Portar, the Benzite scientist, emerged from the turbo lift. He quickly walked around the bridge looking over the shoulders of the on duty crewmen as he evaluated each of their efforts. He passed in front of Captain Dorra d’Hexplora before taking a seat beside her. He leaned towards her and said, “The experiment is ready. It’s time to begin, Captain. May we proceed?”
“Put those weapons away. We’re not going to get out of this with force,” Dorra replied as she stepped to the hatch and released its locking mechanism. The hatch opened revealing dozens of armed soldiers with rifles aimed at her. She raised her hands, palms out to demonstrate that she was unarmed, and stepped from the shuttle. “I’m Captain Dorra d’Hexplora. Who’s in charge around here?”
The leather-clad man that had peered in through the forward window just moments before stepped forward. “I’m Scorpius, and I represent Captain Molayne on this occasion.”
“Captain Molayne? I need to speak to him immediately.”
Scorpius shook his head. “My dear Captain, I’m afraid that will not be possible.” He removed her combadge before ordering the Peacekeepers to take them away, in a language that Dorra could not understand without the aid of her confiscated universal translator.
The soldiers stepped forward, grabbed Dorra by the arm and pulled her away from the flyer. They followed Scorpius out of the massive, multi-tiered docking bay. One of her security officers didn’t like being manhandled by the soldiers and resisted. She heard the confrontation and looked back just in time to see one of the soldiers fire his rifle. A small ball of light streaked towards the officer and struck him in the chest, killing him instantly. He slumped to the ground in a heap.
“No!” she cried out, but was pushed out of the room. “Don’t resist them. That’s an order!” she called out to her remaining crewmen. However, she couldn’t be sure if they had heard her or not.
Once the remaining four members of the shuttle crew was securely in custody, their technology confiscated, and were on their way out of the docking bay; the techs rushed the shuttle and began studying it, searching for whatever secrets to wormholes that it contained.
Relief washed over her, when she saw that the remaining crewmen had heard her order and were escorted into the corridor behind her. Dorra, Finley, and the rest of the security team were led down a tall, narrow corridor that was wider at the top than at the bottom. The hallway was crowded with people going about their business. However, the moment they noticed Scorpius, the aliens, and their security escorts; they hurried to get out of the way by turning off into adjacent hallways or by simply pressing themselves against the wall until the group had passed. There must have been hundreds of them. Even the small robotic drones seemed to fear the rail-thin alien in leather with the odd contraption on his back.
Dorra didn’t know where they were going, but suspected that it wouldn’t be to a conference room to meet with Captain Molayne. She was right. They were escorted to the Command Carrier’s Detention level, where they were placed in individual cells. Dorra objected to being treated in this manner, but found that without the aid of the universal translator, there was little hope that they would understand her.
Scorpius observed the process in silence. He held one of the combadges in his hand and realized the pendant’s purpose. He dropped it to the floor, stomped on it, and called for something in his alien tongue. A pair of small robotic drones approached Scorpius. The first one started collecting the debris that had once been Dorra’s communicator, while the other entered the cell’s metal lattice through a gap along the floor and approached her with its manipulator arm extended. It went straight for her feet, and jabbed a small needle-like appendage into Dorra’s ankle. It hurt like hell, but she refused to cry out and show these people any sign of weakness. Slowly, she began to understand what they were saying without the aid of the universal translator.
Once the prisoners were stowed away securely in their cells and injected with translator microbes, Scorpius strolled passed each of the cells, looking in on his captive audience. Finally, he stopped in front of Dorra’s cell. “If you’re the Captain of the vessel, I doubt that you will have the level of knowledge that I require. It’s possible, but unlikely.” Without waiting for her response, he turned around and strolled over to Finley’s cell. They stared at one another for a moment, before Scorpius said, “This one. Take him to the Aurora chair.”
“No!” Dorra cried out. “I’m the Captain. Leave my crew out of this. If you want to know something, direct your questions to me.”
“In due time, Captain, we will have a chance to speak, but right now, he interests me.”
“It’s simple really. You’re the Captain, those other gentlemen are your security officers, which makes him the one with the information I require,” Scorpius replied logically.
“Finley!” Dorra cried out, but it was too late. They had already hauled him away with Scorpius following on their heels.