A/N: MKJK I rephrased your prompt. Hope that’s okay.
“We’ve just entered that central void in the Spaghetti where our sensors and similar work,” Niobe said. “And our escort and Promise are both hailing us.”
“Put them on screen,” Amanpreet said.
“Okay,” Niobe said. A moment later the escort captain appeared on the screen.
“This is quite extraordinary,” he said. “I knew you’d described it but I thought you must be exaggerating. We may have to ask Promise and his people if they will be willing to construct nests like this elsewhere in hyperspace. They could make travel a lot safer.”
“It’s possible we would,” Promise said. “But right now we need to discuss our prisoners. They tried to attack me after I swallowed them.”
“Damn!” Amanpreet exclaimed. “Are you okay? Did they hurt you?”
“I’m fine, but they are not happy with the restraints I used on their ship. The trouble with knowing their language is I know they are swearing at me. I’d like to evict them soon.”
“Once we get to Talis,” Amanpreet said. “Even a small station like that has a brig. They can send them to Aletheia for trial.”
â€œSo what did it taste like?â€ The captain said.
â€œHmm?â€ Promise said. â€œOh, the ship. I don’t actually have a sense of taste like you do. We use hyperspace radiation for energy.â€
â€œYes, that’s quite a trick,â€ Vanna said. â€œThe non-sophont Fish do it too and the Mez won’t share how they engineered it. Oddly they claim they didn’t.â€
â€œThat’s true, they didn’t,â€ Promise said. â€œThey discovered by accident that a sub-sophont species on their homeworld somehow had the ability even though it was useless to a creature that couldn’t enter hyperspace and they used that as one of our progenitors.â€
Vanna leaned across her console, eyes afire with speculation. â€œThat’s interesting considering how vulnerable the Mez and most other species on their homeworld are to hyperspace radiation. I’ll have to talk to Umi and Storm, because the only thing I can imagine is that the non-sophont species was descended from a sophont species.â€
â€œIt’s an interesting speculation,â€ the captain said. â€œBut for now we need to plan where to emerge from the Spaghetti.â€
â€œAs near to Talis as possible,â€ Promise said. â€œAnd my people will escort you all and capture any more ships that attack us. If there are several of us I doubt they will.â€
â€œExcellent! Thank you for your help,â€ he said.
â€œAmanpreet and her friends are my friends,â€ Promise said. â€œI think the bigger problem is how we get to Corona and back safely.â€
â€œYes, we’ll discuss that at Talis,â€ the captain said. â€œSo what restraints do you have on the prisoners.â€
â€œI’ll show you.â€ Promise said. An image appeared on the screen of the Vaian ship in a cavernous space somewhere inside Promise. The stick was encased in some kind of black goop. â€œDon’t worry it won’t hurt them.â€
â€œGoodness me!â€ the captain said. â€œWe have a Fish, we have spaghetti, and now we have sauce. This mission is making me hungry.â€ He gave a wry grin. â€œBut more seriously we need to get to Talis as soon as possible. I need to file a report about this. I haven’t found my traitor yet and the Council needs warning that Vaian influence apparently extends further than we thought if they have spies on our ships.â€
â€œThat’s a good idea,â€ Amanpreet agreed. â€œLet’s cut contact until we get back into normal space.â€
Several hours later they emerged from Hyperspace just beyond the Talis system’s Kupier belt and headed inwards towards Talis. Almost immediately two Vaian sticks also emerged from hyperspace and came shooting towards them, lasers already firing. As the Whisper swerved out of the way Amanpreet stared at the screen in disbelief.
â€œThey’re attacking us in normal space in range of a station? Are they stupid?â€
â€œDesperate I think,â€ Kayla said. â€œThey must really want me dead and they knew they couldn’t win in hyperspace after our first encounter. They’re hoping being able to use their weapons will even the field.â€
â€œIt won’t.â€ Promise’s voice was soothing as it came over the speakers. “Run for the station, your escorts and my people will deal with them.â€
â€œDo as Promise says,â€ the captain said.
â€œOkay,â€ Amanpreet said. â€œNiobe keep the line open and the battle on the screen.â€
â€œOf course, Am.â€
Amanpreet kept her eyes on the screen as the ship flew towards Talis and safety. Their escorts and the Fish were all over the Vaian ships and also using their weaponry. She tilted her head as an odd energy discharge that wasn’t quite a laser emerged from one of the Fish’s heads and struck one of the enemy. It didn’t appear to damage the Stick but it seemed to be incapacitated and another of the Fish swallowed it the way Promise had grabbed the one in hyperspace.
The crew of the remaining Vaian ship obviously realised they had been beaten because they turned tail and fled, disappearing into hyperspace. Two of the Fish also vanished.
â€œIt’s making a run for it!â€ Promise said. â€œMy fellows will chase them down and bring them back.â€
â€œThank you,â€ Amanpreet said. â€œBut warn them to be careful. Human weapons tend to be more powerful than Mez ones. Now let’s get to Talis base. They’ll have been watching and worrying.â€
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