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Burns and Bonds

Posted on Fri Jan 26th, 2024 @ 6:22pm by Ensign Eekit Drol & Captain Björn Kodak

Mission: Stardust and Sin
Location: Undisclosed
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 1930

[Undisclosed Location]
[The Habitation Sector]
[Hukatuse Tagumik]
[MD 2: 1930 Hours]

The view of wherever the hell he was swam before the Chameloid's vision. Eyes blinking slowly, trying to clear the still half-stunned haze, Kodak could sort of make out a few details of his surroundings from his prone position on the floor. They -- for Drol was visible to his right, limp and seemingly still unconscious -- seemed to be in a home of some kind. While the details of the shapes escaped him for the moment -- his visual acuity still adjusting after being phasered into unconsciousness -- the Captain thought he recognized the universal shapes of something resembling a couch and a coffee table. Were they in a living room of some kind? Was this someone's apartment?

Kodak tried to prop himself up on one arm, intending to use it to stabilize himself as he rose to his feet, but the signal from his brain did not translate into the movement he expected. It took him a long, pregnant second to register that his arms were restrained behind his back. Using his fingers to blindly feel around at his restraints, the Chameloid decided they were zip ties of some kind rather than metal cuffs or something else of that sort. Björn attempted to pull against his ties, hoping to break them apart, but they held firm. Somewhere in the back of his mind, there was a sarcastic thought about being the one who usually does the tying on others. It was a role reversal he definitely did not like.

"Drol," the Captain rasped urgently. His voice was more hoarse than usual, the soreness pervading his throat -- and every other part of his body -- a side effect of being stunned, it seemed. Whatever passed for phasers on Hukatuse were a lot meaner than the Starfleet variety, apparently. "Ensign," Kodak stressed, louder this time and more forcefully. Moving his head, he was (albeit barely) able to bang it against the side of her right thigh a couple of times. "I need you to wake up," he said.

The contact elicited a twitch from the unconscious Cardassian, but that was all. It seemed whatever they'd been hit with had been especially harsh to the lighter-framed Drol.

Kodak lay there, tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth as he tried to inch his body closer to the security officer's. He needed more proximity if he was going to more fully nudge the woman into wakefulness. Wriggling like a worm, he inched his way sideways until, finally, his shoulders could touch Drol. Gathering his strength, the Captain rocked back and then forward, the transferred momentum momentarily pushing the Cardassian's body with a harder prod. "Ensign," came his most commanding tone in the motion's wake. "Get. Up. Now."

Finally, some combination of physical contact and Kodak's insistent words managed to draw a reaction; Drol stirred just slightly. Although she was partially face down on some kind of rug, her groan-- pained and muffled-- was still audible. The side of her ridged face shifted slightly, as though she were perhaps grimacing and with another groan-- swiftly swallowed lest she show weakness-- she managed to shift one shoulder under her, turning her face until she could see the Chameloid.

As Kodak came into focus, Drol frowned. Why was he sideways? Hot on the heels of this question came the aches and pains of her own body and she swiftly came to the realization that they were lying down. Further stock-taking informed her of both her restraint and the captain's. There was a throbbing pain along her neck that was just subtly different to the burning sensation along her scalp. And she couldn't feel her hands which meant either a) they were gone or b) she'd lost circulation. Given that she was unlikely to be conscious if they were gone and there was nothing she could do about that in any case, she began operating on the assumption that the restraints had cut off circulation. If these, and the coruscating, painful buzz up and down her nervous system were the only damage they'd been dealt, she'd count them lucky.

Nevertheless, they were restrained and-- her dark eyes roamed swiftly around the space-- apparently in someone's... home? This, by contrast, did not feel lucky. Actually, it felt singularly humiliating. She had one job. Scowling fiercely, she began to wiggle, trying to right herself. "Sir," she said, not meeting Kodak's eyes as she tried to force her protesting body to work, "I don't mean to alarm you, but my keen powers of tactical awareness are telling me that we have been kidnapped. And your face is burnt." The lighthearted quip was at considerable odds with her set expression, hiding the deeper self-blame for their current worrisome situation. With a grunt, Drol managed to squirm to her knees. The movement cost her though, her head bent forward as she breathed shallowly, the long, mussed black tresses of her hair hiding her face. They were split by the angry edges of, indeed, a phaser burn across her scalp.

