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Guest Laarell

Orion Origins, I

Five months ago...


Laarell stared for a second at her second in command, arching an eyebrow as a feral grin spread across her face. "An Akira-class, you say?"


"Yes, Sir."


She didn't even wait a second before she was hovering over the male, leaning over his shoulder with decided interest. "Get me a registry number. Now."


He frowned at his commander, not liking how... excited... Laarell was. Oh well. Part of the job, he supposed. A few seconds later his console beeped, and he looked back at her. "It matches something in our database..."


"Yes?" Teykier held her breath, not scarcely hoping...


"Starfleet vessel Excalibur, NCC..."


But she was already laughing, the sound pure mirth as she threw back her head. "Oh, this is just too good to be true." She went back to her chair, tapping the shipwide comm. "This is your commander speaking," she purred. "We have a target."


He frowned back at her. "You're ordering us to go up against a full crew on one of their flagships..."


Laarell's grin only grew. "They're not Starfleet anymore." She adored the moment of knowing something Jaashan Siergenar didn't, savoring it before continuing. "Some ragtag band stole the ship right out from under Starfleet's noses. I'd heard the Fleet was deteriorating..."


"Or else they're just really good ragtags..."


She shook her head. "I doubt it. We're not even talking pirates -- they're scumbag criminals and runaway slaves..."


" -- not that we aren't anything like that --" the Orion male threw out there.


A hot glare answered him, and the commander of Flame's Touch continued as if he hadn't interrupted. She smirked, and glancing around the "bridge", considered. "We'll seize the 'crew' for sale in the Borderlands. No taking slaves. They're all for sale."


Jaashan glowered. "That's what you said last time. Yet look what Captain Teykier sent back to her mansion..." he started to complain.


"Hush," she ordered. "Captain's privilege." She turned to helm. "Intercept course for Excalibur. Maximum possible speed."


* * *


Four hours later, Flame's Touch was exactly where it started.


The difference, however, lay within the fact that, earlier, it had not lost main power, its warp engines were still functioning, life-support was not running on backup, and the Bridge was not filled with smoke.


"Those... those... bastards," Laarell spat. "They're fragging amateurs. Amateurs. They aren't supposed to know how to do this kind of thing."


"Underestimating them was your fault," the X.O. hissed back at her, nursing a broken arm. "You knew everything about them..."


"I didn't know that damned dog was in command!" she bemoaned. "If I'd known they had Corizon, it would have been a different story."


"Well, that's just too bad for you," the Orion male replied, matching her icy glare exactly. "This is the second job you've botched in the last few months. Add that to the fact that you've been withholding goods from the crew... we're rather tired of it."


Laarell went from "angry" to "irate". "I won't hear such mutinous talk, Second."


"Look around you, Teykier." He snatched her wrist with his good hand, dragging her from her command "throne" and dodging a clawlike swipe at his face. "We're sick of these games. The crew has spoken, and we've decided it's time for a new... authority figure."


Her eyes flashed. "Go to hell."


"Oh, I'm sure I will someday," he agreed, dragging her off through the Bridge and the body of the ship to a small hatch at the back. "But not today. As for you..." He grinned at her, evilly. "That's another story."


Laarell spat at him.


"Now now, don't hate me -- you've had retribution coming for a long time. And cheer up." He keyed in the command code for the hatch, tossing the hissing Orion cat in and blocking her instant escape attempt. "You've still got communications systems. You've always been persuasive. Maybe someone will pick you up." He grinned, giving her a sloppy salute as the hatch slid shut and the pod hurtled away from the Orion freighter.


* * *


Another three hours later, Laarell was huddled in a flea-bitten blanket, glaring out at the stars. Lovely. Just. Lovely. Life-support was already starting to run low, and it wasn't like this was a major shipping route -- there hadn't been ships around for lightyears.


Gods. Be. Damned.


A thought occurred to her, which she quickly dismissed. Laarell, in spite of the stereotypes for her kind, really wasn't a brainless fool.




She wasn't going to do that.


Absolutely not.


Another few minutes passed, and the vacuum was no more friendly. It was getting colder; Teykier could see her own breath in the cooling pod air.


When her teeth started chattering, she opened the comm channel.


"Adrift escape pod to the S.S. Excalibur. Requesting response. In dire need of assistance."

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