From the Story Arc: Phoenyx Rising

Previous Story in the Arc: Requiem by John Murdock (Tuesday, June 14, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: 30 Minut by Shyft (Tuesday, June 14, 2005)

(posted Tuesday, June 14, 2005)

Since the night of the rescue, Sister Shuma had been driven. She was pushing herself harder, barely a few hours sleep a night. As part of the diversionary raid on the Council while a select few rescued Thea, she had not been happy. She was Thea's friend too, but obviously they didn't trust her enough to come.

She deserved it, she supposed. Her attempts at guile, acting as a child, and of course the tantrum, had all backfired. Brother Ghost had taught her before, let both friends and enemies underestimate you. Here, in the CCCP, such tactics were foolish. She hated making mistakes, and worse, making the same ones twice.

And so, she'd made some adjustments to her demeanor, her speech, and was hard at work, hitting as many contacts as she could, bringing in enough felons to fill entire wings of the Zig. She had not faltered, her expression had barely changed in three days. It was time to prove her worth. Capture, move on, capture, move on.

She had the Tsoo sorceror held, when John's voice came on quietly on her comm unit. The sorceror was screaming, caught helpless in her gravity field. His cries made it hard for Shuma to listen.

"You is being quiet!" Shuma yelled, hurling a heavy crate at him, smashing it to pieces and knocking the Tsoo devil out.

She listened, her eyes widening and sank slowly to her knees.

"How is Shuma being so blind?" she said quietly. She had seen it, John had been hacking, and she hadn't paid it any heed... and now her friend was dying...

Since the blow-up at Red Saviour, Shuma had been careful to control any outward displays of affection. Now, in the midst of a litter of sprawled and unconscious Tsoo, she broke, a crescendo of sobs, her face buried in her small delicate hands.