Felinoids: Senona Ch. 02bykitazkitten©
When the alarm continued to wail, Senona got to her feet. She looked back down the hall to where the captives were. She could hear the tearful crying and pleading. She debated going back to them and stunning the males but when the deck beneath her feet bucked, she changed her mind and headed for the bridge.
The Captain entered the bridge and noted the viewscreen. Three ships were appearing out of nowhere and advancing on the slave ship. "Dayumn, who the hell are they?" he asked no one.
The crew didn't respond right away. They were frantically trying to check weapons and shielding.
"Captain, they don't appear in our databases. The computer keeps giving an error!" cried the helmsman.
"Doesn't matter anyway. We are a slave ship and that can only mean we are in trouble," replied the Captain. "Fire lasers and incinerate the cargo."
A crewman who was about to obey the order froze his hand over the button. He really didn't want these deaths on his hands. "I won't do it Captain."
Senona arrived on the bridge just as the order for death was given. "No you sick bastard! I won't let you kill them." She leaped the twenty feet separating them, her claws out and ready for a taste of his blood.
The Captain dodged Senona, "If we are caught with them we will all die." He said.
Senona crashed into a console and let out a yowl of pain before regaining her feet. She glanced over at the crewman in surprise. None of the crew had defied the Captain before.
The Captain eyed the crewmember and moved toward the console, "Then I'll do it, because I won't get caught with them aboard."
Senona moved in front of the console and bared her fangs. "Over my dead body," she hissed.
Before the Captain could reply a lizard-like creature materialized on the bridge and began shooting.
Senona ducked and the blast hit the console. The crewman let out a yelp and hit the floor beside her.
"What the hell is that?" he screamed as he fumbled for his weapon.
"DAMN REPTILOID!" screamed the Captain as he drew and fired hitting the lizard in the chest. "FIGHT FOR YOUR LIVES THEY TAKE NO PRISONERS!"
Senona stayed frozen in place as more of the lizard creatures appeared. The man behind her jumped up and over her as he began firing. The rest of the crew joined in. She watched in horrified fascination as the lizard like creatures began killing the crew one by one. She flattened herself closer against the floor and began slinking toward an air duct. If she could just reach it, she could get to the lower levels and free the captive women and children.
The Captain was fighting for his life when two of the creatures grabbed him and then pulled his arms and legs off. He lay in his own blood writhing and screaming till a lizard shot him.
That sight galvanized Senona. She jerked the covering off the air duct and leaped inside.
One of the lizards had watched the feline-like creature make it to the air duct and disappear inside it. He quietly followed the creature inside and began tracking the scent through the air ducts. His movement was quick but quiet.
* * *
With impatient wiggling she made her way through the ducts. She would freeze every time she came to an opening where she could hear fighting. After a few minutes she made it to the women's cell and dropped down into it. They cried out in fear but hushed when they saw her. Quickly she entered the codes and the door opened. The collars and other bindings fell off. "Hurry! We are being attacked. Get to the life pods. You will be able to escape!"'
The stunned women didn't move for a moment but at a ferocious growl from Senona they scrambled to their feet and hurried out the cell. One of the older women carried Sinde in her arms. Senona waved at the little girl as she herded the women out and made sure to bring up the rear. She didn't have weapons like the crew but her claws were and could be dangerous.
The lizard slipped from the air duct and followed the screams and yells of the women down the hall toward the pods.
Senona rounded the corner and froze when her ears picked up the sound of someone behind the group. Hissing she whirled fell into a crouch and bared her fangs and claws. "Move it!" she yelled at the women in the back of the group who had stopped to see what she was doing.
The lizard soldier hearing Senona order the women to keep moving stopped and went silent. Barely breathing he knelt and waited.
She scented the air and then slowly walked backwards, her eyes on the corridor. She was not going to be taken by surprise. He heard her movement backwards and waited for her to move farther. He could follow her scent and he had time.
