Toliver and Cy came to the exit door closest to where Toliver had parked their ship. They opened it to see Masq holding a tied Pyrite at gunpoint. “Any closer and he buys it,” she said.
“What if we don’t care about him?” Cy asked.
“You wouldn’t have come this way if you didn’t,” she said. “Kilmer locked the bird down remotely, so you won’t be getting off this rock that way.”
“He was our teammate. You were out teammate.”
“That didn’t stop him from selling me,” Masq said, pointing at Toliver.
“Apparently I sold you to your own master. Lot of good that did us,” Toliver said.
“There were other ways to infiltrate,” Masq said, “but you were adamant that I be a slave. Adamant that Fishmonger cut off my air. Shows what you thought of me, of us. We were just meat for your step up the command ladder. Watch him, Cy–once he’s out of this, he’ll drop you.”
“That’s all right,” Cy said. “I already outrank him.” With that, Cy threw down one of the flash grenades he’d secreted from Pyrite.
Cy threw Toliver, Pyrite, and Masq over his broad, red shoulders and ran for the ship. He put them down next to the ship and banged on the keypad. He put in his colonial access codes and the ship responded. The door opened and the lights turned on.
Cy lifted his unconscious companions and put them in the ship, but before he could do more he heard a voice behind him.
“Stop, or I’ll blow your head off.”
Cy turned to see Colonel Kilmer standing with his finger hovering above a tablet. Two large men with advanced plasma rifles flanked him.
“You will stand aside,” Colonel Kilmer said.
“Why?” Cy asked.
“Because I have the power to kill you right here and now,” Colonel Kilmer said. “Stand aside.” Kilmer motioned his men to move forward, but Cy moved his body to prevent their entry.
“Fine,” Kilmer said and tapped a button on the tablet. There was an audible fizzz, but no explosion. “What?” Kilmer yelled and stabbed at the button again and again.
Cy made short work of Colonel Kilmer’s lackeys. “Moorvat physiology is very acidic. It dissolves subcutaneous explosives,“ Cy said as he snapped his fingers, “like that.”
“But…but…” Kilmer said.
“My name is Cyneheard Hero, as you know, but I’m also the lead infiltration specialist of Admiral Grisham’s Moorvat Special Forces Unit. I was sent to investigate you, Colonel Kilmer, and bring you to justice.”
Kilmer pulled a knife from his belt and lunged at Cy, teeth bared. Cy blocked the thrust with his forearm. The knife bit into his arm and blood flowed. Cy felt pain where there should have been none, and grabbed his arm.
“I may not have known about your acidic skin, but I knew enough to have my boys find a knife that could cut you.”
Cy steeled himself against the pain. The cut had done more damage than he wanted to let on.
Kilmer lunged at him again. Cy sidestepped the main thrust, but Kilmer still landed a glancing blow. In all the fights he’d ever been in, such a blow would at most cut his clothing. In this fight blood flowed from the wound and pain radiated from the spot.
Kilmer slashed with the knife. Cy threw up his hands to ward it off, but the slash was a feint and as soon as Cy’s hands were up, Kilmer pulled a dagger from his belt and plunged it into Cy’s stomach. Cy fell to his knees, and then face down in the dirt, the dagger still wedged in his abdomen. Kilmer laughed. “Not so tough now, huh, Crimmell?” Cy barely registered the racial slur.
Kilmer bent over Cy’s body, getting close enough that even a dying Cy could hear who’d beaten him. As he bent over, Cy pulled the knife from his side and shoved it expertly in to Kilmer’s throat, missing major arteries and cutting only Kilmer’s vocal cords.
“Colonel James Kilmer,” Cy said, “you are under arrest for crimes committed against the Colonial Federation.” He picked Kilmer up and threw him into the ship. “Everything you’ve said and done will be used against you with prejudice.”
To Be Continued…