I wiped dust and sweat from my face. My elbows ached from squirming through ducts barely large enough to let me through. I squinted through yet another vent.
Vasha slumped in the captain’s chair. The bridge looked too dark. Only one station showed anything on the screen. The power outage must have taken out most of the systems. Smoke leaked through the doors leading to the bridge.
I searched for a release on the vent cover. It was molded into the wall of the bridge. I muttered swear words. There had to be a way to get it open.
Vasha’s head snapped up. She looked awful. Her hair was a mess, one eye was swollen shut. She wiped blood from her nose. “Who’s there?”
“Adrian Stevens. Vasha, what happened?”
Vasha jumped from the chair. She stood under the vent, peering through the slits. “Is it really you this time?”
“It’s me. Open the vent.”
“Why? So you can try to kill me, too?”
“I’m trying to help you, Vasha.”
She chewed her lip while blood dripped from her nose. She finally nodded, touching the release buttons. The vent cover slid to one side.
I dropped through, landing on the floor next to a limp body. I froze in shock.
Vasha kicked the body. “She isn’t dead, although I wish I’d had a bigger weapon. She’s only unconscious.”
And bleeding, I added silently. “I thought Perry was dead.”
Vasha dropped into the captain’s chair. “She’s working with Rafael. I saw her meet with him more than once.”
“Turner told me you met with him on Starbase a month ago. Convince me you aren’t the real traitor.” I shifted away from Perry’s prone body. Blood dripped through her scalp, pooling on the floor around her head. The sight turned my stomach.
“I met with him as part of my cover. I suspected Perry and Harken. I was following a lead.”
“You’re working for Williamson, too? Harken told me the same story.”
Vasha pointed at Perry. “She’s the real traitor. At least on the Voyager. This is more than just one ship. I think an admiral is involved.”
I stared. “Admiral Williamson is a traitor now? Are you insane or just paranoid?”
“Not him. But someone close to him. We were all set up.”
The door to the bridge exploded inwards. I ducked flying shrapnel. Vasha screamed. Pirates thundered onto the bridge. Smoke clogged the ducts. Alarms hooted.
“Give me control of the ship, now!” Rafael jammed a phaser into Vasha’s face.
She flinched. “I can’t. I’ve been trying for the last hour to get control back. Someone locked everything. I can’t even access the holodeck programming.”
“She’s not alone!” A pirate grabbed my arm, shoving me into the middle of the bridge. “Perry’s body is on the floor behind her.”
Rafael’s head snapped around. “Is Emily dead?” He looked worried.
“Still breathing but she’s got a huge lump on her head.”
“Get her to sickbay!” Rafael stalked across the bridge, his face twisted with rage. He stopped a foot from me. “If she dies, you’ll wish you died, too.”
“I didn’t do it,” I squirmed, trying to escape the pirate’s grasp.
Rafael raised his hand to slap me. I cringed. The ship rocked to one side.
“Tractor beam,” a pirate muttered.
Rafael whirled back to Vasha. “Get this ship running. Now!”
“I can’t! Didn’t you hear me before? I don’t know who screwed up the ship, but someone did.”
Caligula strode through the smoke, entering the bridge like a conquering general. Rafael and his handful of pirates snapped their weapons to aim at the cyborg. Harken, Angie, and Turner sidled through behind him, moving out of the line of fire.
“It’s over, Rafael. Surrender while you still breathe.” Caligula planted himself in the center of the room, leather coat flaring dramatically.
“You should surrender to me, you freak mutant!” Rafael waved his phaser.
“I’ll let you die quickly, unlike Mad Dog.” Caligula’s calm voice echoed in sudden silence.
Rafael paled. “Mad Dog is here?”
“And Del Brugado is in the hands of the Federation. You have no power base, Rafael.”
Rafael opened fire. His pirates followed suit. The one holding me shoved me away. Most of the weapons were low on power. It turned into a fistfight, with some of Rafael’s men siding with Caligula. The bridge lights flickered and dimmed as power levels dropped further. Something in the hall exploded. Smoke poured into the room, thick and heavy.
I crawled around the edge of the bridge. I didn’t want them to remember I was there. Angie caught my shoulder as I neared the door.
“The Odyssey’s still here, we can make a run for it.”
“You can make it fly?”
Angie grinned, white teeth flashing in the dark room. “She’s my baby. Plus I stole the Delphi chip off Vasha. Why do you think she can’t get this ship to fly? She ain’t got the right controls.”
Turner and Harken joined us as we crawled from the bridge. The four of us were going to steal the Odyssey back from the pirates. I questioned my sanity.
Personal Log 2-13: Mad Dog!