Kodak sighed with relief. Not only was Drol awake and relatively OK, it seemed, but the Cardassian woman was also cracking jokes: a good sign indeed. "Deduced aptly, Ensign," the Captain rasped in response, an edge of humor in his voice as well. "And that explains why my face feels like a Tarcassian razor beast licked it raw." Golden eyes searched Drol's form and, with a sideways-laying sigh, he said, "You're burned, too. On your torso," he nodded to the woman's right side. Or at least, he tried to: the gesture looked more like he was stroking out for a moment. "Superficial, I think, but how do you feel? Are you alright?"

As Drol took mental stock of her injuries, the Chameloid suddenly remembered that he could easily break his bonds. All it would take was a quick shift to something much larger than a human. Gorn were his typical go-to choice when he needed size and strength, so that was an option. Or he could become much smaller, perhaps child-sized so the restraints simply fell off? Muriel had taught him much about his shapeshifting abilities during her stay aboard the Sojourner: he might as well use them.

"Alright being relative," Drol answered, finally managing to bring her head up. She glanced down at her right side where, in fact, a nasty burn glistened with fluid, not fully cauterized by the stun, "I'll keep. Now what can we--" She broke off as Kodak took action.

With a grunt, Kodak locked a chosen form in his mind and initiated the shift. Skin rippled and his mass trembled, the transition from human to Bynar in progress. But as the bulk of the change began, the Captain suddenly cried out in pain. Like putting a hand in a blazing bonfire, it'd taken a moment for the pain signals to reach his brain. Clearly, he'd been burned more than just on his face. The brunt of his injuries sabotaged the shift, reverting him back to his normal human appearance. Kodak gasped, taking a breath and trying to reorient himself.

"Captain!" Drol cried, hard put to keep her voice down. Although she had seen the man shift clothing before, she'd never seen it pain him. "What happened?" she asked as she knee-shuffled closer to him. She had exactly zero idea what she would be able to do to help, restrained as she was, but inaction was not in her nature and Kodak's distress was obvious. Glancing toward the door, she bared her teeth in a savage glare. "What did they do?" she demanded through her clenched teeth.

"Right," Kodak grimaced, "that...was not pleasant." The attempt had aggravated a medium-sized phaser burn just north of his stomach, sitting low beneath his chest. While coming to, he'd not felt the injury for some reason but the Captain certainly did so now.

Not reassured in the least, Drol watched him carefully as he recovered from whatever it was that had pained him during the shift, silent for the moment while he regrouped.

Settling back down, the Chameloid's thoughts returned to Emni's insistence on taking a security escort along. If only he'd been alone in that gaming area... He could have ducked out of sight, become someone else, and easily slipped away from whoever this Korvas and his people were. But with Drol in tow, slipping away on his own would left her behind and put her at risk. Plus, she'd been the one to notice their tail in the first place. If she hadn't been there, they probably have gotten the jump on Kodak anyway. The whole situation stunk, plain and simple, and no amount of mental bargaining was going to change their circumstances. All they could do was face the situation head on at this point.

"Bounty hunters, I gather," Kodak's voice came in a hard-edged rasp. "I think I heard the Hirogen say something about Subrek? Must be working for him." Repositioning himself with great effort, the Chameloid was able worm himself onto his back and then into an upright sitting position. "I haven't seen anyone else here but we have to assume they're probably listening in and watching. The um...thing I tried to do? Can probably give it another go in a minute or two." He held off on outright mentioning his shapeshifting capabilities but knew Drol would take his meaning. "After I've gotten my breath back," Kodak clarified.

