“I have been told you have collected the leaders of the rebel confederation,” Admiral Destry said, the corners of his lips twitching from a grin to a solemn face. He leaned forward, eyeing Lieutenant Tierney warily. Many times before he had been told that the leaders had been captured, and many times he had been wronged, but somehow he had faith in the tall, white haired woman.
“What you say is true,” Tierney replied quickly, anxious to hand the traitors over to another’s control. “We should make haste. I don’t want our prisoners to get any ideas.”
“I thought they were kept in a Class A Transfer Pod,” Admiral Destry asked as he sauntered towards the exit door. “They are the most secure transport vessels ever created.”
“Yes, sir,” Tierney said, straightening as she followed the admiral into the corridor. “But I believe you underestimate them.”
Destry scoffed. “If you are as good as you have claimed to be, then I need not worry.” Then he added, with a quick wave of his hand, “Lead on.”
Tierney did so, giving Destry’s legs the difficult task of trying to keep up with his towering division subordinate. The lieutenant did not slow her pace, a silent challenge to the human commander. She did not stop until they reached the air lock leading out to the terminal where the transport vessel had been parked.
After taking a moment to catch his breath, Destry leaned towards the keypad, his stubby fingers relaying the four-digit passcode to unlock the door. On the second try, the door slid open to reveal a metal-walled room with three defense pods on one side, and asoldiers lined up on the other. Each personal was equipped and armored to defend. They offered a salute to their superiors, who reciprocated the gestures with different levels of particularity.
Tierney approached the transport vessel first, motioning for the guard to open the door with a bob of her head.
The guard stepped up stiffly, marching up to the pod at a slower rate than his training had taught him. He raised his hand to the control panel and his fingers hovered over the numbers. Tierney’s hands floated over her gun in her side holster. Destry guffawed in the background, sweet talking his young assistant who had managed to order coffee from a different quadrant. The engine of the pod revved.
The guard spun around, throwing to the ground an Orb, surging electrical currents through the floor and sending the standing military squad and the Commander himself into a series of convulsions, and rendering them useless.
Tierney landed on two feet. She pulled out her gun just as the pod shot down the run way towards the airlock. Tierney glanced at the masses of unconscious guards and then back at the airlock, which would automatically open if it reached a certain point. She ran towards the main door and began pounding on the window to the control room.
“Shut it down!” She yelled, as the technicians behind the glass scrambled, but at this point she knew they were useless.
Tierney snarled. She bolted in the direction of a defense pod, smashing her fist into the panel that demanded a passcode for the side door to be opened. The latch released, allowing Tierney easy access to the interior. Within seconds, she was in the cockpit with the door securely closed and the powered on pod ready to follow the rebel.
“Ma’am, you are not authorized to enter the pod.” It was a soldier from the control room speaking through the communicator on the ship. Tierney ignored him. Thankfully the pod was completely manual, and there was no way for the bridge to stop her. She pulled the lever, ejecting the pod from the side of the ship and into the vast unknown of space. “MA’AM! There is a highly equipped and well trained team dispatching in under ninety-seconds. Please hold your position.”
Tierney swore in her native tongue as she turned the pod to face direction of the rebel’s flight path. “Whatever it takes,” Tierney mumbled, eyes locked on the clearly marked gold and red prison transport. There was no way they could escape undetected.
She focused on the transport, her years of training guiding her hands through the maneuvers of the pod to pursue the escapees. The starry sky seemed to swallow the transport with each passing second as they drifted away, despite Tierney’s skilled attempts to catch up. With a sense of nearing defeat she sent a single shot in the direction of the pod, then watched it disappear into infinite nothingness. Somehow, her craft seemed to slow the further she ventured into space, the lights flickering and the pod shaking idly.
“Lieutenant,” came the broken voice of the control room soldier. “You are exiting pod proximity. They don’t function in the far reaches of space. The dispatched team is only seconds behind you. Please allow them to take over.”
On cue, the engine silenced. The pod lighting dimmed itself for a split second, before reverting to back up power, the external lights extinguished. Tierney felt the sudden jolt of passing ships. The dispatch team, she mused. And though they were only seconds behind her, Tierney knew that the rebels were already free. She slammed her hands on the dying control panel.
“Tierney.” Destry growled over the communicator through clenched teeth. “You are a shame to your rank. I expect more from someone with such a reputation. Three planets are under your care- that hellhole earth being one of them- and you can’t manage to wrangle two little girls that are in your charge? Return to the ship at once.”
Tierney felt her nose scrunch up and her lips purse in disgust at the Military Alliance official. “The man had practically an entire solar system under his thumb,” mumbled Tierney. “And yet, the man is softened with excessive luxury to the point he can barely keep pace with me.”
One of the dispatch vessels had returned, opening its side hatch to allow Tierney to dock with the little emergency power she had remaining. Begrudgingly, she put the ship in drive and put it parallel to the vessel, and allowed it to attach.
Now, she had the option to enter the adjoining vessel as they traveled back to the ship, but Tierney waited patiently, with her arms crossed. She would return to the ship in shame, yes, but she would also return promoting the ideals the Military Alliance had based itself on: bravery, determination and obstinacy.