Amidst The Stars

By Christee Morton All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Romance

The Tricky Ravyn

He didn't normally take on passengers, much less a Hunter with cargo, but even he couldn't pass up on the million credits the man offered.

"I can't believe you're letting a Hunter on." Shenna hissed at him through their commlink. His commanding officer's sister and his own friend and pilot, she had a say in what went on in the ship, and right now he was getting an earful for letting a Hunter on-board.
"You want that new warp-core, don't you?" he retorted, entering a code into a panel that would let the man aboard, a limp-body tossed over one of his broad shoulders like common luggage instead of a person. It didn't sit right with him, especially since he had his own history with the Hunter race, but his crew's needs came first, and if it meant dealing with the scumbag, then so be it.
"He has a woman, for kispin's sake!" Shenna protested again, and he rose a brow at the woman's word choice. Raised by strict parents, the woman was as tight-laced as a High Priestess, and to hear her use his birth-language to curse, he knew she was furious.
"We're stuck without his credits, Shen." a calmer voice cut in, and he sighed silently in relief.
If anyone could calm Shenna down, it would be Dain. The man was more effeminate than she was, but they had grown up together and he knew her better than anyone. Zin knew better than anyone to not judge by appearances though, knowing the affinity Dain had for explosives and things that went BOOM. His hobby had saved all their asses more times than he cared to admit.
"It's a woman, D." Shenna's voice wobbled, and Zin knew that she was reliving her own past.
Having been sold to slavers by her father's uncle, who wanted the Admiral's chair so badly that he killed his own wife and child, Shenna's experience with Hunter's was horrific, and the scars they'd left on her body and mind barely scratched the surface as to what had really happened.
"Is there anyway we can bring the woman to the MedBay?" a familiar voice cut into the gentle soothing of Dain, and Zin stopped what he was doing to listen to the man. The identical twin brother of Dain, Fain was their tactical thinker, and could usually get them out of any problem with minor damages. "Mely's doing a body-scan on them both, and from what I can see, the woman's in bad shape."
Instead of replying right away, Zin turned to his own console and pulled up the scan Mely was doing. Fain's mate had an innate skill when it came to all things medical, and even though she had no fighting experience, it had been the only way to get Fain to join them on this run.
When he saw the list of current and recent injuries that had been picked up by the scan, Zin felt his blood start to boil. As violent as he was, something he admitted freely now, he would never raise a hand to a woman who didn't deserve it. Going by the woman's gaunt appearance, as well as the list of injuries, this woman didn't deserve the harm that had been placed on her.
"Hunters are touchy when it comes to their cargo." a voice said from Zin's left, and he looked up to see Krestin getting up from where he'd been watching the screens. "Unless we force him, he's not going to let her out of his sight."
Zin knew this, but the fact that Krestin had strung together more than a three-word sentence had them all speechless.
"So he does speak!"
Zin rolled his eyes as Fain started teasing their silent brother, Dain chuckling in the background.
All humor faded when the Hunter stepped into the room, the other's knowing when they heard Zin's sharp intake of breath. Not one easily intimidated, Zin knew in an instant that taking down the Hunter would not be an easy feat. It was something he wasn't used to admitting, especially given his own large size and parentage.
"Where's the cargo hold?" the Hunter asked, roughly jostling the limp body he carried.
A sharp hiss in his ear had Zin turning off his link, not wanting Shenna to barge in and start a fight they might not win. If they killed the man, they wouldn't receive the credits he'd promised them upon delivery of his cargo. Zin really wished he'd asked for more details on what the cargo was, but hindsight was always better.
Waving a hand, he motioned for the Hunter to follow him, typing a quick command into the console as he did so, hoping his crew would read it before he left the deck with the man. As he lead the way to the hold, he caught sight of Dain pulling Shenna back into the kitchen, just in time to avoid being seen.
Pressing a palm to a screen set into the wall, the door to their cargo hold opened and the Hunter shoved past him. Biting his tongue to keep from saying anything, Zin watched as the man dumped the woman in a corner, using a magnetic cuff to keep her hands over her head even as her head slumped forward, her hood still covering her face.
"Anyone touches her, they die." the Hunter growled, revealing sharp teeth in a warning snarl.
Feeling his own lips start to lift in response to the very obvious threat against his crew, Zin was saved from answering by a curiously calm Shenna who appeared behind him.
"Buckle up, we take-off in 5." she informed them, keeping her eyes on the Hunter, who just grunted and shouldered past them.
"This is going to be a long trip." Shenna sighed, her mask dropping and letting Zin see the turmoil she was experiencing. "Are you sure there's nothing we can do about her?" she asked, nodding her head in the direction of the hold, where the still unconscious woman was shackled.
"Not without risking death or not getting paid." Zin admitted, hating the fact that their dire need for a new core was preventing them from saving someone in obvious need. Wrapping an arm around Shenna's shoulders, he led them both in the direction of the flight deck, where the Hunter was already seated towards the very back, seemingly asleep. The twins were seated on either side of Krestin, who was looking murderous whilst the twins were still giggling over something that had been said earlier.
Taking their respective places at the helm, the Tricky Ravyn was soon in the air and cutting through the atmosphere with a powerful punch that had everyone pressed into their seat. Zin knew Shenna was trying to keep the ship as level as possible to keep the woman in the cargo hold from being tossed around, but some twists and turns couldn't be avoided as they swerved around the asteriod belt that circled the Black Market planet where even the Galactic Overseers dared not go.

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