Story Three - Extrication
Krolia didn't understand why she was sent on this mission solo. There was a command ship dangerously close to headquarters, and Kolivan requested she check it out. She supposed she was due for another mission. It had been a couple of phoebes since her last mission, and her pack was comfortable around both of her kits. It was surprising to her that Kolivan had gotten as close to Lotor as Antok was with Regris.
It was strangely easy to infiltrate the ship, especially when there were so many sentry patrols and drones. The difference was unnerving her. She stuck to the shadows when she could and took out sentries and drones when she couldn't. She couldn't shake the uneasiness this mission gave her as she slunk along the corridors. Why had she not run into any live Galra on the ship? She always ran into at least one flesh-and-blood Galra on these types of ships. The only time she hadn't...was when she had found Regris!
Her blood ran cold at the thought of finding another kit being tortured. She lowered her hood and allowed her mask to disappear. She moved cautiously through the ship, still taking out sentries and drones as she checked every room she passed. She hoped her luck would hold, and she wouldn't find any kits on the ship.
As her luck would have it, the next room she checked had a small kit in it. This one appeared female and was a little younger than Regris when she found him. She had red-orange skin, an unusual long free-flowing appendage that resembled hair on top of her head that was striped, and eyes that were typical for hybrids. She had chains wrapped around her wrists and was suspended from the ceiling by those chains. She had severe thin gashes along her arms, some newer than others. Little whimpers escaped her, and Krolia was surprised she was still conscious.
She went over to the control panel and managed to get the girl lowered to the ground. She started purring as she approached the kit. Assuring her that she didn't mean her any harm took a lot less effort than she thought. The tick she unchained the girl the kit launched herself at Krolia, crying and whining. Krolia wrapped her arms around the little kit, purring to her as well. "You're safe, kit. I've got you. Mama's got you."
The kit nuzzled her head against Krolia's chest until she started talking. At the word 'mama,' she looked up. "Mama?"
"If you want, you can call me Mama, but what should I call you?"
"Ezor, would you like me to take you home with me?"
Krolia stood up, taking the kit along for the ride. She walked with her in her arms all the way back to the pod. She settled into the pilot's seat, Ezor curling up in her lap. Krolia fired on the ship and destroyed it, so it wouldn't be able to report anything back to central command.
It didn't take long for Krolia to arrive back at headquarters. However, she immediately went to the med bay in order to have Ulaz check over the little girl. She knew Ulaz would more than likely prescribe and apply the same ointment he had for Regris, but she just felt better having the lavender colored Galra check over her new kit.
She quickly found Ulaz, locating him easily. "Ulaz!"
He approached her and sighed when he saw the kit in her arms. "Krolia, this is getting ridiculous. Kolivan might stop sending you on missions if you keep coming back with kits."
Krolia gently placed Ezor on the examination bed. "I doubt that, but duly noted."
The exam didn't take long, and, just as Krolia thought, Ulaz prescribed and applied the same ointment he had given Regris with the same diagnosis. The gashes would scar, but the ointment would lessen their appearance.
Ulaz released Ezor, and Krolia took her to the familial nest, where her other two kits were no doubt napping. She entered the nest quietly and saw Regris and Lotor napping with Thace watching over them. He said softly, "Hello, Krolia. Who's this little one?"
"Her name is Ezor. She was on the command ship I infiltrated. Can she rest here while I speak with Kolivan?" Krolia set Ezor down in the nest.
"Of course. Do you want to come here, kit? You can nap with me."
Ezor looked up at Krolia in askance. "Thace is very nice, kit. His fur is soft and feels good to lean against."
Ezor crawled over to where Thace was laying. She laid down against him, falling asleep quickly. Krolia sighed and left the nest, heading for Kolivan's office. She knocked three times on the door and entered.
Kolivan didn't look up from his data pad. "Good job on the mission. I trust there were no transmissions sent to high command."
"I doubt they were sending any transmissions. There weren't any Galra on the ship, only sentries and drones."
"Only sentries and drones?" Kolivan looked at Krolia and sighed. "You brought back another kit."
Kolivan resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Krolia, why do you do this all the time?"
"You know why, Kolivan." She stepped closer to the desk. "I don't do this to disrupt our mission to take down the Empire, but kits are precious. I can't just stand by and let kits be treated so poorly."
Kolivan stood up and swiftly drew Krolia to his chest. He petted her hair, eliciting a purr from her. "I understand, Krolia. Where's your new kit?"
"I already had Ulaz treat her-"
"Yes, she's a girl. She's in the familial nest, napping with our other kits and Thace."
"May we see her?"
Kolivan nosed Krolia's headfur before he released her. They walked to the nest room, and to their surprise, Antok and Ulaz were there too. Not only were the kits still asleep, but the adults were asleep as well. Krolia smiled at the scene. Ezor was curled up on top on Thace, Regris and Lotor were curled up with each other with Regris's tail wrapped around Lotor's leg, Antok was laying behind Regris with his tail wrapped around the kit's waist, and Ulaz was laying next to Thace.
Kolivan slipped into the nest behind Lotor, curling around the kit. Krolia entered the nest and laid down on Thace's other side, which put her between Thace and Kolivan. She was lulled to sleep by the purrs of her three kits.