Thursday, March 24, 2016
August 28 (part 4)
As I moved through the staring Nobeks (I guess I looked pretty messed up) I called over my shoulder, “I’m not heading to Medical for myself. Dramok Resan is dying back in his training room. Someone needs to get to him right away.”
I slowed as I wove my way through the obstacle course of Tragoom bodies. Beyond them, carpeting the floor in front of Medical, were about eight dead Kalquorians, all wearing security insignia. I knew a couple of those faces. My heart lurched.
The door was open, and medical personnel had moved into the corridor. They checked the bodies, gently but quickly moving men who could no longer feel to the sides of the corridor. This part of the ship was not wrecked. Only a few lighting panels had cracked. It was weird to see how different the section was from the one I’d come from.
Among those declaring the dead was Tep. I went straight to him, glad to finish accomplishing my mission. He did a double take when he saw me, going from crouching next to a deceased warrior to straight to his feet in an instant. “Shalia! Mother of All, look at you! Get her in an examination room right away!”
“No time,” I said urgently. I grabbed his hand and tugged him towards the heaps of Tragoom bodies that Ebnad’s team were checking to make sure they were dead. “Resan’s in a lot of trouble. He’s badly hurt. He may already be dead, but you have to try.”
“Of course.” Tep swung around to call to an orderly named Oti. “Grab a hover stretcher, a trauma kit, and get down to the training section.”
As the orderly ran into Medical to carry out Tep’s orders, Ebnad came up with his hands in a ‘slow down’ gesture. “Doctor, the ship is full of enemy attackers. I can’t send men with your orderly into that section yet. We could barely hold Medical with a full complement, and we’re half that now.” He darted a funny look at me again. “Without Matara Shalia’s assistance, we wouldn’t have kept the Tragooms off you and your staff. We have to remain here in case more infiltrators make it to this section.”
“No one asked you to go,” Tep said. He turned to the returning orderly who had a huge medical kit on top of a floating hover stretcher. “Oti, do you know the which training room is Dramok Resan’s?”
“It’s a bad idea to send anyone that way without security escort,” Ebnad insisted. “That’s the direction the attack came from.”
“Their shuttle is attached to the hull outside the main physical therapy room,” I reported. “I saw no signs of anyone still there.” I handed Oti one of my blasters. “Here. I’ll go back with you.”
Oti took the blaster and checked the remaining power. “Half. Works for me.”
He was a young guy, but the Imdiko had been medical support on the ground at some pretty horrific battles during the war. Because of that, he was fully trained in defensive fighting.
Tep and Ebnad didn’t look half as sure as Oti looked and I felt. The doctor said, “Shalia, you need medical attention yourself.”
I waved him off. “I’m alive and on my feet. This is an emergency. If Subcommander Ebnad can’t spare a man, then I’m what Resan’s got.”
Tep turned to Ebnad. “You can’t sanction this.”
Ebnad scowled. “No, but she’s right. I can’t let any of my force leave this section, not over one Dramok. Did you see anyone else back there alive, Matara?”
I shook my head. “There were some doors that were closed. I was in too much of a hurry to check for survivors.”
“No one besides you and Resan answered our coms from that section.” He shook his head. “I can order you to stay behind. You can ignore me and do what you feel you need to.” Ebnad quirked a humorless smile at Tep. “And you are free to try and stop her, though you might think very carefully about going up against such a woman.”
Tep looked at me and threw up his hands. “Time’s against Resan. At least give her an escort as far as where that Tragoom ship has docked in case there are more of them.”
“I can do that and I will, personally.” Ebnad nodded at me and Oti. “Let’s go.”