Consciousness returned slowly — along with a fierce pounding in my head.

“Take it easy, carto.” I opened my eyes to see Captain Harrigan standing over me. I started to sit up, but he put a hand against my chest and pushed me back down. “Don’t make me strap you into that crèche.”

Fear gripped me. “My implants! The saboteur—”

“Relax, kid. We nuked the implants. Damn saboteur was still wreaking havoc on our systems even after you were out cold.” Harrigan paced a few steps away and put his hands behind his back. “EMP bolt put a stop to that right good.”

“The ship?”

“Looks like a fucking war zone. We’re a mess and adrift until we can get patches on things just so we can get to limping again.”

I relaxed, but only for a moment. “What about me?”

Harrigan turned to look at me again, his expression stern. “You’re going to get some rest and a fresh set of clean implants. After that, you’re going to help us figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.” His eyes softened slightly. “We still need our carto.”

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