Drol looked doubtful. "Is that such a good idea, sir?" she asked, "Not that it wouldn't be handy as all hell, but you'll not be helping anyone by injuring yourself more..." Tearing her eyes off him, she began to take better stock of their surroundings, the comfortable-- if shabby-- living area of someone's home. This was hardly the holding area she might have expected out of a Hirogen. Blinking hard in an attempt to get her eyes to focus-- the lingering buzz from the phaser stun had her vision shifting in and out of contrast-- she bent her mind to finding something, anything, that might be of use to them. Unfortunately, it seemed their captors were not so hasty as to leave convenient cutting devices laying around. They were going to have to get creative. While her gaze roamed, she spoke, if only to order her own thoughts, "If they are reporting to Subrek, we certainly don't want to give them another shot at you. They clearly need you alive, and I don't like the options that gives them," she said, her thoughts treading the dark paths that were her Cardassian birthright.

Inching sideways along on her knees, Drol made her way to the wall nearest the door, a scratched, curved specimen that nevertheless allowed her to brace her shoulder and shove to her feet. Once there, she swayed as her heart raced to catch up with this change in circulatory demands and she gritted her teeth until the dizziness and pain eased. Hopping a little closer to the door, she began to examine its seals, noting the locked control panel and reinforced durasteel. It might have been someone's home, but it was someone who took their security seriously. In other circumstances, she would have approved.

"We um...we need to do something," Kodak replied, watching Drol impressively maneuver herself up into a standing position. He attempted to replicate the motion, butt-hopping himself in his sitting position to lean against a wall and push his shoulder into it. The Captain found this gave him a bit of leverage to hoist himself up by his core muscles -- muscles he really should have been working out a lot more before now, Kodak noted to himself. It was difficult and he almost slipped but the Chameloid eventually found himself steady on his own two feet, tied together as they were.

"Agreed," Drol said scowling as she turned away from the door. They'd find no joy there without tools. Her gaze returned to roaming the living space.

"So am I the only one wondering why we're in someone's apartment rather than some seedy warehouse or something?" the Chameloid asked, golden eyes narrowing as he looked around the place. "Or even on this Korvas' ship, heading to meet Subrek directly? I mean, I appreciate a comfy couch as much as anyone," Kodak snarked, looking at the decidedly un-comfy couch in the living area, "but I guess I expected chains and concrete?"

Drol grunted in agreement. "The only thing I can figure," she said, leaning against the wall so she didn't wobble so badly on her tightly-bound feet, "is some kind of time constraint. Perhaps this was the nearest place?" Her frown deepened as she wondered aloud, "But if so, why are we still alone?" Shaking her head at the impossibility of answering that question, she turned her attention to Kodak, considering. Her eyes flicked to the couch in question. "Reckon they lose as much in their couch cushions as I do in mine?" she asked, considering the distance between the wall and the couch.

Deciding, much as Kodak had, that doing something was better than doing nothing she hopped over to sofa in a maneuver that could only generously be called successful. Her momentum mostly overcame her ability to hop on her bound feet and she half fell the last meter, landing partially sprawled on the couch. Struggling once again to her knees, she began an attempt to shoulder the couch cushions aside. "It's too bad you can't shift just some seriously sharp teeth or forearm blades or something," she mused, as she worked, "I like our chances a lot better if we can at least stand upright without wobbling about like some sort of drunken Ferengi."

"That certainly would be handy," Kodak conceded, half-hopping, half-bobbing over to join Drol on the couch, "but maybe we should retire that talk for now?" His tone sounded almost as if he were saying "Hint, hint, Drol." Still mindful that their captors probably had an audio feed set up to listen in, the Chameloid refrained from commenting further on his shapeshifting abilities, hoping to keep them a surprise for later...if he could push past the pain to actually use them, of course. Becoming a surprise Gorn in a pivotal moment could be useful.

Kodak let himself fall onto his back on the leftmost cushion, turning his body so that his hands could slide into the recess between the wall of the couch and the cushion itself. His fingers flailed there in the hollow, looking about without sight for anything that might help: a forgotten eating utensil, a dropped pocketknife (did people use pocketknives in the Delta Quadrant?), something. But this effort ultimately came up short and Kodak just shook his head. "All I'm feeling in there are wood seams and what seem to be sunk screws. You got anything?" he wondered in a rasp.

