Hope leapt in his chest. There was still time. Without a second thought, he cocked his gun and began down the hallway only to have Leta snatch his arm and draw him back.
“Cyrus,” she hissed. “What’re you doing?”
“We have to take the bridge,” Cyrus answered at once, looking back at her. “We have to stop the ship.”
“How?” Leta pleaded, her eyes shining with horror. “There are at least four agents in there.”
Cyrus glanced back towards the bridge door. She was right. What the hell was he thinking? He couldn’t just walk in there, he’d be captured or killed instantly. But what else could they do? They were outnumbered regardless and if they didn’t act fast, they’d take off and be on the way to Satieri and they’d never find Fiearius and get back to the Dionysian like they planned.
Cyrus had never felt quite like this before. Reckless desperation was unfamiliar to him, but it was enough to give him a sudden confidence he’d never before had.
“We’ll just rush in and take the ship,” he told her, his voice hardly sounding like his own. “We’ll catch them by surprise. We’ll take it and we’ll stop it and we’ll get my brother back and everything will be okay.” He heard the hysteria in his words, but he still went on, “Everything will be fine. Everything will be normal.”
“Cyrus….” Leta breathed, her voice cracking. But just when he felt she was going to back away or tell him to give it up, she too lifted her gun, cocked it and nodded at him.
“Ready,” she whispered quietly.
“Stay close,” he told her and, in perhaps the stupidest move he’d ever made, he hurtled towards the open bridge door with all the speed and momentum in his entire body before he burst into the room and found six surprised crew staring back at him.
For a moment, just a moment, he panicked. What was he doing? Fiearius could shoot six men before one could even draw their weapon. Corra could shoot a thimble off a finger from 500 meters away. Cyrus couldn’t even hit a single unmoving target on a wall without five minutes of aiming first. If anyone was suited for this, if anyone could save Fiearius, it wasn’t him.
But he was all there was. So he fired. Right into someone’s chest. And he fired again into someone’s arm. And as a bullet from Leta’s gun embedded itself in another’s head, the other three in the room hastily reached for weapons of their own and panic ran through Cyrus. A yell ripped out of his throat and he fired again. Again. Again. Unthinking and uncaring and relentless.
He was still shouting to his own deafened ears when his finger pulled the trigger and his gun clicked uselessly in his hand. Empty.
But just when he expected gunfire straight to his chest, he vision cleared and he saw Leta: breathing hard, gun in hand, one foot pressed into an agent’s chest as he sprawled on the floor. Ren was behind her; she’d thrown herself in front of him protectively.
“Are you okay?” she asked Cyrus, short of breath, eyes blazing.
He almost nodded. But then he looked around the room. One, two, three, four, five bodies. Five? Where was–
A quiet whimpering sounded from the far end of the room, and a few stray strands of hair stuck up from behind one of the front consoles. One left. He glanced at Leta. She nodded and carefully crept forward.
“Hands up, drop your weapons,” she ordered when she was close enough, holding her gun to the young man’s head. Immediately, the whimper turned into a wail and two skinny hands shot up in the air.
“P-please, I’m unarmed,” his shaky voice declared, tears running down his face. “I’m just the pilot, please–please don’t kill me.”
Cyrus marched over towards them and held his own gun to the man’s head, useless as it was. “Where’s Dez?!”
Confusion flashed over his face. He blanched. “Who?”
“Dez!” Cyrus barked, hardly sounding like himself. “Desophyles Cordova. Where is he?!”
“C-Cordova? H-he’s not on this ship!” the man despaired.
Cyrus shook his head. No, it had to be this one. It had to. One of his hands dug into his hair and he yelled, “Are you carrying a prisoner to Satieri?! Fiearius? Fiearius Soliveré? Is he — “
“N-no! We’re headed to Ellegy for a pick-up!” he cried.
Dread knotted his stomach. “Cordova’s ship,” Cyrus said at once, his eyes growing distant. “Is it still docked on the Baltimore?”
The man looked up at him with watery eyes. “I–n-no. We were delayed so it could take off. J-just a few minutes ago.”
With a raw, angry growl of loss, Cyrus suddenly shouted and threw his spent gun across the room, making it crash in the corner. He stalked away, digging his palms into his eyes. This couldn’t be happening. This had to be a mistake.
“This isn’t over,” came Leta’s trembling voice from across the room. She was standing there hollowly, her eyes wet. “We’re not losing Fiear. They can’t have him.” Cyrus could barely look at her when she ventured, “So what’s our next move?”
Cyrus turned away. Fiearius’ words echoed in his mind. ‘We lost’. ‘It’s over.’ But no. It couldn’t be. After all they’d been through, everything they’d overcome, all that had happened, it couldn’t end this way. He wouldn’t let it.
“We go to Satieri,” Cyrus said before his mind even caught up. He dropped his hands from his face. “We go to Satieri and we get him back.”
In a rush, he stalked to the main console and furiously tapped the screen until the COMM channel opened up. “Dionysian, this is the Beacon, come in,” he shouted into the receiver. “Corra? Finn? It’s Cyrus. Come in. Please, fucking please, come in — “
It was only seconds, but it felt like hours, until the speakers crackled and a familiar voice filled the room.
“Cyrus?! What’s going on? What happened?” Corra sounded panicked, even from this distance. “What—you’re on another ship?!”
“Corra, I’m going to bring down the barrier from here,” he told her matter-of-factly. “You’re going to need to synchronize your exit with ours. Take the Dionysian back to where we left the crew. Wait for us there.”
“Wait, what?! You’re staying on another ship?!”
“Yes,” he said bluntly. He glanced at Leta, who nodded for him to continue, “Get the bridge door sealed. There are still other agents aboard, it’s only a matter of time before they figure out something’s wrong.”
“Cyrus, what the hell is going on?”
“You,” he addressed the young man still cowering behind the console. “Pilot? Get her ready for take-off.”
“Cyrus?!” Corra cried, but Cyrus talked over her: “Finn, don’t forget you need to disengage the forward throttle immediately after the first push in takeoff or you’ll stall the engine–”
“Cyrus! Explain what is happening right now!”
At last, Cyrus mustered a sigh and lowered his head.
“Fiearius was taken,” he informed her, his voice hardened. “I’m taking this ship — “ He caught Leta’s furious glance and corrected, “We’re taking this ship to Satieri. We’re going to get him back.”
Stunned silence filled the other end of the call. Cyrus could just imagine the horror on their faces.
But he could not imagine their response.
“Right,” said Finn finally. “We’re coming with you.”