Ken Dalby pried another panel off the brig wall. He tried to, at least. This one seemed to be hinged on more securely than the others were, because just when he thought he could wrench it free, he started to lose his grip. The panel swung back up, colliding with Ken's jaw on the way back to its slot. It slammed into his face, jarring his teeth together. The force knocked him backwards-well, down, really-on to the bunk he'd been standing on. He cringed at the pain now spreading across his face, tasting what had to be blood coat his tongue.
The only thing that stopped him from spewing the most obscene curses the Alpha Quadrant had to offer was the thought that moving his mouth at that moment would only make it hurt worse.
He settled for sneering, a motion no more painful that wincing was proving to be. He wasn't sure what he was sneering at, just that it was an acceptable diversion to cussing and hurting his mouth or punching the wall or force field and hurting his hand.
God dammit, he had plotted enough jail-breaks that he should know by heart the location of the wiring that, with a little careful manipulation, would drop the force field.
Granted, he'd never been on the inside of any of the cells that the Maquis wanted to get someone out of. He been on the inside of plenty of cells, but was never left alone long enough to explore where the handy control could be found when one was looking from within the cell.
He was alone now, he and Suder, in separate cells. Being unguarded in the Brig of a federation ship was unheard of, but then again so were mutinies.
He stopped grinning.
Chakotay's activities, he presumed, had called the guards away.
Well, it was Tuvok who called the guards away.
It was good and bad.
Good that the guards weren't there to see Ken dismantling his cell in search of the correct wiring.
Unspeakably bad that Alpha12Beta76 sounded suspiciously like a plan to stop the Maquis.
A plan that Janeway was definitely not supposed to have.
One of the guards had drawn his phaser and started towards the door. The other had also drawn his phaser, but hadn't started moving after the other.
He had walked toward the occupied cells, phaser held steady.
Ken had frozen, waiting for the man to remember all the Starfleet doctrines on not shooting unarmed prisoners.
And yes, he had seen the irony of that situation.
That didn't make it feel any better.
The other guard had looked decidedly uncomfortable with his companion's intentions.
"That's not part of the plan," the non-murderous one had said.
"Not directly," the other had justified, walking even closer.
"Not at all."
At least some people absorbed the morals Starfleet tried to instill.
And it was good thing that that particular person outranked the one that hadn't.
As soon as they were gone-well, as soon as his heart started beating again-Ken started trying to find the controls that dropped the force field so that he and Suder could take active part in what was happening outside.
And it was definitely happening, from the muffled sounds of phaser fire that could be heard through the walls.
And it sounded like it was a fight, and not a particularly easy one.
Which probably meant something had gone awry with Chakotay's plan.
Ken stood up again, reaching for the panel that wouldn't come loose.
His back to the door, he heard it swish open.
He nearly lost his balance, he whirled so fast to see who it was.
It was Henley, followed by Chakotay and maybe twenty-five of the Maquis.
And they looked like they'd been in a non-stop brawl.
Henley released he and Suder, and someone handed them weapons while Chakotay explained that all was not going as planned.
Plans A and B, anyhow. Plan C was in working order.
Ken took this with distaste.
Plan C was awful, was his private opinion. As were the following Plans D and E.
He listened to Chakotay talk about the disturbing number of heavily armed Fleeters in the corridors.
The Maquis paused a moment to treat those who'd received grazing injuries on the way there.
He took the opportunity to confirm Samantha and Naomi's departure from the ship.
"Yes," said Henley, her tone communicating something less than pleasure.
Chakotay started walking towards the exit, and Henley quickly took her place to his left.
Ken activated his weapon-power cells were half drained, he noticed-and followed Chakotay and the others out the door.
"Engineering?" He asked Chakotay, his memory questionable on most aspects of Plan C.
"Back to Engineering," Chakotay confirmed.
Part 44 | Index page