Characters: Roland DeVries
An eye blink after reaching for the boarding ladder to his ‘Fury, DeVries looked around confused. “What the…,” he started, the snapped quiet as something tingled the back of his neck. This wasn’t the launch deck of the Phoenix, he was certain of that from the moisture dripping stone around him. But, still, it was familiar. Flattening himself into a shadow nock, Roland took stock of the situation.
The first thing that snapped him into the present was a familiar weight on his right thigh. Dropping his hand, the palm caressed the hilt of the Ka-Bar sheathed there. His other hand moved to the small of his back, searching for what, if this WERE the present, should be there. He scowled when his hand came up empty. No pike. Now he knew why things had felt familiar. This place wasn’t something he was likely to forget no matter how long he lived.
A scream snapped his head around. A long, piercing scream of agony that ended in a gagging noise. The hand on the hilt drew the Ka-Bar as if under its own volition. Not here, he thought, of all the Galaxy, not here. A burning anger flared in him. Roland didn’t know why he was having to repeat this. Didn’t know, and…for the moment, didn’t care.
There was the sound of footsteps behind him. A gasp sounded from a startled throat as the Human whipped around. The Ka-Bar a silver/grey arch as it struck.
“No, indeed, you savage,” the Centauri officer snarled at the collapsed Narn, “you really won’t tell me anything.” The two guards in the cell laughed at the officer’s joke. Not a good career move to do otherwise. One moved to the side to avoid getting blood on toe of his boot.
“Lift that….thing,” the officer snarled, moving to a nearby table. His gloved hand caressed the instruments on the tray there. Caressing each one with the tenderness one showed a lover. Behind him, he heard the guards lifting the prisoner onto its feet. The officer let out a sigh as his hand brushed a particularly grim looking implement. He would never understand these Narns. “My talents are truly wasted here,” he sighed again, selecting one of the even grimmer implements from his collection. Turning, he grim sardonically at the Narn. “Perhaps, when I’ve finished with you, the Emperor will truly appreciate my gifts,” he said, moving in. He was so absorbed in the moment, he didn’t hear the cell door open. In fact, he didn’t notice the hilt protruding from the guard’s throat until the man dropped. “What to the name of Car…,” he yelled, spinning to confront the interruption.
A hand whipped out, grabbing him by the throat and slamming him against the hard stone of the cell’s wall. The officer tried to strike with the scalpel in his hand but his assailants other hand had liberated the implement for his grasp. The officer tried to focus on the face inches from his but his vision was beginning to blur. He heard a voice hissing in his ear, the accent Terran. “Looking for this,” the voice asked. Then a pain shot through the officer’s abdomen. Part of him tried the scream despite the viselike grip crushing his throat, another part objectively critique the cut. Sloppy, the Centauri thought, feeling his life ebb, should have used the Number 4 edge to disembowel….
DeVries let the corpse drop. Behind him, he heard a resounding crack. Turning, he saw the other guard collapse like an empty sack, his neck at a queer angle. The bulky form of the Narn wasn’t far behind as he collapsed also.
“T’rar,” DeVries called, rushing the the falling Narn. As he reached out …..
Roland felt a hand grip his arm. He’d been falling back off the ladder and hadn’t realized it. “What the,” he started, looking into the red eyes that looked into his face. “T’rar? Did you just…,” he started to ask. A slow nod from his comrade answered the unfinished question, as did the sheen a sweat on the Narn brow. DeVries’ mind made the connection. He hadn’t experienced the flash back alone.
Aided by T’rar, he climbed the rest of the way into the cockpit. “What in the hell is going on,” the Human asked. Silence was his only answer. If if the Narn could’ve talked, he didn’t have an answer for Roland.
Copyright (c) 1998 Smith Self. All rights reserved.