QI’RA: Chapter Sixteen

Preparing for a Reconnaissance Mission

Qi’ra sat in the cockpit of Night Shade, T-38 standing to her right and Top Lieutenant Nienye standing to her left. The female pilot, Solaar, was piloting the craft.

The blue streaks of hyperspace racing by suddenly lurched to pinpoints of light as the ship appeared out of lightspeed at their destination.

Much to her bodyguard’s surprise, they found themselves in the middle of an asteroid field. T-38 stepped forward, gazing at the floating rocks that were glittering in shimmering grey minerals and what looked like bits of snow.

“What is this place?” T-38 asked.

Qi’ra stood, moving over to the console. She pressed a button and immediately a hologram of the map appeared in the middle of the open-spaced cockpit. Night Shade was a single blue dot in the middle of the cosmos while the pinging blue dot showed where the coaxium was. Qi’ra pointed at the blinking dot.

“That’s where our coaxium is. Somewhere in this asteroid field.”

“That’s smart,” Nienye said. “The rebels can be hidden off of passersby’s scopes in this field.”

“So how do you plan to storm this hidden rebel base?” T-38 asked, looking grim as ever as she placed her hands on her hips.

“First, we run a reconnaissance mission and then…we strike,” Qi’ra said.

“Well, at least you have a plan,” T-38 snorted.

Nienye nodded. “We’ll get on it right away.”

Qi’ra looked at him. “What are you talking about? I’m coming with you.”

He shook his head. “We’re going to run the reconnaissance mission while you stay here.”

“And when did you suddenly get the notion that I wouldn’t be joining the mission?” Qi’ra said.

T-38 approached from behind. “Since you’ve been the leader of Crimson Dawn,” T-38 said sternly.

“I can handle myself,” Qi’ra told them.

“We know you can but you’re too important to risk embarking on this mission,” Nienye said. “We’ll survey their base of operations and then return with a plan. If things take a turn for the worse you can live to survive another day.”

Qi’ra nodded. “You’re right.” She looked at T-38. “You’re both right. I’ll stay here and wait for your return.”

Nienye placed a hand on her shoulder. “Thank you.”

Qi’ra smiled. “Sometimes I forget as a leader I can’t do the things I used to. Just…” she looked both of them in the eyes, “make sure you do return.”

Nienye smiled. “I always do.”

With that, he left the cockpit and Qi’ra felt her cheeks instinctively warm in response. T-38 regarded her with a smirk before following after him.

As Qi’ra sat back down she felt a hint of worry. What if things went wrong? Could this be the last time she would ever see Nienye or T-38? She gripped the armrests of her chair tightly, hoping that it wouldn’t be.

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