Part 42

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Harry Kim could hear his pulse pounding in his ears. The silence of the turbo lift seemed to magnify its sound. He glanced at Tuvok, feeling absurdly jealous that the Vulcan wasn't feeling any anxiety. He took a deep breath, trying to mimic the impassivity of the man standing beside him.

As he watched, Tuvok took his phaser out of his belt and set it on stun.

The turbo lift came to a stop, the soft clicking as it halted sounding much louder than it actually was. Tuvok indicated for Harry to slide against the wall, out of immediate view when the doors slid open. Harry flattened himself against one side of the turbo lift as Tuvok pressed against the other side. He clutched his phaser.

The doors began to open and the unnerving silence of the turbo lift was instantly broken.

Not by sounds of violence, as Harry had predicted. He heard no explosions, no dying screams, nothing to compare to what his mind had been concocting the entire ride in the turbo lift.

He heard voices.

Voices screaming at each other. Not in anger or in pain, but in what sounded to be intense frustration.

"Why the *hell* won't this work?" An infuriated male voice made itself clear over the din.

Someone replied to him, but the words got lost in the uproar.

Harry looked at Tuvok for some direction.

"That doesn't sound like the Maquis are very happy," he whispered to Tuvok.

"That doesn't sound like the Maquis," Tuvok replied.

Holding the phaser half-raised, Tuvok stepped out of the turbo lift. Harry hurried to follow him.

Their arrival in Engineering was punctuated by the sound of something solid plunging into a console and frying the systems within.

Harry turned toward the noise, but he couldn't see what had happened through the people clustered around the origin of the sound. At first, he wondered why the entire Engineering crew was standing in one small area, and then he realized it wasn't by choice. The crown surged backwards, away from something he couldn't see, knocking those standing on the edges into a force field surrounding the area.

Harry started walking toward them when Tuvok called him over.

He turned around, not seeing where Tuvok had gone. Tuvok was kneeling on the floor next to the prone body of Vorik.

Harry swallowed.

The scene was beginning to resemble his imagination.

He walked over to Tuvok dropping to his knees beside him.

"Is he alright?"

"He'll survive," Tuvok replied.

Tuvok held out a medkit, although Harry didn't see where he'd gotten it.

Tuvok pointed to two other inert bodies, lying a few feet away.

"Administer to them, Ensign Kim."

Harry took the medkit, and started to buckle his phaser back to his belt, a thought stopping him.

"Where did the Maquis go?"

Tuvok didn't look up, his own phaser lying within easy reach.

"I don't know."

Harry put his phaser back in his belt. He walked over to other injured.

One was Joe Carey, the other was a Maquis.

The Maquis, Harry didn't know his name, was dead.

Looking at the body, Harry felt nausea build in his stomach.

He turned away, forcing the feeling aside to focus on Carey.

Carey was alive. It looked like he'd been on the receiving end of a phaser.

Only set on stun, Carey was lucky.

Harry opened the medkit and took out a hypospray. After checking the contents, he held it to Carey's neck.

Carey stirred, waking with a groan.

He opened his eyes, staring with confusion and pain in his eyes.

"Kim?"

"Yeah."

"The Maquis-"

"We know," Harry interrupted. "Where'd they go?"

"Dunno," Carey mumbled, trying to sit up.

Harry helped him pull himself up.

Suddenly, there was an explosion from the area enclosed in the force field. Both Harry and Tuvok turned to look.

The Engineering crew was backed as far away from something as the limits of the force field would allow.

Harry couldn't see what was burning from a console within, except that it was very bright and it was getting brighter.

Fire.

Part 43 | Index page