For the second time in as many hours, Freya opened her eyes to stare up into the bright lights of her own operating room. She felt like she'd gone through hell and back but had survived to tell the tale. Before anyone noticed she was awake, she had time to think back on how she'd ended up here, recalling the explosion and the note. She quietly reached into her pocket where the note had been tucked and clutched her hand around it reassuringly. If it was still there it was unlikely anyone had found it while transporting her or treating her.
Slowly she rose and instantly wished she hadn't. Her head was pounding and the upward mobility was enough to make her feel light headed and unstable. "Whoa there Doc, not so fast." Ash was at her side and trying to push her back down on the cold, hard operating table.
"I'm fine." she slurred. She cringed at the sound of her own voice but pushed against his firm hands.
"Uh huh, right. You said that before and then got yourself all sorts of blown up." Ash protested, not letting up on her.
"One thing has nothing to do with the other." Freya argued. "Just let me off the damn bed Ash."
His hold on her wavered for a moment as he turned toward the other side of the room where she noticed Meng was standing.
"Oh right - check with the boss..." Freya said sarcastically and rolled her eyes. She used his lapse in focus to shove past him and get off the bed. Her legs buckled under her and she nearly met the floor once more but she caught herself on the table just as she felt Meng's strong arms around her waist. "Get off of me..." she muttered, pushing away from him. For all her effort, she stumbled into the wall but didn't crumble or groan - no matter how much it hurt to further beat up her muscles.
"Doc! Really you just survived an explosion!" Ash called after her. Meng raised his hand to silence him and followed Freya out of the medical bay.
"Freya..." Meng said, taking half as many steps as she did.
"Go away..." Freya muttered. "I just want to go get cleaned up..."
"So you can meet Captain Hunt?" Meng asked, stepping in front of her and forcing her to stop walking and back up into the wall. Freya kept her face neutral and her mouth shut while he glared at her. He leaned in close to her, his hot breath on her neck as he reached into her pocket and pulled out the note. He held it close her face and raised an eyebrow. "You meet with the good Captain often?"
Freya snatched the note from his hand and returned his glare. "And if I did? Captain Hunt is a good man!"
"He's our enemy Freya!" Meng hissed back, glancing down the hall. He grabbed her by the arm, pulling her into an empty room. Freya bit her lip so she didn't grimace as he abused her already wounded muscles in the process. She may not have kept the pain out of her eyes though because as soon as they were in the room and he whipped around to look at her, he dropped her arm like a hot pipe and stepped away from her.
"He may be your enemy Meng but he's never been mine." Freya said as she carefully rubbed her throbbing arm. "I don't know why he wants to see me but he does - and I'll go because he may well be the only hope we have of coming out of this thing alive."
Meng seemed to be considering his arguments against this but just shook his head. "I don't like it...but be careful." he said before leaving the room.
Freya took a sharp intake of breath before she leaned back on the wall and slid down to the floor. She would very much like to stay there until her body stopped hurting but knew that couldn't happen. After a few minutes to collect herself, she slowly got back to her feet and limped quietly toward her room and the promise of a shower. Inside the shower, she gave herself a self examination of all the bumps and bruises. She certainly felt worse than she looked - aside from a particularly vicious looking gouge on her stomach where a piece of the metal bulkhead must of sliced into her.
Commander Bonwick walked along the main deck at a slow but steady pace, one hand constantly hovering over her weapon. The place was very nearly deserted but that didn't mean it should go unchecked - nothing went unchecked on her watch. She heard boots clanking on the metal deck and turned quickly in the direction but only saw Lt. Kowalski and Lt. Ice walking away from the mess hall.
She didn't try to hide her sneer as she watched them. She didn't trust them as far as she could throw them and would just as soon like to see them side with the rebels so she'd have an excuse to throw them in the brig with the rest of the traitors.
She watch them pass through the airlock to the next section before completing her cycle and returning to her office. She barely nodded to the officer on duty before he disappeared into the brig and dragged a bruised and battered rebel out from the depths of the brig. He roughly shoved the woman into a cold metal chair and shackled her in front of Bonwick. Bonwick nodded approvingly and then turned her attention to the woman in the chair. She was covered in bruises of varying stages of healing; most of those Bonwick had dealt herself. "Are you going to waste my time again today?" Bonwick asked, eager to break this one.
Captain Robert Hunt hid deep in the shadows of the old bar. No one came here anymore, no one ventured out their own doors if they could help it lately. He could just see the traffic on the deck outside the bar but unless someone came inside, he knew they wouldn't be able to see him lurking there. While he was only expecting one person to enter the bar, his hand rested on the butt of his weapon just in case.
He saw Andy pass with Julian and frowned. He couldn't hear what they were saying but Andy looked almost frantic and Julian still had that, somewhat unnerving blank, nearly dead, expression on his face. Though he had no reason to suspect they'd seen him or knew he was there, Hunt pulled back into the shadows even further until they passed the bar.
Commander Katou grumbled as she picked her way through her lab. The place had been decimated by a rebel raid on the place and almost all her research had been compromised in the process. Most of the specimens she'd collected over the years had been killed when they'd smashed the tanks and vented gas into the space but even that was only a minor irritant to the real damage that had been done.