Drol had fallen silent, whether from Kodak's hint or from concentration was difficult to say. Her expression was the curiously blank one of someone trying to see with their fingers, her teeth sunk savagely into the gray skin of her lip. She didn't answer right away, her concentration freezing her ridged features into a fearsome grimace. And then, all at once, the expression melted into one of childish delight, a grin flashing teeth across at Kodak. "I certainly hope so," she said, slumping to her knees on the floor and shuffling so that her bound hands were facing Kodak. "Is this what I think it is?"

Cradled carefully in her palm was a small, ubiquitous household device, usually used for resealing packaging. The handle was smooth metal, while the 'blade,' a dull piece of conductive metal, sat at right angles to the handle. When activated, it heated up, the increased temperature reacting with the packaging to reseal.

Kodak's golden eyes opened very wide at the discovered device. At first, he thought perhaps it was a small hand phaser or something equally useful given Drol's reaction. But then the Chameloid figured out the device's true purpose: it was a Delta Quadrant spin on the design, sure, but clearly it was a package resealer. "You're over the moon," the Captain rasped questionably, "about that?" He'd have pointed to the device if he could; instead, he jutted his chin towards it. "Those only get so hot..." he trailed off.

"Oh, don't tell me you've never hacked the safety and used this to heat--" Drol cut herself off, glancing back over her shoulder at the Chameloid and with a nervous smile ended with, "Nevermind. Suffice to say it can be done. Trust me, these babies put out some heat. Should get through the plascuffs in no time." With that, her fingers closed around the housing, and she began to worry at its seams with her nails, the pink tip of her tongue protruding from her lips with concentration.

'No time' turned out to be 'some time,' when you were working behind your back with bound hands that periodically lost circulation. Although the housing had come free relatively easily, working the correct contacts together was proving more difficult, even with Kodak's helpful direction. Attempting to keep her cool amidst the frustration, Drol tried again for the umpteenth time. "Anything?" she asked, hoping he could see the blade heat up.

At first, Kodak didn't see anything different from the last several attempts. The blade remained its base color, stubbornly refusing to heat. But as Drol continued to make some minor adjustments, he suddenly stopped her. "There," the Chameloid's voice rumbled, "I can see the metal heating beyond the thermal limits we're used to on those things. I'll be damned," Kodak admired the Cardassian's handiwork. "It's slow, though, Drol. It's going to take forever at this rate and who knows when our captors might be back. Can you do anything to speed it up?"

Gritting her teeth, one eye squinched shut and the other rolled upward with concentration, Drol shifted the position of her fingers and applied more inward pressure on the contacts. "How's that?" she asked, the words forced through clenched teeth.

"Yes, that's much better," the Chameloid nodded. "Heating up fast now." Anticipating that the security officer would cut his bonds first -- and then he, in turn, would free her -- Kodak wriggled and inched his way into a position where, back turned to Drol, she could use the resealer to burn through his restraints. The smell of melting plastic was, perhaps, the best thing he'd smelled in quite some time. It took several long moments but, finally, the tension holding his wrists together suddenly vanished. His arms came apart and around, the Captain rubbing blood flow back into his extremities.

"Alright, now you," Kodak said, reaching for the resealer. Freeing Drol proved much easier than removing his own restraints. He had the luxury of being able to work with his unrestrained hands out front, without need for blind manipulation. Again, several long moments accompanied by the smell of burning plastic passed until, finally, Drol's wrists had become free as well.

"Remind me never to grouse about losing things in my couch again," the Captain half-chuckled. "You alright?" he asked Drol. Instead of looking at the Cardassian, however, his eyes were firmly fixed on the door to the apartment. He expected one or more of the bounty hunters to come crashing in at any minute.

