The bright white helix of the Goran Wormhole blinked. Zento scrunched his eyebrows together. “Did the Hole just…?” he muttered.
The rigid spirals of the Wormhole loosened and spread. They unwound themselves in the space of a handful of Verion minutes.
Zento swore in every language he remembered. “This is the second time this cycle the Hole has gone out,” he said to his copilot, a young man jacketed in ancient Kevlar.
“Which planet’s cycle?” his copilot asked.
“Goran 3, sorry.” Zento turned to face the man. “What was your name again?”
Zento snapped his fingers into a gun. “Cornigan; I remember. You were with me when I maimed that Senator on Incubar.” He looked up and grunted, then jerked his control sticks to the side. The ship rattled as it skimmed against an asteroid.
Breed’s eyes widened. “Is the ship—”
“It’ll be fine.” Zento waved a hand at Breed. “It’s just a scratch.”
“Maybe you should land in the generator station and check it out.”
Zento laughed. “We’re going to have to, Cornigan. The Hole is out. And I plan on fixing it.”
“Just one more spin,” said Zento, hefting a large wrench up to the central pin of the wormhole generator.
“You really think this is going to work?” Breed said behind him.
Zento completed his motion and took a massive breath, wiping his forehead with the back of one cramping hand. “Look outside.”
One of the generator station staff—a young Goran woman wearing a dull blue uniform that paled against her green skin—took a step toward the room’s single window. “Sir, you fixed, it curls anew,” she said in accented Verion.
“Nothing a top-notch mercenary can’t handle,” said Zento.
Breed led Zento back to the emergency hangar at the opposite end of the ship. “Where did you learn to do that?”
Zento shrugged. “You learn a few things after eight years of odd jobs for the biggest mercenary company for fifty parsecs.”
Smoke battered Zento’s eyes as he opened the door to the hangar.
“Can you repair a ship as easily as a wormhole generator?” Breed asked, coughing.
“Sure. It’s just a really big, slightly fiery scratch.”
A dull clatter reverberated through the hangar. “Sir, the left wing just fell off. Perhaps we should call a mechanic.”
Zento activated his communicator. “Carmel-Eyes, we’re going to be a bit late for that hit on Karont. My ship is on fire.”