The few remaining DNA samples had been destroyed so there would never be another generation of new embryotics. The chambers that had been specially designed to grow and nurture the infants in lieu of a biological carrier mother were the real target. She had two embryos developing at the time of the attack, one of which was viable and had presumably been taken by the rebels before they initiated a massive explosion in each of the chambers. Given the state of things and the resources required - it was unlikely she'd ever be able to recreate even one of the four chambers, not that she had a need anymore without any new DNA samples.
Even though weeks had passed and no progress had been made on restoring the lab to its former glory, Katou still came back to the wreckage and felt the wounds ripped open anew each time. As if the damned rebellion hadn't taken enough from her when half her scientists had turned traitor!
Freya was walking a few paces ahead of Ash, refusing to talk or acknowledge him. Of course she knew he was there, he made no effort to hide himself afterall, but she still prickled with annoyance that Meng had sent him along behind her in the first place. Even further behind Ash were two others as well, though they at least tried to hide themselves from her as they followed. They just weren't that good at escaping her observant eye.
When the little convoy approached the main deck, her three shadows hung back a bit while Freya peaked out around the bend. The bar was only a few paces away and, as it often was of late, the deck was clear. Freya hugged the wall and shadowy areas just outside the arcs of the dim lights until she reached the door of the bar. She glanced back at the deep shadowy area she'd come from and caught a flash of Ash's blue skin as he waved her on. Before she could open the door, it opened and she was gently pulled inside before it was shut again submerging her in near darkness.
"I'm glad you could make it Doctor." Captain Hunt said, stepping just inside the swath of light so Freya could see him.
"Yeah - I can't say I have long..." Freya said, glancing nervously out the windows back onto the deck. From her position she could see the security office and the old wrecked science lab as well as the doors to the medical ward.
"Of course not." Hunt said. "I won't keep you any longer than necessary." he reached into the shadowy area and picked up a data tablet, presumably from a table, and held it out to her.
Freya took it carefully but didn't activate it. "What's this?"
"Your medical records." Captain Hunt said.
Freya furrowed her brow. "No offense Captain but I have my medical records memorized - hell I have YOUR medical records memorized." she said.
"Not these - the records you know and have seen were altered - under orders - when you were only an infant." Hunt said. Freya's fingers hovered over the screen and she looked up at him as if asking permission. "By all means." he said, stepping out of the light as she read through the quickly.
"I don't...I don't understand..." Freya said to the darkness. "This makes no sense..." She read the data again and shook her head. "Why are you telling me this now?"
"Because knowledge is power." Hunt said, stepping back out of the shadows, this time right next to her. "And there may come a time in the not too distant future that you'll need the truth." He paused and though Freya could barely see his face, she thought he might be considering his next words carefully. "Plans are in motion where I would likely not have the chance to get this information to you Freya. Use it or don't, but at least you know..."
"Captain?" Freya asked, her voice now edged with concern due to his foreboding tone.
Hunt shook his head. "Time's running out Freya. The Council will be back in power by the time the week is out and then....things will be worse. Worse than they are now for any captured rebels or even suspected rebels..."
Freya nodded, understanding instantly why he was concerned. She gnawed on her lip as she thought and Hunt stayed mercifully silent. "They're talking about blowing a section off the ship - of separating..." she said quietly, as if afraid even the walls had ears.
Hunt nodded as if he'd already known this, or maybe he was just expecting it. "One week Freya - after that..." he trailed off but Freya nodded. She thought she understood his meaning. Hunt's eyes were no longer on her as he looked passed her through the window. His face with crossed with confusion. Freya turned around in time to see Andy pass the window and she yearned to step out and hug her friend. Steeling her resolve she turned back to the captain but his attention was still on the window and his brow was furrowed.
The broken woman was whimpering and slumped weakly in the chair, blood dripping from her nose and mouth. Commander Bonwick sneered as she was dragged back into the brig and stepped over to the window with a small smile. The information from the woman may very well turn out to be old or false considering how long she'd been locked up but Bonwick wasn't particularly concerned with validity with this one.
She saw Lt. Kowalski crossing the deck again, this time alone, and was about to step out to ask her what she was up to when she heard the ruckus from the brig. With a sigh, she turned away from the door and window in order to silence to prisoners.
Andy looked back behind her once again, wondering what had become of Julian. They'd walked all the way to the Captain's quarters and found them empty. Somewhere on the way back toward the Deck she'd lost her companion without so much as a word. It was like he'd just vanished into thin air. She shook her head and continued peaking into the dark shops, still looking for Captain Hunt.
Andy looked down at the crumbled paper again, rereading the information and trying to make sense of it all before spinning around to keep up the search.
The disrupter fire echoed across the Deck and Andy felt the sting and pain just second after she heard the shot. She had second to look down at the pool of blood before the collapsed onto the deck. Her grip on the paper loosened and she watched, in agony, as it fluttered away from her and soon slipped between the cracks and was lost to the lower levels.
She realized the pain was going away as she heard the boots coming toward her. 'Maybe it's not so bad after all...' she thought to herself just as Freya's face swam into view.