Star Trek: Defiant

"Queued" - Part Nine

Written by Laine Rael

"Mind tellin' me what we're supposed to do here, sir?" Mak said to Jeffrey as the two driders stared hungrily.

"Wish I knew, old man," he said, staring into the eyes of what had been Tagana. The drider charged, and Jeffrey dove to the side, narrowly missing her jaws.

The Bishop-creature took advantage of the confusion and latched onto Catrin's leg, sinking its fangs in deeply. Catrin yelled and pounded her fist into his skull. Her blow hadn't done any real damage, but he let go long enough to hiss at her. She pulled her leg away quickly as the Bishop-thing reared his head back for a second attack. He was off-balance for only a moment, but Catrin knew an opportunity when she saw it. Grasping the elbow of her right hand to increase the force, she rammed her right fist up into his furry midsection. Black fluid spurted from the deep wound as Catrin wrenched her arm around inside the thing. She dislodged her arm, which was covered in sticky ichor that began to pour from the wound. The creature let out an inhuman scream, and a line of the black fluid started from the corner of his mouth and trickled down his chin.

Jeffrey and Mak had their own problems with the Tagana-beast. She charged at them, but they refused to give ground -- Emeras and Dan were both behind them, and Emeras was helpless to stop any attack. Dan had an arm around her protectively, keeping watch for any hole in Jeffrey and Mak's defense.

Mak smashed his fist into Tagana's face, lacerating his own hand against her sharp fangs, but also crushing her nose. Tagana howled in anger and pain, and reared back for a moment, confused. Jeffrey took the opportunity, grabbing the chair Q had been sitting in and hefting it high over his head. He brought it crashing down on her back. Tagana went down with a screech, and the chair's legs broke off. While she was getting back up, Jeffrey grabbed three of the splintered legs, tossing one to Mak and one to Maerret, who was right next to Catrin. Mak grinned. "Thanks!" he yelled, and cheerily drove the leg through Tagana's chest. She looked down at herself momentarily, eyes wide. Her body twitched a few times before she fell, never to arise.

The Bishop-thing was down, mortally wounded, and its mouth moved in fishlike gasps. Rael took the chair leg, flipped it over so she was holding it overhand, and drove it with all her strength into his skull. He gasped once more, and his implants flickered, then lost their glow.

Rael immediately rushed to Catrin's side, and looked at her leg. The wound was very deep and ragged, and some of the drider's blood had gotten into the wound. Bright blood pulsed out in regular intervals. Rael quickly tore the bottom three inches off her shirt to use for a wrap -- it wasn't very clean, but it would have to do. She wrapped it quickly, and so tightly Catrin said weakly, "Hey, can't you let up on that a little?"

"Sorry, hon ... I'm sure you don't want to bleed to death." Rael jerked the knot tightly against Catrin's leg and she flinched slightly. Rael smiled at her. "Sorry."

The blood was already starting to seep through the bandage. It was clear that it wouldn't be enough to stop the bleeding. But Rael knew if she put a tourniquet on it, Catrin would probably end up losing her leg when they got out of here ... if ever. Still, it might be better than dying ...

Her thoughts were interrupted by Emeras approaching. She sat down, looking at Catrin's leg studiously, then up at Rael. "It is not enough," she said, as if she knew everything that was going through Rael's mind. She put her hands on Catrin's wound. Dan came over to see what was going on and stared at Catrin's leg. Emeras rose in a half-kneel and began a soft chant, pressing her hands harder and harder against the wound. Catrin gasped. A tingling rushed through her injured leg. Finally, Emeras brought her hands away. "It will heal," she said simply, and sat down again.

The bleeding had stopped, Rael could tell, but she wasn't about to remove the bandage. She reached for Emeras' hand. "How did you do that?" she said to her friend.

"I just ... knew how," she said helplessly. Rael smiled and hugged her tightly. Catrin leaned over and joined in.

* * *

Jeffrey, Mak and Maerret looked at the door. "I don't suppose it's open," Jeffrey said.

They pushed against it, then pulled. The door didn't move an inch either way. A soft voice was heard on the other side of the door. "Shh!" Jeffrey said to everyone. They all quieted. "Step away from the door," came the voice again. It was Scott's.

Jeffrey and Mak stepped away, sighing in relief. A rattling began as if from a far distance. It grew louder and louder ... and the thick oak cracked cleanly down the middle as it was hit head-on by something. It sounded as if all the kitchens in the world had thrown every pot and pan onto the floor. Whatever had hit the door ran away to make another attempt. The second time, someone burst through the door, rolling cleanly into the center of the room. They all looked, stunned, at a dwarf who was covered in shiny armor made of the same material as Mak's warhammer. The armor was covered with studs and spikes, and the being wore a helmet as well. It had broken through the door literally by using his head. The dwarf meticulously brushed himself off.

"What the hell?" Mak said.

"Do not be alarmed," Scott said. "Apparently, dragons are able to change forms as they see fit. When you left, I analyzed the forest we were hiding in and realized that in order to fit, my size had decreased by 18.427 percent ..."

"We get the point, Scott," Jeffrey said. "Do you have our weapons?"

"Yes, sir," Scott said, and retrieved the pile from just outside the door.

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