Author: William Kee
Captain J. P. Koontz was locked in the munitions bay. It was freezing. Thank God, I brought the suit. Soon he would need to put the helmet on. The crew was outside banging on the door.
“Give it up, Cap. We’ve turned off all life support except the oxygen. You’re going to freeze to death in there.”
Koontz shouted back, “I told you, you’re not taking this ship from me. She’s mine!”
“You know you didn’t give us a choice. Come on out now,” Carter’s voice held the anger and resentment it had since they left Earth. They won’t wait out there for long.
“If I come out, it’ll be with a phaser in each hand.” Koontz moved as he talked. They had taken control of the bridge, but he’d been able to do a complete lockout of the munitions bay and opened the weapons cases before his clearance was revoked. This room was his. If they want it, they’ll have to come in and take it. Koontz removed a single block of plastic explosives from the lockbox. It was soft in his hand and easy to mold and press into the seams of the exterior wall. He shouted over his shoulder, “Hey, Carter, how many of you are out there?”
“All of us. So you come out with however many phasers you want. It won’t make a difference. You can’t win.”
“I think you and I have different definitions of winning.” The sound of Carter typing into the keypad on the outside of the door was audible through the cold metal. They’ll be through soon. Koontz connected the wire between each packet of plastic explosives. He put his helmet on and turned it to lock it in place. Then, holding the detonator in his hand, he crouched down behind one of the large boxes of munitions secured to the floor of the hold and waited.
The door chimed and then hissed as it opened. The crew stood there in the doorway trying to get a look into the room. Captain Koontz made eye contact with Carter through the suit helmet. Carter’s eyes grew wide in fear and Koontz said, “I tried to tell you,” and activated the detonator. The sound disappeared along with the crew into the vacuum of space. Koontz was sucked back against the secured box for half a second before all the air was gone from the room. He floated through the door of the compartment and sealed it behind him, doing the same through each door as he made his way to the bridge. When he sat down in his chair the computer announced that the remainder of the ship had been pressurized. Koontz took off his helmet and said, “Computer, confirm I am alone aboard this ship.”
Captain Koontz shook his head and said to the empty bridge, “Looks like I won. I tried to tell them.”
Another justified trip down decompression alley. Tidy tale.