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Dana cast her professional eye over the red-tinged hologram. "We lost a power regulator and a bunch of retro-thrusters, but aside from the engines, we actually got away fairly light in terms of systems damage." She shrugged and continued, "Everything we lost is replaceable, but John and Alyssa will have to completely re-plate the ship."
Alyssa let out a despairing groan, but when Faye shot her a look of alarm, the blonde waved her concerns away. "Just a bit of indigestion, don't worry."
"I reckon at least 48 hours of work ahead of us to get the ship combat-worthy," Dana said, tapping a finger on her chin. "But that doesn't include the fire damage on Deck Four. The Galley and half the Crew Quarters are a charred mess... that whole section really needs gutting and replacing."
"Perhaps we could get that entire deck refitted at Genthalas?" John suggested, glancing around at the girls. "We'll be there for a while, so it would be a good time to get it done."
"Sounds like a good plan to me," Dana said nodding enthusiastically. "By the way, we don't have to put in a direct replacement. It depends on how important you think it is having spare quarters for guests."
"I'd never really thought about changing it," John freely admitted. "We do end up rescuing people quite often, so having that capacity is useful. Have you got any preferences?"
"Whatever you want is fine by me," the redhead replied. "Oh, speaking of repairs, your Paragon suit is really fucked up. Try not to get the spare suit damaged until I've had a chance to fix your old one."
"I'll be careful," John said with a smile.
Alyssa raised an eyebrow as she looked at him. "Now that sounds like the perfect cue for us to see your exploits in the battle..."
He chuckled and nodded to the girl in his arms. "Go ahead, Faye."
The girls turned to watch in fascination, as Faye displayed a compilation of the girls' Paragon suit footage and the Kintark broadcast fully documenting John in action on Terra.
Irillith gaped at him in amazement when he created the thunderous storm and fried the Kintark flagship with a titanic stroke of lightning. "How did you do that?! There's no way I could control that much power!"
Tashana nudged her with an elbow. "More practice, remember? You'll get there..."
He nodded his agreement with her twin. "I've been using lightning offensively on a few occasions now. With the massive surge in power I had recently, I found it much easier to control... and having a storm already in place helped a lot."
His audience watched enthralled as he fought the Emperor, although they gasped in alarm as Baledranax repeatedly smashed him across the battlefield. They cheered when John rallied himself and took out the psychic dampener, allowing him to fight the Emperor with his full range of powers back in effect. When he finally defeated the dragon, John couldn't miss the smouldering glance Calara gave him, or the awestruck look in Jehanna's eyes. Alyssa stayed silent throughout, disapproval pouring off her, over their empathic bond.
John sighed and looked at the blonde. "Alright, out with it, Alyssa."
"You'd be absolutely furious with any of us if we went charging off alone like that!" she exclaimed, giving him a stern glare. "You going mano-a-mano with the Emperor might make for an awesome propaganda broadcast, but I care far more about your safety than feeding the Legend of the Lion! Why wouldn't you let me, Rachel, and Tashana gun that bastard down at the start? And don't give me any excuses about us saving the Terran troops instead!"
"It wasn't just the Terran forces in danger of being overrun. Almari, Ilyana, and the Maliri marines were under fire too," he countered, not backing down.
She shook her head and scoffed, "They would've been fine for a few minutes! The Maliri were packing plenty of firepower."
"There were other reasons too," he replied defensively. "First and foremost was that none of us had our powers..."
"But we ended up just shooting through his shield anyway!" Alyssa protested.
"Yes, but I didn't know how stron