“That good?” The crackled voice bounced around inside the hermetic bubble.
“Conduit’s shredded completely.” Again he worked at budging the misshapen hunk of metal back into place. “I managed to rig some of the wiring back up, but…”
“Radar keeps blinking out.”
“It’s enough to get us a push us in the right direction.”
With the gentlest of nudges, Dru floated back from the ship’s hull. The blackness of space filled the horizon past the Looking Glass’s bow. There was nothing, and it was all around them. There was comfort in that. He looked back down at the jagged gash pulled up from the hull. “You just don’t get her a case of the fiery deaths when she breaks atmo. That anchor left a nice wound.” Dru drifted back around. Looking down the ship’s back he muttered under his breath. “Gorram Reavers.”
“She’ll hold together. She always does.”
The tips Durden’s gloves found at a seam in the hull and effortlessly sent him on his way. His other hand reached up on the tether and gave it proper yank, guiding him up along the tail of The Rabbit and back under to the open airlock. He pooled up the slack on the cable, slowly floating into place. As his feet tapped against the grating he stuck a thumb up against the thick square inner window. The whining of the closing door was punctuated by the compression and hiss of life support returning to the box. As the interior doors pulled, back Durden popped the seals to the headgear and pulled it off.
“How bad is it?” The old gentleman at the hatch controls stepped forward, reaching for the globe. He bore a look of concern as honest as his eyes.
Dru handed it over and started unzipping. “It’s just a scratch, preacher. Alice’s seen worse.” He stepped free of the suit and draped it over his shoulder. “We won’t be needing any last rites quite yet.”
“I certainly hope not.” The Shepherd set the headgear beneath the spacesuit Dru was hanging and then followed him across the cargo bay to the stairs. “That’d be an unfortunate end to our recent good fortune.”
“I’ve got good news.” Tyler Kokezaru called back from the cockpit when he heard the feet coming across the flooring. “That hard burn put us ahead of schedule nicely.” He spun the chair around and slumped into the armrest as they entered the cockpit. “Of course we’ll be pushing on fumes by the time we reach Beaumonde.”
Dru dropped himself into the co-pilot chair, half glancing at the blinking console. “Physics and gravity.”
Ty grinned. “It’s all we need.”
Reverend Copernicus Jones cleared his throat. “So we’re plannin’ on ‘crashing’ on Beaumonde, then?”
“Not planning on it, Shepherd. Just don’t want to be surprised if it happens.” Tyler gave him smile, spinning back to the ship controls. “I’d be more concerned with turning to a ball of molten flame when we break the atmosphere.”
Copper’s brow raised as his eyes fell upon Durden. “Just a scratch, huh?” Durden shrugged. He reached over and gave Tyler’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze, then walked over to the cockpit’s exit.
“If you need me, I’ll be in my quarters, brushing up on my Last Rites,” he said, tipping his hat to Durden. “Y’know… just in case.”