Driel knew she was innocent. She didn’t deserve this imprisonment. It made it all the harder when her taskmasters neglected her, wouldn’t even give her the tiny dribbles of energy she needed to keep her vessel functioning.
She sent out another signal, the final warning before she had to shut down. Where were those huge, blundering creatures? Her visual sensors were up against something again, and she couldn’t see a thing.
Vibrations shook the spherical command center where she sat at the limited controls of her inter-dimensional pod, its dimensional slip disabled for the length of her term of punishment. At last, someone was coming. Driel felt the pod being lifted, swung through space, while the gyros of the command center kept her mostly upright. This was an old model, lacking in comforts, but not lacking in security. She’d spent many lonely hours trying to get the slip drive to function without making it look like she was trying to get the slip drive to function. It was her only amusement.
Even if she did manage to commandeer her prison vessel, where would she go?
A loud snap sounded through the command center, and Driel watched the energy levels of her pod start to rise. She turned on the visual, but before she could resolve the image into something comprehensible, a communications order came in.
She read the code coming up on the screen. Ah, her master wanted her to contact Akiel’s pod. Akiel, now there was someone who deserved to be right where she was. Loathesome person, Driel thought. She relaxed back into her seat and let her mind wander through space, searching for the barbed and twisted consciousness that was Akiel.
A half-formed thought lashed back at her, “Eh, what do you want?”
As if Akiel didn’t know. Driel smirked inside as Akiel reluctantly hooked up the connection between their minds so that the masters could communicate with one another. Driel squirmed a little, thinking that if she wasn’t a criminal before, being exiled to this place and having to associate with minds like Akiel’s would probably make her one.
The instant the master sent the signal to terminate the contact, Driel severed the connection with relief. She sighed and thought about getting some sleep while her vehicle’s power continued to rise.
A message came over the dimensional frequency. Fully alert now, Driel sat up and patched it through.
You’ve been cleared of charges, we are restoring your slip capabilities now.
Driel cried out a cheer, then began entering coordinates. She was going home! She reached inside the controls with her mind and pulled with all her might, and the world of her exile dissolved around her pod.
“Hey,” I said, “Has anyone seen my cell phone? I thought I left it here charging last night.”