Agent Brzko and Ferocity arrived in the gallery of the second VReoria specimen ship. The VReoria were waiting for them. With Brzko behind him, Ferocity swept the room with his icy breath. Ice was sometimes safer than fire, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. The icy breath of a Dragon had the desired effect, the VReoria were immediately immobilized.

Brzko activated his earcom link, “The transporter is in place.” The gallery immediately began filling with members of the combined fleet, including the Muse of Mischief.

They could all hear ShyUst via earcom link. “Clear the room of all VReoria and station a guard at each entrance. I want a perimeter established in the gallery now.”

Soldiers continued to transport in – Gaznzoolians, Ploosnarians, Trelods, and Suus. As they arrived ShyUst directed them out into the main ship. They could hear the commotion but they had other work to do.

“We want to take the VReoria live if possible, but once captured they will activate their death gland and extinguish themselves. Be ready.” ShyUst commanded to everyone.

Xiix arrived to help with the stasis tubes.

“Xiix, do you know how to safely deactivate the stasis tubes?” M asked.

Yes.” He approached the nearest tube and opened a panel at the base. “Like this. Someone be ready to catch the inhabitant – you’re going to get wet.” He pulled out a cluster of wires, singling out the two red wires, he yanked until they were disconnected.

The clear tube began to descend into the base, as it did the stasis fluid began to gush out, drenching all of them. The head of a male humanoid became visual, it looked like it might be a Ploosnarian. He began to fall toward Ferocity. The Dragon reached up and took the being securely by the shoulders as the remainder of the fluid spilled out.

Lean him down so that I can reach the breathing tube.” Ferocity complied. Xiix removed the clear piece that covered the beings mouth and nose, and then slowly began to pull on the breathing tube. “Remove the tube slowly, and be ready to provide rescue breathing.

As soon as the tube cleared the being’s mouth he began coughing. Ferocity gently laid him on his side, on the floor next to the tube, bending over him, he attempted to wake him. “You’re going to be OK, you’re free again.”

The being’s eyes fluttered, then opened. He looked around disoriented and then realized a Dragon was leaning over him. He screamed. Brzko went to his side and projected calmness, it worked.

Suddenly they were surrounded by Suus. “We have a ship setup to receive the evacuees and attend to them. Work in teams and start freeing them from the stasis tubes. This team will transport them as quickly as we can free them.” Xiix projected, referring to the Suus that had just arrived, they all wore blue armbands to signify their role. The strength of the four armed Suus made them the perfect candidates for transporting the evacuees. One of them stepped forward and easily lifted the first being that had been rescued, immediately transporting him to the evacuee ship.

Empress Nalau transported into the gallery, not quite looking her usual self. Her hair was tightly bound and she was donning work pants and boots. “How can help?” She asked walking over to them.

“Empress! How did you get here? It may not be safe.” M said.

“I don’t have time for safe M. There’s work to do. And to quote a dear friend of mine, I might be female but I’m not feeble.

M smiled. “OK let’s go.” She led Nalau to the next stasis tube and showed her the process.

Brzko and Ferocity took the next tube. And so it went for quite some time. They cleared tube after tube, freeing species they were familiar with as well as some they’d never seen before.

After M and Nalau had cleared several tubes she heard Zri. “M.” He called. She could tell by the way that her earcom link had activated that this was a private conversation, the earcom links of the others were not activated. M motioned to a Suus, and for Nalau’s benefit she spoke to her outloud, “Fill in for me for a second. I’ll be right back.” The Empress didn’t even look up from what she was doing, she kept working falling right in sync with her new partner.

After stepping aside M replied. “I’m here Zri, is Lelelu OK?”

“Yes, she’s OK. But we’re going back to the other specimen ship. She needs to see if her father has been rescued yet.”

“How will you get there?”

“My ship is here.”

“But that will take a few hours won’t it?”


“Hold on, I have another idea.” M reached for Ferocity using telepathy. “Ferocity, Zri and Lelelu need to get back to the first specimen ship to see if her father has been rescued. But it will take his ship a few hours to get there…

He interrupted her, “My ship will take them and then return here. Tell them to sit down and prepare for jump.

Understood.” She activated her earcom link to reach Zri privately. “Ferocity’s ship will take you, it can get there in minutes. Sit down and prepare for jump. Once you get there and transport off of the ship it will return here.”

