'When? how do you feel?' Asked the Captain, her hand resting on the recently cured First Officer's shoulder.
'A bit groggy still, and itchy, very itchy, but I'll live Ma'am.'
'You'll need to do a damn sight more than that if we're going to get out of here, we need to catch up, Russ sounds like he's having far too much fun on his own!'
They raced out of the room and into the corridor, following the sound of blaster fire and raucous laughter. When restarted his chainsword, revved it a couple of times and ran headlong into the fray, sweeping it to and fro at waist height, chopping guards in half with gay abandon. The Captain stayed back at the junction, where she had a clear view down three corridors and contented herself with putting holes into the skulls of any constructs that came into view.
'When! Russ! Stop playing soldiers and clear me a path to Secure Storage!' The Captain yelled, so that she could be heard over the mechanical mayhem.
The Brigands looked at each other, grinned hugely and pushed forward. When's chainsword became stuck in the gears of a particularly large construct, four of its six arms continued to try to crush the life out of him as the toothed chain snagged and the engine stalled.
'Ooof! - KillIt!-KillIt!-KillIt!' Yelled the Doctor.
Russ reached under his Wolfskin cape and pulled out a siege bolter, which most people require two hands to use, and aimed at the contruct's head.
'Hang on, let me get out of the...'
There was a deafening noise and the construct's head simply disappeared, along with part of When's luxuriant moustaches and a significant portion of the bulkhead in front of them.
'Which part of no siege weapons didn't you understand? How about Sudden loss of buoyancy? or Plummeting to a watery grave in a mass of tangled metal?' Barked the Captain.
Russ looked sheepishly at the Captain and then back to When, who was still trying to put out his smouldering facial hair. He holstered the siege bolter and continued forwards just using his blaster to clear a path. A mass of constructs was building up behind them and the Captain was doing her best to hold them off, but they were closing through sheer force of numbers.
'How many damn guards do you need on a medical boat?' She asked the empty air, whilst shooting a hole in the head of the nearest enemy.
'Door's locked Captain!' Yelled When from around the corner, 'As you'd expect I s'pose in somewhere called Secure Storage!'
She reached into her pocket, grabbed the Dentrassi lockpick and threw it over her shoulder. She heard it hit the wall and roll, then the familiar musical chirps as it started to work.
'Russ! come here and give me a hand whilst the Old Man does the technical stuff!'
The reply came in the form of a dozen blaster bolts whizzing from behind her into the broiling throng of mechanical defenders in front of her, exploding faces and shattering bodies into clouds of brass and copper, which seemed to buy them some breathing space.
'Captain, I've found her, she seems OK.' Said When's voice in her ear.
'OK, get her back here, we'll make our way to the docking bay.' The Captain thumbed the switch on her communicator, 'Teach, this is the Captain. We are making our way to the docking bay now, prepare for depature at best speed once we're aboard.'
'Captain, this is Landry, as soon as you started the rescue, the Hellingly severed the docking tube, we're holding station about 50 feet below the port bow.'
'Nothing, hold steady, we'll come to you.'
'Aye Ma'am, Landry out.'
When chose that moment to come into view with an unconcious Dorys draped over his shoulder.
You're making a habit of that Doctor,' Smiled the Captain, referring to her unusual forced exit from the base on Chandra Island.
'Aye Ma'am, I'm a sucker for a lady in distress, or dat dress, or any dress for that matter.'
'Mr Russ?' Announced the captain, ignoring the Doctor's gallows humour, 'Make me a hole in that wall there, We need a way out'
Russ, slowly raised his blaster and aimed at where the Captain had pointed.
'No Mr Russ, I think that something with a little more bite is required.'
He grinned and pulled out the siege bolter from behind his back, braced himself againt the wall and started to fire repeatedly into the bulkhead in front of him. The explosive shells made short work of the wood panelling and the steel behind it. The sudden drop in pressure signalled that he had breached the hull, he stopped firing and spat on the glowing barrel.
'Now we go - Teach, this is the Captain, can you see the new hole in this nice shiny boat?'
'Yes Ma'am, on our way.'
'Good, position yourself as close as you can get, we're going to jump.'
'We're going to what?' Said When, looking at the limp form of Dorys.
'Russ goes first, you throw her, he catches her, then you jump and I bring up the rear - simple.'
They made their way through the damaged section of the ship until they reached the outside skin. The Edward Teach was just taking up position, ten feet away and five feet below.
'See you on the other side!' Yelled Russ and then he jumped. He managed to catch hold of one of the chains connecting the gasbag to the hull, slid down it hand over hand and took up position on the deck. He beckoned to the Doctor, 'Toss her over!' He yelled, trying to make himself heard above the wind.
When moved Dorys from his shoulder and held her in his arms, 'Lovely Theya, I'm going to apologise in advance... I never was very good at throwing, I was always picked last for the cricket team. Here she comes!' He took a run-up and launched her across the gap to the waiting marauder. As he let her go, her eyes opened, she looked at the hospital ship, and the sea far below her and started to scream, a scream that didn't stop until she landed in the paws of the fanged monster, braced on the deck.
A shot rang off the steelwork next to the Doctor's head, 'We need to get going!' He yelled to the Captain, who was busily laying down covering fire.
'You first, I'll follow you.'
'But, no you should...'
'When, if you don't jump now, I'll shoot you myself and use your liver as a parachute!'
'See you onboard!' He replied, flinching as another shot took a chunk out of the floor. He jumped the distance, landed heavily on the deck and rolled to a stop. Looking across at the massive bulk of the Hellingly, he watched the Captain firing shot after shot into the depths of the ship until her blaster ran out of charge. She threw the now useless weapon at the oncoming constructs and jumped.
She sailed through the air for what seemed like hours, and was only a few feet away when she realised that she wasn't going to make it.
'NO!' Yelled When, forgetting his vertigo and rushing to the side-rail. But the Captain was nowhere to be seen. He stood there, unbelieving until Russ grabbed him by the shoulder.
'We need to get underway now, there are interceptors coming, don't let all this be for nothing!'
When nodded, took one last look over the side and went below.
'Full reverse, hit them with Daisy a few times to slow them down and then set a course for home, best speed,' Commanded When as he took the vacant Captain's chair.
'Where's the Captain?' Shouted Landry as the Helmsman scrambled to obey the Doctor's orders.
When looked at him and slowly shook his head. The forward viewscreen lit up as the shots from Daisy found their mark and the lights started to go out all over the Hellingly.
'Bring us about and rig for best speed.'
'Belay that!', came a feint, crackly voice from the Intercomm, 'Send someone to haul in the remains of the docking tube, which happens to have your Captain tangled in it and THEN rig for best speed. Oh, and When?'
'Get your arse out of my chair!'