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The smoke had barely cleared when she felt, rather than saw, a form in one of the cells. The bomb had done its job in killing the guardsmen but accidentally blown off a door. Half coughing, half laughing, April made a mental note to be better with her throw next time. Waving her hands to clear the smoke, she stepped into the cell for a look. The prisoner turned her head and April saw intense green eyes, framed by tangled dark locks, peering up through the smoke at her. For some reason she broke into a smile at the woman, and without hesitation, held out her hand.
“I’m April. Come with me.”
The woman looked up at her with an expression that had both fear and hope. April saw that her hands were bound and motioned for her to lift her arms. She did so and she cut the binders through with her laser gun.
“April! Dammit!” Jani shouted, and April heard gunfire erupt.
“Coming!” she shouted back, and held out her hand again. “Hurry.”
A slender hand took her own and she pulled the woman to her feet, only to see her wobble unsteadily and fall.
“April!” Jani’s voice was furious.
“Go. Don’t bother.” the woman said softly. “She needs you.”
“I’m not leaving you here.” April growled, bending over and scooping her up. Lean brown arms wrapped around her neck and she stumbled out into the hall. She made her way towards the sounds of battle, following the winding corridors. Suddenly a shot wizzed by her head.
“Fuck.” she realized her hands were full, and she was as good as unarmed. The bundle in her arms quickly came to life, and April felt a ripping sensation as her gun was removed from its holster.
“You run. I’ll shoot.” a voice calmly stated.
“I hope you’re a good shot.” April grunted, as her options were limited.
“Watch me.”
And so they proceeded, with April becoming more impressed as they made their way back to Jani. The woman dispensed her shots evenly, rarely missed, and they cleared the decks quickly.
“April! What the hell!” Jani’s voice rose as her mouth dropped open at the sight before her.
“Oh- Jani.” April puffed, trying to regain her breath. “Wait.” she slid the woman down but held her close, steadying her as she felt her legs trembling beside her.
Jani frowned, took a step closer and put her hands on her hips. “Just who the hell is she? We’re supposed to be looking for gold, not helpless women!”
“Shut up!” April spat out. “If you’d seen her with my gun, she’s anything but helpless. And her name is…” she turned and shrugged at the tired head now leaning on her shoulder. The woman replaced the gun in the holster and looked up. She seemed both tired and proud at the same time.
“Febrista. But just call me Feb.”
Jani snorted. “Right. Bullshit. And I suppose you’re gonna help us carry the loot back to the ship?”
“Jani. Enough.” April took a step forward, Feb in tow at her side. “We’re going back to the ship. You start and I’ll send Jun to help you.”
Jani’s mouth dropped open. “What the hell’s gotten into you?” she called out to the slowly retreating figures, but April didn’t answer.

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