Befly didn't want to believe us, but she didn't do anything to stop the crazy people, either. That was good. We just didn't have time to go through all the explanations in any detail.
"Have you had contact with your admin in the last couple of days?"
"No," she admitted and went with me to the fighter. "But you can't have come here knowing --"
"Didn't think it would be this far gone already," I admitted. "We were going to see if anything was going on and do our best to stop it. This is not the kind of mess I want to find myself in. Krisin?"
"About there," he said with his head stuck in the heart of the craft. His fingers found something in his pocket, and he worked it into place. "I swear, Tana, that Captain Dundas purposely tries to find the most ... unusual work for us?"
"Like sticking you with a Catchin crewmember?" Lisel asked.
"The thought has occurred to me," Krisin said, his voice muffled still.
I didn't say anything, but mostly because I heard shouts and looked back in time to see Brick throw himself into the middle of a fight that was growing wilder by the moment.
"That's not good," Befly said.
"I think Brick is with us," I said. I can't be sure about the rest of his people. The Sailfor might be the heart of the trouble, and it seemed to us that they were getting ready to act. Krisin?"
"Just about. I wish we had time for tests, Tana. I didn't imagine we'd need the fighter right away."
"I know. We're all going to do what we can."
He slid back out, his face a bit pale. "I should do with you."
"No. The station needs you back at Admin. I can handle this. The target isn't even going to be moving."
'Ha," he said. Then he put his hands on their arms, looked as though he wanted to say something, but only nodded and headed away without a word. Tana only watched long enough to make sure he made it past the trouble spot. Brick even moved out of the fray to go with him, and she counted that as good.
"Let me get some cover here," Befly said as though she had suddenly decided to side with them. "No one needs to see what we do with the fighter."
Befly had another craft brought out to partially block the fighter. This one was larger and looked like it had gone through hell.
"Local craft," Befly said. "Owned by the station. We have an obligation to keep them flying."
"What the hell do you fight out there?"
"Drunken space monkeys."
That was an ancient joke, but I thought I might not doubt it from the looks of that damage. I would undoubtedly be on the lookout for trouble out there. Krisin had finished his work, talked to someone for a moment -- yes, make this all look normal -- and then walked over to me. He looked calm, but I could see the trouble in his eyes.
"I have to get back," he said. He ran a hand through his hair -- a nervous gesture, but others wouldn't realize it, I thought. No one knew him here. "I don't like splitting up like this, Tana."
"Can they handle admin without you?" I asked.
He stopped for a moment and blinked. "I wish I could believe they could. They might not need me, but that's not a chance we can take. Be careful. Both of you."
Then he went past me and walked casually back down the open bay area. The trouble at the Sailfor seemed to be dying down. I could see -- and hear -- Brick shouting orders, so I thought he had gotten some control. I show what I hoped was no more than a casual interest as Krisin walked past them. I suspected that he would be moving far faster once he made it back to the empty market area.
"I'm telling you that it was not as serious as it looked," Befly said suddenly while poking me in the arm. Yeah, she had my attention. "There is a bad conductor to the weapons, but once we have that rebuilt, it'll be fine."
"It didn't act like a bad conductor," I complained, aware of a man who had moved in far too close. "It drained power to the engines --"
"I have that part fixed. Go test it out. Just don't go far. You don't have any weapons, but that shouldn't be a problem."
"You could have said this before I sent my crewmember off on leave!"
"The two of us can handle it," Lisel said with a bored sigh. "I want to see it so I can tell Krisin he was wrong. Or I could take it out on my own."
"No," I said with such force that Lisel lifted an eyebrow, and his ears went back in surprise. I hoped that was as much a show as my act had been. "Fine. Let's line it up. Half an hour out, and then I get to go on leave, too."
Lisel nodded. They looked less than happy with each other. The man who had moved in closer was now heading away at a good pace. I didn't much like it, but we couldn't snare him. Befly watched him with narrowed eyes.
"We're heading out," I told her. "Just line up the fighter, and we'll head out. Things are happening here already, Befly. We are out of time."
The woman nodded and went off to her work. I looked at Lisel and then dared a hand on his arm when he looked away.
"Careful," he said. "We're still on show."
"Screw the show," I said. "You know that I trust you, right?"
He grinned in a way that made me think I would be in for trouble from him.
Later. Right now, we had work to do.