Expel (Stories on a Theme – “Isolate”)

Nainea held on tightly to her copper badge, curling up around it to stop them taking it off her. The cave floor was cold, still wet with the blood of the guards she had managed to kill. At least the badge still listened to her, it still obeyed her.

But now, until she could get to another charging station, the badge was nothing more than a pretty copper broach. And that relied upon her getting out of this cave and back to the ship, before Markax could finish her off.

“Give it over,” her captain, Markax hissed, grabbing her wrists and pulling on them. Nainea screamed, her already bruised body could not cope with the sudden movement.

“You do not deserve to wear the badge,” Markax hissed, prying open Naniea’s fingers to reach the badge, “you’ve discredited it by helping them.”

Of course he would say that, Markax had not a single shred of decency left in his pathetic body. He would try and blame her for his corruption. He’d expel her from the Squadron before accepting that.

Naniea snarled, freeing one of her hands and landing a punch in Markax’s groin. He bent over, loosening his grip for a moment.

“I’ve earnt this badge,” Naniea replied, gripping the badge so tightly the metal began to bite into her skin, “you can’t take it from me.”

She slammed her knee up into Markax’s stomach, where his gut wound was from the last mission. He tried to grab her leg, but she was too fast for him even with the bruises she wore. Naniea grabbed a fallen dagger from one of the dead guards, holding it up to Markax.

“You think you’ll get out of here?” Markax asked, trying to stand. Naniea’s kick had hit well, his old wound was beginning to weep blood.

“I’ll take my chances,” Naniea said, flashing the copper badge at him, “and I’ll be taking this.”

“You’ll be thrown off the Register!” Markax screamed at her, “you don’t have a right to it.”

Naniea growled. “I have every right,” she said, walking towards the entrance to the cave, “and I will prove to the world your corruption, Markax. And they will listen.”

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