Chapter 12: About Time Pt. 2

He felt himself come to an unsteady halt. How much did Addy know about the Dionysian’s clandestine dealings? Did she know he was first mate on a dirty criminal pirate ship? He knew that she was no fan of the Society herself, but that didn’t mean she would approve of this ridiculous mission …

Choosing his words carefully, he began, “Well, they only use the ships now for low priority work, and my brother’s planning a–we’re going to–board–some 800’s and well–”

Naturally, Addy was sharper than that.

“You’re stealing some Satieran ships?” she demanded in disbelief, no longer looking amused. For a moment, Cyrus froze, but then a sly grin began to bloom on her face. “I’m in.”

– – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – –

Quin’s warehouse was crowded, buzzing with anticipation. In thirty minutes, her people and Fiearius’ would be in place, ready to break into the unsuspecting supply drop ships and claim them for their own. In thirty minutes, they would make their first small strike against the Society.

Fiearius occupied the far corner of the open room, using the dim light from the windows to clean the dismantled pieces of his favorite pistol. Quin strode over, brisk and important.

“The C teams are nearly all in position,” she informed him. “Ready to swarm those ships like ants on a picnic soon as I say the word.”

Fiearius smiled at her, slipping the pieces of his gun back together with a click. “Good. What time is it?”

“Twenty-five minutes ‘til they land.” Her lips pursed, and she tilted her head at him in that thoughtful, knowing way she often did. A smile cracked over her face. “You excited?”

At that, he couldn’t help but laugh. He felt more nervous than excited, quite unable to forget what would happen if this operation went the slightest bit south. He had been actively avoiding the Society ever since he was exiled from Satieri. Never had he actually sought them out. Never had he taken the offensive against them.

He smirked grimly. “Not the word I’d use.”

“Hey-yo,” came the boyish greeting from across the warehouse. Both pairs of eyes swung towards Finn. Behind him was Corra, and then Cyrus and Addy walked together a few feet behind and Leta brought up the rear, chatting with two of Quin’s engineer girls.

Fiearius straightened his shoulders with confidence. “Ah, my lovely B teams,” he called cheerfully, spreading his arm and smiling at them all. “All done with your briefing?”

“Best we could for now,” Cyrus replied, though he looked more relaxed and confident than usual. He even looked a little nicer too — had he fixed his hair or something?

“We gave the other teams all the basics,” said Addy brightly. “They’ll go in and shut down the security systems so the A teams can advance. And me and Cy’ll update them on anything funky via COMM if anything comes up.” She tapped the headset in her ear.

“Works for me,” said Fiearius. “So you all get the plan then? The Society supply ships land. The C teams move in and create a ground distraction on the street. B teams, that’s you — “ He nodded towards the groups before him. “ — head aboard your designated ship and go straight for the security control. Follow Cy and Addy’s instructions and shut it down. Then hit the communications. We don’t want them calling for backup.”

“And if we can’t reach the COMM room in time, if they manage to send out the SOS before we can block it, we’ll scramble their coordinates,” Cyrus added. “That backup won’t know where to look.”

“Once those two things are done, just head back out and support the C teams if they need it. Meanwhile, the three A teams, lead by me, Quin and Aeneas, board and seize control of the bridges. All teams round up any excess Society agents and figure it out from there. We need to pull this whole operation off as quickly as possible. Timing is everything. The longer this takes, the lower our success rate so move. And move fast. Understood?”

“Y’know, what I don’t understand,” put in Finn suddenly, “is why I’m on a B team at all. I oughta be slinging guns with you. Thought we had something special, mate.”

Corra snorted. “You’re on a B team because he needs you to protect his lady friend,” he said, elbowing Leta’s side.

Though he’d been trying not to, Fiearius briefly caught Leta’s eye as she shook her head, a shade of pink in her cheeks. Of course she’d told Corra about their last few days together; they shared everything, no matter how personal. He smirked at her, then looked back at Finn.

“You’re on a B team because you know ships. You’re on a B team with the doc because her sense balances out your need to show off, so the two of you might pull out of this alive together.” He raised a brow at Finn, daring him to contest it, but Finn lifted his hands in surrender. “Any other complaints?”

“Yeah,” said Corra, arms crossed. “I thought I was done following orders from you when I got my own ship.”

“If I recall correctly, you volunteered,” Fiearius countered.

“Well of course, I gotta protect my engineer.” She wrapped her arm around Addy’s shoulders.

“Any real concerns?” Fiearius rephrased. When the group before him just mumbled in a generally negative direction, he clapped his hands together. “Good. Grab your arms and take your positions then. Be careful. Watch out for each other. Come back alive.”

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