Ballistic Logistics Saga - Part XV

August 2941
Cathcart System

After a few more minutes of flying into what must have been the darkest corner of Spider, Gedion began to slow the Course Correction.

"I know a guy who runs a repair shop here, he owes me a favor, he can keep us safe while we get the Course Correction fixed up.

"Owes you a favor huh?" Matthias inquired.

"Well, let's just say I recovered some items for him once. He's not exactly the most reputable repairman in the 'verse, but he is a friend." Gedion replied.

A few moments later, Gedion guided the ship to an old rundown repair facility. He punched a few buttons on the comm.

"Webb, it's Gedion. I need some repairs and I need to keep it quiet," Gedion said.

"Got the creds?" Webb asked?

Gedion looked at Matthias. Matthias nodded affirmatively.

"Yup" Gedion replied over the comm.

"Right, bay four," Webb instructed.

The Course Correction landed in bay four, as per Webb's instructions. Webb, a grizzled old fellow with dirty wrinkles and a dubious smile was there to greet them as then landed and disembarked.

Matthias was the headed to the back of the ship and hit the switch to lower the cargo bay door. The pneumatics gagged sputtered, lurching back and forth, and finally settled half-open, unable to go any further in either direction.

"Damn!" Matthias exclaimed. He climbed over the lip of the cargo door and hopped down to the ground. He took a moment to survey the ship. It wasn't in good shape. "Saskia, how long do you it'll be before she's ready to fly again?" he inquired.

Saskia had unbuckled herself from her seat and was going through the ship's systems, making a mental inventory of all that was wrong, broken, or missing.

"I'd say three weeks, at least," she replied with a sigh of frustration.

"Three weeks!" Matthias replied exasperatedly.

"I don't expect he'll be able to wait that long," Gedion interjected. Saskia nodded in agreement.

Saskia and Gedion finished fully powering down the ship and left the same way as Matthias had, crawling over the half opened cargo bay door. Once out of the ship, they could see Matthias had walked across to an adjacent landing bay and was speaking to a woman standing next to a damaged Constellation named "Zephyr". Behind it was a nearly pristine Khartu, which caught Gedion's eye and made his pulse race. It kept him so distracted that Webb had reached them and Saskia began the conversation.

"I thought you said he would keep this quiet?" Saskia nervous inquired, noticing that they had landed in the middle of a somewhat busy public repair station.

"Don't you worry sweet-cheeks I won't tell a soul," Webb replied with a grin and wink.

"Thanks Webb, you're the best," Gedion said, half sarcastically

"I always aim to please," Webb replied, still staring lecherously at Saskia.

"We'll need medical attention for my friends here as well," Gedion informed Webb as the five spec ops soldiers piled out of the back of the Course Correction

"Got the creds?" Webb replied again.

"We know what's on his mind," Saskia said under her breath to Gedion.

"Well, at least you know you can trust him as..." Gedion began.

"As long as you got the creds. Yeah. Got it," Saskia finished the sentence with a grin.

Two medical staff came over and began attending to Saskia's head injury and several of the soldier's wounds.

"My friend over there needs some medical attention as well," Gedion added, gesturing to Matthias.

Saskia, impatient as always and curious as to who Matthias was talking to, left mid-treatment and walked over to Matthias and the woman he was speaking with.

"Webb, how long will the repairs to the Zephyr take?" Matthias shouted.

"I believe about a week, week and a half," Webb replied, pretending to crunch numbers in his head.

Gedion strained his ears but couldn't manage to overhear what Matthias, Saskia, and the woman were talking about. A few moments later, the medical technician finished bandaging his various cuts and bruised, and Gedion walked over to join the others. Saskia was surveying the Zephyr, and a number over interesting modifications caught Gedion's eye as well. He looked the ship over noting all the interesting tinkering that had gone into it.

Matthias shouted and got the attention of the five BL soldiers.

"Yes sir?" they replied.

"Pack up boys, we got a new ride!" He shouted back. The soldiers nodded in understanding and began to collect their things.

"Saskia, once we fix up the Zephyr, I want you to stay here and get the Course Correction back in order. You can meet us on Terra in three weeks as we are going to need a ride home." Matthias explained.

"Aye sir," Saskia replied.

"He doesn't mess around does he? Been here for ten minutes and he already has a plan," Gedion observed. Saskia just smiled and nodded.

"Guess we've got some work to do," she finally replied. The two of them set about the repairs to the Zephyr. Once they were completed, Gedion would be heading home to Terra, heading home to face his father.

Fifteen minutes or so, Matthias came left his conversation and rejoined Gedion and Saskia.

"Buy you a drink?" Matthias asked Gedion.

"Sure," Gedion replied.

Gedion and Matthias plopped down in a booth and sighed in exhaustion. An automated waiter rolled over.

"What'll it be?" It asked in a robotic voice.

"Whiskey good for you?" Matthias asked. Gedion nodded affirmatively.

The men sat sipping their whiskeys and staring down at the table in silence. An entire conversation happened in the silence, but not a word of it needed to be spoken. Gedion knew Matthias was thankful. Matthias knew Gedion was just glad for it to be over. After a few minutes of silence, Gedion finally spoke.

"You think we can trust them?" Gedion asked, referring to their ride to Terra.

"Val and Viviana seem on the up and up. Plus we have five spec ops soldiers with us, it wouldn't be smart for them to double cross us," Matthias replied.

The men sat silently for a few more minutes, nursing their whiskeys.

"You know, I've been thinking about something my father always said," Gedion began.

"What's that?" Matthias replied.

"Son, I'm doing this for your own good," Gedion replied, deepening his voice in order to sound ‘fatherly'.

"So he was the tough love type," Matthias said, staring into his glass. Gedion laughed a little.

"More like the no love type," he replied. "Promise me something though Matthias,"

Matthias looked up at him.

"If my father really is behind this, he needs to pay for what he's done. But I don't want to kill him. Whatever he's done, he is still my father. I want him to make things right, he can't do that if he's dead," Gedion asked.

Matthias paused for a moment, considering the request.

"Truth is, he's just a middle man in all this anyway. He'll pay for what he's done, but it's the Shadow Advocacy I'm after." Matthias replied.

"What is the Shadow Advocacy anyway? I've never heard of them," Gedion said.

Matthias motioned the robotic waiter to come to their table.

"Two more whiskeys," he ordered. The waiter complied and filled their glasses. Matthias took a sip and set his glass down on the table. He opened his mouth to speak, "Let me tell you a story..."