LeGrange swore as he knocked his head against another pipe fitting. “I hate these tunnels.”
“That’s because you’re a marine, not a skinny engineer,” Fells answered.
“Quiet,” I whispered. “Sound carries too well through these conduits.”
Thumps sounded from farther down the conduit. I froze. LeGrange and Fells tried to draw their phasers. The repair conduits were slightly too small to allow it.
The thumping stopped. My heart pounded while we waited.
Three deliberate thumps echoed down the conduit. I grinned and thumped twice fast, then twice slow.
“No fighting room in here,” Fells complained in a harsh whisper.
“I think I’ve got my phaser free,” LeGrange whispered. “Move over so I have a clear shot.”
My thumps were answered by five rapid ones.
“They’re coming! Quartermaster, you are in the line of fire. You are not trained for this. Move!” Fells shoved my boots.
“It’s Turner,” I answered him. “But just in case it isn’t...” I squeezed to one side.
LeGrange passed his phaser to Turner. I tried to melt into the side of the conduit when Turner poked it past my hip. I didn’t want caught in the beam.
Turner cautiously stuck his head around a bend. “Stevens?”
“It’s me.” I nudged LeGrange’s phaser away. “And two trigger happy marines.”
Turner crawled closer. A thin woman crawled after him, her black hair straggling loose from the bun on her head.
“This is Vasha, comm tech,” Turner introduced her.
“Comm tech? I’ve got an idea. Head back to that intersection,” I called over my shoulder.
LeGrange and Fells muttered curses under their breath as they inched backwards through the repair conduit.
The intersection wasn’t much bigger but it allowed enough room for the five of us to crouch together and whisper plans.
“Vasha, how well do you know the comm system?” I asked.
She shrugged. “I’m better with the main computer. I was computer specialist for a small ship for three years before they transferred me here.”
“Even better.” I rubbed my hands together.
“What are you planning? I hate it when you smile like that. You scare me.” Turner wiggled into a more comfortable position.
“Can you access the main computer?” I ignored Turner, for now.
“If you can get me into the captain’s quarters, yes. What do you want me to do?”
“Shut down the ship, lock them in the cabins, whatever you can dream up. LeGrange, can you get her there?”
He nodded. “It would be easier with at least five men. Those corridors have to be guarded or this Del’Brugado is a complete idiot. Which he wouldn’t be since he did manage to take over the ship from Captain Herring.”
“Not the hallways, LeGrange. Take the conduits. They’ll get you to deck four, near the forward shield generators. Be careful from there.”
“Don’t tell me my job, Quartermaster.” LeGrange’s tone was sharp. “Come on, Vasha. Stay close behind me.”
The two of them crawled down the conduit.
“They’ll be caught,” Fells whispered. His hand fondled his phaser as if it were a security blanket.
“Not if you give them something else to think about. Think you can stage a raid on the armory?”
“You’re a marine. And you like big weapons, don’t you?”
A smile spread over Fells face, spelling doom for any marauders that weren’t paying attention.
“The two of us will get to the auxiliary controls and see what havoc we can wreak.” I pointed at Turner. “I know a few commands.”
“I don’t,” Turner said. “How about I see how close to the brig I can get? Maybe I can override the force fields.”
“And maybe you’ll get shot.”
“I didn’t know you cared, Stevens.”
Fells rolled his eyes. “You two lovebirds finish your fight, I’m leaving.” He crawled away.
Personal Log 1-6: Distracting the Enemy