"If the Earthlings are half as defiant as the ones in the brig were at first, there's going to be a lot of problems." Taz, the Technical Advancing Officer, spoke out. The ship was in neutral, to give them all a break.

"So? We have the technology to make them obey. Terc could drive through a lightning storm blindfolded, and Lorban has the best weapons we could get." Korrya, the Cheif Engineer countered.

"Illegal weapons." Jayti muttered from a corner of the small room they were in. Terc nodded in agreement, even though he knew Jayti had helped get the weapons.

"You're the one who helped me get them." Lorban muttered audibly. Not only was he the Weapons Expert, but he was also the Primary Stockholder, which made him a good asset to the ship. Less coin to give out, in the General's case.

"Does he really think this'll work?" Taz demanded, still cynical. "I may be just a tech-brain, but I know more then you all think I do. His strategy is just divide and conquer, do this, do that. No good tactics.

"Tech-brain is right." Terc snapped. "You just don't want to hurt the humans. you're going soft, Herotaz."

Taz's mouth dropped open. Nobody called him by his full name. Jayti and Korrya chuckled at this. Lorban shrugged, then smirked.

"I don't see you so joyous about returning back to Gorgothria, Terc." he glanced at him, then at Jayti. "Some sort of. . .unfulfilled wish, perhaps?"

Terc snorted. "You might be sorry if anything ever happens to the General after all, Stockholder Lorban. If I'm in command, I can get rid of you. If so, then its' back to breaking rocks."

"Why? You hiding something, O proud one?" Taz muttered.

"No more then you are bobbly-head." Terc grinned, hoping for a reaction from Taz at hearing his old childhood name.

To his surprise, Taz just shrugged. He knew that the insult had been meant to stir anger, get him fired somehow, but no matter. He could get revenge on Terc when they got back, no matter how his anger burned right now. He had experienced Terc's antics since he was a child. It hadn't got to him yet.

"Well, we all knew what I was hiding after a while. Nobody minded, correct?"

Jayti, along with the others, shrugged. As long as some secrets were kept, no one would care. The one thing they all had in common was their secrets to success, their backgrounds, their experiences.

None of them should have been able to get where they were, so they had been put together as an advance team. Gotten rid of.

Terc, however, was fuming. He wouldn't rest until there was a real reaction from Taz. So he whispered to that no one but Taz heard.

"Tell us something we don't know, half-breed."

"That's it!" Taz literally flew into Terc.

"Taz, don't!" Jayti jumped up to stop them.  She reached for her interface ring to call the General (as protocol demanded), but felt nothing. Just smooth skin where the ring used to be.

"No!" she exclaimed. How could she lose it? As Taz and Terc used what little hand-to-hand combat they knew, she knew that she had to do something fast.

Terc might be bigger then Taz by a few inches, but Taz would not take the insult lightly now.  He had payed more attention to combat then Terc, who had more confidence then he needed.

She just needed the right timing.

The End

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