Home > The Fate of Ten (Lorien Legacies #6)(9)

The Fate of Ten (Lorien Legacies #6)(9)
Pittacus Lore

Marina doesn’t say anything at first. After a moment, she rests her head on my shoulder. “I think we’re closer today than we were yesterday,” she says.

“I wish I knew for sure that coming down here was worth it,” I say, clutching the satellite phone, willing it to ring.

“You need to have faith,” Marina replies. “I’m telling you, Six, the Entity did something . . .”

I try to trust in Marina’s words, but all I can think about are the practicalities. I wonder if the flood of Loric energy from the Sanctuary was what screwed up our ride in the first place.

Or maybe there’s a simpler explanation.

“Hey, guys?” Adam calls from beneath the ship. “You better come take a look at this.”

I hop down from the Skimmer, Marina right behind me. We find Adam wedged between the metal struts of the landing gear, a bent panel of the ship’s armored underbelly in the dirt at his feet.

“Is that our problem?” I ask.

“That was already loose,” Adam explains, kicking the dislodged piece. “And look at this . . .”

Adam motions me closer, so I slide in next to him, getting an intimate look at the inner workings of our ship. The Skimmer’s engine could probably fit under the hood of a pickup truck, but it’s a lot more complicated than anything built here on Earth. Instead of pistons or gears, the engine comprises a series of overlapping spheres. They spin fitfully when Adam pushes against them, ticking uselessly against the exposed ends of some thick cables that run deeper into the ship.

“See, the electrical systems are still intact,” Adam says, flicking the cables. “That’s why we still have some power. But that’s not enough alone to get the antigravity propulsion going. These centrifugal rotors here?” He runs his hand over the overlapping spheres. “They’re what gets us off the ground. Thing is, they aren’t broken either.”

“So you’re telling me the Skimmer should work?” I ask, my eyes glazing over as I stare at the engine.

“It should,” Adam says, but then he waves his hand in some empty space between the rotors and the wires. “Except you see that?”

“I have no idea what the hell I’m looking at, dude,” I tell him. “Is it broken?”

“There’s a conduit missing,” he explains. “It’s what transfers the energy generated by the engines to the rest of the ship.”

“And you’re telling me it didn’t just fall out.”

“Obviously not.”

I take a few steps out from underneath the Skimmer and scan the nearby tree line for any movement. We already killed every Mog that was trying to break into the Sanctuary. All except for one.

“Phiri Dun-Ra,” I say, knowing that the Mog is still out there. We were too focused on getting into the Sanctuary to bother going after her earlier, and now . . .

“She sabotaged us,” Adam says, reaching the same conclusion I have. Phiri Dun-Ra did a number on Adam when we arrived, beat him up pretty good and was about to try roasting his face on the Sanctuary’s force field before we got the drop on her. He still sounds pretty bitter about it. “She took out Dust and then she stranded us here. We should’ve killed her.”

“It’s not too late,” I reply, frowning. I don’t see anything in the trees, but that doesn’t mean Phiri Dun-Ra isn’t out there watching us.

“Couldn’t we replace the part with one from another ship?” Marina asks, motioning to the dozen or so Mog scout ships spaced out along the landing zone.

Adam grunts and shoves out from underneath our Skimmer. He strides towards the nearest ship, his left hand on the handle of a Mog blaster he took off one of the warriors we killed.

“I bet all these ships have engine panels that look just like ours,” Adam grumbles. “I hope it at least hurt her messed-up hands.”

I remember Phiri Dun-Ra’s bandaged hands, scarred from coming into contact with the Sanctuary’s force field. We should’ve known better than to leave one of them alive. Even before Adam reaches the nearest ship, I’ve got a sinking feeling.

Adam ducks underneath the other ship, examining it. He sighs and makes eye contact with me before gently elbowing the armored hull above his head. The engine panel falls away like there was nothing holding it in place.

“She’s toying with us,” he says, his voice low and gravelly. “She could’ve taken a shot at us when we left the Sanctuary. Instead, she wants to keep us here.”

“She knows she can’t take us by herself,” I say, raising my voice a little, thinking maybe I can bait Phiri Dun-Ra out of hiding.

“She removed these parts, right?” Marina asks. “She didn’t just destroy them?”

“No, it looks like she took them,” Adam replies. “Probably doesn’t want to be responsible for destroying a bunch of ships in addition to getting her squadron killed. Although, keeping us here long enough for reinforcements to capture and kill us would probably get her a pass from her Beloved Leader.”

“No one’s getting captured or killed,” I say. “Except Phiri Dun-Ra.”

“Is there any other way to get our ship moving?” Marina asks Adam. “Could you . . . I don’t know? Rig something up?”

Adam scratches the back of his neck, looking around at the other ships. “I suppose it’s possible,” he says. “Depends what we can scrounge together. I can try, but I’m not a mechanic.”

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