Personal Log 2-11: Strange Bedfellows

Harken slipped behind Angie. “I don’t trust her. I think we should shoot her now.”

“We don’t trust you, either,” Turner said. “You were the one smuggling, the one who got us stuck here.”

“And Perry killed.” I wanted to see if she’d wince or if she really was as cold-blooded as a snake.

“Perry’s greed got her killed. She overplayed her hand.” Harken didn’t seem bothered.

Angie patted the bag slung over her shoulder. “Well, if y’all got a computer terminal, I can plug this in and control Delphi from here. We’re fairly safe, ain’t we?”

“You are currently in mortal danger,” Caligula said from his prone position on the floor. “Everything in this room is keyed to my touch.”

Angie crossed her arms. “The ship is shut down, ain’t nothing working.”

Caligula laughed.

Chills ran over my skin at the sound. “Rafael knows where you are and he wants you dead. How can you laugh?”

“Rafael has been trying to kill me for months. He has not succeeded yet.” Caligula flexed his skinny arms. The strips of t-shirt ripped to shreds. He sat, tearing the bindings from his legs. “And you will not succeed, either. Give me your weapon and I will let you live. For now.” He loomed over me, waiting.

I handed him the rifle. He looked like a ninety-pound weakling, but he was a cyborg.

“Adrian!” Harken planted her fists on her hips.

“I’m not stupid, Harken.”

“Your friend is correct,” Caligula said as he crossed the room. “She is only slightly stupid. If you assist me, perhaps I will consent to offering you a position on my ship. Or I can strand you somewhere Starfleet might find you. Eventually.”

“What do you want from us, Caligula?” I ignored the hand gestures from Harken. I wasn’t going to jump him while his back was turned. We already proved that only led to pain.

Caligula tapped a code into a wall panel. A computer interface slid from behind a panel. He stuck his finger into a port below it. His eyes crossed. Information flowed over the screen. He pulled his finger free.

“Vasha has locked herself on the bridge. Rafael and his men are attempting to cut through the doors. The rest of the crew has deserted in the shuttles. The Odyssey remains. The computer systems were so corrupted by Delphi that the ship no longer functions.”

“Why are you sharing, Caligula?”

He ignored my question. “You, Adrian, have a connection with Vasha. You will crawl through the air ducts to the bridge and convince her to surrender. The rest will accompany me.” He aimed the blast rifle at my head. “Don’t attempt to double-cross me or you will never leave the bridge alive. Go, now.”

I didn’t see I had much choice. I crawled into the narrow duct.

“Move, now.” Caligula ordered the others.

I lay in the duct, wondering if I dared crawl back out. I had no idea where the bridge was. I wondered if Caligula had thought of that.

The vent cover slammed into place. Caligula melted it with the blast rifle.

I had no choice now. He’d sealed the way back. I squirmed through the air ducts, looking for the bridge.

Personal Log 2-12: Surrender or Die? Not Today

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