Long Shadows

Characters: Dr. Kim Matsumoto, Margaret Morgan

They pause at the entrance to the docking bay, Kim looking around before they stagger slowly to a cluster of chemical drums. They can hear voices in the distance, but there is no one else in sight.

“Stop. Stop stopstop,” Morgan wheezes. “Put me down here.”

Kim lowers her to a sitting position. Hunching down next to her, Kim gently eases open the EVA suit around the wound and whistles low under her breath. The sniper had caught Morgan across the stomach and it is oozing fresh blood.

“Just a new EVA suit, she says,” Kim grumbles.

“Yeah, well, dock my pay when we get back.” Morgan grins wryly.

Kim realizes this is the first time Morgan’s expression has been anything other than either calm or glowering. She rumages the medkit and pulls out a quickpatch. The breath hisses out of Morgan sharply as Kim applies the patch. The tactical officer swallows a curse. Kim slaps a cartridge in the hypo.

Morgan glances at the hypo and snaps, more harshly than she intends, “No painkillers. They dull the senses, and that’s something we can’t risk right now.”

Kim sighs and stows the hypo away. Settling the kit and pack again on her back, she checks the area again in preparation to move. The area clear, Kim reaches to help Morgan up.

Morgan shakes her head. “You go on.”

“I didn’t leave you before. What makes you think I’ll do it now?”

“There is no way I can help with a commotion. I’d probably get us both killed. I can wait here for the Captain and Validenn. I have good views of both the service entrance and the main, and an addition to the dead and wounded won’t be noticed.”

Kim tries to argue but Morgan acts like she hasn’t heard anything. “Get the shuttle warmed up while you’re at it. Berth 168.” She holds up the data crystal.

Kim takes it with only a moment’s hesitation.

“Be careful. Billy suspects this riot didn’t start itself. Make it a good one, cyfeilles.”

“Stay alive.” Kim answers. She checks her ppg, and after a final glance, dashes of for the ship berths.

 


“165 . . . 166 . . . damn!” Kim hissed. With a jerk she ducks into Berth 166 as a trio of guards creep out of 171. Her eyes widen in surprise when she recognizes their uniforms for EarthForce.

 


Morgan leans her head back against one of the barrels, wishing she could have for once been anything but the soldier and taken the painkiller offered.

She hears voices approaching and listens carefully. Both Human. Male. Speaking casually. She risks a glance at them.

Well-dressed, ppgs at the ready but mostly unconcerned. One of them turns slightly and she sees… NightWatch.

Bloody hell, she thinks, shrinking back into the barrels. Fear stabs through her, every bit as intense as the pain. And the Watch means the Corps. Closing her eyes, she concentrates. Any teep looking for her now is going to get a mind full of agony.