There was nothing like a phaser on your tail to make you move fast.
But not fast enough.
The hatch absorbed the first phaser bolt.
The second one struck his ankle.
Tom flung himself against the wall, trying to God not to scream.
He tried to ignore the intense pain creeping up his leg, aiming his acquired phaser over the hatch.
He heard boots begin to climb up the ladder rungs.
There was a conversation happening below.
"Alpha!" A man's voice.
"Gamma12!" The woman's voice.
She was stepping down, it sounded like.
Gamma12. Tom committed that to memory.
He didn't know if his pursuer was Maquis or Star Fleet. He'd just scream Gamma12 the next someone wanted to shoot him.
Well, she wasn't pursuing him anymore.
He turned on to his belly. Damn, his foot hurt.
Crawling did not make it feel any better.
Nor did climbing ladders.
He finally stopped to rest on a relatively quiet deck. He examined his foot. It was blistered and swollen and generally hurting. What he wouldn't give for a med kit. He leaned against the wall, wondering what was happening with the mutiny.
Who had the upper hand?
Who was holding the Bridge?
If the Captain was shot on the Bridge, he had a pretty good idea who was in control of the Bridge.
But it was Tuvok who beamed the Captain to Sickbay.
It didn't matter to Tom who had the Bridge, just as long as they didn't torpedo his shuttle once he launched.
Or tractor beam him back inside.
Well, there were two more worries he hadn't thought of.
His ankle was making his entire leg throb.
The quiet of the deck was destroyed by the clatter of someone clumsily removing a covering panel to get to the controls underneath.
Tom's fingers tightened around his phaser.
Scooting over, he peered around the corner.
Someone was half inside where the panel had been removed.
And their weapon was a good foot away from them.
As quietly as he could, he eased closer to the person's legs.
They didn't hear him slide the phaser off the ground or clip it to his belt.
They didn't even know he was there.
Staying perfectly still, he tried to figure out what this person was doing. Maquis, probably. Sabotaging something, probably.
He had a moment to debate with himself.
Why help Star Fleet by preventing a Maquis saboteur?
Why help the Maquis by not preventing sabotage of something to disable Star Fleet defenses?
He didn't like Star Fleet. He didn't like the Maquis.
He definitely didn't like the Maquis.
Tom shifted so he had a good shot. From that angle, he noticed the oblivious saboteur was female.
He raised the phaser into the woman's line of sight, if she looked towards him.
"Hey," he said.
She tried to sit up, which didn't quite work because her head struck the top of the open panel and she fell back down.
She grabbed her head and let out some curses. Klingon curses.
Now Tom knew who it was, B'Elanna Torres.
"Torres, I have a-"
Phaser, he was going to say. But it became impossible to speak after her boot landed with some force in his chest.
Part 34 | Index page