Characters: Katia Santiago, Dr. Kim Matsumoto, Margaret Morgan
Katia was on the floor on her hands and knees, weak from the effort she had just expended in the battle against her husband. She glanced over at Nathan, laying prone on the ground near her and just shook her head, realizing they were lucky to have come out of the situation alive.
Kim straightened, pushing away the exhaustion and pain to be dealt with another time. The first one to find her voice, she said, “Come on, we’ve got to go. Now.”
Morgan, her head spinning from the encounter moved a little unsteadily toward Katia, intending to help her to her feet. She had survived worse, but it didn’t make dealing with this any easier. Katia pushed herself slowly to her feet, accepting Morgan’s help gratefully. She fought, however, the urge to run up the stairs and retrieve her daughters.
Morgan looked at her and said quietly, with more sympathy then Katia would have expected from her, “Another time.”
Kim sensed the urge in Katia and as much as it pained her, she did her best to keep control for the both of them. She left Nathan in a heap, not even glancing at him as she moved to the front door and replied, “I hope so.”
With a nod, Katia squeezed Morgan’s arm in thanks, a bit surprised to hear the sympathy coming from her. Slowly she became aware of their predicament and suggested, “He is going to wake up eventually. Maybe we can make it to the shuttle before they sound the alarm?”
Kim looked out the door, trying not to look furtive as she did so, saying, “Street’s clear. Nice and casual now…” With that, she opened the door the rest of the way and the other two women began moving in that direction. Katia moved slowly, a bit unsteadily, but at least she was doing it on her own. Morgan moved again to bring up the rear, her PPG tucked in a pocket.
Kim walked as if they were just out for a night on the town with the girls and stepped quickly down the walk, her hand casually tucked in one pocket. The other two did their best to imitate.
“There usually aren’t a lot of people out at this time of night,” Katia said quietly as she walked with Kim and Morgan.
“I know, but at least martial law has been off a few weeks now,” Kim returned and turned a corner.
“Ie,” Morgan replied in agreement, having not forgotten. She then groaned under her breath as she looked down the street.
Katia glanced up and saw the same. She cursed under her breath.
“Next street. Calm…” Kim said quietly, hoping the guards wouldn’t be interested enough to follow the trio.
Katia gulped and nodded, moving with the other women silently. Then she glanced and realized their little ruse was not working. The guard’s walk was almost as casual, but Katia didn’t doubted their suspicion when that patrol turned down the same road they did, a change in path that pulled them away from wealthy quarter they were assigned to. Inwardly she groaned, not sure if she was up to another confrontation that evening or not.
“I guess we just don’t look uptown,” Kim said, dark humor evident in her voice.
Morgan asked quietly under her breath, “How well do you feign drunk?” Her tone was tight, knowing it was not much of a solution, but just about the only one they had at this point.
Glancing over at Morgan, her fear, though well shielded, was evident in her eyes as she replied under her breath, “With the way I feel right now? Not too difficult at all.” As she finished her sentence, she began to weave and shuffle her way along.
Kim dropped her head forward a little, her hair falling around her face. She looked as different from her on duty persona as she possibly could.
Finally, Katia suggested quietly, “Why don’t we split up and act like we are heading off to our seperate homes? Meet up again at the shuttle.” It was not an option Katia preferred, but one she saw little other choice in.
“Ie,” Morgan agreed.
Kim appeared fascinated with her feet, but was focusing her attention sharply on the other two women and their surroundings. She stated, “You first, Katia.” She expected if anyone was going to follow, it would be after two rather then one. She knew that she and Meg were basically safe if caught, at least briefly. So long as Nathan hadn’t woke and sounded the alarm. Katia on the other hand would be automatically turned over to Psi Corps, whether or not Nathan had notified anyone.
Glancing sharply at Kim, she caught the random thought as it flashed through her weakened shielding and realized just what Kim was intimating, basically protecting her in the long run from the Corps. She protested, “But –”
“Go. Now,” Meg cut in, firmly.
Kim suddenly laughed loudly, as if she had made some great joke, “Right! Well…. g’night Chrissy.” She felt the eyes on them from behind again.
Nodding in reluctance, she began to branch off from the other two. She spoke with a slight slur to her loud voice, “You too, Martha!! I enjoyed tonight, thank you both! Night….”
“Still night?” Morgan replied loudly, appearing quite flustered as she stumbled over the pavement, not quite faked with the way her head was still spinning.
Kim screwed up her face at the name Katia had given her and mouthed, “Martha? Oh, thanks.” Then, Kim caught hold of Meg’s arm and steadied her as she began walking her towards “home”. Katia stumbled on her way, trying to act normal.
The patrol continued to follow the trio, ready to break off their pursuit, thinking it was just a few friends getting home late from a night out, when a call came in broadcasting an assault in a nearby house. Three suspects were described, all female. They speed up their pace and yell out, “Halt, all of you!”
Kim turned the corner with Meg and asked in a low tone, “Can you run?”
“So long as you don’t expect aim,” she replied softly.
Kim just snorted, then broke into a run, cutting for the nearest cover as Morgan fought to keep up with her, ignoring spikes driven into her head with every stride.
Katia turned the opposite corner, having little choice now, as she was too far apart from them to follow. She began running as quickly as she could, knowing they had been found out.
(C) 1999 Alida Saxon, Tamara Friese and Leslie McBride.