It’s Friday, which means it’s time again for Piloting Fury. If you remember, in the last episode Mac figures that if family is the problem, it might also just be the answer, and this week Mac gets a loud and clear reminder that she is a part of that family. If you’re enjoying Fury, please spread the word and pass the link to a friend. I love to share my stories with as many people as possible. I’m offering a new episode of Fury every Friday.
“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAllister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.
Piloting Fury Part 53: 1 Not Bro 123 Go!
Bro 123? Bro 123? I typed.
We waited and nothing happened. Keen was called away on more urgent business and I kept trying, getting more and more frustrated.
To my surprise it was Stanislovsky who came to me, her face drawn with grief from the loss of the Svalbard. But it wasn’t that she wanted to talk about. “So what now? Are you just going to let him suffer?”
I stiffened, shoulders that were already tight feeling like granite. “Not that it’s any of your business, but I’ve been right here the whole time trying to help, trying to be useful. Surely he could get in touch with me just as easily as I can with him.”
“He’s a fucking man! Seriously, McAllister, can you be that naïve?”
I ground my teeth. “As a matter of fact, I can. In case you’ve forgotten I’m not exactly experienced in the world of relationships and consensual sex. Now, if you’ve just come to make me feel worse than I already do, then there’s the door.” I nodded toward it.
“Yeah, well, welcome to the club.” Her face darkened and I felt like the asshole she probably thought me to be.
Of course she knew exactly what I’d been through. She’d been through it herself, and if that wasn’t bad enough, she’d just lost her entire ship and its crew.
“Look, I’m sorry.” I scrubbed a hand over my face and fought my own urge to mourn. “It’s just … I don’t know how to handle this. Have you been with him?”
“Of course I have. I’m a doctor. I was called to treat Fallon and Rab, and I’m pretty sure the infected are a lot less miserable than ship and crew. Manning’s like a Hibernian bear and Fury, well he’s gone none verbal. I mean he’s always been a bit brooding, but I’ve never seen him like this. I had to communicate with him on the fucking console, and even then all he would say when I asked what happened is that you left and you were very upset.”
“Of course I was upset! He ‘tranned Gerando Fallon onboard.”
“I understand that, and so does he, but you left without letting him explain why he did what he did.” Before I could respond, she nodded to the screen. “Vic told me you thought you might be able to make contact with Apocalypse because you were born to be Fury’s compliment. I thought I might be able to help since I was trained to be a compliment. I probably understand a little better the protocols and connections between a compliment and an SNT.
I nodded to the monitor and my efforts to communicate with Apocalypse. “Well, I’m certainly not having any luck. Any help would be appreciated.”
I barely got the words out of my mouth when the screen went blank and then flashed in big letters: bro1 needs bro1 needs, and then the words repeated until the screen was full of the words over and over again.
Bro1 needs what? I type. It took me several times, my hands were shaking so badly, but this time the answer was immediate.
needs go go! bro1 needs go!
Go BRO 1!!!
This time the words were huge and they flashed red.
“It’s not a where,” Stanislavsky said leaning over my shoulder. “It’s a who, McAllister, and the who is you. I think he wants you to go to Fury.” She elbowed me aside and typed
1 not bro go bro1?
!!!!bro 1 need 1not bro!!!! gogogogo!!!!
“Wait a second.” She did something to the com system and with a few touches of the key reception switched to an obscure subspace channel, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. For an instant a sensation not unlike electricity coursed through my body. I thought I was having some sort of seizure. And then Fury’s voice filled my head.
“Diana Mac I need you. I need you. I need you. Diana Mac I need you. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Nothing came up on the screen – no words, no symbols, which was just as well, since I couldn’t have seen them when my eyes were misted. There was no other sound in the room except my ragged breathing. Then I realized that Stanislavsky couldn’t hear it.
“Bloody hell! I didn’t know! How do I …?” I struggled to find a way to communicate on the channel.
“You don’t. You can’t. I took a chance that you might be able to hear. It’s amazing that it worked at all, but then you were born for him. You’re connected already in ways no one else could ever be. I took a chance that you might be able to hear it on his private sub channel. It’s sort of like train of thought for an SNT. It’s very private and no one taps into it unless there are problems. No one would ever have to in the case of a properly bonded SNT. I think Manning can hear it, but I’ve never asked, and I know that Vic has never felt the need to check out Fury’s sub-processor routine.” She nodded to the screen, I’m guessing that because Apocalypse is only a partially conscious SNT, a hybrid, that sub processor is what Gerando Fallon tapped into. How he managed it, how he even suspected it was possible is beyond me. Definitely a question that needs to be asked when he’s recovered enough to be questioned.”
1 not bro gogogo! flashed continually across entire screen, a symbolic effort to scream at me ,if that’s what it took to get my attention.
With trembling hands I responded 1 not bro go now!
“Go.” Stanislavsky shooed me out the door. “I’ll try to keep him talking and see if I can find out more.”