After a few minutes when she was sure no one was behind her, she turned around and hurried after the women. When she made it to the cargo hold, the women were milling about in confusion.
"What's the problem?" she demanded.
"We can't get the doors to open!" one woman wailed.
Senona let out a huff and then angrily punched in the captain's code. All the doors opened at once. "Get in. I'll program the pods to take you to the nearest planet."
The women hurried inside with Senona's urging spurring them on. They were eager to leave the ship and get freedom.
He looked around the corner and then ducked back. He tapped a code into his wristband then sat down on his haunches and waited.
Senona entered the destination coordinates but then the computer told her access denied. "What?" Glaring she reentered the coordinates but was met with the same result. "Of all the bloody times for ya ta be obstinate!" Angrily she put in a different code. The blinking "Access Denied" mocked her efforts.
"The codes have been changed," the soldier yelled down the hall but remaining out of sight.
Screams of terror filled the air and Senona slapped her paws against her ears. "SHUT UP!" she roared.
The soldier spoke again quietly, "We are here to stop the slave trade. We only wish to help you."
Silence descended. Senona gingerly took her paws away from her ears. She'd heard that lie before. "Let them go! You tell nothing but lies."
"No lies as you shall see," replied the soldier. "The slavers have given this sector of space a bad name. We are taking this ship and its passengers and going to the slave trading planet and breaking the trade's back."
Senona's whiskers quivered. She wanted to believe this unseen male but too many years being a slave and being traded about and tricked had made her mistrustful of such sweet sounding words. "No one tells the truth. You will promise many things then deceive." With a snarl she turned and slammed her claw into the keypad. She smiled when the doors to the pods closed. She was glad that her now deceased master had built in a failsafe that caused any explosion to close the doors. She heard the life pods releasing. Good, they would make it to the planet and be safe.
The soldier snarled and spoke into his communicator again.
Outside the slaver ship the Reptiloid ships began retrieving the life pods and returning them to the slaver.
Senona wasn't looking out the viewing window or she would have seen what was happening. Instead she silently made her way toward an air duct. If she could get to the cargo bay two floors down, she would be able to escape. The women were safe and now she had to take care of herself.
"Stay where you are," the soldier stated, as he looked behind him at a slight noise. The other members of his team were coming. He signaled for one to go into the air ducts and indicated that he was to use stun only.
She immediately flattened herself against the floor, for once grateful that her dull fur matched the color of the flooring. She began belly crawling toward the duct.
The soldier waited a heartbeat then moved to the other side of the corridor so he could look down the other corridor. Once he saw it was clear he advanced slowly down the wall toward the life pod area.
Senona was counting the number of feet she had left to go. Ten, nine, eight, she could almost taste her freedom.
The soldier in the duct waited patiently for Senona to open it. He remained motionless his breathing only a fraction of what it had been. His heartbeat slowing.
She froze, her ears swiveling from side to side. Had she heard a noise? Suddenly she tensed. Something was wrong here.
The soldier in the corridor moved silently until he came to the corner that would give him full view of the pod room. He stopped and listened for noises from the room. Not hearing anything he waited for Senona to make the next move.
Her gut was telling her something was wrong but she couldn't figure out what was the problem. She looked longingly at the air duct and began backing up, slowly.
The soldier waited quietly for the feline. This mission to break the slave trade had cost lives and this feline had slowed the plans down but not stopped them. So he continued to wait.
After a few seconds she burst into motion, sprinting toward the corridor.
The soldier hearing the burst of speed waited and as she appeared around the corridor he reached out and grabbed her to his chest. "You will assist us in the operation to shut down the slave trade. Do not try to run."
Senona reacted to being grabbed by clawing her assailant in the face. Her fur puffed out and she hissed wildly. She didn't really listen to the words he said. She was truly a wildcat in his grip.
