Day 27. 107 pages, 48,551 words.
After the shooting and the screaming died away, Çrom took up position at the door Drago had just run out of. It seemed quiet out there.
“Form up,” he said. “Any more injuries? No last-minute acts of pointless but heartbreakingly noble bravado?”
“No, Captain,” Melvix replied. He tugged at his shirt, settling it around the wound in his side. “This will hold together without binding.”
“Fide, Gabdin,” Gunton snuffled, then hnrrrk‘d a gob of blood from his swollen nostril and gave himself a final wipe with a torn piece of somebody else’s uniform. “I’ll mend.”
“Constable, you alright?” Skell turned to the compact security officer.
“I’ll live,” Ital turned side to side, slowly, at the waist. She winced. “Don’t expect me to do anything too gymnastic.”
“Duly noted. Blue?”
“Fine, Captain,” Blue Persephone stepped away from the body of one of the Black Honey Wings Bonshooni, which she’d been checking for any deep-down life-signs. Molranoids often kept those for a truly unfair amount of time, Skell reflected. She obviously hadn’t found anything. She had, however, come up with another weapon from the back of the big corpse’s coat. She checked it – it was a deceptively slender scattergun, capable of some pretty nasty directed heat damage – and pushed it into her belt. Çrom wondered why the Bonshoon hadn’t gone for it first. Maybe he hadn’t had time. Maybe he’d been concerned about his crewmates. The scattergun beam did have a bit of a radius on it – hence the name. It also required a bit of warming up, and things had been pretty spontaneous over dinner. “What about Fallen?” she continued.
“Your call,” Çrom said gently, looking sadly at the body of Traumatic / Hysterical / Fallen. “We’re going to have a ton of really annoyed beef lovers kicking down this door in a very short time. There’s no getting back to the A-Mod anytime soon and there’s no carrying him with us. So ‑ ”
Blue Persephone drew the scattergun, dialled it up, let it hum, then played it over Fallen’s body until there was nothing left but a dark, bubbled stain on the floor and the gun was hissing on the verge of overload.
“Shall we?” Blue asked, dialling down and dropping it back into her belt.
“Right then,” Skell said. “Let’s move out.”
They moved out.