Maita, a lower level Potacas, tries to escape from a Tayamni cell
Maita lay listless on a floating platform. Like most Potacas, he had control over bodily functions, producing a white foam that issued from his nose and mouth, the flesh around his eyes turned unnaturally dark. He waited, listening for voices and footsteps. Feeling Tayamni telepathy nearby, he detected three identifying scents, one of which was male.
He concluded the Tayamni retrieved medical items from a disabled Potacas ship.
His strategy was working.
Sagar was not suspicious. Like so many times since their arrival at Earth, the Potacas used the optimistic nature of the Tayamni against them.
The screened entrance to Maita’s cell flashed off to allow Sagar inside, flashing on again behind her. She held the rebreather in her hands. Walking close to him she held it out. He didn’t move.
She moved closer.
He was still, as if unconscious. She could feel brain activity from him, but he was a good actor, lying perfectly still, keeping his thoughts cloaked.
She leaned over looking at the rebreather. It should fit around his neck, with a hydrogen chloride emitter positioned close to the mouth. She looked for a fastening, a way to open it. It would not fit over his large head.
He turned and moaned.
“Here,” she said, holding it out to him.
“The case,” he moaned.
She moved in closer.
“The case,” he said again.
“There was no case,” she responded.
“The console,” he whispered.
She sat on the platform next to him and placed her hand at his throat to feel a pulse. “Put this on,” she ordered, placing the rebreather on his chest.
“At the console, a case, a pack,” he whispered. “Medication.”
“Your ship was damaged. The bridge was shredded. We found no case?”
“A silver case,” he moaned, turning his head towards her.
The electronic field at the door deactivated and a shorter Tayamni male entered. “Elder Sagar,” he offered.
She looked at him.
“I heard you. The rebreather came from a different ship and was inside this case,” he said, holding it out to her.
She took it from him, and unfasted the lid. Immediately the temperature in the room dropped. The male Tayamni stepped back with fear.
Maita sat up suddenly and snatched the case from her, placing his hand inside, attracting seedlings to his skin.
Sagar made a motion to stand, but Maita grabbed her wrist.
She pulled away from him forcefully.
The male Tayamni backed through the shield into the hallway.
Sagar stood, looking at her wrist. Where he touched her felt impossibly cold. She began to back away, but stumbled. The room was blurring around her. She saw Maita standing on the floor next to the platform on which he had been lying. He looked down as she struggled to sit up. Red lighting flashed. She heard alarms as she fought to remain conscious.
Maita ran to the cell entrance, but the screen would not deactivate. Turning quickly, he took Sagar’s wrist again, pulling her to the entrance. Being small and weak, he struggled to pull her to the doorway. She tried to pull away, but he managed to drag her to the door.
Scanning Tayamni DNA, the screen deactivated. The room began to come into focus again, she swung her foot around, catching his thigh with the heel of her boot. He gasped in pain, reaching both hands down to the torn flesh.
Sagar tried to stand, but Maita pushed her back. He turned to the entrance, but it activated again. He limped over to her, intending to pull her back to the entrance, when he felt a sharp pain in his abdomen. He turned back to the entrance and saw Namazu standing there, her arm outstretched, palm open.
A continuous white beam emitted from her palm. He fell to the floor.
The beam from her palm intensified, focusing on him. He struggled but the pain shot to his head. He cried out and opened his eyes, seeing Sagar standing above him, her long blonde hair tangled from the struggle.
He turned onto his back looking at the reflection from flashing red lights on the ceiling, as he lost consciousness.