Lexi stood, squeezing the trigger on the cusp of firing the shot that would end Matthius' life. Her father, the man she hated finally in her grasp...
Perspiration slipped down her forehead as she drew the courage for the shot that would pay him back for all her torment over the past two years.
"Lexi.." The frail, sleepy voice came from behind.
Instinctively Lexi turned, lowering the weapon. Rushing to the door, she grabbed her younger sister and whisked her out of their fathers bedroom.
"Liz what are you doing up?" She whispered.
"What were you doing in Dad's room?" Young Elizabeth Stormfury queried behind sleepy eyes.
"Come." Lexi took her sister by the hand and headed out into the hallway placing the Arclight behind her back concealing it. Leading the girl she continued down the hallway and made her way to the Brig she'd spied through her sisters tour earlier.
"Lexi you're hurting my arm." Liz struggled to keep up with her sister's pace.
"Quiet. We have to get you to safety." Lexi picked up the pace.
Turning the corner, as expected standing in front of the brig was an armed guard. The guard looked at the two girls suspiciously.
"Isn't it past your bedtime?" He asked.
"I'd like to see the prisoner." Lexi stated with authority.
"Sorry, no visitors after hours. Preceptor's orders." He replied.
"Well perhaps you'd like me to wake my father so we can discuss this?" Lexi bluffed.
The guard thought for a moment. Looking over the two harmless girls, decided he'd rather risk it than awake the Preceptor and turned opening the door.
Lexi peered inside. 'Good' She thought seeing that he was the only one on duty. The guard stepped inside and headed towards the center of the two cells.
Instincts took over. Lexi pulled her sister into the room, shoving her into a corner, then with her other hand pulled the Arclight from the back of her pants. In a single motion, she pulled it up blasting the soldier in the back of the neck, killing him instantly.
"LEXI NOOO!" Liz began balling in the corner. "Why?" She sat stunned and in tears.
In the cell to her immediate right a sleepy Juliana stood up and moved towards the force field barrier between her and the action just outside her prison.
"Lexi?" She said unsure of the situation.
Lexi didn't respond, instead she searched the dead soldier's body until she found it. A key card. The antiquated system was still in use on the salvaged vessel for some reason. Lexi didn't care why, she just wanted Juliana freed.
Sliding the card through the reader, the force field between her and Juliana shimmered off. Lexi stepped into the cell grabbing Juliana and unexpectedly laid a kiss onto the bomber pilot. At first, Juliana resisted, but she couldn't help but admit a fondness for Lexi as well.
Pulling back after a few seconds, Juliana switched into pirate mode. "What's the play girlfriend?" She looked at the bawling child.
"We are getting off this death trap and making a run for it." Lexi shifted into command mode, more like her father than she realized.
"No." Liz responded. "I'm not leaving."
Lexi's brow wrinkled. She didn't understand her sister wanting to stay on board with the heartless father. "What?"
"Kill me if you must, but I am not leaving Dad." Liz was more defiant than sad now.
Lexi hadn't expected this turn of events. Surely her sister felt the same way about Matthius as she did. "Wh." She started but Juliana interrupted. "We cannot have her going after more guards." She looked towards the Arclight and spoke in a softer tone. "Give it to me. I'll do it."
Lexi couldn't bear the thought of killing her younger sister. "No" She walked over and lifted Liz up. "We can't have you squealing. No idea how you can trust that Son of a bitch, but I won't waste your life." She pushed her towards the cell Juliana had been in. "I'd hoped you'd join us but I suppose this is goodbye." She shoved the elven year old into the cell and to the ground.
Sliding the card once more to activate the force field, Lexi turned back to Liz. "Goodbye."
Juliana meanwhile was grabbing the soldier's weapons and tossing on his pants and shirt. "This should make us a little less noticeable."
** A few minutes later **
The duo made their way through the nearly empty corridors to the infirmary.
"Me first." She stood by the door, adjusting her stance. Juliana backed to hide her body from any prying eyes and kept watch on the hallway. Lexi pressed the door to open it. Inside she could see Eyanosa where she'd seen him earlier in the day. A lone guard sitting by his bed and a Nurse at a terminal across the room were the only other occupants. Eyanosa was asleep. Lexi walked in slowly and under the pretence of being sleepy.
"How..." She faked a yawn. "How is he?" She looked at the nurse keeping an eye on the soldier. The Nurse stood up and walked over towards Lexi.
