I sprawled in a medical bunk, watching Vasha mutter over the captain’s handbook. Turner snored in the bunk below me. Commander Perry worked at the Operations station doing something with the power systems. She occasionally talked with Lieutenant Harken over the speakers. I had yet to meet or hear Computer Specialist Evangeline. I toyed with the idea she was imaginary and Vasha was just insane. It really didn’t matter. I was in deep trouble if the Admiral ever found out I’d helped steal the Odyssey.
“Arrival at destination in approximately one minute, three point seven four seconds,” the computer announced.
Turner’s snores choked off.
Vasha frowned. “Destination? We should have another six hours to Delta Base.”
Perry smiled. “We aren’t going to Delta Base. We’re meeting up with Caligula, Del Brugado’s second, at the Federation Border.” She lifted a phaser over the console. “I want all three of you on the floor, by the main hatch. Now.”
I slid from the bunk, nudging Turner on the way.
Perry jabbed the phaser into my middle. “Watch it, Adrian. I know your reputation. I’m watching you.”
The hatch opened. Lieutenant Harken pushed a blond woman through. “The ship is secure.”
“Very good, Harken. We’re due to arrive any second now. Keep them covered while I fly us in.” Perry stepped over Vasha to reach the pilot’s controls.
“Delphi! Activate!” Vasha shouted.
“Unable to comply. Delphi Protocol is listed as a dangerous virus and has been quarantined by this computer.”
Evangeline, the blond woman, squirmed. “Sorry. It was messing with my system. Lieutenant Harken said it was a virus planted by them Marauders.”
“Quiet, you!” Harken kicked Evangeline. She aimed her phaser at Vasha’s head. “If we didn’t need the knowledge in your head, I’d shoot you now. This phaser is not set to stun.”
I wriggled backwards.
Harken waved the phaser my direction. “Em, do we have anything to tie them with?”
“Use the sheets.” Perry shifted to impulse speeds, then slowed further.
Harken nudged Turner, the one she judged least dangerous. “You, cook, rip the sheets in strips and tie them up.”
“Weak-spined traitor!” Vasha spat as Turner pulled a sheet from a medical bunk.
An alarm hooted. The computer spoke, “Warning. Power systems are out of balance. Dilithium stress levels are rising. Recommend adjusting at Operations station.”
Perry swore. She pulled a phaser from under her uniform. “Deal with it, Harken.” She took out her frustrations by kicking us while Turner tied our wrists to the desk supports. “Tie them tighter, imbecile.”
The sensors station beeped. “New contact on sensors.”
“Scan for identification, Harken.”
“I’m busy trying to adjust the power. You scan.”
Commander Perry swore and kicked Evangeline. “Get over by the hatch. Now.”
“But we’re tied to the desk.” I couldn’t stop myself.
She kicked me. “You, idiot cook, tell me what ship just arrived.”
The lights flicked red. The alarm shrieked. “Warning! Detecting marauder vessel approaching. Weapons are armed. Marauder vessel is scanning for target lock on this vessel.”
“If you move, I will kill you!” Perry glared, twitching the phaser our direction. “And you, imbecile, tie yourself up.” She climbed over the captain’s chair to the communications station.
The lights flickered, plunging the ship into gloomy twilight.
“What now?” Perry demanded.
“The crystal is cracked. Power levels are dropping.” Harken set her phaser to one side of the desk while she worked the controls.
“Now hailing on General Use Frequencies. Broadcasting equipment malfunction codes.”
Perry used even more colorful terms.
“Power systems shutting down. Securing to shutdown mode.”
The stations blacked out, followed by the lights.
I yanked at the strips of sheet tying me to the desk support post. The knots wouldn’t come loose.
“Tractor beam has been attached to this vessel. Preparing to dock.”
“What do we do now?” Harken asked.
“Wait, and hope Caligula doesn’t kill us all out of hand.” Perry slumped in the captain’s chair. She raised her phaser. “Have a nice nap.”
I’d found the traitors on the Voyager. It did me little good. The beam swept over me, knocking me unconscious.
Personal Log 2-5: Caligula