young captain said and the Office Lendel chuckled.
"Well, good to have you here. For a while, I was wondering if you guys are going to make it. You're twenty minutes behind schedule."
"I know. But you know how Sera and Dimon are."
"Well, you'll pay your price this time. The Commander seems very tense and agitated today."
"Well, turn on your AI, and I’ll give you an authorization code to establish an automated landing approach.”
“Sorry, Officer Lendelcita, our AI unit is out. We will have to do this manually.”
“Okay. I will move you to our AI manual landing guide. It will tell you what speed and flight path to take. You know the drill. We have a lot of freight ships in the vicinity, so lower your speed down now.”
"Lowering our speed to one percent power now,” Timothy answered right away and lowered the power to his engines. “The estimated arrival time in hundred twenty seconds.”
“That’s what I have it too, Captain Ron. Our AI will guide you all the way.”
“This is Battleship RAX 21 Automated Landing Guide,” instantly a calm female voice came over the line.
“Your speed is three hundred percent over recommended. Shut your engines completely and use your positioning thrusters to one hundred percent now.”
“Done it,” Timothy said as he obeyed the instructions.
“Use your manual control to follow the path that I have laid out for you.”
Timothy took hold of the joystick and took the ship of autopilot then stared at the map of the space around and a thick blinking red line through it. “You, the pilot in the second transpsorter,” he said, calling on to Sornia. “Lock on to us, and follow us from two hundred meters behind.”
“Order received, Captain,” Sornia said in a patronizing tone.
“You’re five hundred and hundred meters out of the path,” the AI suddenly announced. “Failure to follow the path might cause a collision with another vessel. If you do not correct it in the next twenty seconds, I will have no choice but to freeze your approach and beam you in automatically.”
Timothy tilted the joystick to the right and then slightly down. “We don’t want that. Do not want to go to the freezer.”
“Thank you for correcting your approach," the AI said as Timothy managed to bring them into the established path.
“What’s a freezer?” Marv asked in the lowest audible voice.
“It’s where they transport anything that they need to beam in. A high-security area.”
“You’re eight hundred meters of the path," the AI announced again. "Please correct your approach. You’re now on the direct path to collide with the Ship ER345TO. If you do not adjust your flight, I will initialize the beaming process in ten seconds.”
Timothy worked the joystick to the right and up now, not paying attention to Sornia’s clearing her throat.
“Thank you for correcting your path. Your path to gate sixteen is now cleared. Please lower your thrusters to ten percent. Your estimated arrival time is in twenty seconds.”
Timothy sighed deeply.
“I’ve done that pretty good,” the young captain said from behind. “I even surprised myself.”
Timothy nodded his head and turned around to give the young captain the smirk.
“Now, are you people ready to rock-n-roll?” he said with a smirk still on his face.