4.4

Sam’s hand had hovered over the button for several minutes now, trying to work up the courage to send out a call. He’d locked the door to the control room for privacy already. Vortran and Yik were still off getting information and Mark hardly seemed willing to leave his room for some reason, yet he felt more comfortable behind a locked door. His hand finally settled down on the buttons the call was answered almost instantly.

“Samuel! I’ve been worried sick, where’s Jessica? You were supposed to call ages ago and then I get messages about your ship being destroyed and some random ship picking up my granddaugh-” She cut herself off as she finally took a look at his face. Her hair was slightly out of shape, meaning he’d probably called while she was putting it up in her traditional bun. “Samuel?”

“She’s…. Someone took her, someone took Jessie.” He felt a lump growing in his throat but swallowed it down. This wasn’t the time for getting choked up. “Two men went missing and we don’t know what happened for sure but we’re trying to find them. They know she’s a shifter.”

There was a long silence, during which he stared down at the keyboard. He hadn’t felt so useless in years, not since he’d first brought Jessie home and been unable to even change her.

“Samuel, look at me.” His mother’s voice had that stern tone he was so familiar with. He looked up at her and was surprised to see her smiling a little, “You look like you haven’t slept in days dear… tell me what your plan is so I can stop worrying and then you’d better get some rest.”

“I’ve got one of the guys from the ship, a security officer who was familiar with one of the men. There’s this Mr’kana who’s apparently been trying to kill me for a while but now that he found out he got me and Jessie separated he’s trying to help in his weird way. Vortran got me a new ship and has been finding us leads in the fights and watching the Mr’kana.”

“Vortran? You’re messing around with that horrid little Pascal again?” His mother looked displeased.

“Vortran is the only reason I was able to get off the ground so fast, even though I just ditched him entirely when I decided to keep Jessie. Give him a break.” He’d never understood his mother’s objection to Vortran in particular, but it seemed particularly ridiculous at the moment.

“I’m sorry, Samuel, you’re right. The priority right now is finding Jessica and bringing both of you home. Do you need me to call Hedgy?”

“No mother, do not call Hedgy.”

“Promise me you’ll call him when he can help.”

“I will, but I need to find her first.”

“You’ll get some rest when you can?”

“Of course.”

“Samuel?”

“Yes?” Sam could hear talking out in the hallway.

“Bringing her home is priority… above anything else. Remember that. If I don’t hear from you soon I’m sending out the army.”

“I know, I’ll let you know as soon as we have anything.”

“Goodbye, Samuel, take care.”

“Bye, mother.”

***

Jessie pushed through a crowd of legs trying to keep up. She could see Misa up ahead, just barely. She reached out and tried to call for him but there was no sound. The dream shattered as her hand bumped the cold cell and she was startled awake.

***

Jerret woke up to the sound of Jessie starting to cry, just outside his cell. He sat up and was about to say something when the door opened and Calvin entered.

“Sleepwalking again?” Calvin sat down next to her and she nodded a little, quieting down to the occasional sob and sniffling. “Bad dream?”

Jessie leaned against him suddenly and Jerret could see the man stiffen uncomfortably for a moment, “I want to go home, I miss Misa.”

“I know you do…” He looked back pointedly at Jerret, who glared at him a little. “Don’t worry, I’ll get you home soon.”

Jerret raised an eyebrow at him but Calvin just frowned a little and helped Jessie to her feet, “Come on, back to bed with you.”

They left without another word and Jerret was left alone in his cell again, unable to sleep.

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