Carson and I got up from our seats and high-fived, grinning at each other. “Well, commander, that was a mighty fine landing.”
“Thank you so very much, my lovely second-in-command.”
“Don't get cheeky with me.”
Carson bumped his shoulder against mine and I burst out laughing. “Me? Cheeky? Never!”
We walked to our crew and the three Radisc, all waiting for us armed and carrying their backpacks in front of the hatch. A nervous tension lingered in the air when we arrived and I narrowed my eyes. “Okay, folks, what's going on? And don't even think of bullshitting me.”
Carson slung an arm around my shoulder and said, “Because as we all know he's the master of bullshitting.”
“Carson, you're undermining my authority.”
“Oh.” Carson studied me. “What authority are we talking about?”
The discomfort lingering in the air lessened and most of our crew smiled and relaxed their stances. I nudged my elbow into his ribs. “Get off.”
Several alarmed shouts warned me of something going on but I had no time to process what happened. Something roped around my waist and yanked me over to the other side. I crashed into Tom's chest when a harsh growling sound erupted from his throat.
I tried jerking myself free but he held onto my wrists with one hand while his tail kept me tethered to his body. “What the hell?”
Niyara squared off in front of Tom, her dark eyes gleaming with an eerie, demonic red glint where her pupils should've been. Her long tail swished from one side to the other and her arm muscles flexed.
“What the everloving fuck is going on?” I asked.