“Never warn your target.”
She crouched in the shadows, her cloak pulled over her head and shoulders. She’d heard it long before now, she’d prepared for the moment for at least an hour’s time. Her scent masked by the droppings she’d found in the clearing, her practiced call from a distance to entice it near. Her breath slowed to nearly nothing now, the blade gripped tight in her fist, still hidden beneath the cloak. And finally she saw what her ears and nose had told her was coming, what her stomach ached for after nearly a week’s time empty.
A Targ moved into the clearing, moonlight bouncing off its tusks. It sniffed the air, grunted loudly and then rooted around for food under a rotted out log, munching on tube grubs in seeming solitude.
Silently the blade slipped from under the cloak.
Alarm klaxons wailed as the guard looked through the brig cells, their force fields knocked offline by whatever was shaking the ship, his hand lamp shining into one empty cell after another. He looked back to another guard, “All empty, but they won’t get far, send a team and check the tubes.” And then after a moment, he was alone. He walked to the far left cell, looking under the bunk, just to make sure. This one was important; this one could get him killed. “Shit…” He muttered nervously as he rose up and shined the light into the three corners of the cell he was facing. He moved to exit, deciding to join the search.
She waited, silently, and wedged up into the top corner above the door, in pitch black darkness. As her target moved to exit the cell, she dropped behind him, her arms instantly around his neck, her legs linked around his waist, she’d been waiting a week’s time for this moment, locked in the cell, subjected to tortures not experienced since her youth. She closed his windpipe first, her forearm locking snuggly around it, like a boa constrictor, a slight grin her expression.
He wanted to go for the phaser on his hip, but her legs blocked it, instead he reached for her arm, trying to pull it away with frantic scratching swipes that drew her green blood quickly, but this didn’t seem to help him much as the room began to spin and the emergency lightly seemed to dim, and his field of vision started to tunnel.
She was done toying with him after he fell to the deck face first. A swift and sudden twist, a subtle snapping sound, this is how she would deal death to this man. A moment later she was on her feet, his phaser in her grip. Armed she was even more deadly, but now was not a time for revenge; it was a time for escape. The other prisoners would foolishly go for the escape pods or the shuttles and rush themselves back into a cell, or a grave, but not her. She knew her route to freedom was a longer one than that, it would take time and skill, and right now she had plenty of both.
“That’s right, now aim and take a breath, pull the trigger slowly when you let it out.” A voice said to her in an earpiece, it was a warm voice, an almost motherly voice.
Her tiny hand held the oversized phaser tightly, but the weapon started to shake in her grip. “Miss Cross…I don’t want to kill it.” And with her words the rodent looked alert and scurried away quickly.
The silence in her earpiece was deafening, and it lingered for a while, as tears came to her bright green eyes, because she knew what was about to happen to her. And then it happened, a sudden jolt of excruciating pain ripped through her tiny body, the phaser falling to the dirt, and her quickly after it. She let out a shaky crying scream, her body contorting and convulsing all at once, causing her to wet herself. And then it was done, she had been humiliated enough for that minor disobedience.
“Two zero three, get up.” The voice in her earpiece commanded.
She quickly pulled herself up and stood at attention, as if the voice belonged to a body where she was at and not a control room over a kilometer away. “Yes, Miss Cross.” The four year old girl responded smartly, as she’d been trained to do.
“When I give you an instruction, it’s as if it came from the Emperor himself, do you understand me?” The voice asked her.
“Yes, Miss Cross.” She responded.
“You go without food tonight, two zero three.” The voice informed her. “Never warn your target.”