“Shuttle bay looks clear,” Turner whispered.
Vasha nodded. She tapped a code on the access panel. The lights blinked.
“Shuttle undocking sequence intiated. Odyssey will undock in 10 minutes.” The words scrolled across the screen.
I fingered the phaser Vasha insisted I steal. Could I shoot someone from my own crew? Even on stun? Could I do it without shooting myself? I’d flunked every weapons exam I’d ever taken.
“They’re waiting on board for us.” Vasha waved us into the shuttle bay.
The airlock hissed shut, cycling quickly. We entered the Odyssey.
Commander Perry tapped keys on the command station. “Ship systems are coming online. Lieutenant Harken is on deck two persuading the ship’s computer specialist to join us. We’re going to need her help to get Delphi installed. We can get to the first objective, but we’ll need Delphi to fly beyond that.”
“Good work.” Vasha seated herself in the captain’s chair. “Turner, keep an eye on the power at Operations. Stevens, you take the comm. Perry, you have the pilot’s station.”
“Undocking procedure commencing. Shuttle bay doors opening,” the computer announced. “Disconnecting power from the Voyager.”
The lights dimmed. I slid into the chair in front of communications, Commander Perry sat to my left. She tweaked the thrusters. The ship lifted smoothly, sliding through the open doors into space.
Lights flashed on my station. The computer beeped. “I think someone is trying to hail us,” I said.
“Ignore them,” Vasha ordered. “Lieutenant Harken, set the computer to send an equipment malfunction code. Then get the torpedoes loaded with the decoy packages.”
“What happens if they fire on us?” Turner asked.
“They won’t. Delphi has disabled all weapons on the Voyager.”
“My lights are still blinking.” I prodded my controls.
“Harken? Are the decoys ready?”
“One moment, ma’am.” The overhead speakers crackled. “Evangeline put up some resistance. We’ll be ready to launch in a few moments.”
“How are power levels, Turner?”
“I have no idea. I’m a cook, Vasha.”
The lights flipped red. The alarm hooted. “Incoming torpedo. All hands brace for impact.”
“The Voyager is shooting at us?” Not even on my worst days did I ever imagine Captain Herring would shoot his own ships.
“Not the Voyager. That’s a battleship, but not showing any identification.” Turner tapped the sensors screen. “Unless I’m reading this wrong.”
“Get us out of here, Perry!” Vasha pushed Turner out of the way. “It’s a marauder! Harken, load those decoys!” Vasha turned to the Tactical station, her fingers flying over the keyboard as she bypassed the security codes. “Turner, push these buttons when that turns green.”
She came at me next. I tumbled from the chair, squeezing against the wall to get out of the way.
“All hands, brace for warp speeds, warp engines have been activated. Warning. Incoming torpedo. Impact in five, four, three...”
Vasha typed furiously. The warp engines powered slowly. Commander Perry calmly punched the thrusters, shifting the ship to one side.
“Two, one. Impact.”
The lights dimmed, the ship shook, smoke and sparks erupted from the engineering pod. The Odyssey shuddered as it accelerated to warp speeds.
The lights shifted back to normal blue.
“We’ve lost the engine core interositer and the main power grid,” Harken reported over the speakers.
“The stealth field is still operational.” Vasha brushed past me to check the command screen. “We’ll activate it later, when we’re closer and Delphi has had a chance to integrate.”
“Do you have a plan to rescue Captain Herring’s sister?” Turner asked.
“Did you get those decoys launched?”
“I pushed the button.”
Vasha smiled, seating herself in the captain’s chair. “My plan is already working. We’re going to trade with Del Brugado.”
“You’re giving him Delphi?” I shot a suspicious glance over my shoulder.
“Don’t be silly. I’m using Delphi to take over Del Brugado’s ship to deliver him to Starfleet headquarters. I just need to dangle bait that he can’t resist. We’re going to steal the Gemini device to trade to him.”
“We’re stealing a top secret device to give to a pirate. And here I thought I was through being a criminal.” I bit my tongue on the names I wanted to call Vasha. Idiot was the mildest by far.
Personal Log 2-4: Into the Fire