So much for a rest.
I don’t take much time off to rest – not unless I’ve done something incredibly heroic, such as…jumping into the mouth of a Diablodon…or defusing a bomb. All I needed was some time to recuperate, and for the men to take over (or at least not cause any more problems) and then everything would be fine; we’d be ready to head off once more. But this is the Vulpis Nigerei, and that just never happens.
The first I heard of any issues was when the Palatine alerted me to a vox broadcast from planetside. The Arbites were intending to come aboard. I knew this was going to be trouble, and that I would (no doubt) be the one they intended to “talk” to – considering some of the previous incidents they had probably been made all too aware of. Gingerly pulling myself from the bed, I walked myself down to where we had agreed they could dock. Of course, half the crew had also made their way there and, sure enough, the Arbites were wanting me. Or rather, they wanted the “Heretic” Kateryna Tarranne. They asked for my weapons to be laid aside – which I found rather funny. Considering how I hadn’t bothered equipping myself with my power armour or weapons, I had nothing to lay aside. The crew were in uproar – understandably, but I asked for them to stand back. I was hardly in the state to protect them should things turn bad, and I wasn’t particularly keen to see my crew also getting on the Arbites’ radar. Theophilius, Charlie, Herman and I were already doing a wonderful job at that.
As I was taken planetside, I realised that I had no idea what Theophilius, Charlie and Herman had been getting up to…which was concerning. I was taken into one of their interrogation cells, and duly interrogated. I had little to hide – I didn’t even try to hide the fact I was involved in the desert incident, though I knew they’d hardly believe I wasn’t aware of the cargo I was carrying. They showed me Charlie, who was sitting in the room next door. I should have known it was he who had been caught for whatever reason…and that he’d been the one to give my location to them. They did figure that perhaps I was being less than honest about only being “aware” of who he was, rather than knowing him fairly well. A confession was duly slid across the table and I was left to sign it. Charlie had a similar piece of paper on the desk in front of him, and it made me smile slightly to see that he too had made no movement towards it.
However, once the interrogator returned and found this, a servitor entered and they began chaining him down to some sort of chair…and then inflicting what looked like a great deal of pain. It was at this point the interrogator returned to my cell. He found that I too had not signed the confession. I really ought to learn not to joke with people intending to convict me of crimes, as when I did so I found another crime added to the huge list already in my name. I was told, in no uncertain tones, that I would face the same if I didn’t tell the truth and sign their confession. I argued that there was no point in telling them the truth as I had already done so and yet they hadn’t believed me, and that they didn’t scare me with their techniques. To be honest, with what I’ve seen of death (not that that is much) I have found many intriguing things, and actually…it piqued my curiosity. I was told not so long ago by a friend that I should not fear death…and I don’t. Not now, anyway. This, added to the fact that I knew if they attempted anything similar to that I would flake out before they found anything from me, caused a somewhat stony and unimpressed look to cross my face as the investigator gestured for me to watch Charlie’s interrogation.
This seemed to cause him to try something different. He asked about my parentage, which I did not attempt to hide from him, and it was at this point he told me I was to be released into the “care” of my family…the Navigator side, at least. Despite my every effort to show nothing, a flicker of something passed across my face, which seemed to delight the investigator. As he was leaving, he then told me they would be reaching the planet in around four hours.
I cursed. Loudly.
I was left to stew on that indigestable morsel for a period of time. My sense of time got so warped while sitting in that small box room that I couldn’t tell you precisely how long I spent there. All I know is that my musings on the situation to come were interrupted by the sound of gunfire and explosions. I stood bolt upright and in an almost battleready stance. I don’t know why, considering my lack of any kind of armour and weaponry. Habit, I suppose. A shifty-looking Arbite opened the door and told be join him – taking my life into my own hands and any escape from the inevitable “family visit”, I joined him and I was walked, as a prisoner, through the precinct. I was taken to a garage and driven out to a private spaceport. There was a Bishop waiting for me – and Charlie, who had apparently also been rescued (I’ll admit, I had kind of forgotten about him in the chaos) – and we were given a data slate containing customs information and new identities. We were in a “food storage” barn or something similar, and given many supplies to tide us over. Herman was in a stasis cell, looking rather uncomfortable and mid-sentence, in the middle of a container containing food and other supplies. We were told he was helping the Church and Romirez, an astropath, was to accompany him and their shipment. Charlie and I were also put into stasis cells and (we presume) were transported up into the ship by the Bishop in a similar way to Herman.
As we were released from stasis, Charlie began to question my appearance. I’ll be honest, by this point I was not really in the mood, nor feeling steady enough to explain much. I think I mentioned the bomb and that was about it. I asked the Palatine to let Theophilius know I want a word with him when I was more awake and when he finally returned. I also asked them to let the other two know I wanted to speak with them once my conversation with Theophilius was done. They duly did so…to both my chagrin and amusement.
Shortly after, I returned to my bed. I spent some time writing this…and now, I can only hope for a restful night and a speedy recovery.
After all, every ship needs her Captain.