28: In Plain Sight Part Two

In Plain Sight, Part Two
by Salvek
Following Part One

--=On the Surface of Aertok=--

TC had set them down in a stand of trees near the warehouse to conceal their beaming.

He and Salvek stepped to the edge of the growth, seeing the Nausicaans at the entrance. No one else was around, likely already inside for the opening lots.

"Left or right, Salvek?"

"It does not matter to me."

"Good, I like to take left. Shall we?"

Salvek and Blane lifted their rifles, and burst from the woods. Before the Nausicaans could even draw their weapons, Salvek and Blane dropped them both to the ground.

Kellyn, Grace, and Reece followed with weapons drawn, and Camen brought up the rear. They rushed to the entrance. TC stepped to the door, which refused to open.

"It’s locked. Search the guards, maybe they have a card."

"I'm on it." said Camen, as he began rifling through pockets and trying to ignore the smell. Kellyn went to work on the other one, as Salvek, Reece, Blane and Grace kept watch. "I'm not finding a card, it must be a code."

"Me either." said Kellyn.

"We don't have time for this." TC growled. "Everyone get back." He took the grenade off his belt and attached it to the base of the door. He activated the detonator, and ran. The bomb exploded, knocking the door off its track.

The away team ran through the doors and into the warehouse. Inside were row upon row of aliens from all over the galaxy; about fifty in total. In the front was a small platform and podium, where some poor soul, obviously the current item up for bids, sat in a chair with his hands tied behind his back. This one was probably destined for a mining operation on some cold, desolate world in the middle of nowhere. Reece immediately recognized Gleen on the platform as well, standing at the podium.

"It's a raid!" One of the bidders shouted, as he leapt from his seat. Chaos ensued as the attendees, fearful the Federation had come to arrest them, began frantically searching for an escape.

"What is the meaning of this!" Gleen shouted, trying to see through the crowd who had crashed his event.

"Don't ask me, I'm just a girl!" February aimed her phaser above the scattering crowd and fired a shot over Gleen's shoulder. Gleen shrieked, and ran for a door to his left.

"After him!" Salvek ordered.

The Alchemy crew pushed its way through the last of the crowd, most of which had already slipped out the door. They ran through the same exit Gleen had taken. Little did they know, as they left the room, another group of bidders had arrived.

Twenty Romulans arrived at the entrance to the facility, just in time to see the last of the Alchemy crew disappear through the door.

"I want them alive!" The female in the lead ordered. The Romulan contingent took off after the Starfleet officers.

-=In the corridor=-

"TRICORDER!" Salvek ordered. There were three doors on each side of them. The corridor stretched on for about one hundred feet. Camen opened up his tricorder and scanned.

There were life signs in each room, but Ferengi life signs in only one. The other rooms were most likely holding rooms for other "lots" that were going to be auctioned off today.

"Last room on the left!" Camen pointed. They took off running, but before they could reach the end of the corridor, a bolt of green sizzled past Salvek's ears. He turned and looked back. The corridor was filling up with Romulans, FAST.

"Jariel, Grace, Reece, go on ahead. We'll hold them off." Salvek ordered. The trio nodded and continued moving.

"Ceiling!" TC shouted and he, Lair, and Salvek lifted their weapons. They fired into the ceiling and a twisted pile charred metals and plastics began dropping from above, piling up in the corridor and separating them from the Romulans.

"That won't hold them long," TC warned. Already they heard shouting and weapons fire from the far side of the rubble, as the Romulans literally tried to vaporize everything in their way.

-=At the end of the corridor=-

Reece and Grace approached the door at the end of the corridor. Inside they heard the clamoring of the Ferengi.

"One Bajoran life sign, very faint." Camen announced. February shot into the lock, and the doors slid open. The room was empty except for Gleen, Spilva, Speeg, and a stasis chamber against the back wall that no doubt contained Zanh Liis.

The Ferengi trio had taken up defense behind a few overturned pieces of furniture. Bru and Dabin had just enough time to dive out of the way as orange weapons fire from Gleen and Speeg came out of the room.

"You'll never take us alive, Federation!" Spilva shouted out the door.

"Don't give them any ideas!" Speeg hissed.

"Suck it up, you pansy!" Spilva spat back.

Reece looked down the corridor. TC, Salvek and Kellyn were still using their weapons to create a blockade from the Romulans, but they were quickly running out of ceiling to collapse as they backed down the corridor.

"Romulans to the left of me, Ferengi to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with Bru." Reece commented, as he began to run short of ideas.

"I can make it." Camen insisted. "Just give me some cover."

"Are you crazy? There are three of them in there and you are unarmed!" Reece objected.

Camen thought back to his conversation with Lair Arie, and remembered how Kellyn had braved a ship full of Borg to save Salvek. These were just three Ferengi...

"I'm going in." Camen concluded. "Are you going to cover me, or not?"

February nodded to Dabin, and drew the phaser up close to her chest. "On three." She said.

"One. Two. THREE!" Dabin and February spun into the doorway and began firing wildly towards the Ferengi. The Ferengi shrieked in fear lowered themselves behind the furniture.

Camen ducked down low so the Ferengi could not see him as they cowered behind the furniture. Weapons fire crackled around him, as he just hoped now no one would hit Liis by accident.

He reached the stasis chamber and looked inside. It was Liis, and she looked so pale to him. He pulled himself together, and slapped an extra communicator down on the chamber so the Alchemy could locate it.

"Jariel to Samson! GET US OUT OF HERE!"

In an instant, the Alchemy crew, and Liis, vanished, and the room fell silent.

The Ferengi slowly rose to their feet. Spilva looked around, seeing that the Bajoran was gone, she walked over to Speeg.

"You IDIOT!" She yelled, and began banging her fists on the top of his head.

Gleen shook his head in frustration, as he looked around at the smoking mess. "I'm going to go see if there is anything left." Gleen spun on his heel, and as he turned to the door, suddenly felt cold hands wrap around his throat, and lift him from the ground. The room filled with Romulans, who surrounded the Ferengi with their weapons drawn. Taris lifted Gleen till his eyes were level with hers.

"You promised me Zanh Liis." She said, her eyes cold and emotionless. "Do not tell me I came all this way for nothing.”

"Sir." One of the other Romulans spoke up. "They beamed to the Federation ship. Our ship reports it looks like they are powering up their warp drive."

Taris dropped Gleen, who coughed, gasping for air.

"Tractor beam." She ordered. “Beam us back up.”

"What about the Ferengi?" The Romulan asked.

"Kill them."

Commander Salvek
Commanding Officer,
USS Alchemy