With her hands free, Drol shook better circulationnto them and took back the device to made quick work of both of their leg bonds. She then eyed the little device, tossing it up and catching it, then wincing as the motion pulled at her ribs. With a hiss, she said, "Fine. I'll be much better when we get you out of here." She rose unsteadily to her feet, shaking her legs as the pins and needles of returned circulation prickled across her feet. At least they hadn't been stripped. She didn't fancy traversing a station like Hukatuse Tugamik barefoot. Then, as though realizing she should probably be asking the same question of the captain she paused, bent over, and eyed him critically, "How's..." she rolled her wrist to indicate his condition-- shapeshifting and all-- without speaking. "Anything we can get out of the door with? And why the hell doesn't this place have a comm of any kind?" she added as she began to stalk the small living area.

Legs thankfully now free, Kodak did a bit of stretching to limber them up. "So much better," he offered to the Cardassian in thanks. To her question about his shapeshifting, the Chameloid reached up to gingerly feel the wound on his side. He winced hard at the contact and his hand came away not with blood, but bits of charred, cauterized flesh clinging to his hand. It was like little flakes of black snow had fallen on his skin -- little flakes that he hoped would grow back.

"Well, wound's still pretty painful. So," Kodak sighed, "same issue. But maybe there's something around here that could help? There's got to be a medkit or something, right? If we could find some pain killers or numbing gel, that would help quite a bit with the...uh, thing," he gestured up and down himself, knowing Drol would catch his meaning. "Keep an eye on that door," he rasped heavily. "Get ready to pummel anyone who comes through. While you do that, I'm going to take a look around, alright?"

Drol looked up from where she had paused in the tiny kitchenette, something that looked suspiciously like a mallet in her hand. The grin she shot at Kodak was wolfish, and held too many teeth. Hefting the mallet to test its weight, she stalked over to the door saying, "With pleasure."

Nodding to the security officer, Kodak turned and strode into what passed for the apartment's kitchen. Cabinet after cabinet was opened, though all of the cupboards were bare. The lack of foodstuffs seemed to be an indicator that no one was presently staying in the apartment, which was probably why the bounty hunters were using it as a secret holding area for their prisoners. Shaking his head, the Chameloid then searched all the drawers. He came across various eating and cooking utensils but there was no medkit to be found. He moved then back into the living room, quickly rifling through cubbies and cabinets but came up short there, too.

The Captain slipped deeper into the apartment from there, going room by room and conducting a search of each. The bedroom was pretty bare, save a curious dark brown bottle with a push-style applicator lid. Sitting on a bedside table, words were emblazoned on the bottle's label but, without a tricorder, Kodak couldn't get a sense of their meaning. He suddenly missed the mixed-reality contacts he used to wear to disguise his eyes and access helpful information when he worked for Starfleet Intelligence. They'd have translated the label in a second. Ah well, he thought, settling for picking up the bottle and sniffing the applicator, hoping to detect hints of something vaguely medicinal. Instead, it smelled like something from a machine shop. Is this what I think it is? he thought to himself, a nugget of potential recognition forming.

To test his theory, the Chameloid depressed the push-style topper, a thin trickle of liquid spurting into his other waiting hand. Testing the feel of the solution between his fingers, Kodak actually laughed out loud. Given the bottle's proximity to the bed and the liquid's slippery feel, two and two suddenly equaled four. "Yep, I thought so," he said to himself with disbelief, shaking his head with more than a little amusement. "Guessing you guys slip away in here to entertain yourselves on break?" he wondered, the visual more than enough to give him a shudder. The Captain placed the bottle back down and wiped the solution from his fingers using the dirty bedspread, then headed back out.

Next Kodak entered what must be the apartment's bathroom. Really, it was a tiny little closet with a fold-down, toilet-esque contraption built into the wall. But it was the cabinet above the device that caught his eye most. Touching the button to open its door, the Captain almost whooped with delight when he spied what could only be the medical kit he'd anticipated finding somewhere. Reaching up to grab it -- and doing his best to ignore the searing pain along the side of his abdomen in response -- the Chameloid made his way back out into the main living area, where Drol still stood watching the door.

"I think I might have found what we need," he said, moving to open the kit on the dining table nearby. "Or at least, I hope," Kodak said, rummaging through the items in the box. Like the bottle in the bedroom, everything was labeled, but it was in a script the Captain couldn't read. However, the smell coming from a tube of cream he'd just opened was like Christmas morning, his birthday, and Easter morning all rolled into one. Rubbing a small pearl of the cream between this right thumb and forefinger, he immediately felt a cooling effect paired with a growing loss of sensation in his skin.

