8: Playing Games (Or, Plan B)

Playing Games (Or, Plan B)
Zanh Liis
Following "Profit and Liis"

The moment that Speeg had left the room, convinced that "that lunatic Bah-Jor-Ahn" was fully engaged in her pursuit of a higher score at the game she'd been playing, Liis growled internally and looked at the lobster tail sitting on the table before her.

"If I eat any more, I'm going to explode. When they said they wanted to fatten me up they weren't kidding."

She hated the thought of wasting the food. Her childhood experiences with hunger made her especially appreciative of a good meal, and she wished that she could give this feast to someone who really needed it. Or at the very least, someone who would really enjoy it.

'Damn it Reece, where are you when I need you? You love lobster."

She set the fork aside and rotated on the divan. She knew that they had the room wired with security cameras, but she'd figured out over the course of the past day (based on her captors behavior) which angles were at least partially obscured from their view.

She turned the sound volume to the game way up. She positioned the controller between her knees to keep the game beeping, and then she reached under the pillows piled at the end of the divan and pulled something out.

Speeg had not noticed that originally, the gaming system had come with two hand controllers.

Liis picked the fork back up, and used the tines to pry the side of the controller open again, exposing the fact that she'd been busy making a few modifications to it recently.

She realized that at this point things were starting to look really, really bad. No one had come for her. Really, how could they find her, even if the were trying? Her captors were good. It was obvious that this was not the first time they had done this. There was little chance, at this rate, that help would find her here- wherever here was- and come bursting through the doors to save the day.

Attempting to create a communications device was too time consuming, she concluded. She only had one option left, with three simple steps.

Step 1: Set the house on fire.

Step 2: Hope that she could escape Speeg and his goons, and go into hiding nearby.

Step 3: Then, once she had eluded her captors, get to a communications console. Maybe break into another house when the occupants weren't home, and borrow their comm systems for just a moment or two.

*Assuming I'm on a planet at this point,* Liis thought, realizing she hadn't had access to a window or any other way to determine if she was on a ship, a station, or a planet, still. *I hope there is a house next door to break into. If there's open space beyond these walls, I'm screwed.*

She would strip the wires down in the controller, and then rig it to the room's environmental controls system.

What she needed was a spark, and Speeg and his band had made sure that they took anything they thought she could improvise away from her.

But thankfully, at this point it seemed they had no idea that she was planning a little unofficial housewarming for them, with the Slugio Corp. Ferenginator Three-thousand Virtual Entertainment System as her silent, and solitary accomplice.

She heard the locking mechanism on the door being worked from the outside, and hurried to shove the controller back under the pillows. She leveled the fork and picked the lobster tail apart furiously, spreading bits of meat around the plate in an attempt to make it look like she'd eaten some.

Speeg's wife, a soft-spoken, small woman probably old enough to be Liis' mother came in to take the tray out.

"Thank you," Liis said sincerely.

"Is there anything else you require at present, Zanh Leeeee-se?" The woman drawled meekly.

"Yes, Spilva, there are a couple tiny little things," Liis replied. "An open com line, a phaser, and a ten minute head start."

Spilva frowned, adjusting the skirt of her dress. "You know I can't give you those things."

"Why not?"


Liis expected that Spilva was about to give her a sorry story about how Speeg dominated the household, how she had few rights and little freedom; something along the lines of the complaints she'd heard Hechka repeating at that first location.

She was wrong.

"Why not, Spilva?"

"Because if Speeg blows this, I will kill him myself! We're going to retire on the money we make from your sale, and I've waited too many years, suffered through too many bad investments on his part to let our nest egg have an open com line, a phaser, and a ten minute head start."

She snatched the food tray off the table, spun, and headed for the door. "I'll be back in an hour with fourth meal."

"Fourth meal? Are you freaking kidding me? I can't eat anything else. For days."

"Fourth meal!" Spilva yelled, suddenly not so soft-spoken anymore. "The curvier you get, the more you are worth to the traders!" She slammed the door, and Liis realized that she had better get to work on the environmental controls wiring, otherwise Spilva would keep cramming high-calorie food into her until she was very attractive to the traders, indeed.

*Of course,* Liis thought grimly, *If they give me to anyone else, they won't care how I look when I show up for the interrogation."

Just as she began working loose the panel on the wall to get to the wiring, Spilva suddenly burst back into the room without warning. "What are you doing? Don't touch that!"

"I was trying to stretch." Liis leaned her hands against the wall and arched her back. "My old injuries are killing me, this thing you have me sleeping on is way too soft." Apparently she'd failed to rotate enough to block the camera's view of this activity.

"Too bad. Stay away from that panel," Spilva produced a phaser from the folds of her dress, "otherwise, I will be forced to use this."

"What happens to the value of your nest egg if it gets fried?"

Spilva was at the end of her patience. She reached up and grabbed Zanh by the ear.

"Hey, hey, I haven't felt pain like that since Vedek Timal tried to find my Pagh and failed!"

Spilva let go. "If this egg gets fried," she spat, "she will do so slowly, and very painfully. This is your only warning. Play your game. Do not try anything stupid. I will be watching you."

Liis sank back into the divan and played another round of the game, while her mind processed her rapidly dwindling options.

It was halfway through level nine that she realized she had to wait until Spilva was either out of the house or sleeping- and she had to forget about the environmental control system. She'd have to find another way to start that fire.

As she sat there, staring at the gaming system, clarity stuck. Liis realized she'd been seriously over thinking things.

The Ferenginator Three-Thousand had an internal power source all its own. She could use the console itself to create the diversion she needed to make a run for it.

All she had to do was provide the spark. Then hope for the best, and run like hell.

Zanh Liis
Captive Captain
Out There Somewhere