Warp Riders – Chapter 22

“Just going to have to rearrange us a bit, Captain, so I can reach the oars. Can you sit up properly?”

There was no way her knee was allowing that. After too much awkward fumbling in the dark, the Captain ended up reclining, feet on the edge, head on the other woman’s knee.

“How do you plan to find the exit, exactly?”

“Well, I have two plans, you’ll be pleased to hear. The worst involves me paddling until we hit a wall, and then slowly making our way along it in hopes I catch the rope. The other is simpler–” and she was leaning over the Captain, dripping on her as she fumbled along the edge of the raft – “as long as the instructions weren’t out of date–” and then a loud velcro noise and a self satisfied snort told the Captain she’d found what she was looking for. “Watch your eyes!”

The first flare screamed to life.

She held it high as they both craned their necks to find the cavern opening – and of course, they’d ended up almost over at the far wall from it. They both sighed.

The Navigatrix wordlessly handed the flare to the Captain, and picked up the oars and started paddling.

The emergency life raft was not particularly hydrodynamic, and they weren’t even halfway across when the first flare died.

“Hand me the next one?”

“I can paddle in the dark for a little; let’s save them for getting up the rope.”


Assessing the climb, the Captain sighed.

That made the Navigatrix stop paddling. Silence descended again, but now in much closer proximity.


“Are you angry with me, Captain?”

“I’m always angry with you.”

“I’ve always thought of you more as… grumpy.”

“Fine. I’m grumpy with you.”

A quiet snort.

“Look, do you need me to do the paddling? I’m done with this cave.”

“Oh, shush, you never let me rescue you.”

The Captain felt a gentle hand on her hair, which made her jump, which made the Navigatrix pull her hand away just as fast.

“Just – just get us out of here, Nav.”

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