Another soldier approached and started to grab at Senona, "No!" hissed the Soldier. "I have her, she will not be hurt as I promised." He turned and began to walk up the corridor with the wildcat in his arms.
"Let me go!" she shrieked her tail lashing back and forth as she realized her claws were not doing any good. So she turned and bit him instead, hoping he would drop her.
He winced but carried her on. "Did you not hear me, we are ending slavery in this sector and you and yours will get us onto the planet."
"See even now you lie. You will only sell us again! I would rather die!" She yowled her anger. She had to escape!
The Soldier sighed as he searched the corridor for a place to put the woman. Finding a door he pressed the panel and it slid open. He tossed Senona into the room then activated the forcefield across the doorway instead of closing the door so his guard could watch her.
She twisted midair and landed on her feet, hissing loudly at him. When she saw the forcefield she sat down. "See?" Was all she said before turning her back to him.
The Soldier smiled. "Actually you will see." He turned up the corridor and gave the order to one his men to make sure the cells were cleaned and mattresses placed inside for the women to rest on.
Senona sat down in stunned silence. Was he really going to be that nice to the females or was he lulling them into a false sense of security? Worriedly she rapped her claws against the floor.
The Soldier smiled at her actions and then walked up the corridor to where the slaves were being put into cells. "As I told your leader we are going to bring you to the slave planet gain admittance then stop the slave trade in this sector."
"Leader? We don't have a leader! We are all captives of a horrible man!" cried one woman.
"I am speaking of the feline woman who was protecting you from us." The Soldier smiled gently, as gently as a lizard could make. "She is not OUR leader. She was the Captain's whore. She helped him hurt us!" the woman cried.
There were murmurs of dissent but they died down when the woman turned her crazed glance on the other captives. "She was probably leading us into another trap with that Captain of hers!"
The soldier nodded understanding but calmly continued explaining. "I don't think she was. I do believe she was trying to get you to safety before we realized it because all the life pod nav computers were set for a class M planet."
"No, she was in on it!" The distraught woman screeched. She was one of the more beautiful captives and thus had been abused more than some of the others.
"Dart her," the Soldier said simply to the medic beside him.
The medic nodded and quickly did as ordered which prompted more wailing and screams of terror from the women.
"Get her isolated and comfortable as quickly as possible," he told the medic. "Stop this noise! The feline was trying to protect you as best she could. We have checked the ship's records."
The yelling died down but the fear remained. Sinde peeked around the woman holding her. "You're ugly," she told the soldier bluntly.
"I suppose I am little one to you."
"Did you hurt Senona?" Her bottom lip quivered as she addressed the lizard creature.
"No, she is just down the hall. Would you ladies care to speak to her?" He asked knowing this might help the women to calm.
"Yes! Please!" Sinde cried and wiggled so hard the woman put her down. She ran up to the lizard and grabbed his clawed hand.
The Soldier guided the little girl down the hall to Senona's room. He turned off the forcefield and let go of the child's hand.
"Sinde!" Senona cried in disbelief, her heart giving a painful thump. The lizard creatures had managed to recapture the women. They were all doomed.
The Soldier looked at the pair. "We are not monsters." He turned on the forcefield and left.
Senona held the child as Sinde excitedly talked about what had happened in the hall. She frowned. She knew the woman who had spoken out. The Master had taken a particular shine to her. She shuddered at the memory and firmly pushed it away. "I'm glad you are unharmed."
Sinde grinned at Senona and snuggled into her side gently.
"Did any of those creatures touch you in a bad way?"
"No, Senona, They seem nice," Sinde replied her voice muffled by Senona's fur.
"Ok. Come let's rest. I have a feeling we will need it."
* * *
The Solder walked along with his squad as they prepared to learn study the ship specs and weapons capability.
He addressed his men with confidence. "If we keep them calm we can do this mission and return all of us to S'strup, understood?"
"Yes sir!" came the reply.
With a nod, the unit of soldiers broke into four groups and began their study of the ship.