The forging of a new path Part 2

Over the next few days, much of the Event Horizon's crew made their way over to the V3 station. A makeshift airlock was thrown together to ease the transition of crew and workers.

Captain Miller sipped his coffee and watched intently through a bank of monitors as the V3 workers assembled a latticework of scaffolding and began to lay down the first keels of the forward decks. Behind him, he could sense the entity curiously watching them as well. For once, their goals seemed to be in alignment.

Closer to home, red beams flashed brightly as the wreckage that once formed the main corridor was cut away. The hunk of twisted metal would be retained in the ship's cargo hold, as Miller was unwilling to take the chance that any remnant of the entity lingered within it.

"Captain, I understand you can't leave the ship. But surely you can at least relax a bit," Kilpack said, entering the otherwise empty room.

"How can I, John?" Miller asked.

In recent days, the two captains had taken to calling eachother by their first names. Their shared burdens had caused the two's association to transcend that of mere colleagues.

Miller continued, "We're docked beside an entire station full of innocent people. And that thing... there is no greater pleasure for it than the sounds of agony and fear. If they knew what we were carrying onboard this ship, they'd have vaporized us on the spot. And rightfully so!"

"I know. Believe me, I know. But you can't go on like this. You've beaten it! You're the master of the Event Horizon! I can sense how it regards you. We all can. It delights in the fear it causes others, but for the first time in its existence, you made it afraid. For a hundred years you battled that demon. How? I don't know. But you broke its will. You can afford to stop and breathe," Kilpack said.

Miller let out a long sigh, "What do you propose?"

"Well, I was talking to one of Vrox's guys and apparently there are these creatures called Wookies onboard the station. Six-seven feet tall, covered in fur, strong as an ox... insatiable in the bedroom," Kilpack said with a wry grin.

Miller nearly spat a mouth full of coffee out. Instead, a stream of it ran down his chin as a grin crept across his lips. With effort, he choked the remainder of the liquid down.

"Six or seven feet you say?" he said with a cough.

"Oh yeah. I gather they communicate entirely through grunts and howls," Kilpack continued.

"You've got to be kidding me," Miller said, laughing.

"I'm not! I swear," Kilpack replied, wiping a tear from his eye.

"Okay... I'm not quite ready for female companionship- certainly not that kind. But if you want to go spend a few of our station credits on some creature comforts, I would be grateful," Miller acquiesced.

"Already got you covered, Captain," Leutenant Smith said, walking in with a satchel of glass bottles.

Their different colored contents sloshed about as he unloaded them one by one onto the console infront of Miller.

"As the ship's medic, it's probably best that I attend this little indulgence of alien spirits," Leutenant Commander D.J. said, strolling in next.

Leutenant Peters was not far behind, along with two members of Kilpack's crew.

"None of you have to be here, you know that," Miller said in astonishment.

"We know. But we're a crew. No man left behind and all," D.J. said, popping the cork on a bottle and pouring Miller a glass of bright blue liquid.

"Truly, thank you all," Miller said, an emotional tremor in his voice.

There was a clinking of glasses and they both downed their contents... and nearly vomited.

"Oh my god, that is awful!" Miller exclaimed.

"It was really just the aftertaste," D.J. said between coughs.

The others laughed heartily and poured their own glasses.

And so, over the coming days and weeks, the crew took turns joining Miller on his otherwise lonely vigil. They watched as the central corridor stretched out into the night and then made contact with the skeleton of what was to be the ship's foredecks. Then hull plating went up and interior spaces took shape.

Soon the Event Horizon would be whole once more.

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