Chapter 3 - Family Matters
Millie rounded a corner in what seemed to be the Shadow equivalent of a Jeffries tube, trying to keep her breathing as quiet as possible. She’d spent the last five days asking nonstop questions of the ship’s computer. It was certainly a different experience, with all of her questions being answered in the form of holographic schematics, star maps, shuttle instruction manuals–because it wouldn’t do any good to make it to the shuttle bay and not be able to operate one of the shuttles. Millie was by no means a pilot, and she anticipated that she might be quickly intercepted, but she was certainly persistent in communicating her desire to leave the ship.
She’d refused to see James in those five days, and the one time he’d attempted to see her, he wisely brought Pang as a buffer. She, however, had thrown enough of the antique books in his general direction that he’d immediately left–and then soon had a contingent of employees under Marcy’s supervision box up and remove all of the books, as well as any other items in the room that had any potential monetary value.
That’d made her smile for the first time since she’d arrived.
Marcy had been the one to bring in her meal trays. That was probably a wise choice. She liked Marcy, and really felt for the predicament that the woman was in. While she’d only had a glimpse of what James had put the woman through in the few years she’d been in his “employment”, she’d come to realize that Marcy was brilliant. If she ever got out from under James’ control–and lived–that woman could run any large corporation. If she could ever get the woman free, Starfleet Intelligence would love to have someone with her mind for politics in their corner.
She did feel a little bad for not making an effort to take Marcy with her on this little escape venture. However, Marcy was liable to inform James of her attempt–if he didn’t already–
With a clang, the access panel by her elbow flew open, and a fist grabbed her by the back of her shirt and hauled her into the corridor.
The large woman stared down at her, not with any sort of emotion, but just unblinking. Slowly she lowered Millie so that her feet touched the floor. “Unauthorized.”
Millie gave a half-grimace, half-smile at the robotic woman. “So, you do talk.” She gave a strained laugh. “Though I suppose more of James’ employees would talk if they could all snap him in half without trying.” Millie took a step down the corridor in the direction she’d been heading but felt the tug on the neck of her shirt hold her back.
“I am programmed to never show aggression against a Nadall.” Her tone was more informative than a rebuttal.
“I’m not a Nadall–” Millie almost spat the phrase, reaching up to pry the fingers from her collar. “But that’s good information to know.”
“DNA scans indicate you are one quarter match for Nadall genetic material.”
“Only because someone made a mistake.” Millie patted the hand holding her. “Are you going to let go of my shirt now?”
As soon as she asked, the grip was released. “You must return to your quarters.’
Millie quirked an eyebrow at Pang. She wondered– “My quarters are not on this ship. I am trying to return to them now.” In the back of her mind, she did everything to mentally reach out to Evelyn. How do you break an android, sweetheart?
“You are not authorized to leave this ship. You must return to your quarters.”
Millie shook her head. It was worth a try… “I am not authorized to be on this ship. I am a Starfleet officer, and I was taken from my mission. I have to complete my mission and return to my ship.”
Pang leaned down, looking her over. “Starfleet means nothing here. You are authorized to be on this ship by EVP. You must return to your quarters. Do you require my physical assistance to complete the request?”
“I was abducted against my will, Pang.” Millie folded her arms across her chest. “My mission is incomplete, and I need to return to my ship.” To my family. “I will not be a prisoner.”
“Is that a yes, or a no?”
“I do not intend to remain in my quarters. I will not be a prisoner.” Millie unfolded her arms, just in case she needed to use them.
Two uniformed Shadow troopers walked down the hallway towards them. One of them gave Millie a sly smile. “You’re new.” He touched her shoulder lightly. Before Millie could react, Pang grabbed him by the face and smashed the back of his head into the wall before dropping his twitching body to the floor, as blood poured from his broken face.
Pang looked to Millie. “Personnel are not authorized to touch Nadalls.”
Millie raised an eyebrow, almost amused. This information could come in handy. She turned and smiled at the second Shadow trooper, tilting her head. He quickly went to his colleague and dragged him down the hall, leaving a blood trail which was immediately attended to by cleaners.
Pang motioned down the opposite way towards Millie’s room.
Millie sighed dramatically. Fine, if she had to be a Nadall, she might as well take advantage of it. “And I’m not allowed to go anywhere else in the ship? Just that horrid white room?”
“EVP has not amended your permissions.” Pang walked beside her.
“But I am a Nadall, aren’t I?” If Pang was going to bash in heads to protect her, she needed to figure out what else the android would do for her. “Why am I the only Nadall confined to my room?”
Pang glanced down at her. “Parental controls.”
Millie stopped in her tracks. “What did you just say?”
Pang stopped as well. “Parental controls.”
“But–I’m a parent.” Maybe she could start to break down the logic of whatever was controlling Pang. “I’m a mother. I have a daughter.”
“And when she is brought aboard you will be eligible to set parameters for her, as EVP has set for you.”
Millie’s expression hardened. “If I do not want her to be brought aboard this ship, or to any Shadow-owned vessel, can I set those parameters?”
“Yes, with the permission of the EVP to alter your permissions.”
Millie sighed. “Fine.” She started down the hallway. “But if I can’t leave my room, I want you to stay and train with me.”
“My combat training regiment.” Millie stuck her hands in her pockets. “If I can’t be allowed to go to a training facility, I need to continue it in my room.” She looked up at the robotic woman who was at least a head taller than her. “And if I train with another humanoid, you’ll likely crush their face like a melon, correct?”
“Your assumption is not without merit. I will assist you in your training.”
Millie smirked. If she was going to be stuck in her room, she would take advantage of her new babysitter and learn–everything.