"Thompson, Jennings, Schmidt, and Graziano come with me. We're going to take Shuttle 2. We're on full alert. Shuttle 1 has been compromised. I repeat we are on full alert." Nara grabbed the old-fashioned shotgun and loaded it with two shells. She tucked the blaster and an extra battery pack into the holster at her waist. She didn't check to see if the others were doing the same. Sixteen years in military school preparing for a command in the Interplanetary Navy and she had been fooled because of her lack of experience in male-female relations. Well, Nara wouldn't be fooled again. Trust was a commodity to be traded just like rubies from the Nekoajn mines.
She pressed in the code to open the doors to Shuttle 2 and they butterflied open. "Thompson, you're on the wheel. Graziano, you have the comm. Schmidt and Jennings, you are security." She settled into the navigator's chair and felt Thompson slide in beside her. Nara looked over and saw the other woman's cheeks were tracked by tears.
"Kirk's tribbles." She swore under her breath. Thompson had been engaged to Hanna and Hanna had been on Shuttle 1. "Thompson, if you need to be reassigned, please speak up now."
"I'm fine, ma'am. Just fine." Thompson tilted her chin back. "I welcome the opportunity to carry out this mission." Anger laced the other woman's words. She pulled on the headset in front of her and spoke into the microphone. "Shuttle 2 preparing for takeoff from the Galajax 400. Please open the airlock doors."
Nara nodded her head and turned her attention back to her duties. She could spare a round from the blaster if Thompson turned out to be a liability for the rest of the crew. She turned in her chair and faced the others.
"Blasters out." Her words came out in a whisper. Nara swallowed and took a deep breath. One moment ticked by. Then two before she found her voice again. "Remember, the only way to destroy a Galadrian ship is to take out the head. Preserve your rounds and battery power when possible. Take aim at only those that look like the head of the colony."
The others nodded and Nara turned back to the vid screen. They were being pulled into the Galadrian ship. The vid screen went black and the shuttle was silent. No hum of the engine. No low of the atmosphere machine. Utter silence until the shuttle clunked down on something metal.
Nara stood and pulled her blaster out of her holster. The other members of the crew followed suit. Her heart beat faster and faster. She didn't want to die today.
The doors butterflied open. "Welcome to the Galadrian Rose, Nara."