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Screaming Metal (Part 009)

Deshel might have quelled a few of Priyanka's concerns, but Suen is still oddly suspicious...

Instead of returning to her command couch as she usually did to emphasize she expected orders to be followed, she remained where she was.

Relief washed over Deshel's countenance as he saw her calm somewhat, but knew that he wasn't completely out of the woods with her yet.

Still he'd take what he could. Once this job was over, they were going to have a long talk. He could feel it. And he understood it.

Before he could turn back to his station though, Suen took a step toward him.

Her eyes held a cold, calculating edge. One Deshel had never seen there before, and he was immediately taken aback.

"So you think it's functioning." The words were angry. Yet the anger there was somehow different. Raw, skirting fanatic.

He found it puzzling in comparison to his own misgivings and fear in the revelation that the Metal might actually be functioning.

"Yeah… I've a pretty strong suspicion anyway."

The small woman took another step toward him, her aggression pressing him back into the bank of machinery behind him.

"How did you come by the transmissions?" Suen's voice was as frigid as her eyes.

He threw his hands up in defense. "I heard the locals talking about it, so I began searching for the broadcast bandwidth."

Another step forward and Suen was into Deshel's personal space.

"Hey, c'mon!" He pleaded, half-angrily. "Knock it off." He pressed his hands against Suen's shoulders to put space between them.

Suen didn't budge. "How long have you been listening to it?"

Deshel threw Priyanka a pleading look. "About a week."

Despite her own feelings, and perhaps against her better judgment, Priyanka stepped in, taking Suen by the shoulder and pulling her back.

"That's enough."

"I want to know what he knows!" Suen turned her aggression on Priyanka.

Priyanka tried to calm the other woman. "So do I, and I understand your anger."

Suen shot back. "No, you have no idea!"

Stepping partially in front of Suen, she gave Deshel some breathing room. But not too much. She wasn't exactly happy with him either.

"Just work with me. Let's get the Metal and get off this planet. We can settle our differences..." Priyanka looked back at Deshel. "…later."

Suen was not so easily mollified. She continued to try and get around Priyanka, "Ask him how the locals know."

And to Deshel himself. "How do they know!?"

And in an effort to appease her weapons woman, "How do the locals know about the Metal, Deshel?"

The tall man shrugged. "They don't really. They think the junkyard's… haunted."

Suen, whose expression had been murderous moments before, took on a puzzled look. "Haunted?"

Priyanka also was taken aback by the reply, "What would give them that idea?"

Deshel relaxed slightly, but just slightly as he realized he was still boxed in the cramped area near his station.

"You heard that mess I recorded. They hear it every half week. Like I said, the Metal broadcasts every 109 hours."

He continued, "The info on the Metal your source gave us wasn't panning, but then that racket came on the local radio."

Priyanka pressed him to continue, "The local radio?"

"Yeah, like a pirate broadcast, it just breaks into whatever's on. They use an older radio wave system on the planet to communicate."

Priyanka closed her eyes and shook her head. "Yes, I know, but what the hell does that have to do with anything?"

Deshel put his hands back up in a calming gesture, "When I inquired, they said the area was haunted. Their words, not mine."

The look on Suen's expression was one of outright incredulity. She repeated. "Haunted?"


**"Screaming Metal" -- all parts**

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Screaming Metal (Part 009)
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