Bilbao forced himself into as small a ball as could in an as-out-of-the-way corner as could found inside the escape pod. Once he’d finished setting the engines on their trajectory toward the Feyeed capital, he’d slipped in here for an hour or two of shut-eye.
The next thing he’d known, the escape pod was filled with weasels and the locks clamping it to the Iron Hide had been blown, hurtling the pod deeper into hyperspace. The vessel wasn’t designed for hyperspace travel. Instead it relied on propulsion away from a dying larger vessel where it then would activate a secondary burn dropping it back into sub-light speeds and back out of hyperspace. At that point, a tracking beacon would activate. The pod had enough fuel and life support for several days and could, in a very limited fashion, be aimed toward large planetary bodies.
Bilbao didn’t know what, if any, planets would be in the area where they emerged, but he did know he needed to let the captain and the others know where he was. Fortunately, his people were accustomed to long periods of waiting.
“Unexplained explosion five points starboard, sir,” Spear exclaimed. She fluttered her wings and tapped the console before her, trying to pull an image of that sector of space. She clicked her beak in frustration at the junior tech assigned to navigation as he began to sputter something about her doing his job.
Now-having-assumed-the-title Commander Fleex leaned forward in his chair. “Speak, Helm Spear, speak and be heard. What is the explosion?”
An image flickered to life on the main screen: a large blob of grayish light with a smaller, brighter dot arcing away in the fashion of an escape pod.
“Larger vessel still accelerating, sir,” the wet-feathered navigation chirped. “Should we pursue?”
Commander Fleex shook his head. “No. Smaller target most likely contains the higher likelihood of greater gains. Set course for it. If it is an escape pod, it should leave hyperspace shortly. We can pick it up then.” He sat back, smoothing his feathers. “Good eye, Helm Spear. This will go in my report.”
Spear kept facing forward, stoically. But she puffed her chest as she did so.
The ship rocked, and Tally clutched his sides again. He didn’t think he had anything left inside to expel but still felt the need. During what was referred to as sub-light travel, the ship had rocked some but hardly bothered him. The moment it had gone into “hyperspace” there had been the feeling of violent waves shaking the ship, trying to tear it apart. Throughout the time in this part of space, those same waves buffeted the ship. He glared at Cutter who just sat on his bunk, arms crossed behind his head, eyes half-closed.
He just wanted off this ship. Now.