Drol had placed herself up against the wall next to the door so that she would not be immediately obvious to anyone attempting entry. At Kodak's return, she glanced away from her vigil, eyes flicking to the medkit he'd plopped on the table. She eyed the cream suspiciously as he smelled the tube and she was just opening her mouth to caution the captain when he rubbed some of the stuff between his fingers and spoke.

"Jackpot," the Captain said. "It's definitely a pain reliever. Would you mind, Ensign?" he asked, holding out the tube towards Drol. Kodak pointed down into the kit, where a pair of sterile-looking-but-probably-not gloves sat. "Dunno how clean those are but hopefully they'll keep your hands from going numb, hmm? I'll keep watch on the door," he promised with a nod, looking forward to monitor the entry while the Cardassian went to work on both their wounds. "Once we're feeling a little better, I think we might have...better luck," he stressed non-specifically. Meaning, of course, he might be able to shapeshift into something useful without the agony of his wound short-circuiting the process.

Forcing her shoulders to relax-- watching Kodak sample weird alien creams was doing nothing for her heightened uneasiness in the strange apartment-- Drol spared one last glance toward the door and then crossed to the table. She handed Kodak the mallet and shoved her hands into the gloves which... vaguely fit, but were made for someone with both larger hands and more digits than she had. Tying off the excess material she took the tube and started to carefully smear the cream onto the ugly, burnt flesh of Kodak's torso wound. She applied the cream generously, trying to ignore the burnt bits of flesh that stuck to her makeshift gloves, well aware that numbing Kodak's injuries was far more essential than her own. She then moved on to the burn across his face with which she was oddly tender, in a careful way. "How's it feel?" she asked.

As the medicinal-smelling cream was slathered on and into his rather large disruptor wound, Kodak visibly shivered. A little moan escaped him as well, full of raspy elation and relief as the Captain sagged into a metaphorical puddle. The mallet was still in hand and Kodak's golden eyes were still focused on the door but his body had gone slack and the Chameloid no longer appeared poised to attack anyone who might come into the apartment: the relief was that great. As the security officer then tended to the cut on his forehead, he said, "Feels good, Drol. Better than expected, even," Kodak breathed with a smile. Though the space between them was slight and the moment tender, the Captain maintained a respectful demeanor despite the extreme gratitude he felt towards Drol.

Concentrating as she was on not getting the cream in his eyes, Drol hardly noticed the lack of personal space, and managed a small smile in return. She swiped a finger along the bottom of his forehead wound, making sure the cream wouldn't migrate down his face, and then eyed the tube dubiously before twisting to apply the remaining supply to herself.

As she began to tend to her own wounds, Kodak noticed the disturbing lack of cream left in the tube. So little was left, in fact, that the tube of medicine had to be squeezed fairly hard to produce any more of the numbing agent. "Drol," the Chameloid said, eyes full of concern, "you didn't leave much for your own injuries. Is there enough there? It wouldn't be pretty or maybe even sanitary," he gestured to his own wound, glistening with the coating of almost-clear cream, "but we could scrape some of the extra off. You need it too," the Captain stressed. "If we aren't both at our best, I don't fancy our chances, Ensign."

"Hmm?" she said in response to her name, without looking up. It was difficult to see her expression with her head bent to tend the burn across her ribs, and she didn't look up as Kodak continued. Finally, as he made his suggestion, she did glance up at his wound, and grimaced. It looked especially fearsome on her ridged features. "I'm fine, sir." she assured him neutrally, even as she worked to get the last few drops of cream out of the tube. This, she smeared across her neck-- it barely made a sheen on her gray skin. "You are our ticket out of this," she reminded him as she squeezed the tube in vain for another moment before setting it aside, "I will be fine. My father always said 'pain is life and life is pain.' I thought he was being heavy-handed, but maybe he was actually on to something." She paused then, smirking, "Don't tell him I said that."

