(All rights reserved. All characters and events are fictitious, any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental.)
Truro is crawling out of a thick fog which is dragging her back down, draining all the strength from her. She struggles and kicks hard to free herself, feeling her body warmth evaporating away. Somewhere, up ahead is light, a thin, watery light and a couple of shapes, maybe people. Maybe they will help. Help!
She wakes abruptly from the dream as the stimulants fire across her cortex. From Lethe to alive in less then five seconds. Truro is immediately alert, jarring and bracing her arms and legs to the full extent the cramped tank will allow. A lifetime of drubbery, of fighting hand to mouth for a meagre existence from port to port across the five galaxies had honed her reflexes into a fine weapon.
Her brain races to find out why she is in this small space and then she remembers, she is onboard the Saturn Anne II. There is no time to formulate a plan or an alibi and she has nothing to bribe them with. What was that thing the Fight Mistress kept saying all those years ago when she trained for the ring, 'Sometimes, there's only enough time for a good fight.' Finally, ten years later, it makes sense.
The door lock clicks open as the red light turns to green and Truro launches herself at the door. It flies open and then whips back from the impact with the cage, knocking over Harp, who had managed to dodge its first pass. With Harp sprawling on the floor, Truro lands catlike on his back and, with one leg, kicks the tranquilator out of Aliya's hand before she can fire. She follows it with a roundhouse of a punch right in the solar plexus. She can feel all the air leave Aliya's body through her suit as she crumples to the floor, her helmet clanging on Harp's as she falls.
Truro steps off Harp and picks up the tranquilator. Now she has a bargaining position. Two of the crew as hostages and a tranker. She checks the magazine on the tranquilator and, happy to find it full, points it at Harp who is struggling to get to his feet in his space suit.
'Does your suit have an intercom to the flightdeck?'
Harp stares in horror at Aliya's body at his side. 'Is she dead?'
'Will be if you don't answer my question...Intercom?'
'Yes..yes! Don't shoot her! What do you want?'
'A word with your pilot.'
'Safe passage, to wherever it is you are going to.'
'Sorry, too late, already there.' The voice behind Truro catches her off guard, she hadn't heard anyone approach. She turns just in time to feel the sting of a trank in her neck but there is no one in sight.
Cme catches her as she falls. 'Harp must check Aliya!'
'Yes! yes, thank you Cme, we need to get them both to the sickbay... Pilot! Pilot are you there?'
'What's going on down there Harp?'