Del’Brugado spat curses as he retreated. “Take them!” He shoved his men our way.
They hesitated. Anyone with a touch of sense facing five angry Klingons would turn and run. Del’Brugado’s men had no sense. They muttered threats as they slowly advanced.
I raised the rifle and squeezed the trigger. Nothing happened. The marauder grinned, showing a prominent gold tooth. I charged forward, slamming the rifle butt against his teeth. He staggered, holding his now bleeding mouth. One of the Klingons picked him up, tossing him into the bulkhead. He crumpled to the floor.
I switched my hold on the rifle, grabbing the barrel. Another marauder ducked Rakrr, picking me as the easier target. I swung the rifle, crunching the butt into his skull. He dropped.
Another one grabbed me from behind. I kicked, scraping my boot along his shin. He howled and jumped but he didn’t let go. I tossed my head back, cracking it into his chin. He swore. I kicked again. He grabbed my elbows, pinning them back. He lifted me off my feet. I wriggled like an angry cat, kicking and screaming insults, too angry to feel the pain.
Another pirate attacked me, thinking me helpless. I landed my boot in his belly. He reeled into a Klingon fist and went down.
The man holding me shifted his grip just enough I could slip free. I turned on him, clawing his face and kicking his shins. He retreated with his hands held protectively in front. Hruk’Tal clobbered him from behind. I kicked him as he fell.
“Small, but fierce.” Hruk’Tal nodded his approval.
“Duck!” I launched myself to the side as a marauder opened fire.
Hruk’Tal roared as the beam bit into his arm. The thick sleeve of his coat smoldered. He spun, fists and feet flying. The marauder disappeared under a heap of angry Klingons.
“Clear for the moment.” Herring’s crisp voice cut through the sudden silence.
Hruk’Tal lifted the limp marauder. “What shall we do with these?”
“Lock them in a storage closet.” I slapped the closest door control panel.
“Kill them,” Rakrr growled. He spat Klingon insults and kicked the nearest unconscious body.
“They may have information we can use.” Herring stroked his chin. “We lock them up for now.”
Hruk’Tal motioned the Klingons to gather the marauders. “We kill only in the heat of battle.”
They shoved the pile of limp bodies into the storage closet after stripping off any useful weapons.
“How do we keep them from escaping?” Rakrr asked. “I see no lock.”
“Like this.” I wedged a knife stolen from a marauder under the door controls, popping it clear. I twisted the wires inside until they tore free. “No one’s going through that door until they put those back.”
“I trust you know how?” Herring raised his eyebrow.
I shrugged. “We leave that to Carroll and her crack troops. Where are they?”
The ship rocked.
“The ship is under attack. Now is the time to strike!” Hruk’Tal slammed his fist against his chest. “Today is a good day to die.”
“Not if I can help it,” I muttered.
The lights turned red. Sirens wailed through the hall. We staggered as the ship lurched. Smoke billowed from vents overhead.
“Shields are down,” Herring observed.
“We shall take the bridge.” Hruk’Tal raised his head and howled his battle cry.
“What about Taylor and the control unit?” I asked Herring.
“The shuttle bay is just down the hall. With this,” he shouldered a very large phase rifle, “I should be fine. Keep them distracted, Stevens.”
“Come, small warrior.” Rakrr clapped his hand on my back almost knocking me over. “We shall avenge our fallen comrades.”
All five Klingons howled, a hair-raising chorus. They raised their weapons over their heads. I lifted the belt knife into the air and howled along with them. I wanted my own share of payback.
Personal Log 1-14: Victory Conditions