“Will do. Please give Ferocity our gratitude.”

The Muse of Mischief rejoined Empress Nalau, there were still stasis tubes to clear.

The rescuers worked nonstop. The scene was slimy chaos – the floor was covered in thick stasis fluid with breathing tubes and wires scattered about. It wasn’t until the four of them approached the last tube that they realized they had cleared them all. M stepped back and let Brzko and his Dragon handle the last tube. Ferocity was focused on the wires, pulling the red ones. As the tube began to descend, and the liquid began to spill Brzko saw that the being was a Dragon, a very small one.

Brzko positioned himself to catch the dragon, “Ferocity look.”

Ferocity stood up and saw the Dragon. He gasped and took over the retrieval, gently laying the dragon down and removing the breathing tube. Everyone stayed silent, hoping that this was not going to be one of the few deceased specimens they had encountered. The Dragon didn’t move. Ferocity leaned down, and with his snout next to the small Dragon’s face he made the same purring sound that had calmed Wisssi. One of the Dragon’s toes twitched. Ferocity continued to purr. The Dragon became more animated, eventually becoming fully awake. If Ferocity hadn’t been there, the team would not have been able to resuscitate this small Dragon. One of the Suus with a blue armband came toward them, ready to transport the Dragon to the ship with the other evacuees.

“I will take her.” Ferocity said quietly, as he stood, lifting the small Dragon.

As you wish.” The Suus projected.

Ferocity manipulated his Gaznzulian armband and transported off the ship.

M activated her earcom link, “ShyUst, what’s your status? We have evacuated everyone from the gallery.”

“We have three VReoria in holding, the rest have been dispatched. We are making a final sweep of the ship, searching for anyone we may have missed. We’ll meet you in the gallery.”

“Copy that.” M said.

Empress Nalau approached one of the Suus that had been helping to transport the evacuees. “Will you please show me how to adjust this transporter? I want to go to the ship with the evacuees.” She held her arm out.

It would be my honor Your Majesty.” They both transported to the other ship.

Luckily the Muse of Mischief and Agent Brzko were alone in the gallery, they needed a few minutes to catch their breath. This had been a rescue operation like no other.

“You look like shit M. You’re soaked with that nasty stasis fluid.” Brzko teased as he embraced her.

“Hey I’m not the only one! Ewwwww….” she said pushing him away. “Do I smell like that too?”

“Ummm yeah. You stink.”

“We could jump home real quick and shower….” she said knowing that they would never do something so selfish.

Brzko just laughed. “So did everything with the clone work like it was supposed to?”

“Yeah pretty much. They thought it was me until it was too late. By then Lelelu had gotten away and I detonated the clone.”

“So was it weird to blow yourself up?”

“It was a relief… having a clone of yourself is really creepy Brzko, really creepy.”

ShyUst entered the gallery, “The ship is clear. We are ready to destroy it.”

“Good.” Agent Brzko said. “Ferocity, what’s your location?” he asked using his earcom link for the benefit of the nontelepaths.

“Aboard my ship, awaiting instructions Lord Brzko.”

Brzko turned back to ShyUst, “M and I will watch the destruction form Ferocity’s ship. How long will it take for the evacuees to get to Gaznzul?”

“From here, almost a day. They have already departed with a full security escort.” ShyUst answered.

“OK, we’ll meet them at Gaznzul. Thank you ShyUst. You led the combined fleet through a difficult mission.” Agent Brzko said, shaking his hand. “How are the evacuations from the other ship progressing?”

“The VReoria ship is clear and ready to be destroyed. The evacuees are already underway to Gaznzul even though there were more beings held on that ship. They had about the same survival rate. And interestingly, that ship seemed to have several species we’ve not seen before. Maybe that ship had been in other universes – we’ll be able to meet the new species when we get to Gaznzul.” ShyUst said.

“Excellent. We’ll catch up with you there.” And with that M and Brzko left the specimen ship for Ferocity’s ship.

“How’s the young Dragon, Ferocity?” M asked as soon a they were aboard.

“She is expected to make a full recovery.” He answered solemnly. “Where are we to go now?”

“Home.” Agent Brzko said taking a seat. “ As soon as they blow up that ship let’s go home. I want to shower before we head to Gaznzul to meet the evacuees.”

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