'Perfect' Lexi thought. As the Nurse moved closer, she held her finger by her lips. "Shhhh. He's asleep."
"Not for long!" Lexi yelled as she reached shifted behind the nurse positioning her between Lexi and the guard pulling the pistol up and into the back of the shoulder blades of the nurse. "Kick your weapon over here or the nurse bites it." Lexi ordered.
Juliana had now pressed into the room and held her rifle at the guard.
Too slow to react, the guard was at a major disadvantage. He could do nothing but comply. Kicking the rifle across the room at Lexi, he put his hands into the air.
Jabbing the Arclight a little deeper, Lexi squeezed the trigger. It felt good in her hands and she was beginning to see why her father liked it over the Model I. As the nurse slumped to the ground the guard made a move for his discarded rifle. Juliana began to fire but before she could get the shot off, Lexi discharged another blast drilling the soldier in the chest.
"Prep Eyanosa. I'll put his cloths on." Lexi motioned towards the gaurd.
Eyanosa looked at Juliana quizzically. Juliana smiled and responded. "Don't look at me, she's in charge now."
Lexi ignored the conversation stepped up behind Eyanosa's bed and placed the soldier's helmet on her head. "Ok lets get off this boat." Lexi pushed while Juliana lead. She did her best to hid the bloody hole of the soldier's shirt behind Eyanosa's pillow.
Making there way through limited contact, the trio eventually arrived to Docking Bay two. Still docked was a Caterpillar, Lexi had seen earlier in the day. She'd hoped it would still be here.
Several XSO personnel were onloading supplies for the journey, but appeared to be wrapping. The Caterpillar was one she knew Juliana was familiar with so it made perfect sense, plus it had room for Eyanosa.
Pushing the gurney through the airlock, Juliana made way for the cockpit. Lexi continued to push Eyanosa to the safety between some crates that had been loaded. As a couple sailors looked up, Lexi knew their cover was blown. She fired a quick shot striking the first XSO crewman, then dove towards the airlock.
Unarmed, the other crewman disappeared further into the cargo hold. Lexi pressed the airlock button closing the door and raced after him.
Hearing the laser fire, as Juliana just made it to the cockpit, she entered a lone pilot sat finger on the comms trigger. "Press it and Die!" She snarled.
The Pilot pulled back her finger and pressed both hands to the sky. A few seconds passed and Juliana heard a second blast from within. "Ok initiate release procedures. No funny stuff." She ordered.
The young pilot stuck on nightshift duty complied. Terrified of being at gunpoint, the pilot tried no funny stuff. The Caterpillar disengaged from the Idris and began pushing away.
A few minutes later, Lexi entered the cockpit area. "When is this fleet jumping?" Her eyes glaring at the XSO pilot. The pilot's eyes lit up as she recognized the girl. "You're the Stormfury girl."
"NO!" Lexi barked. "That girl is dead. Now WHEN IS THIS FLEET JUMPING!" The pilot sensing impending death replied. "Fifteen minutes."
"Excellent. Move us into your fleet position and keep radio comms silent." Lexi ordered.
Fifteen minutes passed. While Juliana watched the pilot, Lexi searched the rest of the ship for XSO personnel and got Eyanosa secured. Surprisingly the naive pilot made no attempts at comms or escape.
As Juliana watched the radio chatter picked up with ships announcing their readyness. "Scry ready. Intent to deceive ready. Clarity Ready." The ships responded. "Soothsayer ready. Insight ready." The pilot looked at Juliana.
"Go ahead, no funny stuff." Juliana pressed the gun closer.
"Marauder ready." The pilot responded then closed the channel.
"Ok up, and back this way." Juliana motioned towards the cargo bay.
"I've got her from here. You get ready." Lexi began taking her back to the cargo bay.
Juliana sat watching the radar. "All ships, begin jump procedure." The Idris, she assumed, commanding. The radar lit up as ships jumped out of system and disappeared from site. As ships started exiting the system, Juliana started inputing coordinates for a pirate jump out of the system.
"We're free Lexi, WE'RE FREE!" She yelled as one by one they all disappeared leaving just the Caterpillar.
Instantly, she heard another gunshot from the back of the cargo hold. A few seconds later, Lexi stepped into the cockpit and placed her hand on Juliana's shoulder. "Let's get out of here. Screw the Xeno Syncretic Order."
As Juliana began the Jump Drive to vacate the pirate system, Lexi looked down at her hand holding the Idris prison key card. 'So long Liz.' Her mind drifted off as the caterpillar jumped.