In the hallway, they largely followed Gerard’s plan, each of them figuring they might as well until something better comes along.
Fishmonger was the first to see an opportunity. He ducked down a corridor and was out of sight, and within seconds they heard an explosion and a cry of pain. They ran to the spot only to find Fishmonger with one less leg than he’d had before.
Gerard turned down the corridor they had come. “Hey, Freak…”
“Moron, Hero, Dingbat…whatever you answer to. I know you’re following us,” she said. “Come on out of the shadows and carry Fishmonger.”
Cy stepped forward. They used strips torn from Gerard’s prison jumpsuit to bind the wound. Without ceremony, Cy lifted a whimpering Fishmonger and put him over his shoulder.
“Ok, let’s move,” Gerard said. They made it to the corridor around the corner from the airlock without incident.
“Dumb Ox and Pyrite, take out the guards and clear the way.”
“Can’t I just be Ox?” Ox asked.
“You wanna be Stupid Stupid Face?” Gerard asked.
“Okay, okay,” Ox replied.
Ox and Pyrite turned the corner. Ox charged two of the guards, took them down and smacked their heads on the floor, knocking them out. Pyrite flash-fried the third.
Gerard stepped forward, followed by Masq, with Cy and Fishmonger hobbling behind. They stopped to one side of the airlock. “These guards don’t look Ftharan,” Cy said, but no one was listening, not even Fishmonger.
“The airlock provides no cover; it’s just a long deathtrap to the other ship,” Masq said.
“Okay.” Gerard pulled a helmet and oxygen tank off one of the guards. “Pyrite? If we send you down the hall can you burn up all the oxygen?”
“The guards at the other end’ll have masks too.”
“Yes, three to one is better than seventeen to one.”
“I should go,” Cy said.
Gerard didn’t hesitate: she punched him in the mouth and said, “While in this craptacular situation I will not have my methods questioned by someone who can’t even steal vid equipment from an old lady. Now help Fishmonger, or shove off.”
Cy’s skin turned red as he set Fishmonger down and started down the hallway. Pyrite made to go after him, but Gerard stopped him. “Anger’s a trigger, right? Let’s see if he can take any out before he dies. Worst comes to worst, the Ftharan’s will be overconfident.”
Cy picked up speed and a deeper hue of red as he barreled down the hallway. The guards at the far end of the connection tube had plasma pistols, but his toughened, red skin could handle that. Their shots singed and stung, but Cy didn’t slow down.
When he reached the other side, his genetically engineered instincts took over–or they would have if he hadn’t tripped on his own feet and fallen headlong in front of the guards.
Point-blank plasma pistol shots sting a lot more than ones from farther away, but that only gave Cy more impetus to stop them, or, rather, try to stop them.
He leapt up and grabbed the guard nearest him by the shoulder and the muzzle of his gun. Unfortunately, the guard kept firing, and Cy’s grip on his shoulder wasn’t tight enough. The guard slipped out of his grasp, leaving the gun, and ran down the corridor.
Cy cursed under his breath. He aimed the plasma pistol and fired after the guard and his compatriots, pushing them back a corridor through his blind advance. He’d bent the pistol’s muzzle as he disarmed the guard, and after a few shots that went far wide of their targets, the pistol exploded in his hand. Rage burned through Cy, and he roared as he ran at the guards still firing at him.
To Be Continued…