This story is just for fun. Any resemblance to the staff at the space center is intentional. Any resemblance to a real space center mission is your imagination.
The emergency lights flickered on, very dim and red.
“Hold the door!” Rafael shouted. “If it shuts, we’ll be locked in here.”
“What’s Vasha doing?” Harken whispered. “Is she trying to kill us all?”
“I wish I knew.”
“Shut up!” A pirate slammed his rifle butt into my back.
I spun on my heel and punched him in the face. He reeled backwards. I grabbed his rifle, pulling the trigger. A spray of plasma bolts caught the other guards, cutting them down. Turner ducked behind me, grabbing Harken on the way.
“Negotiate this, Rafael!” I clicked the trigger.
Rafael was no longer in the doorway. His footsteps faded down the dim corridor.
I dove for the door, jamming the rifle into the opening. A plasma bolt struck the wall next to me. I dropped behind the door, out of range.
“Now what?” Harken asked.
“Unless you know another way out, we’re stuck in here with Caligula.”
“And he isn’t going to be happy when he wakes up.” Turner nudged the prone cyborg.
I slumped against the wall. “We need information. Harken, you were working with Perry. Did you sell out the Federation to these pirates?”
“It was a cover. We were looking for the leak in Starfleet. Although I think Perry decided it paid better than Starfleet ever did.”
I winced as another plasma bolt zipped through the opening. “Admiral Williamson assigned me to do that, too. He said they suspected someone on the Voyager.”
“Captain Herring? The rumors were true?”
I shook my head. “Not him, someone else.”
Harken sank into Caligula’s chair. “We thought it was you, Stevens.”
“Then who was it?”
“Vasha.” Turner smacked his fist into the floor. “She set us up. She’s working with Rafael. I thought he looked familiar. She met him at Starbase a month ago.”
“Why were you following Vasha?”
“We were dating. Sort of. She dumped me after three dates.”
The air vent cover on the other side of the cabin wiggled. I signaled the others to be quiet as I eased the rifle out of the door. It slid closed as another plasma bolt ricocheted down the hall. I aimed at the vent.
It dropped to the floor with a clatter. A petite blond woman in a torn Starfleet uniform crawled out. She sat on the floor, raising her hands. “Y’all want to put that rifle down? I’m here to help. My name’s Evangeline. Call me Angie for short.”
“You’re working with Vasha. Give me one reason we should trust you.” I eased my finger onto the trigger.
“Because I’m your only hope.” Angie raised her hand, showing us a computer disk. “I stole the protocol when Vasha wasn’t looking. She’s gonna be real mad when she finds out none of her commands work. Admiral Williamson warned me to watch out for you, Adrian. Said you’d get me in a heap of trouble if I wasn’t careful.”
“How is Delphi going to help us now?” I shifted the rifle to aim at the ceiling. Any hope was better than none.
“We’re on our way back to Starbase Fourteen. And there ain’t nothing Vasha can do about it. I stole the computer chips that control course settings. All she can do is stop the ship.”
The engines whined to a stop right on cue.
I sighed. “You had to say that.”