(( Deck 37 near Shuttlebay, DS26, Valcarian held territory ))
They had passed a trio of people with luggage fleeing as if for their lives on the way to the shuttle bay. They had warned her that a team of Valcarian soldiers were up ahead, but they didn’t know how far. They rounded another corner that Perkins had indicated would lead to the Operations level.
Birmor: Halt. Who goes there?
Serala: Lieutenant Commander Serala, Federation Starship Atlantis.
Birmor: Sorry friend. This area is off limits to non Valcarians.
Serala: We’re here with permission of Commander Calasio.
That much was true, kind of.
Serala: We have some things to discuss and the form of communication we were using was insufficient. Since we’re here under a truce, perhaps you would be kind enough to escort us to him so we can speak in person?
Birmor: Sorry Lieutenant Commander Serala of the Federation Starship Atlantis. Standing orders are to only allow Valcarians past this point. ::The Valcarian NCO gave an obvious look over at them.:: And you don’t much look like Valcarians.
Well, this was going to be a tough cookie to crack. She really didn’t want to resort to combat, but it was still on her list of reserve tactics if needed.
Serala: And would he be less pleased if his favorite :: quickly checking her rank :: corporal failed to let us past and it resulted in a full-scale invasion from our ship? Just because of a misunderstanding? Wouldn’t it be better to take us to him and let him decide what to do with us?
Birmor: Excuse me a moment. ::she momentarily vanished::
Perkins: Do you want me to talk to him? I'm great with people.
Serala: Perkins, the only thing I want you to do is shut up.
Honestly, that man was asking for a good beat down, but she didn’t think the new Captain would much appreciate her doing so. A moment later, the corporal returned.
Birmor: Well Lieutenant Commander Serala of the Federation Starship Atlantis, it seems you have been granted passage.
Perkins: Took you long enough. Let's head out, troops.
McKnight: Let's move.
Serala: Perkins, SHUT UP! You are not in charge here. If I have to remind you of that one more time, I may be forced to forget I am a Starfleet Officer. :: Turning to the Valcarian Corporal :: Thank you, Corporal. Your diligence to duty will be noted when I report to your commander.
Birmor: It was my absolute pleasure. Commander Calasio is down in the Engineering Section on Level 46. As this used to be your station, I’m sure you know the way.
Perkins: Er, yes of course. That's, uhm, fastest way is those stairs back there, or...?
Serala: Perkins, you had better be joking. I only brought you along because of your knowledge of this station. If you can’t fulfill that role, you’re useless here. I might just have to send you back to the shuttlebay to wait with Captain Logan.
A sudden crash triggered a reflex reaction both from the Valcarians and her own people. Blaster and phaser fire erupted all around her. Even she snatched her phaser before she realized what was happening. Suddenly gripped by an irrational fear for her unborn child, she back off while the marines did their thing. She should be ordering a stand down, but all she could think of was that her child was in danger.
Birmor: STAND DOWN! CEASE FIRE. CEASE FIRE.
Perkins: It's a trick! I'm hit! They shot me! Ambush! Betrayal! Shoot back, you worthless imbeciles!
McKnight: Cease fire! Cease fire! Secure the area!
oO Praise the Elements, someone has their head on their shoulders. Oo
Serala: Well done, Captain. Corporal, my apologies. Tensions are high right now, as you can understand. Toh’jak, check on our injuries please. Be sure to follow triage protocols to the letter, and assist the Valcarians with their injured if the corporal permits.
She just hoped the Klingon would understand her not so subtle hint to treat Perkins last, and only enough to stabilize his injuries.
McKnight: You alright, Commander?
Although McKnight was looking straight at her, Perkins chose to answer instead.
Perkins: I'm so sorry. ::coughing:: I don't know if I'll make it. You must go on... without me...
Serala: Don’t tempt me, Perkins. :: turning to McKnight :: I’m fine, Captain. Thank you.
She waited for Toh’jak to finish his work and to her surprise, the Valcarian had allowed him to treat her wounded man also. It only took a few minutes, and Perkins continued his incessant whining, but he was alive and they were finally ready to continue.
Serala: Perkins...Get us to Ops now. No more nonsense. And remember yourself. You are trying my patience, and I never had much to begin with. I don’t believe anyone here will notice if my fist accidentally hits your face on purpose.
Serala: Toh’jak, will Commander Perkins live?
Serala: Excellent. And in your professional opinion, will his remaining injuries affect his ability to perform his duties on this mission?
She couldn’t help it. She had resisted as long as she could, but her reflexes took over and before she even knew she had done it, the heel of her right palm had connected squarely with Perkins’ nose. She was just glad she didn’t drive the cartilage up into the brain. It was a kill move, one of many she knew, but her instincts were enough to keep her from killing him outright.
Serala: Oh, Commander. You must still be unsteady after that phaser blast. That must be why you walked squarely into my fist. Do be more careful, will you?
And just at that moment, her world rocked as the mental link between her and her husband transferred the pain from his injury to her mind. She doubled over in pain and knew instinctively and instantly that Stevok was in grave danger.
Serala: =/\= Serala to Atlantis. Is something wrong over there? Did something just happen to Doctor Stevok? =/\=