Gaslight (Part 23)

“Got it! Hang in there, kid! You got this!” Patch encouraged. He throttled up on the shuttle and keyed in the hailing frequency to the Veil. “Drake! Drake! Come in! We got a situation!” he barked into the comm.

“You mean other than you flying the shuttle?” Drake paused. “Why are you flying the shuttle Patch?” The pilot asked.

“Medical emergency with the Crew Chief!” The mechanic hastily explained. “I need ya ta have the Doc get ready but more importantly…” the mechanic swallowed hard, “...I’m bringin’ it in hot and uh...I dunno how to dock. Especially at this speed!”

“Is the Crew Chief dead cuz if he’s not Riley will probably kill him.” Drake warned.

“Come on!” Serena said urgently, pulling the Crew chief’s entire arm. She opened the container of water and tried letting that splash on the punk’s head. “Stay up!”

“Cold!” Vas blinked squirming. “Is there a leak …”

“He’s goin’ in an’ outta consciousness!” Patch responded to the pilot with all seriousness.

“Arrite calm down, I'm going to give a sequence and remote you in.” Drake assured. “I know Riley ONE crisis at a time, please!” He said, his voice more distant. “Okay ready Patch?”

“Yeah, ready!” Patch responded, his cadence still quick, but sounding a bit more reassured. “Gimme the sequence.”

“You gotta stay awake” Serena pleaded. “You’re the only somebody I got, Crew Chief! An’ if you die -- I’m not gonna have a somebody at all.”

“Awe … your my … body, thing, some, too…” Vas replied with a weak, delirious smile.

Drake walked Patch through a series of switches followed by a numeric keycode. “Alright,” the pilot sighed, sounding focused, “now...I want you to take your hands off the controls and don’t touch anything.” he instructed, his tone even.

“Don’t touch anything, got it.” Patch parroted the pilot’s orders as he lifted his hands away from the controls and held them up as if the flight stick was robbing him.

“I’m gonna get you loose so you can move, okay? That’d make you feel better, right?” “ Serena asked, crawling over to the toolkit to find some wire snips.

“Hooray.” The punk said with all the excitement he could muster. Which wasn’t much.

“I got you,” She said on return, pushing him again to keep him awake. His hands were like fire, he was sweating and shivering, and her hands were shaking as bad as on the docking station. “Patch, he’s burning up!” She called. With a few snips, his elbows and hands were free. “We’re almost there,” she promised. “And Sister Doctor Lyen is gonna make you better, and then guess what? Guess what then, Crew Chief?”

“What?” He asked curling under his blanket to get warm.

The shuttle slowed landing on the skid before it slid into the airlock.

“Sister Doctor Lyen is gonna fix you up, and then you’re gonna get to sleep, okay? “ She offered. “So you’re almost there.”

“Uh-hu.” Vas sighed. “That’s great …” He agreed balling up tighter.

“Take another drink, case she decides you can’t have any for a bit.” She held the bottle up to his lips, gently laying her hand on his shoulder. “See? Almost there.”

Vas grimaced, turning his head away from the bottle.

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