((Turbolift Shaft, Sasu Gol))
There was a rhythm to moving through the corridors unnoticed, like swimming in the dark waters where the deep predators roamed, perpetually in search of their next meal.
Everything was engulfed in darkness. Memory's rubbery membranes were already seizing. A metal suffocating sack of borrowed time. Air: contaminated. Loudness: deafening. Duranium on duranium. Doors opened and closed. Walls shift. Horrible sounds, like a fountain of blood spurting. Shrieking. Red. Green.
Jal gripped onto the manual release for the hatch ahead of them, crouching to get his weight behind it. His arms grew stiff in the cold of the shaft and he clenched his fists to try to pump blood back through the rigidifying limbs. With a grunt, the lever gave way, the hatch slid back and open, and he let out the breath he'd held. The cold air rushed in to greet them, sucking any of their warmth out with it.
Sliding himself out of the hatch, he didn't put his feet down on the icy deck as he hit it with the density of cold appendages. Jamming the manual release into the control unit, he held his arm out for his tube companion. She grasped his hand, her palm a block of ice, and climbed out with the creak of stiff limbs and frozen joints.
Bjarnadóttir: ::Low,:: I think we lost them.
There was no confidence in her words, or in the uneasy set of her glance as she looked back on the way they came. She touched her fingertips to the swollen nebula of crimson, blue and purple on her cheek, coming away with rust-coloured flakes instead of wet, shining red.
Desoa: ::Low,:: While there is life, there is hope.
Jal exhaled heavily, getting his breath back; their crawl through the maintenance service tunnel nought but frantic and paced by their pursuer. Light cast down onto them from above, and even in the grim dimly lit service shaft, he could see the bloom of the bruise on her cheekbone.
Locking the hatch behind them with an echoing clunk of metal, the Tyrellian closed the small gap between him and Petra as caution and care took over. His voice softened from hard and edged, gaze turned from rigidly determined survival to a gentler wave and strong hands shifting to tender touch as he tilted her chin up to better see the damage.
Desoa: You are going to have to tell a good story when it scars.
Bjarnadóttir: Well, then it’s all worthwhile, isn’t it?
The sharp words came with the wry lift of a blonde eyebrow, and tiny, taut grin. It flickered away as quickly as it appeared, the Icelandic woman taking a deep and shaking breath. Her throat remained stubbornly dry, heart still slamming wildly against her ribs, adrenaline still flooding through blood and muscle. Every fibre said they should keep moving—run, escape, hide—but the lingering shreds of her common sense stubbornly refused to comply.
Bjarnadóttir: We have to sever that umbilical and get back to the Triumphant. But Halat took the last working escape pod and the shuttle...
Desoa: If we could get close enough to it, we could power it. If only it was not in the mouth of the wolf.
Satisfied the cut was not life-threatening to the health of his friend, Jal dropped his hands to his hips as he walked the small space between the hatch and the platform edge, attempting to dispel the drumming anxiety pressing down. Getting into the shaft was one thing. Making their way down through the shaft to where their shuttle was seemed to be another mountain to summit together. When he turned back toward Petra, he sighed in a pent up exhale.
Desoa: This is not how I expected to die. You?
Bjarnadóttir: I’m not ready for the halls of Valhalla yet. ::Her blue eyes darted to the Tyrellian man.:: And I’ll be damned if I let you get there before me.
Desoa: I will keep your seat warm and the skulls of your enemies filled with Andorian ale.
He smiled, spotting the emergency medical kit built into the structure surrounding the hatch. Pulling it free, Jal popped the lid, and picked up the dermal regenerator from it. It looked a little differently to the Starfleet standard, emitting the green lights of Vulcan technology instead. He lit it up to ensure it still worked and ran it over the scratch down his forearm, his skin markings illuminating as the split flesh knit back together.
Desoa: Now you. Look up.
Tutting under her breath, Petra arched her neck, cheek presented to the low emergency lighting overhead. Yet for all the impatience, the sweep of the dermal regenerator across her broken skin brought a little calm back into her world, pain retreating and taking a few motes of fear with it.
Bjarnadóttir: We could create a distraction.
Desoa: Do you not recall the last time you said these words?
Asked with the quieted tone of concentration and a tilt of a dark eyebrow as the dermal regenerator hummed in his hand, elaborating to jog the Icelander's memory.
Desoa: The Syndicate ship with half a dorsal wing remaining.
Bjarnadóttir: It worked? ::She made a small, grudging noise in her throat.:: It was messy, but it worked. We could do the same thing with the annular drive. No one needs it anymore.
Jal slowly stopped as the dermal regenerator finished the pass over Petra's skin, and while his dark brows pulling together could resemble a frown, she would know better. Intrigue radiated. Cold shifted in the shaft, his breath turning into vapour in front of them.
Desoa: It would be in the horizontal position. If we could get down to the auxiliary control room from here.
Bjarnadóttir: That's not far from here.
A latecomer to the security fields, Petra preferred to think her way out of situations, resolving them before anyone had to lay a finger on a phaser, let alone use one. But even though she knew the weapons were useless in their current situation, her hands felt empty without one. She occupied herself with prodding her cheek, the wound tender but healed.
Bjarnadóttir: Create a distraction, sever the umbilical, ride the shuttle home. And hope they’ve got the ship up and running by the time we get there. ::She nodded, determined.:: Easier than winding up the captain.
Stashing away the dermal regenerator into his pocket, Jal held onto the handrail as he looked up the maintenance shaft, then down to the zones below. Floors down, ladders to climb, remaining power draining urgently, and anything they had left was, as Petra would say, the cherry on the fish. He looked back toward her with a tilt of his head, his exhale a haze.
Desoa: It is a long way, and it will be cold as the ship dies. Icelanders are born from the snow, yes?
Bjarnadóttir: With frost in our blood.
He nodded, clapping her on the shoulder.
Desoa: Then we will keep triumph in our hearts.
Commander Jal Desoa
Lt. Petra Bjarnadóttir
Chief of Security and Tactical