With that, Drol held out her hand for the mallet. "What do you think?" her eyes flicked to the mess of burned flesh and cream on Kodak's side, and then back up to the door.

"Your secret is safe with me, Ensign," Kodak said, offering a half-grimace, half-smile. Given that his own stress responses tended towards humor as a release valve, he appreciated Drol's penchant for the same, especially in uncertain moments such as this one. To her question, the Captain looked down at his slathered wound and then experimentally twisted his torso from left to right. His expression made it clear he expect this to hurt exceptionally but a smile of relief spread from ear to ear as the Chameloid again regarded the Cardassian and nodded.

"We're doing this. You ready for whatever's on the other side of that door?" Kodak asked.

Despite his assurance, Drol eyed him for several more moments, as if to satisfy herself he wasn't going to keel over. Still looking mildly dubious, she readjusted her grip on the mallet and stepped to the side, angling herself near the door, but giving him room to change his shape. At least, she hoped he was going to need room. The bigger the better in her book. Glancing at the door and imagining any number of scenarios on the outside of it, her expression ranged briefly through confidence into apprehension before finally settling in a grim mien of resignation. "Ready as I'm likely to get with this," she said with a half-snarl directed at her mallet. Though better than nothing, it clearly didn't tick all of her 'weapon-of-choice' boxes. Nevertheless, she nodded and shifted her attention to the door.

"Alright then," the Captain nodded. Narrowing his eyes, Kodak initiated the shift, picking the form he wanted and firmly fixing it in his mind. Skin, muscles, and bone quivered at first, his own body unsure if the change was possible given the injuries. But the cream was doing its job and this time, there was no searing fire blast of pain to short circuit the process. That was all the confirmation the Chameloid needed to proceed with all due gusto.

In the hushed confines of the room, an eerie transformation unfolded. The man's features twisted and contorted, his skin -- once soft and warm -- beginning to ripple and warp. The surface writhed with an unseen energy as the Captain's very cells underwent a profound metamorphosis.

Limbs elongated with a sickening crunch, his very bones reshaping themselves. Muscles bulged and twisted, expanding his stature into a larger, more ominous silhouette. Kodak's peachy flesh turned first a dull green in hue, then began to convulse with the emergence of dark, reptilian scales that flowed across the visible parts of his body. Each scale, like a puzzle piece, fitted into place, transforming the Captain's exterior into a formidable armor beneath the same clothes he'd been wearing prior.

Though she had resolved to keep her eyes on the door, ready for the inevitable arrival of their captors at an inopportune time-- with the bonus side-effect of giving Kodak what modicum of privacy she could-- the eerie pop and crunch of bones growing and realigning, even the dry hiss of newly-formed scales sliding one over another drew Drol's gaze as surely as a moth to flame. The process was fascinating enough that she found she couldn't look away.

As the change progressed, a sinuous tail snaked its way into existence, its scaly coils writhing with a deadly grace. Claws erupted from Kodak's fingertips, sharp and lethal, the tools of a predator honed by nature's cruel design. Teeth, once ordinary for a human, elongated into razor-sharp daggers, promising a ferocity that matched the dangerous predator he'd become. His eyes narrowed into the slitted orbs of a reptile as a Gorn looked back at Drol from where the human had previously stood.

Though she'd interacted with Gorn before-- their own ops chief was one such-- the implacably flat reptilian gaze never failed to make her feel small. Still, Drol knew better than to show fear in the face of such a predator, even if he was supposedly Kodak. She schooled her features into ferocity and returned his gaze solidly and gave a single nod.

"Let's get the hell out of here," Gorn-Kodak growled, the sound guttural and ragged. Approaching the door with the thumping of his now much heavier footfalls, he stopped to intelligently try the door's controls. As expected, nothing happened: they'd been disabled of course. But that was the permission he needed to ferally rip into the edges of the door with his clawed hands. The razor-tips of his huge claws punctured the low quality metal of the door and with a mighty tear, the door was pulled from its hinges and thrown aside.

That's when the shooting began...

A joint post by:

Captain Björn Kodak
Commanding Officer

Ensign Eekit Drol
Security Officer


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