I huddled in the lee of a rock, shivering uncontrollably. My teeth chattered. Fredericks moaned, curled up in the snow next to me. I patted his arm with hands so numb they felt like clubs.
Herring slipped into our hiding space. Snow plastered his eyebrows and hair. “Two more patrols. Hruk’Tal thinks they’re running low on reinforcements. Apparently the riot in the mines is completely out of control.”
“So we’re going to sit out here and freeze to death? At least we were warm in the mines.”
“Rakrr has gone to scout the communications dome. If enough guards have left, we’re taking it. You’ll have shelter soon.”
“I’ll survive. It’s Fredericks I’m worried about.”
Herring peered over the rock into the swirling storm. “There’s the signal. Let’s move!”
I grabbed Fredericks’ arm, pulling him to his feet. The two of us stumbled after Herring.
A structure loomed out of the snow, rounded and barely darker than the frozen wasteland. I pulled Fredericks around the side, following the quickly fading footsteps of the others. The rifle I’d stolen from the guard banged against my back.
Hruk’Tal’s battle howl sounded above the roar of the storm. I dragged Fredericks through the door, letting it bang shut behind me. Fredericks collapsed to the floor. I unslung the rifle and edged farther into the building. Shouts rang through the hall. I ran faster.
Smoke boiled from the main room. Thuds and screams echoed against the concrete dome overhead. Something crackled, spitting sparks through the doorway. I slipped through.
Hruk’Tal held a Fellucian guard over his head. The other Klingons pounded two more guards against the equipment panels. Herring and Carroll stood nose-to-nose in the center, arguing.
Hruk’Tal tossed the guard into a corner. “Enough. We cannot hold long here. We must leave. Where is this vessel you promised?”
Carroll planted her hands on her hips. “You promised him the Voyager, didn’t you?”
“If all went according to plan, the Voyager should be in far orbit. We just have to call and let them know we are ready.” Herring kept his voice reasonable.
“Call with what?” Carroll smiled grimly as the comm bank threw sparks across the room.
The Klingons dropped the unconscious guards.
Carroll pulled a communicator from her pocket and flipped it open. “Galileo, come in.”
The comm crackled with static. “Warner here.”
“Any sign of the Voyager?”
“Stand by for an extraction.” Carroll flipped the communicator shut.
“You’re going to fit all eight of us on a stealth shuttle?” Herring shot a frown my way. “Where is Fredericks?”
“By the entrance. I’ll go get him.” I turned for the door.
Fredericks crashed through, eyes wide and rolling. “They’re coming!”
“Incoming vessel,” Rakrr announced. “A cargo ship bearing Ferengi registration codes.”
“The supply ship,” Carroll said. “They’re a day early.”
“Good thing.” Herring shifted back half a step. “Get us up to that ship and we will take it for you.”
“How?” Carroll tugged at her hair.
“Why not use the transport ring?” I asked, pointing at the circular control inset in the center of the floor.
Carroll slapped her forehead. “Get inside the ring. I’ll get to the Galileo. Once you’re on board, get control of the docking bay. I’ll drop Taylor and the controller module there.”
Fredericks waved his hands wildly, mumbling to himself. Thumps echoed down the halls from the outside door.
“What about him?” I asked.
“I’ll take him with me,” Carroll said. She tapped her communicator. “Warner, bring her down on this signal.” She waved at the rest of us. “Get in the ring.”
We crowded into the space, clutching whatever weapons we had stolen.
Carroll twisted controls on a panel. “Good luck. I’ll be at the docking bay in thirty minutes. If you aren’t there, I’ll assume you failed. We can’t stay for more than five minutes.”
“Take care of Fredericks,” Herring called.
Light rose around us. My nose tickled as the transporter activated.
Personal Log 1-12: "Today is a Good Day to Die"