It’s Friday, which means it’s Fury day after a week’s hiatus. It’s still little more than controlled chaos at Grace Manor but hopefully things will get better soon. If you remember, in the last instalment, Mac had to come to grips with the fact that some members of the family are not among her favorite people. This week an old friend shows up to help out. 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 55: Unexpected Help
“Not gonna happen,” Manning said, grabbing my hand and pulling me back to his side so fast that joints popped.
“I am inclined to agree with Richard Manning,” Fury said.
“Then you better use that big fucking brain of yours to figure out another plan,” Rab said.
I gently extricated myself from Manning’s grip. “Fury, can you keep a lock on me onboard the Apocalypse?”
1Not Bro 1 Come, 1 Not Bro 1 Go. Be Safe.
“That’ll help, if Apocalypse can manage it,” Stanislavsky said.
“No!” Manning repeated more fervently. “No. I don’t want you anywhere near that monster and we need you. We need you here.”
“The choice is not yours to make,” I said. “Fury, can you keep a lock on me just in case things go south?”
“I can, but I would reiterate Richard Manning’s sentiments. We need you here.”
“And I need to be here. But if I don’t do this, none of us may survive.”
Manning cursed profusely and when he turned to leave the room, I grabbed him and pulled him back with the same enthusiasm he’d used on me. “Don’t you dare walk out. I need you. I need both of you like I’ve never needed you before if we’re going to make this work.”
He pulled me into his arm and all but buried me in his embrace. “Jesus, Mac. Please don’t.”
“I have to and you’d do the same if the tables were turned. You know you would. It’s the only hope we have of putting an end to all this for good.”
The words were barely out of my mouth when Fury spoke. “We have company.”
“There’s only one man who would use that channel, and only in a dire emergency.” Manning opened the channel, and Captain Harker’s image filled the screen.
“This is Captain Evander Harker onboard the CF Dubrovnik. It grieves me to say that the Dubrovnik got the last distress call from the Svalbard. Damn fine ship. Damn fine crew.” His gaze came to rest on Ina. “I’m sorry for your loss, First Mate Stanislavsky.”
Stanislavsky only nodded her thanks, and my heart ached as I recalled the crew of the Svalbard and how hard they worked to save the infected indentureds. For her it had to be like losing family.
Harker turned his attention back to the rest of us. “Manning.” He offered a nod, and as I came to Manning’s side, a broad smile split his face. “Diana, it’s good to see you.”
“And you, sir,” I said, surprised by the emotion that tightened my throat.
His gaze settled back on Manning. “I’ve burned my bridges, stolen a ship and made fugitives of my crew — those I didn’t jettison in cryo-pods that is. So if you don’t need my help, I’m going to be very cross.”
“Not to mention in a shitload of trouble,” Manning said.
“You got that right.”
“Harker, the Dubrovnik is like New Vaticana Christmas and Galactic New year all rolled into one,” Manning said. “Pandora Base most definitely has need of an orca class ship. I’ll patch you through to Central Control. They’ll be very glad to hear from you.”
“So the fucking cavalry has arrived after all,” Rab said. “We just might get out of this with our asses still attached. How the hell did he know?”
“Apocalypse did not block the distress call. That is the only explanation,” Fury said.
Bro 3 call help came the response.
“Bloody hell! Who’da believed it?” Rab said, scratching his grizzled chin. “The Apocalypse is a sneaky little bastard, isn’t he?”
Orca Class Bastard came the reply.
“Apparently a sneaky little bastard with a sense of humor,” Manning observed.
“Clearly the connection is strong enough, and Abriad Fallon is unaware enough that Apocalypse’ consciousness is bleeding through. How much will he’ll be able to exert might be what sways the battle,” Fury said.
“Not the only thing that’ll sway the battle,” Stanislavsky said her gaze locked on me, but she spoke to Fury and Manning. “You need to bond. There’s not much time, and if you’re really going to be the bate, McAllister, then that bond will be essential in more ways than any of us can foresee.”