“Watch that human!” The Orion that Terry had been taunting earlier went to the cell.
Another salvo from the Lexington shut down the force fields. The smuggler raised the Marine’s knife over his head and charged Terry. Terry put up his arms in an ‘X’ formation to block the downward thrust of his attacker. His wounds from earlier had never healed, only clotted. Pain shot through his arms as the wounds were re-opened. Immediately, he instinctively brought up his knee into the Orion’s stomach. He doubled over and howled in pain, dropping the knife. Terry grabbed him and shoved his head into the metal wall behind him. The smuggler fell. The other Orion charged Terry and they both fell to the floor. Terry managed to roll over and get behind his attacker. He wrapped his pain-racked arms around the Orion’s head in a typical one-on-one combat fashion and…snap. The Orion fell down, dead. “Stupid enough,” he said. Terry picked up his knife and went over to the other cell.
“Come on,” he said. “Let’s go.”
“Where?” asked the man.
“Do you know how to get to the cargo bay where they’re keeping my fighter?” Terry asked.
“Yeah, but what good will that do? It’s damaged isn’t it? And there’s no time to fix any of it.”
“It’ll get us out of here and far enough away so that hopefully the Lexington can get a transporter lock.”
“Wait.” The man walked up to the console and started tapping away.
“You know that system?” Terry asked.
He looked up. There was a slight pause. Terry caught a good look at is face. “I’ve been here a long time,” he said. He turned his attention back to the console. “It looks like the Lexington is still in pursuit, at least as far as I can tell. That’s good. Hopefully they won’t pay much attention to you as you leave.” He paused. “Here, look. Here we are and here’s the hangar. Also, you’ll need this before you leave.” The man tapped a few buttons on the wall and a panel slid open. Inside were Romulan disruptors. “These people will use whatever they can get their hands on.” He tossed one to Terry. “Down the hall and to your right.”
“No way! I never leave a man behind! You’re coming with me!” Terry shouted.
“Look, you’re a Starfleet Marine. I’m not even regular Starfleet. I’d just slow you down. Besides, if I stay, I’m more likely to live. If they see me try to escape, they’ll kill me. They like to keep me around. You see, I’m a technical and mechanical kind of person. Most of the time, they force me to fix things they break. That way, they don’t have to expend the energy themselves. ‘Make the slave do it,’ they say. And I’m always a good bargaining chip with other smugglers.”
They could hear heavy footfalls in the hallway behind them. “I am not leaving you here!” said Terry.
“There’s no time to argue. Here, take this.” He shoved a small item wrapped in old, multi-colored cloth in Terry’s pocket. “Don’t ask, just take it. I don’t want them to find it. Now go!” He reset the console like no one had bothered with it and went back into his cell.
“I will get you back!” shouted Terry. “One day, I will find you and get you back! Because I never leave a man behind!”
He nodded and waved back. “Go.”
Terry exited the holding area amid disruptor fire.
Major Terry Walsh
Fighter Wing Vice Commander